Thoughts about adding a simple IM 'contact' field for users

Started by Private User on Saturday, August 27, 2011


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Private User
8/27/2011 at 12:54 PM

I've been thinking about how innovative and great Geni is at using collaboration in an effort produce the most accurate Tree. One of the startling things is how difficult it seems to be to communicate with each other. I mean discussions, emails, and projects are all really great tools, but what seems to be lacking is a way to communicate in real time via an IM system of some sort. It's kind of ironic, really if you think about it. Even more so when I can see that someone I am working with is currently online, but I have no easy way to drop them a message.

For example, I was working with Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton on cleaning up some particularly nasty bad merge issues, and we used the Geni email system to describe what needed to be done. Erica did a **fantastic** job at being able to sort out and fix the errors, but it got me to thinking that we could have done it much faster if we were able to communicate via IM or Skype.

I was wondering what people think about having a spot on our individual profile where we could put what IM tool we use and what that 'handle' is, and that way if we needed to collaborate, we could fire up a session, share screens, discuss, (and even make new friends!) and fix/research/chat whatever it is we are working on. Of course this would be voluntary, and maybe it could even be restricted (if it were to become a full blown feature) to just friends/collaborators/family, depending on the user's choice.

Obviously for now, you could just email someone and tell them your IM, I just thought this is a more elegant, natural, and long term solution.

Thoughts on this?

8/27/2011 at 1:03 PM

There is a field to capture IM type / ID on your profile. I would have to study the privacy settings to see under what groupings it shows. I have to be geni mailed to turn mine on anyway.:)

Private User
8/27/2011 at 1:15 PM

Hmm, didn't notice that before. That seems like it solves part of the issue, but now only family members/group have access to my contact information (or everyone on the internet).

Seems like I should be able to share that with collaborators, and that info should be more prominently displayed to encourage communication.

Current Profile Privacy Rules
"Only your relatives can see your individual profile.
You can block individual relatives from viewing your individual profile or messaging you.
You can further restrict what information appears on your profile in your account settings. "

8/27/2011 at 2:35 PM

Yes. As it's currently configured, it's only available within the Family Group. And while I really enjoy all my geni cousins, I would prefer to confine my FG to, you know, family.:). I imagine others feel the same.

You can raise an enhancement request here

And then paste back the entry in discussions to encourage a "me, too" from others.

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