Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"We're Related" on

The WorldVitalRecords blog had a post yesterday about their application called We're Related. The application is described as:

"In less than three months since it was introduced, We‘re Related, a Facebook application created by Provo based, has become the #1 social application for families, out of more than 11,000 applications, with more than 2 million users.

"We‘re Related allows people to create and share their family tree, connect with members of their living families, and find relatives on Facebook. Since October, nearly 700,000 family trees have been built or uploaded and thousands of photos and family documents are being uploaded to individual Ancestor Pages."

I've tried several genealogy "social network" sites and have been unimpressed by the "family tree" aspects of them - they just don't seem useful to me yet. I decided to try this particular one today.

You have to register at After registration, you can Search for the "We're Related" application and add the application to your Facebook list of applications.

In We're Related, you can then upload your GEDCOM file. My first try failed because I signed up for Facebook as "Randy Seaver" while my GEDCOM has "Randall Seaver" for my name. They give you that hint before you try the GEDCOM upload, but somebody didn't read it! Alas, after about two minutes, the 20,000 person GEDCOM upload timed out on me - twice. No reason was given. I had this happen to me when I tried FamilyLink also.

As with all social networks, you can invite friends and relatives to create a Facebook account and contribute to the family tree (assuming you can upload one). You are limited to 20 relatives a day by Facebook. I haven't tried that yet.

There are also several genealogy groups on Facebook - each group has a message board and members can upload pictures, videos or files for sharing. I will try to browse this as time permits.

I'm disappointed that my GEDCOM didn't upload and have no clue as to how to find out why. I sent a message to the We're Related Help Desk (the Help button on the page is at the lower right hand corner) and expect an email reply.

Has anyone else joined Facebook, been successful with We're Related, or had a problem uploading their GEDCOM?

UPDATE 7:45 PM: I had a response to my Help desk query. They said:

"Right now the app still has a hard time uploading very large GedComs. This has to do with response time between our servers and Facebook's servers. If our servers are working to upload anything (such as a GedCom) and Facebook's servers do not get a response within a set and rather short amount of time, then the whole thing will time-out and you'll get an error page. We are working on this and trying to make the communication go faster so that Facebook's servers don't give up on us. If you would like, you can email the GedCom to me and I will have one of our developers upload it for you."

This was from the We're Related side - I appreciate the quick response and explicit information. I could make another GEDCOM I guess with more limited information and see if it will upload say 2,000 names instead of 20,000 names. But the whole purpose of the test is to see what happens with any size file so that others can know that their database will upload also. In other words, I go through all of the pain so you don't have to.

No comments: