Monday, October 6, 2008

Using GeneTree as a Social Network

I posted last week about my mitochondrial DNA results obtained from and I wanted to show what the social network side of the web site looks like.

Any user of GeneTree needs to be registered for free - the login screen looks like this:

After logging in, the user can add a Profile - a description and a picture, as I did below:

The user can set Preferences for their Profile and Notifications. The different privacy categories are Family, Friends, DNA and Public. The user can control access to ten items. I chose to make my Description and Picture, Family Tree, and Display Name public, as shown below:

The Tree tab at the top of the web page displays your family tree. When I registered, I uploaded a GEDCOM file. I am showing the default colors - blue for males, pink for females. My uploaded tree has 644 persons in it, and it took a long time to load (about 30 seconds for the first persons to appear, over 2 minutes for all 644 to be added). The family tree screen is shown below:

There are links for each person on the tree for Tree, Edit, and More. If you click on Tree, the selected person becomes the person at the top left of the field. If the user clicks on Edit, the user can edit the information for the specific person - the name, birth date/place, death date/place and gender. The More link permits the user to Edit Person, View Profile and View Tree. The Edit Person screen looks like:

The information for a Person s very limited as far as I can tell - just name, gender, birth date/place and death date/place. There appears to be no marriage information available and no other Facts or Notes typically found in genealogy software.

This web site appears to use Family Tree Builder for the Tree application. I don't know enough about Family Tree Builder to comment on it beyond this at the moment.

The user can invite family and friends by email to view the Tree, the Media, the DNA results, etc.

I don't see any way to Add persons to the Tree. I tried the Add to Tree link on the My Action Links on the web pages, and it just took me to the existing Tree with no apparent option to add somebody.

I don't see any way to delete the Tree once it's been uploaded.

In summary, GeneTree is a combination DNA Match and Social Network site. I like the concept, even though the Tree aspect is limited.

I'm still waiting to hear from the two persons with Exact Matches to my mtDNA that I sent a message to through GeneTree. I wonder if I'll ever hear from them?

No comments: