Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Geni.com Experiences

After last week's major brouhaha about the "rules change" at Geni.com (see The Geni.com Changes Genea-Blog Compendium for blog responses), I listened to the Blog Talk Radio show last night with Thomas MacEntee interviewing Noah Tutak, the CEO of Geni.com.  You can hear this episode of Geneabloggers Radio here. 

You can read the Geni.com announcements about the changes at Geni Pro Just Got a Whole Lot Better and A Message From Geni’s CEO

Noah described the changes made at Geni.com, and answered many of the chat board questions filtered through Thomas.  George of Geni.com was on the chat board and answered some chatter questions.  They invited people to make comments on the Geni.com Blog post about the show.  Only one chat participant has done that so far.

I hope that someone will summarize the questions and answers from the radio program interview.

I started on Geni.com back in 2008 with a Free account, and uploaded a GEDCOM at that time with about 1,000 ancestral family members.  However, I didn't use the service very much, and did not invite any family members to join me on Geni.com.  The website was "nice looking" but it wasn't a vehicle for me to use for genealogy research, but it was useful as "cousin bait."  It also had the potential to find relationships to celebrities and historical persons, which I have an interest in, mainly for use as blog fodder and my family newsletter.  The problem there is that the persons that I submitted to Geni.com didn't go back far enough to connect through the early American colonial ancestors.

At the 2011 SCGS Jamboree, Geni.com gifted me and other geneabloggers with a Pro account, which I appreciate.  I still have not added a lot of content yet, and I will not unless or until there is a functional GEDCOM capability or a true person-by-person synchronization capability.  AncestorSync appears to be able to transfer a Geni.com file to a GEDCOM or software, or vice versa.  However, I don't think that it will do a person-by-person synchronization.

As a Pro account holder, the changes on Geni.com enhanced my capabilities - I can now edit Profiles of historical persons without contacting the Profile Manager or other persons who have merged their profile for a person into the Profile.  That has advantages and disadvantages - it may enable better scholarship to be added to the tree, and it may cause Edit Wars if people disagree.  There are tabs on each Profile for the Overview, Media, Timeline, Discussions, sources and Revisions.  Users are encouraged to add content to those tabs.

In another post, I will show some of the changes I made for one of my ancestors that had erroneous data in it, due to the merging of the person by two or more Geni.com users.  It will be interesting to see the feedback, if any!

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