Knowledge Base/Announcements /What's Happening Now

November 1: Changes to Membership Tiers & Merging

Amanda
posted this on November 01, 2011 11:57 AM

Membership Tiers

Geni has always offered a free Basic account to our members. This is a great way to give Geni a try and see how quickly your family tree can grow. As your tree grows and you want to take advantage of advanced features, such as profile matches and tree merging, you can choose from two subscription levels, Plus and Pro.

We've made two changes to these membership tiers to make them easier to understand, and provide more value to our members. Check out this chart to view our different membership types. 

Tree Size

We’ve moved from a relationship-based limit to a simple number limit. The relationship-based limit was difficult to understand, and was overly restrictive, especially for users interested in adding ancestors, rather than cousins and other living relatives.

Now Basic (free) members can build a tree with up to 100 people. This means a user tracing a single ancestral line can add 99 generations with a Basic account, rather than the 5 generations previously possible.

A Plus membership increases your limit to 1,000 people. If you upgrade to a Pro subscription, there are no size restrictions to your tree.

Search

Users who upgrade to Plus can now take full advantage of Geni’s advanced search feature to search all 110 Million profiles on Geni. Plus and Pro users can search for profiles by name, date, location, and more.

Merging

When trees overlap on Geni they can be merged together to create a single, more complete tree. Usually this happens when a tree grows large enough to overlap the World Family Tree, and a Pro in the World Family Tree merges the trees.

Based on user feedback, trees can no longer be merged without the permission of someone in that tree. This means that your tree will no longer be merged into the world family tree, or any other tree, until you, or someone else in your tree, is ready to merge your tree. Users in other trees can send merge requests to other trees, but someone in that tree will need to approve before the profiles and trees are merged.

This is a significant change, and we hope that it will better accommodate users interested in working on their own trees, while maintaining the ability to grow the world family tree over time.

Note: These changes have no impact on viewing permissions and you will still be able to edit profiles you collaborate on.

We welcome feedback from our users. If you would like to let us know what you think or offer some suggestions, please post your comments here.

 

Comments latest first

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Norm Galston

I'm new to Geni ...I was invited to join which I did to Geni Basic.  I've enjoyed it a lot....I've added a lot of people to my site, which is following 6 families... but I am really upset that I can't look at other trees that claim to have some of my relatives from my site on them. It does seem like bait & Switch. Geni won't let me see unless I pay!!!

I may just Drop Out of the whole thing!!!

March 07, 2013 12:15 AM
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Norm Galston

I'm new to Geni ...I was invited to join which I did to Geni Basic.  I've enjoyed it a lot....I've added a lot of people to my site, which is following 6 families... but I am really upset that I can't look at other trees that claim to have some of my relatives from my site on them. It does seem like bait & Switch. Geni won't let me see unless I pay!!!

I may just Drop Out of the whole thing!!!

March 07, 2013 12:15 AM
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Norm Galston

I'm new to Geni ...I was invited to join which I did to Geni Basic.  I've enjoyed it a lot....I've added a lot of people to my site, which is following 6 families... but I am really upset that I can't look at other trees that claim to have some of my relatives from my site on them. It does seem like bait & Switch. Geni won't let me see unless I pay!!!

I may just Drop Out of the whole thing!!!

March 07, 2013 12:15 AM
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Norm Galston

I'm new to Geni ...I was invited to join which I did to Geni Basic.  I've enjoyed it a lot....I've added a lot of people to my site, which is following 6 families... but I am really upset that I can't look at other trees that claim to have some of my relatives from my site on them. It does seem like bait & Switch. Geni won't let me see unless I pay!!!

I may just Drop Out of the whole thing!!!

March 07, 2013 12:14 AM
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Norm Galston

I'm new to Geni ...I was invited to join which I did to Geni Basic.  I've enjoyed it a lot....I've added a lot of people to my site, which is following 6 families... but I am really upset that I can't look at other trees that claim to have some of my relatives from my site on them. It does seem like bait & Switch. Geni won't let me see unless I pay!!!

I may just Drop Out of the whole thing!!!

March 07, 2013 12:14 AM
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Mike

Thanks for the info, Tim.  I didn't know about that.

December 04, 2012 01:19 PM
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Timothy Ignatius Rutnicki

Mike, that only happened once after they got bought out. I highly doubt they would have changed their policies back themselves, otherwise. Anyway I'm happy about this news too.

December 04, 2012 01:18 PM
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Mike

I'm so glad to see geni.com reversed their decision to limit the number of tree entries for free members!  I just hope they don't flip-flop again.

December 04, 2012 01:12 PM
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Raphael Moshe Schiff

I downloaded from Geni but when I tried to upload to Ancestry I got

Error: The file you have specified (export-geni.zip) does not appear to be a valid GEDCOM file, please try again

Why is that?

February 05, 2012 09:33 AM
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Raphael Moshe Schiff

Thanks

February 02, 2012 08:16 AM
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Benjamin Christopher Fernandez

Raphael, have u tried using this link? http://www.geni.com/gedcom/

February 02, 2012 08:12 AM
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Raphael Moshe Schiff

What if when you try to download a Gedcom you get: "Page not found"!?

February 02, 2012 07:53 AM
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Benjamin Christopher Fernandez

Looks like Geni is holding firm to its new 'bait and switch' membership tiers. No amount of groveling, pleading, begging and hoping is going to make the management think for a second and change their minds about it. I guess the only solution here is to 'take it or leave it'. So I have finally decided to stage a walk out!

I've exported my GEDCOM and brought it over to Ancestry.com in 2 easy steps. 
Step 1> Download GEDCOM from Geni http://www.geni.com/gedcom/request_download
Step 2> Upload GEDCOM to Ancestry.com http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/uploadfile.aspx

Its that easy! Goodbye Geni! Note that you may have to wait for a day or two depending on the size of your forest for GENI to prepare ur GEDCOM file, they send the link to your email id

February 01, 2012 12:05 PM
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Benjamin Christopher Fernandez

Geni is the new Orkut! Goodbye Geni, will be taking my GEDCOM file and moving on. 

January 31, 2012 03:31 AM
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Joe Buttrill

Statistics from Tamura Jones' web site show that Geni in August was adding profiles at a rate of 10.06 million per year. Current Geni statistics show profiles added at a rate of 7.71 million per year. That's a 23% decline in just five months. Keep up the good work Geni!

January 28, 2012 05:58 AM
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Timothy Ignatius Rutnicki

I would like to congratulate you on your award Geni. It couldn't have gone to a more worthy company. Maybe for 2012 you would like to try for a different kind of award. However, I don't think many of us will still be around to see that happen.

January 27, 2012 06:40 PM
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Jeffrey Jay Jay Barnett

thanks for sugar coating for me.....

can't believe they think they can change their policies and charge that much for annual membership when all the data in their site is stuff we put in...

I have any annual membership with ancestry.com for not that much more.... good-bye geni.com

 

January 25, 2012 05:05 PM
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Timothy Ignatius Rutnicki

In other words Jeffrey, you're screwed like the rest of us. Get used to it.

January 24, 2012 11:10 PM
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Amanda
Pro

Jeffrey,

You will still have access to everything you have added once your Pro subscription expires. If you are past the basic limit of 100 profiles, you will not be able to add new nodes without upgrading.

January 24, 2012 12:11 PM
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Jeffrey Jay Jay Barnett

what happens to my tree now that i won't renew my pro membership due to the cost? will it be cut back to 100 or left online but i just won't be able to add to it??

 

 

January 24, 2012 11:29 AM
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Sean Edward Staats

My Pro subscription just expired and it is highly unlikely I will renew until these Nov. 1 membership tier changes are rolled back to the way they were before geni.com pulled this bait and switch scam.

January 17, 2012 06:35 AM
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Dan Cornett
Curator

Instead of a simple "split", and since we're (likely) taking private profiles anyway, why not just copy the profiles (the smaller set) and change their manager.

Of course, if you had GEDCOM import then the users could presumably do it themselves (export the portion necessary to make a copy, or [alternatively] export, delete the undesired profiles in a desktop genealogy program, and then import the results into the other user's private tree).

January 10, 2012 09:42 PM
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Charles Edmonds
Pro

David

We will  look into splitting the tree but once that is done you will no longer have access to the profiles on his side of the tree. 

January 10, 2012 01:57 PM
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David Klarman

Amanda - I truly appreciate your help yesterday.  It does appear that I have reached an impass with my relative Josh Fishman.  He would like to be able to see his section of the tree only - without any of the exteneded branches for the rest of the family.  Apparently he can no longer even edit entries that he has made to the tree (which he claims he actually started a year before me).  I am not looking to create family strife, however i do not want to delete all off my family tree information to meet his needs.  Is there a way you can spin off a section of the tree for him so that he can just have access to the peopel he cares about?  If so will i still have access to that data as part of my overall tree?  Thank you for any assitance you can provide.  - DK

January 10, 2012 12:50 PM
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Amanda
Pro

David,

Customer Service has contacted Josh about the deleted profiles and is looking into the matter. You can block him so he cannot edit any profiles you manage. For more info, please see our FAQ: How can I block another Geni user?

January 09, 2012 05:59 PM
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David Klarman

i have managed to recover all of my tree (one person at a time).  is there an easy way to change my setting so that no one can change / delete a profile that i manage?

January 09, 2012 04:58 PM
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Larry Dantus

@Amanda, (David is a friend of mine and after he called me, I suggested he post here for help)...David's post is a side effect of the new pricing scheme. Apparently, his relative was so disgusted by Geni's pricing, that he clicked to delete over a hundred profiles, basically destroying my friend's family tree. I know Geni is "happy" with the results...but, I guess, the happiness seems to be shared by a select (and very limited) group. For others, basically it's years of research, collaboration and searching down the drain. Please make sure management is aware of what's going on. Is there any way he can get a GEDCOM of his tree effective before the deletions? Is it possible to add the deletions back?

January 09, 2012 03:34 PM
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Bjørn P. Brox
Curator
January 09, 2012 02:48 PM
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David Klarman

HELP!!!!! 

one of my relatives just deleted most of my family tree.   i can't afford to join at this time but wwould like to have all of my people reinstated.  Please help.

January 09, 2012 02:32 PM
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Barry Graham

OK I can see nothing much is going to change from this post, I am going to see how I can leave this thread since it's starting to consume more than 1/4 of my inbox each week!  Geni let me know when you've fixed the problem and I will consider taking out a paid membership.  Fixing the problem means not placing limits on existing members, and only having one paid membership level, with the old lifetime membership price.

January 08, 2012 06:00 PM
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(Jill) Robinson

Ray - I cancelled my upgrade 2 days BEFORE it was supposed to go into effect - but Geni still took my money. 2 emails to prove that I cancelled it 2 days before. Is this where we start suing Geni???  - Jill

January 08, 2012 05:53 AM
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Ray Nicklas

I signed up for Plus at the special rate at the end of December. But I discovered that the "enhanced search" capabilities still did not allow me to view any data of people that searches found. So i've replied to Geni's subscription confirmation email twice, requesting cancellation, but nothing has happenned. No response, and still shown as a Plus member.

Is there another way to more effectively cancel, short of contesting the AmEx charge?

January 07, 2012 05:36 PM
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Helene

Back to basic. How do I remove my tree at Geni. Geni has become a pest. It started out well and free, but now it's just a idiotic board with a lot of messages that I DON'T want.

So how do I REMOVE all information I have added???????

Helene

January 07, 2012 12:27 PM
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Larry Dantus

@Carol  (and others)

Please be careful about revealing your email address on a public web page (like this one).

There are 'bots' (automated programs) that scour the internet and harvest exposed addresses...that's how the spam folks find your address. Not sure if Geni admins can remove it (we can't edit these posts), but it's not a good idea to share your address with the entire internet (unless you really like getting messages from strangers)

January 06, 2012 09:48 AM
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(Jill) Robinson

Hi Michael - I want to contact Geni to cancel my membership - that is the email I am looking for. In the meantime I have cancelled through a 'Ticket' to Geni.  I have requested membership to the facebook page. Carol

January 06, 2012 09:03 AM
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(Jill) Robinson

Can anyone post a contact email for Geni?  I want to cancel my membership. Dont like the bait and switch that they have pulled on us. Send me info at cgrbtr@bell.net - and many thanks. Have joined the facebook page.

January 06, 2012 08:53 AM
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James H. Gross
Pro

membership blog- im not really interested in renewing my pro account as geni still hasn't reinstated the gedcom import feature, and has no gedcom update feature. i am not interested in manually entering data (into geni) that is already entered into my gedcom compatable genealogy program. there are other issues that people have regarding the 100 limit, the 1000 limit, etc. if geni really wants the money, shouldn't they be a bit more flexible in regard to membership options?

January 06, 2012 06:54 AM
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Wioletta Święcińska

Is there any other way to remove all my family data from Geni, other then "rename all and remove one by one"? I know I can cancel my account, but my data will still be here. :[

January 05, 2012 06:55 AM
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Larry Dantus

@Frederick I posted your link in two places at Facebook. In a short period of time your thoughts will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of readers. Who knows, maybe even Geni's (mis)-management might read it, too!

January 04, 2012 04:58 PM
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Михајло Делпаћ

This is how I feel too. I couldn't say it any better: 

I feel violated and distrust this website for this unscrupulous attempt to extort money from the people who helped them build Geni into the site it is today. 

Geni was initially a great way for users to fill in the family tree together. Over time the management made poor decisions that hurt its user base. Geni now has a limit of 100 profiles you can add or else you have to pay. In this way they have stabbed in the back all the people who got them where they are today. Bye-bye +Geni.com !

January 04, 2012 04:56 PM
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Frederick Colt Foutz
January 04, 2012 03:30 PM
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Jared Warren

I'm willing to upgrade to a Plus account so I can continue building on the work I have already done, but now a distant cousin has come along and asked to merge her small tree into mine. I'm not willing to go to Pro so I told her to do it manually, but now she's just making a mess. :(

 

January 03, 2012 04:27 PM
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Dan Pancamo
Geni, where is your response to all these complaints??
December 30, 2011 10:21 PM
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Jitendra Gokhale

I am completly unhappy with this new subscription model, when I put in all the efforts to create the tree, there was no such indication 3 years back, Infact I have been advertising about it to one and all. In India this has huge potential.

I have the following comments

I am not against charging for some high end use cases, but putting restriction on trees that had already gone past the size is just too much.

The subscription is not clear, does it have to be paid by each user or only the originator of the tree?

In either case the rate is too high if it is seen in the India context.

If all the above is not feasible least is we should have the ability to migrate all my data.

Regards,

Jitendra Gokhale jbgokhale@gmail.com

December 30, 2011 10:00 PM
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Larry Dantus

Interesting....

A company that  listens to their customers...

 

"

Verizon Backs Off $2 Fee Plan After User Complaints



3:36 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) Dec 30, 2011

  --Verizon Wireless backs off plan for $2 bill-pay fee 
--Verizon Wireless had planned to implement fee Jan. 15
--Verizon Wireless drew consumer, FCC scrutiny for plan

(Updates with details throughout.)

By Greg Bensinger
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Verizon Wireless backed off a plan to charge some
customers $2 to pay their bills after a barrage of customer complaints and the
scrutiny of federal regulators.
The carrier had planned to implement the fee Jan. 15 for customers making
one-time payments on the Verizon Wireless website or over the phone. Customers
began petitions online to protest the fee, and the Federal Communications
Commission said Friday that it was "concerned about Verizon's actions" and was
"looking into the matter."
"We take great care to listen to our customers," Verizon Wireless Chief
Executive Dan Mead said in an emailed statement. "The best path forward is to
encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options,
eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time."
Verizon Wireless--co-owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone
Group PLC (VOD.LN, VOD)--had said the fee was necessary for convenience,
without providing additional details. Users who paid through their bank's
website or by automatic deduction from their credit cards, among other
options, would not have been subject to the fee.
Customers took to the Internet to protest the new surcharge. An online
petition on change.org calling for Verizon to drop the fee drew the support of
nearly 50,000 signers. ... "
December 30, 2011 12:39 PM
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Barry Graham

Here's another example of how Geni doesn't understand its audience.  It's now offering 25% off paid memberships, as Christmas gifts, not knowing that a substantial number of its members celebrate Chanukah not Christmas.

December 26, 2011 02:54 PM
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Asaf Lurie

Hello geni team,

I was trying to become a geni pro but my request was declined.. I wonder why? I'm not a geni pro as you couldn't  comfirme my visa.

I was working on a Latvian Jews family tree, I added more than 4000 people to the tree, I spent hours and hours on geni... I'm shocked that I can't complite the wonderful project that I made...

I'm thinking about leaving geni.

December 25, 2011 02:18 PM
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Gerald Leonard

Hello Geni,

My son and I spent many hours putting hundreds of family ancestors into our family tree starting in 2008.  Today I can no longer even see the original tree members I put in our tree.  We worked together for hours putting this information in and spent time looking at the results of our labor and others we collaborated with.  What you have done here is fraudulent and extortion.  I think a class action suit is in order.  If one starts please include me people.  I will support it.  I feel violated and distrust this website for this unscrupulous attempt to extort money from the people who helped them build
Geni into the site it is today.  Using all of our own personal data and keeping it from us after we put it in there trusting it would be there in the future to see.

December 21, 2011 04:43 PM
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Goodbye Geni

lol @ Larry.  Surely you mean, membership is free and you can post an unlimited amount of posts.  That is, until you're locked into the system, then we will charge you for each additional message you want to send.

December 20, 2011 05:18 PM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro

You know it would be nice to  be able to see under account settings-  the  full range  available of memberships -  and prices that are available -  none of these are visible   for a pro member if logged in   only the   item for  entering a credit card number -  this is  not   good business  and i was thinkg of possible   seeing bout   gifting a person  but the only thing  that is  available is a 14 day trail  period from  the button  in any of my windows available and  all to go only a 14 day trail period -  again not good buisness if one is willing to give a  membership gift....

December 20, 2011 04:29 PM
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Jakub Raciborski

Please explain the introduction of fees. I ask for a response from the Director / CEO / marketing director - the person responsible for it. Who hides for Amanda? From the previous terrible decision in the autumn of this year, you tried to explain. There was even broadcast on the radio to podcast. Now you hiding your head in the sand sliding to the killing of Amanda (sorry - it's google translator).

http://www.geni.com/blog/genis-ceo-on-geneabloggers-radio-tonight-a...

December 20, 2011 11:10 AM
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George Gyorgy משה Farkas

Does anyone here have  the email for Geni's CEO, Noah Tutak?  I think that we should be able to convince him that these changes are wrong not only foe geni's users, but for the company. If someone has his email and sends it to me (george@georgefarkas.net), I am willing to make the attempt.

December 20, 2011 11:05 AM
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Максим Арнольд

I fully support the complaints in this tread. I understand that making money is the first objective in the business but one should also agree with the statement that changing the rules in the middle of the game is not the best and the fairest idea which can came in ones mind. I have wide and very active family tree with nearly 10 collaborating persons and around 2000 members.  I have recommended geni for all my relatives for a years, but for now I cannot say I can trust geni team. Still hope that while the time will change Geni team will overlook this decision.    

December 20, 2011 10:35 AM
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Farjad Zaghi

I have been the biggest fan of geni.com since 5 years ago.

I have over 2000 people on my tree, invited many and advertised for them 

begged many family members to join and update their profile so we have a nice complete family tree. now I have a new child and I came to add him to family tree and I see I need to upgrade my account give my credit card info and everything just to add a family member. 

I have considered the life time membership for around 200$ but I would not go for another monthly charge on my credit card. however now that they have cut of the most basic feature of geni, adding family members it is like blocking people from opening new accounts. meaning If I pay 200-300$ to geni and get a life time membership  geni still is useless to me because I am 100% sure that not even 1% of family members would pay for geni to add and update their tree. 

I had to persuade people to join can you imagine if they would ever pay.. 

some of the family members were just getting used to geni a bit, sending birthday messages  and geni cut that feature and made users pay for it.

 

Geni you are young and can not do this.

 

even if facebook would put a monthly charge of above 5$ I would stop going their and many others too

 

the beauty of geni was to be open and let new people walk in to the tree, there is no way I can expand my tree now therefore I am in no way paying for geni  with their current policy. 

you can get money from free users by making sure they come to this website more and more often and put ads on the website,

then offer an option to get rid of the ads and add some cool administrative features for a fee.

 

in that case i can attract more mebers to my tree and I would gladly get a lifetime mebership.

you gotta be smart about how you do business. cutting off your members will get you some money but you can get so much more and keep geni alive if you would have let it grow while collecting money

 

Good Bye Geni.

Geni is dead now. too bad. I dont even care to look for an equal website since I am not gonna go through inviting and organizing my family tree again.

December 18, 2011 11:52 AM
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Farjad Zaghi

I have been the biggest fan of geni.com since 5 years ago.

I have over 2000 people on my tree, invited many and advertised for them 

begged many family members to join and update their profile so we have a nice complete family tree. now I have a new child and I came to add him to family tree and I see I need to upgrade my account give my credit card info and everything just to add a family member. 

I have considered the life time membership for around 200$ but I would not go for another monthly charge on my credit card. however now that they have cut of the most basic feature of geni, adding family members it is like blocking people from opening new accounts. meaning If I pay 200-300$ to geni and get a life time membership  geni still is useless to me because I am 100% sure that not even 1% of family members would pay for geni to add and update their tree. 

I had to persuade people to join can you imagine if they would ever pay.. 

some of the family members were just getting used to geni a bit, sending birthday messages  and geni cut that feature and made users pay for it.

 

Geni you are young and can not do this.

 

even if facebook would put a monthly charge of above 5$ I would stop going their and many others too

 

the beauty of geni was to be open and let new people walk in to the tree, there is no way I can expand my tree now therefore I am in no way paying for geni  with their current policy. 

you can get money from free users by making sure they come to this website more and more often and put ads on the website,

then offer an option to get rid of the ads and add some cool administrative features for a fee.

 

in that case i can attract more mebers to my tree and I would gladly get a lifetime mebership.

you gotta be smart about how you do business. cutting off your members will get you some money but you can get so much more and keep geni alive if you would have let it grow while collecting money

 

Good Bye Geni.

Geni is dead now. too bad. I dont even care to look for an equal website since I am not gonna go through inviting and organizing my family tree again.

December 18, 2011 11:47 AM
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Nicholas Alphonso

Since I have over 100 members, I can now twiddle my thumbs while looking for Geni alternatives. I would recommend that everyone download their GEDCOM files and look elsewhere just in case Geni make the export option a paid service. I used to be a pro member, but with the new rules coming into force, I cancelled subscription. Since I can't do any more additions on Geni without paying $$$, I I will have to stop using the service. I hope Facebook or Google see the potential of a free Genealogy alternative and cash on it. If they do, they will laugh all the way to the bank. I remember a decade back, Yahoo made their POP email service a paid one... So I simply switched to Gmail and abandoned my Yahoo account. Looks like I will do the same with Geni. Am sure Geni is not going to have a Merry Christmas as your numbers are bound to fall now as membership stagnates. 

December 17, 2011 04:43 PM
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Carl S Weston, III
Pro

I agree.  As I stated some weeks ago, the changes for Pro users have served to compromise the integrity of the data.  Specifically, the inability to merge with non-paying users has resulting in an extended tree (forest) full of pending merges that will never be completed.  As those merges cannot be completed, "data conflicts" don't automatically flow, however the profiles may show the result of the merge, including incorrect information.  Not good. 

Yes, I can go in an re-edit those profiles, but since a Pro can not lock fields, I may have to re-edit them over and over again.  Why would a Pro want to spend all his/her time re-editing data as oppossed to expanding the tree and improving the content?

At this point, GENI would serve its users well if it would do 2 things:

1) Simply provide a GEDCOM export function, for "profiles I manage".   While disgruntled users could take their data and leave, it would also provide current users with a reasonable backup copy.

2) Make a clear line between private trees and those available for collaboration.  If a user wants/needs a private tree, keep it private.  Don't show his/her profiles as "tree matches", and don't allow "merges".  If a user chooses to make his/her tree available for collaboration, then all merges etc. should be permitted, regardless of whether the customer pays or not.

As a comment, Amanda notwithstanding, GENI has done a poor job of thinking through and communicating these changes, and has caused a considerable rift in the customer base.  As any sales person will tell you, it is far easier to get sales from existing customers than develop new ones.  Upsetting the customer base is not a going forward strategy.  Thanks for your attention

 

December 15, 2011 04:21 AM
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Mohamed Farook

What Omri Maimon saying is the reality happening to all Geni users.......?If one is a Pro user and other side is not a pro user how the pro user is benefitting from the advandage of Pro account????? If the Geni change the payment structure to a nominal yearly payment, I think every one will welcome it.....

December 14, 2011 09:42 PM
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Omri Maimon
Pro

 

Dear GENI board,

I like GENI idea very much. I became a pro user, spent endless time building my tree and helping others, invited all my family, added important and personal information etc. I am not complaining for myself but for all the non pro users and their ability to participate and cooperate.

I have no problem with the fee - honestly no - but we have to realize that most user are not that interested in it and therefore are not potential payers.

Unlike other sites and applications where one administrator own all the tree - GENI is built on sharing ownership by everyone. So blocking the non-paying majority (so called everyone) make it just another site - and definitely not the best.

I think you really missed on this move, did not listen to your customers and are refusing to back out or negotiate - and that is the worst.

The change make it worst to all users - pros as well - unable to merge well and cooperate with the non-pros, and most of the non-payers find it now practically unusable.

I am seriously thinking to withdraw from GENI and move to other equivalent sites.

I thought GENI is the future of genealogy but unless GENI will quickly change it's path - I am afraid it may move very soon to be the past.

I hope you will use your common sense and change path quickly before it is too late.

Sincerely

Omri

December 14, 2011 01:02 PM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro

I am using one that is similar that requires you  having your own web space -   it looks to be  very close resemblance to TNG the next generation which you be for a very low price -  

not checke dit all out or if  viable but comes with webspace and  of course to be free you have to  bear with the ads -  its gedcom supported meaning you could gedcom everything up to it and  the work to correct and add to it -  and  if read correctly gedcom back down -   

if you have a gedcom it would be worth feeling out - the cost is free if  you can put up with adds - 

i know with tng you can invite family members to enter data  - not sure about this one - -  may be tempted to try it  on my husband lines  they are all Scotland and the  one group I wanted to join  at least my  bank bdebt/credit master card only one I have will not approve charges for england, Scotland, ireland  and possibly 2 other country's because of hig fraud rates ... grrrrr  first time was able to  afford and  i wanted to try  this site for years something  ince nothing had been done on his lines since  we hired it done while he was alive back in 1979/1986

your really not out any effort  if you can gedcom  fyour files and go from there

it just looks interesting  her is the site I am munching around on verifing  my manuscript data http://bays.familytreeguide.com/getperson.php?personID=I15&tree=T1

 

 

December 14, 2011 12:03 AM
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Larry Dantus
Judi / Judith Elaine Mc Kee Thanks! As setting up a tree is a big process, I'd hate to do it ore than once. Please report back how it's going. Has anyone else found reliable Geni.com alternatives? In the next few days, I'll try to set up a Facebook group for easier communication amongst us. When I do I'll post back here with the name, it will probably be something like "former Geni.com users". Once set up hopefully we can attract users who have experience with online family trees and their suggestions will help other Geni users decide where to move their data. I'd hope that the new site doesn't end up being another Geni, changing the rules of the game in the idle.
December 13, 2011 11:10 PM
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George Gyorgy משה Farkas

I see that Geni is not interested in me or in growing.  Notwithstanding Geni's many bugs and the inability to do what I need on Geni, I have added a significant number of people to my Geni file because I felt that people cooperating to create a family tree together can create something wonderful. But Geni is not interested in me or others like me (most of you) and will not allow me to do anything on the site anymore, not merge, not add people, etc.  My interest in Geni is dead. Geni sends me millions of emails, but does not send an email to inform me that they are changing the rules of the game. Disturbing unconscionable behaviour.  I am saddened and disappointed. There are and will be other better places to go.

December 13, 2011 06:02 AM
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George Gyorgy משה Farkas

I see that Geni is not interested in me or in growing.  Notwithstanding Geni's many bugs and the inability to do what I need on Geni, I have added a significant number of people to my Geni file because I felt that people cooperating to create a family tree together can create something wonderful. But Geni is not interested in me or others like me (most of you) and will not allow me to do anything on the site anymore, not merge, not add people, etc.  My interest in Geni is dead. Geni sends me millions of emails, but does not send an email to inform me that they are changing the rules of the game. Disturbing unconscionable behaviour.  I am saddened and disappointed. There are and will be other better places to go.

December 13, 2011 06:02 AM
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Amanda
Pro

Sandra,

Each user has the ability to control what is listed publicly. If your relatives have already accepted their invitation to join your family tree, then they will need to log in to their account to update their Privacy and Permission settings. You can read more about how to control what is listed publicly in our FAQ: How do I control what is listed publicly?

Also, each user can also control what notifications they wish to receive or unsubscribe from Geni emails. Please see our FAQ for more info: How can I update my email notifications?

December 12, 2011 06:17 PM
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Michael P. Vinegrad
I and other family members began to join Geni almost three years ago. We have attempted to build as complete a family tree as possible, merging duplicate profiles when necessary. Sometimes the duplicates have been a result of invitations sent to different email addresses belonging to the same person (I received three invitations), often a result of new users unaware a profile already exists. Few if any of us were aware of the Big Tree; even today I’m sure many family members don’t know anything about it.
If the Big Tree is intended to show that the everyone on Earth is related that seems impossible. Apart from the world’s numerous ethnic groups, many people are unable to trace family members back more than three or four generations in the absence of any information regarding names and locations.
If I’m wrong about the Big Tree idea I’d be grateful to have a complete description.
December 12, 2011 04:57 PM
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Sandra Alison Levien
Pro

Sorry.  The last message should have been under my account name.  Send suggestions to Sandra @ sweet_sandra_rn1@yahoo.ca

Thanks

 

December 12, 2011 04:23 PM
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Anneliese Levien

The upset over the geni changes is all over the internet.  It affects all users from Basic to Pro.  Here are some reviews:  

http://www.gensoftreviews.com/?p=528

 

And this is their response?:

Admin:  "We are looking at the numbers and are happy with what we see so far. We believe the changes will ensure that Geni is around for a long time."

 

I googled my name and went under "images".  Found profiles of me and my family members I added under geni.   This should not have happened since another family member  and I had gone over everything to make sure all the privacy settings were intact.  So, there is no privacy.   And, geni you continue to ruin everything with your constant spamming of emails to my family members.  I noticed some genealogy sites have offered price discounts over the holidays while geni offers me nothing.

I would like to hear suggestions on what people have done with their trees.  I still have not used the free 2 week Pro Trial.   Please send me an email at sweet_sandra_rn1@yahoo.ca.  Much appreciated.

Regards,

Sandra

 

December 12, 2011 04:10 PM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro
Joe Blake - Amen - but you can bet your bootk dollar it will not happen -  GENI  is not listening    in my opinion as they so claim   They could  like I said make money by offering  a seperate data base for the so called "private trees' they  are now allowing  to be entered into the  BIG TREE     and those in the big tree that are locking out every possible profile they have thats not yet connected - oh well... we are the loosers  in a way  like you said we have spent ours data basing our info into  them  - so they are the one that profit # wise and not us -  guess  we  just have to suffer it out -  we were suckered into what was to be a free community -  for sharing  and then they turn around  over night  and  make it an all for profit site -  not kosher indeed
December 12, 2011 01:43 PM
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Goodbye Geni

Everyone, Amanda just said:  "We are looking at the numbers and are happy with what we see so far."

 

Which means Geni is aware of the outrage, but the cost to screw us over dims in comparison in the extra profit they are projecting. 

 

Delete your accounts.  Show them that when you're running a social business, you actually have to care about your customer base.

December 12, 2011 01:14 PM
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Goodbye Geni

I understand Geni is a business, but using bait-and-switch practices on the community that made Geni possible is reprehensible.  At the least, you should grandfather all existing members under the old policies while maintaining new, more profitable ones for new members joining the site.

I've literally spent hours scanning and uploading historical documents, identifying the key members in the document, and linking those documents to members on my tree.  None of this data is exported and has been a complete waste unless I choose to pay Geni beyond what I have already paid as a previous Pro Customer.

December 12, 2011 01:10 PM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro

"Our commitment to establishing the world's largest and most comprehensive family tree has not changed and is not going to change."

Sorry Amanda this has been lost since you have allowed everyone to be able to have their own "PRIVATE TREE" on geni and they are locking out profiles - this hinders the original goal of GENI -   they are locking out profiles past their ¾ generation private area - this is a good option for income - take them out of the geni data base make them separate of the BIG TREE –

 those who join from now on  - REQUIRE  them to PROMISE to open their profiles past the 3/4 generation to the public - and if not they do not    promise to  to particpate in the "Big tree" past their 3/4 generation private  area  then  put them/their account  into a PRIVATE DATABASE outside the 'big tree'   and charge them accordingly  - as all they are doing is using  GENI as  an online  program to do their own private  tree and share with no one  - if only their immediate family if that    this is  detrimental  to the goal of the "Big Tree' to allow these private  tress past the 3/4  generation  to exist in the GENI  "Big Tree' data base  - it is causing untold fustration  on many -

this should be done until they commit to the goal of being a part of the big tree and being willing to  sharing with the big tree and being willing to merge their profiles with others –

those who are locking out their profiles  above the ¾ generations should be reprimanded  and if they wish them to be private  they should be  extracted from  the ‘big tree’ and their account  put into a private data base  - but leaving the profiles above the  3 / 4 generations and GENI auto matically opening them up to the “Big tree’ once their   account has been moved to the PRIVATE side of  GENI

The restrictions of merging is playing havoc with the big tree - as i see it on my screen and the profiles I have and manage - thus the goal of the 'Big tree' is slowly being defeated - until whom ever decides to pack up their bags and leave GENI - if they don not just happen to decide to delete their profiles too as i read which is reeking more havoc on the 'big tree'

There should be ABSOLUTELY NO PRIVATE ACCOUNTS   allowed within  the "BIG TREE" - this  is  totaly goes against   what GENI is all about -  it is fine if you want to hold to the 3/4 generation  privacy -  but really  anthing  pre 1911  should  be open to the public -   as that is 100 year -   most records are opened to the public after 70 and 75 years -  and with the internet  - many records are  readily available   for the years since 1911 to present   so there should  no out cry for  privacy on GENI  example's are The Nevada Marriage records  up into the 1990's; Missour has beath records and the actual certicates  etc. online through their own databases as well as marriages -   when these records are avaiable in such detail elsewhere    i can not see the  reason for keeping  everything locked down and private elsewhere.

GENI need the non pros back and their ability to merge, add and contribute - to the big tree -

you can make money by other means your fancy charts, your cross stitch (by way which i not seen i have had one thats been available for some 30+ years now and back when done 2 for people. - offer printed register, various ancestral charts , pedigree charts etc.

 

 

December 12, 2011 11:49 AM
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Amanda
Pro

Larry,

We are looking at the numbers and are happy with what we see so far. We believe the changes will ensure that Geni is around for a long time. No one here will deny the contribution that the basic users have made to the tree. Unfortunately, some decisions can not be made based on our love of genealogy. Business decisions can come across like we lost touch or don’t care about our users but that is not the case. We just need you to trust that based on the information that we have we are making the right choices to make Geni a viable business and to ensure that we are going to be here in the future.

Our commitment to establishing the world's largest and most comprehensive family tree has not changed and is not going to change.

December 12, 2011 10:46 AM
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Gennaro Galdo

Useless to say that limitations and constraints will determine the collapse of this website (that could be very useful in my opinion)

social and everything around a 2.0 web enviroment is based exactly on the opposite principles. It's a pity this has not been understood

December 11, 2011 02:18 PM
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Mohamed Farook

Now its 3 months after Geni removing many of its features to free users... Most of my Geni friends and myself are not any more active in building the tree.. I fear soon Geni will follow like Orkut where people put an RIP there....

December 11, 2011 04:33 AM
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Larry Dantus

Amanda, 

Your last reply was Nov. 28. As you are our only link to the 'insiders', I find your lack of communication troubling. Has geni abandoned us and any hope of resolving this situation? I appreciated when you said the mangers were aware and are paying attention, but we'd like to know the status before more of us desert the site. Is anything happening, is there a realization that something needs to be done? 

Many of those that leave are never returning. The value of the network is the intercommunication and collaboration. I fear I may trip across a member that might be able to help me research, only to find that they've gone and aren't aware of the potential connection. 

What is going on? 

December 11, 2011 04:18 AM
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Michael P. Vinegrad
December 11, 2011 02:11 AM
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Ryan Libby

I completely agree with a previous poster:

"I believe that the fundamental flaw of the current "number" limit on Basic users is that it (seems to be) a count of the number of connected profiles -- it would be far more acceptable to have it be a count of the "number of profiles added" (or managed-by).

In that way, I can ask my relatives to respond to an "invite", knowing they can enter / maintain their children / grandchildren and their spouses -- no matter how many profiles I've added or managed.

Then, the tree can continue to grow in breadth (especially via those spousal connections) and the Public profiles (the Geni Big Tree, which I consider more of a Forest) and also grow when some of those Basic users decide they'd like to add more."

I am not a pro user yet, but I won't start paying monthly if my family members can't contribute a couple of family members without having to pay.

December 11, 2011 12:14 AM
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Goodbye Geni

Deleting my data is next on my to do list too.

December 10, 2011 11:56 AM
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Michael Douglas Goody

Hi Geni - Mike again.  Just so you know...I've deleted all my posts and data that I have input.  I'm closing my account and moving on.  I presume you have captured my email.  When you have come to your senses, you can send me an email begging me to come back.  Thanks for the short memories.  New member Date: 12-9-11.  Deleted account Date: 12-10-11.  I'm guessing other members are doing the same thing.  Say, you guys didn't hire the Netflix dude to run your company, did you?  Come on everyone, delete your information and close your accounts.  Kill your data.  A company that does "bait-n-switch" does not deserve your hard work.  At least if you join another company, you know up front that there's a maintenance or membership fee.  I'm moving on.  Others should too.  I thought I was locked out too after I exceeded my "limit", but got back in.  Keep trying links within their network.  There is a hole somewhere.

December 10, 2011 08:03 AM
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Goodbye Geni

This is complete and utter BULLSHIT!  I purchased a Pro Membership for a year, worked my butt off to build my tree on Geni.  And now that I decided not to renew my Pro membership, my tree is locked and I cannot add anymore people because I have more than 100???  HUGE MISTAKE, GENI.

December 10, 2011 07:23 AM
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Michael Douglas Goody

Hey Geni,

I'm new and just hit my "100" in less than a day of creating my tree.  Sounds like you have a lot of torqued-off folks here.  I should have read all these issues and complaints prior to inputting all that data.  What I find is that there are lots of comments by users, but no answers by Geni.  I too will not be adding any more, nor inviting any family to join (I mean participate).  "Joining", at this time means "paying".  I feel that now that you are charging people, you have now placed yourselves in the position of a "public company", needing and being responsible to your investors.  Because this is the susequent environment/position you have moved to.  We, the users and data input "contract laborers", are now working for you (the Company), more or less.  You in turn now are obligated to report your intentions, business plan/model, and more or less report to your shareholders - us, the people and the data you are now holding "hostage" for a fee.  I too would like to see the questions and concerns answered.  Sounds like you too are experiencing the "Netflix backlash".  Enjoy the swirl in the toilet....  :(        Oh, and yes, the advertising would make far more money than monthly fees - unless...you charged a teeny-tiny fee.  Like the old addage - it's better to get $1.00 from 200,000,000 people than $500 from 1,000.  Duh.  (really it goes... a penny from 100 people instead of $1 from 1-person).

You are at a fork in the road - don't go by the way of Beta tapes (remember those?).  But truly, you are in deep doo-doo and have a hornets nest of poster's that should be, could be, turned into a happy posting environment, healthy with the promise of growth and buiding that Big Tree once again.  You've done a great job of replicating what families do - issues come up and they splinter, separate and harbor ill feelings toward one another.  You've managed to do it electronically to all your "family members" who have taken the time to input millions of data points for hope and posterity of saying, "here I am".  You in turn have become the proverbial bully on the beach walking by saying, "hey kid, I'll let you keep your sand castle if you pay me not to kick it down or punch you in the face".  Thanks for showing so many that greed is still the driving force of your business plan.

December 10, 2011 06:45 AM
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test test

This was the worst idea you could have ever had. You bet you are alienating your users. I'm one of those that got at least 50 people on this site, several of which became premium members. However, I can no longer recommend this website. The whole premise was about connecting people. Now that you force us to pay a monthly fee to do this, there's no way that will happen. Can you imagine what would happen to facebook if they started charging people to create profiles? 

What probably annoys me the most is that the main benefit of the site is the data. The same data which users are creating for you. You are charging users to work tirelessly creating data which you then share with other people. In other words, you are charging people to work for you. This is data creating model is called crowdsourcing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing), and I don't believe there has ever been an example of it working when you charge users to generate your data. What if wikipedia began charging people to modify the site? Can you begin to see how ridiculous this is? If money were to be involved in the equation, a more reasonable strategy would be to do the exact opposite of what you had done. Pay your users for generating all this information for you.

The most annoying thing about this was that before I began entering in my 1000+ member tree I researched alternative sites. I ended up choosing Geni because I liked the product and liked how it would be free not only to me but also to other people I invite as well. A few years later all my hard work has been for nothing, since I can no longer stand by this website. It's the classic bait and switch, and you should seriously reconsider your stance on this issue before you reach the point of no return.

December 09, 2011 07:53 PM
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Niclas Carlenius
Pro

This Monday (two days ago) another third cousin of mine, who is a basic user, added six profiles (in-laws) to our tree. He hadn't added any profiles before, but he already has 366 family members and 276 blood relatives on Geni (most of them added by me). Is this a bug that he was able to add six profiles, or has the five profile limit been increased to six (or even higher)?

December 07, 2011 01:12 PM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro

Edna Nicklas i am with you on this - Lower the barriers. Allow paying membership by the month, autmatically renewing.  BUT the monthly renewal should be set up on an approval bases  asi if retired as you state -   if  you  get sick or where you can no longer do gnenealogy that charge will automacially be inccured no matter what

yes geni has  back down out of their orgiginal  goal of the 'big tree'   now allowing private trees to be included  into the GENI database  -  they need to find away to  find those private trees -  extract them out of the 'big tree' database -  maiking a seperate databse for those  greedy people on data - and charge them fees accordingly -  thus they would  make more more and more profit  which is  what they are   aiming for it seems

give the 'big tree' database back to those willing  to fully share their data with all or open it up to the public  as I have -  i have made all my profile pulic  since  99.55 of my direct line is deceased .  distant cousins  may still have some alive  and those are who i would like to connect with and share with -   oh well

still feel the non-pros need thrights back to  manage their profiles fuly    in all of their tree to edit, add to and  meger - there is lost data out there that geni needs and someone esle needs.

 

December 07, 2011 09:01 AM
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Dan Cornett
Curator

Even non-profit companies with staff have to generate income; that's a given.

However, every company that is not just hoping to make a little money then move on to another venture has to have a clear vision of their future and how they are going to get from where they are today to that future -- and hopefully their products/services they provide support their efforts to "get there".

However, whether one is a cynic or pragmatic or optimistic, it seems that Geni.com needs to make some additional changes if they expect to be more than just another "me too" place to put family trees on-line.

December 07, 2011 08:12 AM
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Ray Nicklas

Oops. Posted under my Mom's account. That was me, Ray.

December 07, 2011 08:04 AM
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Edna Nicklas

It seems to me that there is a false assumption that permiates many of the posts here. That assumption is that Geni's goal is to grow the Big Tree. I'd say that's false. What Geni wants is to maximize their profit. Unless they have plans to sell the contents of the Big Tree to a single purchaser, then maximizing profit means hitting the sweet spot wherein a good number of users pay a good amount of fee. Maximizing either one will cause the other to suffer. Of course, another potential revenue stream is advertizing, and though Geni initially stated that was an intent, it seems to have been abandoned, and the only income stream of interest seems to be us users. Keep in mind that Geni has investors, who no doubt are getting itchy about recovering their investment. Perhaps they are even threatening to pull out unless a profit is turned quickly.

So how to increase that income stream? For one, don't turn away prospective users. I just invited a third cousin, but the first thing he's met with on Geni is the need to pay for a year to enter any part of his branch of the family, since he already has, from others, more than 100 blood relatives. This policy by Geni income-prevention. Allow him to participate. Maybe tomorrow he'll be a paying user, but definitely not today. The barrier to participation has been set too high.

Next, better-entice users to pay more to get more. Ease the incremental pain. Lower the barriers. Allow paying membership by the month, autmatically renewing. Some may pay only for a month or two, then cancel. But many will continue on, signing up by the year because it's cheaper per month (look at Ancestry's membership tiers). I intended go go Pro now that I'm retired, but won't because I don't want a year committment. In genealogy, we all know that though a service may tell you it has found many many matches to people in your tree, 99% turn out to be blind alleys. Maybe Geni is a treasure trove, but I'll never know.

Provide visibility to the Big Tree. As a Basic user, I've never seen it. Show it to me, but don't allow me to open profiles - maybe I'd be impressed, and would pay to get that data.

Allow Basic users to submit tickets. While I can see that paying would allow ticket submission, maye the ticket service sucks. Maybe not. But I'll never know unless I pay for a full year. Perhaps if a user is monthly, limit the number of tickets they submit, but don't make is zero.

Some of the above requires programmers to be employed by Geni, and maybe that's a problem given Geni's current situation. Maybe Geni is circling the drain, unable to employ more people, and frantic to increase their income stream. Maybe. As users, we don't know.

December 07, 2011 08:00 AM
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Jon Anders Quamme

@Geni management:

 

A lot of geni users are disappointed about the recent changes to payment policy and restrictions to the basic accounts as you can see from replies to this topic in the *Knowledge base*

 

http://help.geni.com/entries/20640938-november-1-changes-to-membership-tiers-merging

 

I think you need to quickly make some adjustments to this policy and clarifications thereof if you intend to keep your aims of building the world family tree, because family members and users in general are now deleting profiles, shutting down their accounts and leaving geni.

 

Also posted on the Geni Facebook pages

http://www.facebook.com/genidotcom

 

December 07, 2011 06:10 AM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro

 

you know one thought - GENI in mid stream has allowed people to mark  their profiles as private and maintain a private tree now screwing up the 'big tree' concept and purpose and what GENI was all about - now its becoming segregated again WHY????  It’s creating chaos – merging is  almost impossible  at times. 

HEY GENI there is one of your answers to the BIG BUCKS you want to roll in - charge those who want to maintain their own private trees - and BUT keep their profiles separate of the "BIG TREE" meaning not in the data base for the “BIG TREE” and thus not screwing up all the hard work that has went into making the 'big tree' i have yet to understand why in mid stream you finally back down and cowered down to the few users and allowed private trees - - when i joined and began having trouble i was told that this was impossible and not outright said but was told it was NOT ALLOWED that the goal and intent of GENI was only one thing "ONE BIG TREE" Take all those peoples profiles for those GENI who want to maintain their own private tree and convert them over into a data base for their own use - that only they can access and see those profiles - maybe if they want have their own private family group and charge them accordingly per your fee schedule or make up even a new tie fee for the “PRIVATE TREES” this can be done by gedcom-ing their profiles and starting new data bas for those users who want to go back to private instead of destroying the “BIG TREE”   BUT those profiles that are within the BIG TREE should not be  discarded  or taken out  but retained and remain their -  only transferred to PRIVATE PAID  ACCOUNTS  for those who  wish to   maintain a private tree and share with no one  or only a selected private group and those who enter   the  selected private group should be made to pay also to join as  a part  of the PRIVATE TREE group

Those who want to maintain PRIVATE TREES SHOULD BE FORCED TO PAY for the ability to maintain a totally private tree on GEN and their profiles should be maintained OUTSIDE OF THE BIG TREE DATA BASE - - GENI's purpose was not to maintain individual private trees – but a “Big TREE” open to all to use and maintain - they have now lost this concept since allowing private trees to be added into and those in the tree locked out to other users Those who want to be a part of the BIG TREE should be allowed free use for entering profiles, merging profiles, editing profiles

  Thus you can take the “BIG TREE’ back where it was as a “BIG TREE” free before all your  implemented changes since August and alienating  your users one by one   Thus once again the BIG TREE  can  to be used freely by all who contributed to it to add  to it  , to merge and to edit - this  would bring back your users that you have lost because of the restrictions etc. you have placed on the non-pro users  and  getting more new and more complete data and yet have a pro for those who want to send gifts, print out chart, buy fancy charts etc.  

December 06, 2011 11:36 AM
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Edna Nicklas

I have added three people to my son's tree (he's well over 100), and when I view my profile it identifies those same 3 as the ones I manage. But when I go to my Account Settings page on Geni, it says that I have "50/100 People Added." Reading the posts here, there is confusion, and I can see why, given my own account. I added only 3, yet I'm somehow half-way to 100.

The "Changes to Membership Tiers & Merging" marketing blurb at the top of the this page is wholly insufficient, especially now since Geni wants money from many more people. How is your "simple number-limit" counted? Geni needs to post exactly what is provided at each level, in a document that can answer the questions of your users and prospective users.

My son has invited many other family members to help grow the tree, most of which added many more than 3. If everyone of us is being asked to pay, likely for the same profiles on Geni, then this is a waste of my family's time. (That's another thing to address: Are the same profiles being counted for more than one user? Seems like they are.)

December 06, 2011 06:22 AM
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Larry Dantus

Allison, you said management was aware of the mess they've created. I asked a straight forward question a week ago, but haven't seen a reply. For your convenience, I'll repost the question.

Needless to say, all of us are flabbergasted at the blunder and are waiting for a response to the hundreds of complaints posted here. 

 

Here is a copy of my original post

--------------------------

Allison,

You mentioned that management is aware of this thread. Please see if you can get a response to the following questions:

Facebook currently has >800,000,000 members and seeking to go public in an IPO estimated to be worth $100,000,000,000 (that's $100 billion). They allow an unlimited number of users and each user is allowed an unlimited number of friends. If Facebook adopted Geni.com's pricing strategy and charged users if they wanted to add friends, what would happen to Facebook's popularity and profitability?

  • (a) it would make no difference with respect to the popularity and profitability
  • (b) impossible to determine
  • (c) they'd be less popular and less profitable
  • (d) other
Netflix recently unveiled a disastrous pricing scheme and saw users defect in droves. They quickly realized the mistake and reversed their decision. Unfortunately for them, they subscription base is still lower than it was before they made the initial move. Is management aware of the blunder:
  • (a) yes and they think that Geni is different than Netflix and their users wont defect
  • (b) no, they're not aware
From a business point of view, how long does a social network have to stem the tide of lost members before the critical mass that they worked years to achieve is lost and gone forever?
Can you estimate how many users that are gone, never to return?
This are serious questions and I'd love to hear the responses.
The success of Geni WAS (past tense) a result of the connections made. I connected to a few distant relatives who helped me grow my tree. As they're gone and not returning, nor will I be adding any new content, how many potential connections will never take place? How much knowledge has been lost? How long before management realizes what kind of a massive mistake they've made?
originally posted Dec-01 2011 10:21.
December 06, 2011 05:42 AM
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Dan Cornett
Curator

Other examples of folks I WILL NOT be inviting to use Geni.com with the current method of counting "free profiles":

I have a lot of church friends who are becoming interested in genealogy; many of them worry about paying the next heating bill -- no way would they pay for a Geni account.  But they have valuable genealogical information -- many of them with info about U.S. minority ethnic groups which are currently poorly represented on Geni's world tree.  But with the limit of adding 5 once connected to the "Big Tree"?  No way will that be "enticing" or helpful to bother pointing them to Geni.com.

Furthermore, I had been toying with the idea of getting churches in our area (I have "connections" with several hundred of them, many 200+ years old) to scan their "historical logs" of baptisms and marriages, starting a project to then tag them and make them available.  When I "discovered" Geni.com this past summer, I thought this was an idea which cropped up in my mind -- but with the current changes (limits and the method of counting), that idea is just not going to happen in relation to Geni.com.

December 06, 2011 05:23 AM
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Dan Cornett
Curator

My family tree is connected to the "big tree" ... but now, there is no way I can - in good faith - invite my literally hundreds of relatives to help me expand and keep up the children & spouse's families.  5 additional profiles does not cut it when families (among my relatives, anyway) have more children than that, let alone their multiple partners.  That limit is just way too low, especially if the count is "number connected" rather than "number created-by" or "number managed-by".

If the "method of counting" were changed to "created by" or "managed by", THEN I would invite those relatives ... and provide a pool of free users from which several would probably become paying members.  But without being able to add a real amount of "nearby family" (when some are already 'connected') AND without (currently) having any significant "research sources" (other than existing profiles), there is little incentive to entice new users onto Geni.

I support the original objective of Geni -- a single "world tree".  But that depends on a "low threshold" for many, many people contributing.

December 06, 2011 05:14 AM
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Judith Judi Elaine (McKee) Burns
Pro

You can choose a caretaker from within your family group to get your profiles - there are two options  donate to geni and appoint a caretaker the last time I seen the close account  options was curious - as  two former geni users  appointed me caretaker of theirs

December 05, 2011 01:05 AM
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Milver Valenzuela

Extremely poor decision from management to squeeze the free users. Other posters have provided better business models. Unbelievable that whomever took this decision at your company did not took the pulse on current social media apps to realize how many customers will leave. Just look at Netflix. If Geni is steadfast in this direction then i will be forced to take my family elsewhere. Think about it Geni. Relationships here are all dependent upon the evangelizers and profiles are less independent than Facebook, so if evangelizers are gone so their followers and then so your business model. Time to invest in other alternatives. If you guys were public I would short your stock.

December 04, 2011 07:48 AM
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Pamela Soltesz

Dear other Geni users:  I am not a techie-savvy person, so I have no idea what a GEDCOM file is, how to create one, upload my info to one or what to do with it when the upload is complete.  I did try, but the screenshot I received looked like a teeny-weeny little squiggly line across the page as if my entire tree had been collapsed (folded over in paper terms) over itself and appeared to be unreadable.  Can anyone help me understand this and how to go about retrieving all my info into a GEDCOM file, and then how to save it and be able to read it?  Do I need additional software to do this?  There is info on my tree that is irreplaceable since many of those who contributed extensive branches have since passed away, thinking their contributions to our family tree were complete for future generations to trace their ancestry.  This whole mess is a NIGHTMARE -- I am so disgusted with Geni I could just spit!!!!  Thank you fellow Geni-users for any help/info you can provide.  You can email me privately at hhchildbirth@gmail.com.  Many thanks....!

December 04, 2011 06:22 AM
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Gail Mcgillivray

I think it's disgusting the new changes. My cousin tried to close her account only to find she was donating all her research to the site for anyone to see.   

SO IF YOU ARE TRULY FINISHED WITH GENI.

DOWN LOAD YOUR TREE BY THE GEDCOM FILE.

DELETE ALL YOUR PHOTO ALBUMS.

THEN MANUALLY EDIT ALL YOUR MAIN RELATIONS, REMOVING NAMES, GENDER AND DOB.

ITS A LONG PROCESS, BUT IT LEAVES YOUR 'DONATED TREE'  TOTALLY USELESS.

FINALLY CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT.

If everyone simply leaves their tree on Geni, they can forward all your hard work to new paid members.

Please : delete delete delete !!!!!!!!

December 04, 2011 04:01 AM
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Dan Pancamo
Ok, geni, it's time to address all these complaints! You really need to allow the free account to add a number (say 10) of free nodes monthly. You have shutdown many of your members, fix this!
December 03, 2011 05:22 PM
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Alan Jones

I have lost years of work now as I cannot afford the fee. This was supposed to be free. How get I get all my data out?

December 03, 2011 05:11 PM
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Carol Tighe

I too am very disappointed with the new 100 profile issue.I signed up for this FREE site not sure what I will do  maybe look into other site that do not charge.It is obvious seeing all the comments that I am not alone ,yet you have not changed it back. VERY VERY DISAPOINTED

December 02, 2011 05:15 AM
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