Monday, September 15, 2008

Geni - Facebook for Ancestors?

With all the news about Footnote's Footnote Pages™ last week, many of us went to find the ready-to-customize pages and try out the new feature.  I was one of them and gave a preliminary report - I will have a more in-depth posting later this week.

One reader commented that Footnote Pages™ seemed like Facebook® for Ancestors.  I thought a bit about that and came to the conclusion that Geni, which bills itself as "a collaborative environment where multiple family members can work together to build, share, and preserve a rich family history," is more akin to Facebook® than Footnote's new feature.  Here's why:

- just one look at Geni and it is obvious that the interface mimics Facebook® and other social networking applications with all the bells and whistles.  "The Wall" is known as "Family News" on Geni.  You can send emails, post messages, post videos and photos, etc.

- the same details you enter when setting up an account (profile picture, interests, schools, etc.) can be entered for your ancestors

- Geni shows the relationships between your ancestor and others in your family tree - sort of like the Friends feature in Facebook®

And with all this Geni make it relatively easy to import a GEDCOM file with all your family tree info so that all that is necessary is further customization of pages.

If you haven't had a chance to check out Geni yet, take time to wander around and upload a GEDCOM file. I am hoping to spend more time on my Geni trees this week and then see if I can convince some of my living relatives to set up their own accounts and contribute information.


Virginia Travis said...

Hi Thomas,

Wonderful post!

Starting our Geni tree, importing a GEDCOM, and member participation since has been very advantageous to our family tree. I've been able to add hundreds of living relatives to my database because of what was added on Geni. It enables family, that may not keep in touch otherwise, a place to share memories and current events. Geni is GREAT!

keith said...


Thank you very much for featuring Geni in this wonderful post. It's always a morale booster when we are able to hear that people enjoy using the product that we work so hard on every day. Once again, thanks for the great post.

The Geni Team