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Geni.com is going down the drain

I have long enjoyed using Geni.com to host my family tree online, but recently, they have made changes that render Geni.com near completely ridiculous. They have restricted basic/free account holders to a limit of 100 profiles. Now, anyone serious about family history is going to have a LOT more than 100 family members, dead or alive. They have removed monthly membership options for their so-called “Plus” and “Pro” level accounts, leaving one to fork out a hefty fee for annual, bi-annual, or lifetime membership. Keep in mind, Geni.com does not actually give anyone something they did not already have — it’s not a record center. It’s a platform to build a tree, enter the info you already know, and hopefully connect your tree to long distance relatives or ancestors (but you have to pay for that too!) and it’s only as useful as the number of connections you can make, unless you are satisfied at capping your tree at 100 entries, which IMHO is not worth the time to even start the tree. By contrast, Ancestry.com allows people to start family trees for free, no limit to number of entries, and then when you want to find records for your relatives, you can start paying, and you will get actual sources. You can start and stop, month to month, whenever you need. You can search other member trees for clues. No one can hijack your tree, and you can make it “private” if you like, no questions asked.

Why is this related to Chinese genealogy? I can find things on Ancestry for Chinese relatives and ancestors that give me immigration, residence, names changes, citizenship and naturalization, and death information. Geni does not have this. If you are trying to find clues on Geni, you will only luck out if you have Chinese relatives who have also entered their family tree information on the site, and even then, neither of you will be able to connect or even see each other to verify the connection, unless you shell out $119.40 at the minimum for a one-year membership, which comes out to $7.95 a month (but they don’t let you purchase it month to month). That’s right, you cannot use all the features of the site unless you hand over $119.40 for a one-year Geni Pro membership. At Ancestry.com, the lowest single payment you could make is $19.95, which gets you one month of U.S. record searching and downloading, and ability to get clues from other member trees. Comparing one-year rates, you can also choose to buy a one-year Ancestry membership for a flat fee of $155.40, which comes out to $12.95 a month. If you are choosing to pay for a service and expecting actual service or results, Ancestry wins my credit card payment by a landslide.

Sorry Geni.com, you have indulged yourselves enough, time for a reality check.

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One response »

  1. Thanks for writing this and expressing your concerns about Geni.com. I still hope Geni will reconsider their new payment policy.

    Reply

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