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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Geni.com a Social Network for Genealogists

Times have certainly changed in the world of social networking and genealogy. I started researching my family history about three years ago and was pretty obsessed for awhile. I spent hours surfing the internet looking for any information I could find about my ancestors past. It was very challenging and exciting and I had the opportunity to meet and connect with relatives I never knew existed. We were able to email our Gedcom files to each other and snail mail other important family documents.
For the past year I haven't done much researching, I hit too many of those notorious brick walls. I'm sure, you can relate, if you have ever spent time tracing your roots. You think you have a good lead and wham! You just slammed into a brick wall!
Last week a cousin I recently met through my research, asked me some questions about "our family". Normally, I would have sent my Gedcom file and would have waited for a reply or answer any questions. But, just my luck, my Gedcom file was empty. Looks like one of my children deleted it or possibly me. Anyways, it got me thinking about an invitation I received for a social networking site for genealogists. I passed on that invitation because it came with a price tag but I was pretty optimistic about finding one I could use and access for free. Guess what? I actually found more than one and created a hub entitled Social Networks for Family Tree Researchers
I guess I must be somewhat of a social networking addict with a touch of the genealogy bug because I joined most of the ones I found. Today, I spent about two hours on Geni.com. It's a pretty simple social network with four basics sections.


1. The home page looks very similar to your typical home page on any other social network. It contains all the information about your account, account activity, messages, information about your tree, etc.

2. The profile page includes your photograph, biography, personal information, favorites, interests, etc.

3. Currently the ability to upload your Gedcom file isn't available on the family tree page yet, so each member would have to be added individually. Other family members can be invited to join and add their family tree data. In the manage profile section, you can manage who can view and edit the information in your family tree.

4. What's a social network or a family tree without photos? There are to methods to upload photos. The simple method is perfect for uploading a few photos and the advanced method is great for uploading a large amount of photos. Once the photos are uploaded, photo albums can be created by visiting your photo page.

I only spent a few hours on Geni.com today but I must admit I did enjoy myself and the simplicity of the site. BTW, I should mention, membership to Geni.com is absolutely free and I forgot to mention my favorite part of the website (besides the price tag). Every time, you add an event, it creates a time-line. Mine is pretty lame. It includes my birthday and my graduation from high school. Not only is my life simple, but very uneventful as well. I'm kidding! I'm still have tons of events to add.

1 comments:

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