February 28, 2007

Geni Us

Putting together a family tree is a time consuming past time. Usually, there is only one family member committed to the pursuit. Genealogy software is very popular and can help you piece together your families roots but a new website called geni.com has made building your family tree even easier.

Geni is part of the new generation of websites that falls under the category 'web 2.0' - a second generation of websites that is interactive, almost like you were using a desktop application however all the data and interaction occurs within a web browser. Geni.com also harnesses the power of the Internet to make your job of constructing the family tree easier.

To get started on your family tree simply go to geni.com and enter your name, email address and select your gender. You then add family members to your tree by clicking on the arrows to the left and right. You are asked for the family members names and you can also submit their email addresses. This is where Geni really takes off. If you do choose to enter family email addresses Geni will send them an email asking them to contribute to building your family tree.

When your relation receives your email they see the family tree from their perspective and can add to it like you have. When you go back to Geni your family tree is updated with their new information.

Geni also gives you the ability to add and view other information besides name and email address. By clicking on your relatives name you'll be able to see photos, biographies and history about your relations. Geni is a private network so only the people you invite (your family) have access to your tree. I used Geni to set up my own family tree and it worked well however sometimes the website was slow to respond when using Firefox, forgivable considering Geni is still in 'Beta' mode. Setting up the tree was easy. After emailing my parents and sister we'd all put together a family tree that spanned 6 generations. Not bad in less than twenty four hours.