Sorry for the cliche title, but Geni deserves it as it is one of the most genius services I have truly connected with in a while. I remember viewing the service a while back and thinking it was a good idea, but implementation was still lacking. Regardless, I added a few family members and tree more or less looked like this and I started with 4-5 family members (girlfriends I added as partners):

Geni - Step 1 

I recently revisited the application to see how well it was growing. First of all the application is 100x more functional then it was a few months ago. Major kudos to the Geni development team! Second, my family picked up on it. My mother added everyone in family tree. My mothers uncle Frank was adding people. As of now it’s 55 immediate and many more extended family members in the tree.

Check out family tree (via flash embed):


Using the site  I really think all Geni needs is a few minor extensibility product improvements and it could be a top 100 internet property within a year. These are the same feelings I had when I was one of the first users of in college ;).

Product Suggestions for Geni:

  1. Flickr Integration – I already upload my photo’s to Flickr and treat that as my management toolset for photo’s (yes I upload to facebook but who wants that). Machine Tags preffered. Importing would work as well.
  2. Email Photo’s – 100,000% needed if you want me to keep on updating geni as often as I update flickr via my iPhone
  3. Viddler Integration – last thing I want to do is upload more 150 Meg videos. Somehow I need the ability to store family videos on Geni. Machine tagging Viddler videos would be awesome use for this.
  4. Family Privacy – after going over my girlfriends there was a few divorces and family history that she didn’t  want to get shared. Certain family members weren’t able to be put under a “unclassified person” so father-daughter relationships weren’t able to be fulfilled
  5. Girlfriends – my girlfriend is not a partner, she is a girlfriend. I want the ability to be able to classify her as that on Geni.
  6. Facebook Geni App – Hijackedsomeone else sitting and profitting on Geni’s name on Facebook. I invited family to use the app without seeing the full functionality and painfully regret it. Geni should contact facebook and needs to develop a full on Facebook Application (none of this Gigya confusion).
  7. BONUS: iPhone app similar to Facebook’s telling me of my families happening.
Geni is a great application with a long bright future. I highly suggest signing up and joining in on the family fun.
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6 Responses to Geni in a Bottle

  1. Frankie Warren says:

    Agreed! Let’s see if I can sell my family on it…

  2. Wow. I just spent all night entering in Genealogical data. I love the idea that all of this DEEP family history of mine (as far back as 1757 so far) can be stored and shared easily online in a collapsible/graphical format.

    Great suggestions, too. For improvement, too. Family privacy is a must.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dan Kimmons says:

    I’ve been using Geni for a couple weeks now, and I like it a lot. I feel that it’s a different sort of app, though, than say Flickr or Twitter. I see it more as being useful for archival purposes than for keeping up with what your family is doing at any given moment.

  4. ChrisClark says:

    I’ve been using Geni since last summer, and I absolutely love it. It replaced functionality that I was hosting on my own site, and though I haven’t updated it with the over fifteen years of research my mother and I have done, I intend to get back into it soon.

    Great suggestions for improvement, Rob. I think the service could be way huger than it is now. It needs to do whatever it can to keep people coming back, because the main complaint I have about it is that my family was initially wowwed and very interested, but hasn’t done much with it since.

  5. Keith says:


    Thank you for the Blog post about Geni. We really appreciate it. Also, many of the suggestions that you bring up are already in the works and for the others we will definitely look into them. The feedback that you and others provide is an integral part of developing a product like Geni. Geni simply would not be as good if it weren’t for people like you. If you haven’t already joined our forum, we urge you to do so. There are a lot of great discussions that take place regarding Geni currently and what it should include in the future. You can find it here:

    Also, if you shoot us an email we would love to send you one of our catchy “Who’s Your Daddy” T-Shirts as part of our appreciation.

    Thank you,

    The Geni Team

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