Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Honeymoon is Over! FamilySearch Family Tree Invitation

Imagine my interest in receiving an emailed invitation today from FamilySearch entitled, "Get Early Access to Family Tree on FamilySearch.org! Now you can view, edit, and link to sources from your tree like never before." The invitation goes on to say:
Congratulations! You have been selected to be among the first to use Family Tree on FamilySearch.org.

Now you can access your family tree and the largest collection of genealogy resources in the world from a single website—FamilySearch.org.
Should I try out this "new" program? (I hope you recognize my sarcasm). Apparently I was sent this "invitation" because:
Why you? Because you have previously used new.FamilySearch.org. Family Tree, which represents a new approach to researching and organizing your family tree, will be replacing new.FamilySearch.org in the coming months. Early access allows you to experience Family Tree using your own tree data on a live system. You can also invite other users of new.FamilySearch.org to work with you. (They will just need to follow the activation instructions provided below.)
Does this mean virtually everyone who is presently on New.FamilySearch.org got this same invitation? If so, the honeymoon is over. All of my relatives who have been putting interesting things into New.FamilySearch.org can now show up in FamilyTree and duplicate their contributions, such as showing my grandfather as the son of his second wife and other such nonsense.

The long invitation has some interesting comments. One is a helpful suggestion to download the entire 127 page manual from the FamilySearch Help Center. I notice that the manual has been upgraded to the date of 10 July 2012, but is out-of-date with the operation of the program. Right at the beginning of the manual, it states that the feature of adding new individuals is not yet available, however the program provides for adding people. There is a feature lag between the manual and the program. I should note, that the Manual goes on to explain how to add people to the file. So the disconnect is likely just an editing error.

The Manual states,
The Family Tree is currently being tested and is not yet available to everyone who currently uses new.familysearch.org. If you do not see the Family Tree link, it means either that you are not authorized to use Family Tree or that you have not signed in.
Who is not authorized to use Family Tree? I thought everyone was invited to use the program?

The invitation concludes with the statement:
During the initial stages of the Family Tree, your experiences, insights, and ideas will help us to refine the process. Please take the time to share your thoughts by clicking the orange Feedback tab on the top right of the web page. You’ll also be able to view the comments of other users. 
Remember to use the Feedback tab and report all the problems you are having with the program.

How many people will take up FamilySearch's invitation? Any guesses?






2 comments:

  1. I have an ancestor on FamilySearch Family Tree and know his brothers and sister through a obit but do no know his parents.

    Is there a way to show this relationship in Family Tree or must I input parents also?

    Roger

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  2. Ah, James, another great and very humorous post.

    "All of my relatives who have been putting interesting things into New.FamilySearch.org can now show up in FamilyTree and duplicate their contributions, such as showing my grandfather as the son of his second wife and other such nonsense."
    --Chances are extremely good that nearly all of the mangled merges have been further merged, the wrong parents composed of composites have not been changed, and the completely illogical and/or speculative families have simply been migrated to the FS-Family Tree. Thus there would be little remaining damage to be done in one's families by the persons copying from AF, PRF, IGI and those with penchants for inventing yet more fanciful schemes. At least that's what I've found in some of my own ancestral families.

    "Right at the beginning of the manual, it states that
    the feature of adding new individuals is not yet available, however the program provides for adding people."
    --Well, the program does seem to provide that, but does not allow me to add any person. I can do the search, then click to add and fill in the basics, then get a message that the person could not be added at this time. Neither can I edit or add vital dates/places. Only deletion is somewhat enabled (seeming to vary by person).

    (From the invitation) "Please take the time to share your thoughts by clicking the orange Feedback tab on the top right of the web page."
    --As occurred a few days ago, attempting to submit feedback ended with a pink-banner error message: "0472: We could not connect to the Case System at this time." I am logged in.

    (From the invitation) "You’ll also be able to view the comments of other users."
    --Oh? I can not see where.

    Perhaps there are tiers of functionality, varying by person, but neither the manual (with release date of July 20, 2012) nor comments by product managers at the "getsatisfaction" forum indicate any such thing.

    Perhaps one of these days there will be some explanation.

    ReplyDelete