The following announcement was written by Geni.com:
Geni.com, a world leader in collaborative genealogy, today announced the addition of the 50 millionth person to its World Family Tree, also known as “The Big Tree” within the genealogy community. Among the cutting edge features that allowed this tremendous growth are:
- A Wikipedia-style collaboration environment including more than 50 “Curators”, which are the equivalent of a Wikipedia Administrator
- Advanced merging features that allow users with common ancestors to connect their family trees
- An alpha version of the Geni Developer API, which allows automation of some common merging tasks
“We are very proud of this milestone that the Geni community has worked so tirelessly to reach,” says Noah Tutak, Geni’s President. “Collaboration is the only means by which Geni can reach its goal of creating a single family tree for the world, and the progress our users have made is incredible.”
For the past year, Geni has focused on the rapid release of tools and features that empower its users to collaboratively solve the problem of creating a single world family tree. On October 20th, 2010, Geni released the Projects features, which allows users to collaborate on specific branches of interest in The Big Tree such as Rulers of Provence, France, US Presidents and Vice Presidents, or Passengers of the Mayflower.
In addition, Geni users can now follow specific genealogy profiles, Projects, and other users of the site. Users are notified via a Facebook-style news feed when there are updates to profiles or Projects that they follow.
Geni’s userbase of nearly 6 million users has created over 90 million genealogy profiles, more than half of which are included in The Big Tree. Geni’s Wikipedia-style collaborative environment makes it easy for anyone to connect and contribute to The Big Tree. This crowd sourced approach has created a free resource that everyone can access via Geni’s website or its newly released API.
Geni is solving the problem of genealogy by inviting the world to build the definitive online family tree. Using the basic free service at Geni.com, users add and invite their relatives to join their family tree, which Geni compares to other trees. Matching trees are then merged into the single world family tree, which currently contains nearly 50 million living users and their ancestors. Pay services include enhanced research tools as well as keepsake products created from family tree data. Geni welcomes casual genealogists and experts who wish to discover new relatives and stay in touch with family. Geni is privately held and based in Los Angeles, California.