Best Web Application of 2007 (possibly ever)
Ok, the web is changing, web applications are becoming more sophisticated, social networking is growing …
Yes, we all know this, but I have to say that Geni has the best interface of any web application that I have ever seen, ever (so far)! I found the application yesterday while perusing through some new news feeds I found whilst I was constructing my new PageFlakes page. The company has been around for a few months now and has already secured
$100M $10M in funding (yes million). An astronomical amount of money for a 12+ person company.
When you use the application it is very clear to see why this company is garnishing this much praise (and money). The company is lead by the former COO of PayPal, David O. Sacks so I am sure he has the ears of a lot of people in Internet technology.
I am going to try and contain my excitement about this application and explain my experience as I built out my family tree (at least as much as I could). The process of adding my account was simple, First Name, Last Name, Email Address and Password (password confirm field as well). So, simple I forgot how I did it (hopefully I can remember my password). I was instantly “logged in”. No need to retrieve a temporary password or confirmation URL. Nice.
I then got started adding people and by the time I got to my mother the application was put the test. My mom is divorced and remarried. Handled that like a champ. I was surprised but I guess if you are going to build a genealogy application in an era where divorce rates are high, you better handle that well. They did. When I got to my Sister who has been married twice and had a child with two different people it handled that smoothly by presenting me with an option to choose which mom/dad combination created this child.
I could not stop, I was completely addicted and I am not sure if it was because I was having fun or I was interested in seeing my family tree in the “tree” layout which looked so good.
I started adding every family members email address that I had, my mom, my aunt, my wife’s aunt as far as I could reach. I wanted to see what they thought. It has been less then 10 hours (slept 5 of those) and I have already received very positive response. I am hooked. I can not wait to see how this grows (hopefully someone will hold my Grandmothers hand through the program so that she can add her family lineage).
Although I started this family tree, this is not mine. I participate in this with my family members which is great. My sister in-law started adding details to my wife’s side of the family and I saw the real power of the application. Everyone participates in this. She had added a great uncle and all of his details, added a picture for my father in-law and it appeared she was hooked as well. I think that this will not only be enjoyable but I think that this application will actually bring my family closer together and offer my children a birds-eye view of our family (something that I can honestly say was difficult to do before this). Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy it when my grandmother brought out the manila envelope which contained the several pieces of graph paper with the family lineage she constructed.
I recommend that you give this application a chance, if not because you enjoy genealogy then simply because it is fun and it may help you understand how to organize information on the web.