web 2.0 Genealogy
February 10, 2008 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Kindo - Web 2.0 Genealogy
posted by dash_slot- (24 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Privacy: We’re following a set of simple rules for how we treat information you give us.
1. Family only: Only the people in your family tree can see your tree and information you put in the tree (such as your profile information). The public cannot access this data.
2. No spamming: We will never spam you or any of your family members. We’re sending a single reminder to a family member who hasn’t replied to your invitation. We will also send you newsletters and other notifications to your email address, but if you don’t like this you’ll be able to change your settings. If you don’t want any more emails from us, you can also drop us a line.
3. Everything stays with Kindo: We will never provide your personal information to advertisers or other third parties that are not closely affiliated with Kindo, unless we get your explicit permission. Your data is safe with us.
4. Cookies are good for you: We use cookies, since they make it easier for you to use Kindo. Cookies are basically small text files that are stored on your computer. More specific, we use session ID cookies to keep track of your data while you’re logged in, and persistent cookies, which makes it easy to log back in to Kindo.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:16 AM on February 10, 2008

That's an excerpt from 'their' statement - the 'us' does not include 'me' - the 'you' does.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:18 AM on February 10, 2008

i've been using Geni, but the spam, lack of privacy, and inability to merge trees (say, with a third cousin who started their own and wants to merge) has made me stop using it...

this one looks promising....
posted by Izzmeister at 9:25 AM on February 10, 2008

I have to say, I was hoping for a family tree of web 2.0 sites (Flickr which begat del.icio.us which begat...). As it is, I'm increasingly uncomfortable with the social networks I've thrown in already, and I don't know if I can justify more.
posted by danb at 9:49 AM on February 10, 2008

thrown in with
posted by danb at 9:49 AM on February 10, 2008

Is this something I'd have to tell my family about?

snark aside, it is a nice site/tool, and I think I'll start getting my family involved in creating our collective tree
posted by localhuman at 9:54 AM on February 10, 2008

Hmm, is there a chance of an import from Geni? It would be a pain to manually add everyone in my tree again...
posted by tmcw at 10:13 AM on February 10, 2008

I like the concept but still buggy. It seems adding your maternal grandmother's brother's son freezes it up. Boo.
posted by Skygazer at 11:01 AM on February 10, 2008

How is this different from Geni?
posted by redbeard at 11:37 AM on February 10, 2008

Thanks. It hadn't occurred to me that these sorts of tools existed. I've already invited my dad (a huge genealogy freak).
posted by unknowncommand at 11:47 AM on February 10, 2008

I suppose this is good for building your own tree when you have extensive knowledge of your family. I've been looking for some time for a site that could assist me in researching my extended family (principally where they lived, occupations, etc.), as I know almost nothing beyond my immediate family. Is there a site online that aids in this sort of geneology research?
posted by inoculatedcities at 11:49 AM on February 10, 2008

When I looked at it before, Kindo seemed like another version of Geni operated by cooler European people. (Geni is owned by one of these former Paypal executive, Thank You for Smoking producers.) MyHeritage and FamilyLink are also knocking off the Geni approach. I tried Geni, hung out in its forums for awhile, but it has problems. It doesn't facilitate any kind of serious genealogy. It doesn't support sourcing, for instance. The viral dynamic that it uses to grow trees will more likely link you to your cousin's cousin's father-in-law's cousin's cousin than it will to your third-cousin on the other side of the world who shares historical ancestors with you. When I'm researching genealogy, I want the web to help me find those third-cousins, because they'll have perspectives on my ancestors that aren't accessible to me. I can't remember if I bothered signing up on Kindo when I first saw it, to see if it was offering anything different. This newest crop of genealogy sites dreams of conquering Facebook by becoming the place where your family hangs out. In the Geni offices they had two pictures of a college age girl on their lunchroom fridge. I'll get some of the details wrong, but it went like this: In one she held a bottle of beer, and was sticking her tongue out at the camera. This was the Facebook picture. In the other she was the brightly smiling graduate. It was the picture she'd show her grandmother, her Geni picture. That might be what some people, those who enjoy family reunions and jello salad, want. For me genealogy is about diving into small histories, finding out where you came from, and remembering people who would otherwise be forgotten. These sites aren't helping me do that.

The web application I'm waiting for is one that allows us to link our ancestors by original sources that are viewable on the web. Say, if Google or the LDS church placed the early US census returns online, accessible for free to everyone. You know where your ancestor appears in 1900 and 1910. You link those together, link them to a profile of your ancestor. Each time someone links one of their ancestors, we're building an index of the original source material, ancestor by ancestor. There's no need to hire transcribers in Bangladesh like Ancestry.com does. One of your distant cousins comes along, looking for your shared ancestor, attaches themselves to the ancestor, and now they're linked to you, in the way a friend would be on another social website. As a member, you could have something like an attic, where you upload photos and documents that have passed down in the family, then you link them to the ancestor profiles, and thus to the original census returns. I have ancestors who came from the Scottish Hebrides. I could attach myself to a group of people who share a heritage from one of those islands. If I know the ship that my ancestors arrived on, or the place where they were once employed, or the church that they attended, maybe I could join groups for people who have that in common.

I like Automated Genealogy. I've linked to it on Metafilter before, as an FPP. It has built indexes of the Canadian census, using volunteers. It is attempting now to link its indexes and other documents togther. It's not accessible in the way these more commercial sites are, but its contribution to genealogy is much greater. Around Christmas I talked to the guy who operates it about doing some design work to link the indexes and members in a social networking way. But it's been a long time since I've done any design work, and I became frustrated seeking information all over again on what browser treats what css declaration in what way, and got lost on inconsequentials like logo design, so I wimped out and gave up. If anyone out there does web design, has an interest in genealogy and a Canadian heritage, I have a volunteer project for you.
posted by TimTypeZed at 12:36 PM on February 10, 2008 [4 favorites]

Seriously, inoculatedcities? There are tons of them... more and more are being subsumed into the many-tentacled for-profit enterprise that is Ancestry.com / The Generations Network, however. Other than that, though, what you're likely looking for are relatively specialized regionally focused sites, so that once you know where someone lived, you hit up the city directories, court records, cemetery registries, newspaper archives etc. to find traces of them.
posted by mumkin at 12:39 PM on February 10, 2008

i've been using Geni, but the spam, lack of privacy, and inability to merge trees

Spam? Just out of curiosity Izzmeister, what spam have you been getting? I use Geni and the only thing I receive from them is the odd "your family member X has a birthday on Y" and I think there was a new feature email a while back. But no spam. I also thought their privacy policy was similar to the one shown here.
posted by Zinger at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2008

They (Kindo and Geni) look very similar to me ... close enough so that one is a rip-off of the other?

If you could rearrange things dynamically - drag nodes around within a tree and preserve the relationships - that would be nice.
posted by carter at 1:41 PM on February 10, 2008

My main bugbear right now is that I can't seem to find a way to show that my cousins are double cousins, because my dad & his brother married (respectively) my mum & her sister.

If any Kindo-ers know how to do that - without tons of duplication - I would really appreciate it.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:47 PM on February 10, 2008

They don't allow you to erase people, and if you add a father and mother to someone, thier relationship becomes "spouse", and doesn't let you change it.

There are lots of people who have 2 parents who aren't spouses, and for whom you wouldn't want to have that little connective line. I would think in the future there will be even more.

Just the fact that it doesn't let you delete someone alone makes it a fail.
posted by MythMaker at 1:57 PM on February 10, 2008

Just the fact that it doesn't let you delete someone alone makes it a fail.

Yeah, I stopped filling things out when I noticed that. I'll come back some other time when they've improved their UI.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:03 PM on February 10, 2008

Sometimes people have little delete icons in the top right. I can't figure out why.

I could also go for easier middle name support. Half my family is named the same few things.
posted by smackfu at 2:15 PM on February 10, 2008

As far as I can see (and I've only snooped around a bit), you can't upload GED files. Major disadvantage.
posted by JaySunSee at 3:04 PM on February 10, 2008

I think you can delete people - they cannot have dependents, though.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:40 PM on February 10, 2008

I've been looking for some time for a site that could assist me in researching my extended family ... as I know almost nothing beyond my immediate family. Is there a site online that aids in this sort of geneology research?

You're pulling our legs, right? Genealogy is a big business. Ancestry.com's owners have become multi-millionaires, at least, on the basis of an expensive monthly subscription business.

Anyway, you'll want to start with the free stuff, as without a good skeleton (at least some idea who your great-grandparents were) you'll just spin your wheels a lot while spending money. Wait until you really know what you're looking for. Personally, I have good information going back eight generations in my patrilineal line, but very little information about spouses, and it's rough going getting much beyond that.

Our own rinkjustice has a list of free searchable databases and places to learn how to get started. To use any online tools worth a tinker's damn, you'll want to be familiar with what GED/GEDCOM files are and what software can use them, at a bare minimum. Otherwise you're just diddling around.
posted by dhartung at 3:50 PM on February 10, 2008

.GED files.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:49 PM on February 10, 2008

You can delete a bunch of people at once by going back in time and killing your great-grandpa before he had children.

Or you can go back in time and catching your future father in a tree while he is spying on your future mother while she is undressing. Warning! This last scenario may cause future mom to fall in love with you and want to make out with you at the high school dance and that would be gross! However on the other hand, you might invent that new sound Chuck Berry has been looking for.
posted by chillmost at 2:28 AM on February 11, 2008

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