I recently started using the FamilyTree application on Facebook. I decided to give it a try after learning that I have a ton of relatives on Facebook, (and am finding more every week). I thought this application would be a convenient way to start putting together my family tree. So far, I am not impressed.
In order to use the FamilyTree application that is connected to Facebook, you need to have a Facebook account yourself. I had one, so this was not a problem for me. I’ve noticed that it takes a long time for this application to load. In fact, I find that the application will not do anything, no matter how long I wait, if I sit on the first page and wait for it to stop spinning. Instead, I click over to the “profile” part of the application almost immediately. My computer is a Mac, and I am using the Safari browser, so maybe that is why I am having this difficulty. I wonder if FamilyTree works better on a PC?
Next, you need to add your family members into the FamilyTree application. Unlike other genealogy resources on facebook, the FamilyTree application relies on participation. I went and added my aunt, uncle, siblings, cousins, and the children of my cousins. The application will send an invite to each of them. Ideally, for this application to work, all of your relatives need to be using it. Most of mine are not. For each relative, I am able to select from a drop down menu how I am related to that person. But, if they aren’t using FamilyTree, then the application has nothing to compare it to. If I have incorrectly labeled my second cousin as my first cousin, there is no good way to correct it.
Today, I learned that this application wants permission to post on my facebook page that I have identified a particular person as a relative, and also to post exactly how I am related to this person. If I say no, the application won’t let me make that identification at all. This makes the application less useful.
There is a section where you can create your own family tree. To get started, it wants me to add my mother and father. Again, this takes a long time load. This made me realize the biggest problem with this application. Neither my mother, nor my father, use Facebook. I am not comfortable adding their information into a social networking website that they don’t want to use. I think I am going to have to find another way to put together my family tree.
Image by Joiseyshowaa on Flickr