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ENH: Member not responding, show active indicator

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Ken Report 6 Jul 2011 11:11

Because I like many others have very few reply’s to the amount of messages we send out would it be an idea for GR to add a “Postem” to ALL messages to say something like “It would be polite and expected by GR that you answer all messages that are sent to you even if its just to say “Sorry not interested”


jax Report 6 Jul 2011 11:15


If it is tree matches that you are contacting people for? It is probably because they have changed their email address or in some cases perhaps died.

I had someone the other week who I thought was reading my messages and not replying...she told me her Blackberry marks all emails as read!!!


Ken Report 6 Jul 2011 11:42


“Yes” I do understand about changed email address’s and people that died and so on, but I am talking about the contacts that I (we) try and make on the day they appear on GR or the day after.

I can see that they answer the messages but only rarely do they respond; I can also understand that they just put their bit of information on GR and want no more to do with it but it would be nice to get a reply.


jax Report 6 Jul 2011 11:53

Sorry, not with you there

Are you talking about the message boards or private messages?

I got a match a while ago which I know was put in a tree several years earlier as it was my ex husband

I also get an email every now and then from GR saying they have found a match with one of my ancestors with some other member.....why not all together? she put them on her tree the same day, so why are they telling me months later?



Ken Report 6 Jul 2011 12:23


When people like you and me put new people on to our tree’s they appear on “Search Trees” for say Smith added within the last day or two days or three days and so on.

If they appear on that day then that would mean they (me or you) have just put them on, so if you send them a message it should get to them, unless they are not a member of GR.


jax Report 6 Jul 2011 12:32

Ok understanding now.

They would be a member, but it is not necessary to be a paying member.

If you send them a message they can reply...we have to also remember people have trouble working out how to reply



Ken Report 6 Jul 2011 12:46


“So” maybe a good idea then?


jax Report 6 Jul 2011 13:00

Not if the message has not been read.

If they are just deleting their emails as this lady told me her "Blackberry" does it automatically they may never read the messages.



Ken Report 6 Jul 2011 13:12


But if it has been read then it would help, as for the lady with the Blackberry I think she may have doggy one as mine and my daughter’s work OK.


jax Report 6 Jul 2011 13:23

I did wonder if it was an excuse :-D not knowing how this new fandangled things work.

Think the excuse went something like "My blackberry marks everything as read and I dont have access to a computer very often"

I dont do much with my tree, but I do send messages whilst trying to help people, and quite often there is no reply of thanks...just a "can I view your tree" message

Well at least it is a reply I suppose :-)



SylviaInCanada Report 6 Jul 2011 19:21


it also depends on how you approach that other person

If I just get a pm that says "can I see your tree" or "open your tree"

I usually do NOT answer

I want to know WHY you think we might have a connection ..... and often I just cannot be bothered entering into a series of pms like the following:-

other person:- Can I see your tree?

me:- Can you tell me why you wish to see my tree?

OP:- You have John Smith in your tree, and I have John Smith

me:- Please tell me a little more about why you think your John Smith might be related to my John Smith

OP:- My John Smith was born in 1850 in Lancashire, and your John Smith was born in 1849 in Lancashire.

I want the initial pm to say something like :-

I see that you have John Smith b. 1850 in Bacup, Lancashire, to parents Abel and Jane (OR married to Cecily Jones in 1875). I have John Smith born in 1849 Radcliffe with the same parents (or wife), and wonder whether we might have a connection.

THAT is the kind of pm to which I respond!

It is also the kind of message that I send on the rare occasion that I wish to approach someone

The thing that is wong with this thread is that, despite all our wisehs for better manners in saying please and thank you, or in responding to pms ......... this is NOT a place in which we can instruct other adults in good manners!



Ken Report 7 Jul 2011 13:13

Hello Sylvia

Yes your right in how you approach them but I have never asked to look at someone’s tree nor would I, after many years experience I do know how to PM someone and in the main it is something like “the Susan Smith born 1867 Epsom that you have listed on here is part of my family tree, would you like to exchange information?” I would also give them some other details about parents and or siblings.

And the reason I put this suggestion on here is because GR say they look at all these and they MAY put some of the best ideas into practice “well we hope they do”


TootyFruity Report 7 Jul 2011 22:03

However, Ken your suggestion assumes that everyone who receives a message is still an active member who has given GR an up-to-date email address and this is not always the case.

There are trees on this site of people who have passed away and so are never going to reply and members have no idea of how likely that if they send a particular member a message the likelihood of receiving a reply. Only by identifying when a member was last active on the site can members decide whether or not it is worth sending a message. However, last logged in will not work because for members like myself who never log off, on other sites it show that I have not logged on for over 6 months when in reality I visit daily.

Also, it is not compulsory to share information or contact other members although it is polite to reply. I personally always reply, even if it is to ask for more information or to say we do not have a connection. Perhaps, making an option available to elect for your tree not to show up in searches is a way forward for those who do not wish to share.

So without know how many active members there are on the site your suggestion is dead in the water. Adding a Postem will not ensure that anyone receives a reply.

It should also be taken into consideration that a member may have been taken ill and unable to answer for a very long time and so when sending messages, although it is frustrating when we receive no reply, maybe we should not expect a reply but accept any replies as a bonus.


jax Report 7 Jul 2011 22:32

I think what Ken was explaining to me something that comes up saying this has been added in the last day or so??

It means nothing to me as I dont really have a tree on here, but they would be active if they have only just added it



TootyFruity Report 7 Jul 2011 23:11

Ahhh see what you mean. Thanks Jax.

However, it still does not take into account all the members that are still active yet never add to their trees, like Jax and I. I have not added to my tree on here for awhile. I've just been adding off line. We are active members but again would not come up in the searches. Any postem would have to be added to all messages and so increase the expectancy of receiving a reply when in reality a member is unable to respond. I cannot see how it can be tagged to what is largely a very small pool in relation to the entire membership. (if figures are to be believed)

Maybe I'm just being thick, it wouldn't be the first time:-D


TootyFruity Report 8 Jul 2011 09:32


Has she opened your message? In sent messages if the envelope is still purple then it is unopened.

I sympathise with your frustration, however unless she replies their is no way of knowing whether or not if the person in her tree is the person you are looking for.

Hopefully you will hear from her soon


Ken Report 8 Jul 2011 12:13

Hello Tooty Fruity/Jeanerin

I did say above that the persons that I send messages too are “active members” but it may be that some of our members do not know how to find these.

I monitor the surname that I specialize in every day on GR and can see as soon as a new one is put on, if I then send them a message they should get it (plus I can see if they open it)

To do this: go to the “Search Trees” tab on the home page, then click on “Search All Trees” and when that box opens you can put in the surname that you are interested in, then move down the box too “Added Within” then click on the scroll box and pick 1 day or 2 days or so on.

If you pick say added within the last day and there are some of your surnames that come up and one or more of them are of interest to you, you can then send them a message, it should get to them because they are active.

Hope this is of help to some of our members.

Anyway what harm can it do if GR put a line of information on ANY type of message saying something like “It is always polite to answer any new message even if it’s a negative answer”


InspectorGreenPen Report 8 Jul 2011 16:47

I think that the email message that GR sends out so say there is a PM waiting does have some sort of message such as this in it. can lead a horse to water......