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Dear Estelle, Phil and Team.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Cynthia Report 2 May 2012 12:34

It has obviously come to your attention that the DISCUSSIONS feature (a revamp of the old Surname board) has caused great upset amongst many of your most loyal and experienced members.

These are the members who help to create the 'successes' of GR.

During the last week, there have been several unfortunate and upsetting postings flying around which have caused some distress. I have been involved in that distress.

All the upset has been caused because an unsuspecting member used the DISCUSSIONS feature without realising the implications of responding to old threads.

This scenario may be replayed time and time again in the future causing the valuable Community boards to gain the reputation of being an unfriendly place to visit - which is far from the truth.

Over the years, it has become very obvious that most new members are simply not reading the guidelines within the Help Section nor the stickies at the top of the FA board. This is a fact.

You have told me that I have the largest mail box on the site. I state unequivocably, that this is because new members are floundering, have not read the guidelines and do not know how to find their threads again. I send them a pm to help them - over 20,000 to date - that speaks for itself.

Most of my Inbox is full of messages from people saying 'thank you...I didn't realise how things work.....I have printed your guidelines out". I have over 13,000 such messages and recently deleted several thousand more.

Again, over the years, many long standing members have made suggestions as to how things could be improved to make the site more user friendly but, sadly, a limited number of their ideas have been acted upon.

It seems as though your team come up with what they think is a good idea but, having no knowledge of the site and possibly none of genealogy, do not realise what havoc some ideas will cause. Things are imposed upon us without warning.

Many of us are not against change at all but cannot see the point of 'change for changes sake'. We would welcome with open arms anything which improves things to make this site more user friendly.

Maybe it would be possible for you to post a thread stating what you are thinking of improving and ask for experienced comments and thoughts. You can then see which is the most popular and practicable and act upon it. That way, you would keep the members goodwill and their invaluable experience.

Thank you.



GlitterBaby Report 2 May 2012 13:03

Not sure the Team will reply as they have so far ignored my plea for a survey and for them to post what problems they are trying to sort out etc etc

They are being very careful as to which threads they post comments on and seem not be be taking any notice of the members replies to those postings.

Good luck perhaps for once they will listen


Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 2 May 2012 13:14

No comment on my personal request for clarification on a specific matter... I think GB is right, that they are being very careful in what they say and where.

Cynthia, I think you deserve a medal! Not just for all the work you do (ultimately to GR's benefit) but for stating your case here in such a clear and pleasant manner :-D


Estelle Advisor Report 2 May 2012 14:15

Dear Cynthia, thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments and feedback. We do listen to what our members are saying and the feedback you all give is very important. We have altered several things on the site over the years as a result of feedback.
What I'll do is have a chat with the rest of the team about the suggestions I have read lately on here regarding the new 'Community' section on the homepage and other sections of the site. We are aware that the Community is a valuable resource and we want all our members to know it is there, and obviously how to use it correctly.
When I have any more news I'll certainly let you all know.
Kind regards,


Cynthia Report 2 May 2012 15:58

Thank you for your reply.

I am sure we all look forward to hearing more news but, please, can we have an idea of what is going to happen before it is imposed on us.

It would also be appreciated if there could be some feedback from members before anything new is implemented permanently.

Thank you.



Estelle Advisor Report 3 May 2012 13:37

Thank you Cynthia. That decisions is not mine to make, but I'll certainly pass it on to the rest of the team.


LadyScozz Report 4 May 2012 02:56

Well said Cynthia!

If we had an emoticon for flowers I'd give you a HUGE bunch

It's hard to believe that GR has been around for (over?) ten years and it still doesn't work properly. I keep wondering what sort of antiquated system they have.

Yesterday's error messages were a nightmare!!


Cynthia Report 4 May 2012 07:45

Surely, it cannot be beyond the grasp of GR to add a note to the Discussions advert, stating......

"Some of the threads which you find pertaining to your family may be very old and not being checked any more. We would advise you to send a Private Message to the original poster rather than adding to the thread. If they still have the same email address, they will be notified."

Normally, I would send a pm to those who have added to old threads because there would only be the odd one or two. However, as the Find Ancestors board is now is now getting more and more of these old threads from unsuspecting members, I have decided to withdraw from that aspect. I will simply concentrate on those who have started threads of their own and leave it at that.

I do, however, feel sad for those who have received advice from the helpers re sending a PM to the OP, but who may never see it for whatever reason.

Thank you GB. RR. and S. :-D


Reggie Report 4 May 2012 13:53

GR's blurb at the top of this board says that they will be taking our suggestions "on board"......I wonder when that will happen?

The next time will be the first in my experience

Although, I suppose 'taking on board' doesn't actually mean that they will act on them..............their record to date suggests that they definitely will not


InspectorGreenPen Report 4 May 2012 16:51

Having read this several times, I really am having great difficulty in understanding what the problem actually is. What is it that is causing 'upset' ?


jax Report 4 May 2012 17:00


Do you ever use or read the Find ancestors board?

You could also read Reggie's Discussion thread further down the board to see where the "Upset" comes from

Here is one I noticed today


Cynthia Report 4 May 2012 17:50


I think you will find that those members who have a great deal of experience using these boards to help others, will have absolutely no difficulty in understanding the problem.



InspectorGreenPen Report 4 May 2012 18:03

Having been a member since 2003, I have also been there, and worn the T shirt so I also count myself as one of those members who have a great deal of experience using these boards.

So, sorry, I am still at a loss. What exactly is the problem and why is there any upset?


Cynthia Report 4 May 2012 18:29

Snap for the year of joining IGP - so we both have been there and worn the T-shirt.

As you have already contributed on Reggie's 'Discussions' thread mentioned by jax, I simply cannot understand what it is you cannot understand.


Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 4 May 2012 19:43

IGP as I see it, new members who are coming into GR via the homepage ( rather than us old lags who tend to come straight onto the boards and bypass the home page) are seeing the 'discussions' link and assuming that posting on one of those threads that are dangled so temptingly ( eg 300 'discussions' on the Keating family) will bring some 'specific' results...which a thread posted 6 years ago by someone no longer here is unlikely to do...they will then assume perhaps when no contact can be made that GR is all talk and no results ... and that imo is the problem, a site that doesn't deliver on the expectations of new members is a site that will sooner or later slip into terminal decline.

edit to add...I think that odd as it may seem some of us have grown rather fond of GR , for all its faults, and don't want it to fail ...that may just be me lol.


LadyKira Report 4 May 2012 20:36

I quite agree RR.

I have been on courses to help me improve my business and one of the things frequently discussed is

"What is my Unique Selling Point?"

i.e. what is it that makes my business stand out and be differentiates my business from similar businesses.

For GR it is the Community Boards and that the entry price makes it an affordable starting point. After getting hooked the other sites become an option but this is the best site to learn on. I am watching the site go into decline as fewer and fewer postings are on the boards now.

If this confusion continues new members will walk away disgruntled.


KathleenBell Report 4 May 2012 22:13

I quite agree LadyKira.

Unfortunately I don't just think it will be new members who will walk away disgruntled - it will be long term members too.

Kath. x


Reggie Report 4 May 2012 23:30

IGP is just being his usual self


GlitterBaby Report 4 May 2012 23:38

Totally agree with all the female posters on this thread.

I know of one long standing member that helped on the boards a lot that has walked away from this site just 4 weeks ago.


LadyScozz Report 5 May 2012 03:24

I don't have the board experience on boards here, but I have the Tshirt

Black shirt, white letters: I Seek Dead People

I'm careful where I wear it (not a good idea for a visit to a sick friend)


Afraid I was one of those who "caused upset" - mainly because I was getting told various things, and it didn't seem to be a two-way street :-)