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ENH: Active indicator, photo helper, draft posts

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


MandM Report 9 Jul 2011 15:04

Today I have been having a bit of a brainstorming session and come up with some ideas. I hope that at least one of them will hit the right chord.

1. An icon for when people haven't signed in for a month or more. My idea for the moment would be either an icon that, when you roll over it, it displays a number relating to the number of months that have passed since that person last logged in. This number would stop at 6, so that once that number of months has been surpassed a '6+' comes up.
Another way this could be shown would be, for example, a circle which gets bigger by the month, ie. a small circle for 1 month, a slightly bigger one for 2 months, all the way up to a large circle for 6 months.
I think that this idea would be especially useful for when you send a message to someone and, rather than you waiting for ages for someone to get back to you, you can see immediately if they are still using the site. If you have sent a message and there is no icon next to their name, then at least you can assume that, maybe, they just don't want to reply to you or haven't had the time.

2. A photo section to the boards summary. This would be a voluntary section for those wanting to find out things, such as, a rough date of when the photo was taken, identification of uniforms being worn in photos or even if other people recognise any of the people in the uploaded photo. As this facility would be quite heavy in the amount of data being stored on it, perhaps a certain amount of time could be allotted to each photo before it expired - say, 1 month. If the person wanted to resubmit the same photo after that month passed by, then they would be able to do this.
Or perhaps, if people wanted a more long term idea, then maybe we could have sections, such as; time period (1870s/1880s, etc.), armed forces or, with reference to the map feature that is available, allowing photos to be assigned to geographical regions or towns. If the photos could be tagged, then they could be linked to 'Hot Matches' for other contacts in your family tree to view. There could be a facility for you to allow or disallow the photo to be shared.

3. A drafts section for the boards summary section. Whilst writing this, there have been moments where I would have liked to refer back to other parts of the site. Rather than copying this whole text, could we not have the ability to just save it? Again, if this would create space problems, why not have a time limit set on it?

And with that, I think I should leave. I hope you enjoy the ideas and I look forward to any comments.



TootyFruity Report 9 Jul 2011 15:25


There is a problem with your first item. If a member does not log out like me then last log never increases yet I visit the site daily.


InspectorGreenPen Report 9 Jul 2011 16:02

With regards to No 1 I don't think there is any easy answer. By far the majority of members on this site only log in very occasionally, either when the fancy takes them or if they decide to reply to a message.

The fact that someone hasn't logged in for 6 month 12 month or whatever doesn't mean that they are no longer interestedin the site, similarly someone who logged in last week may well not be seen again.

Last activity date i.e. might be a better option - this should not be too difficult as GR already have this information and is, already available for you to see for any members that you have previously made contact with.

Not sure exactly what you mean by No 3 Drafts. Can you explain a bit more as to how you might see this working?


MandM Report 9 Jul 2011 16:57

Glad to see some posts already :-D

Yes, I think InspectorGP's idea would be easier implemented and also solves TootyFruity's query too. However, I didn't quite understand what you were saying about this already existing. Have I missed something about it being possible to see when a contact last logged in?

As for the Drafts facility. I use Hotmail and one of the features enabled in that is the ability to, rather than sending a message straight away, save it as a draft and thus come back to it at a later date. This allows you to come back to it at a later date and change the original draft (you can obviously delete it too) before sending it. What I am suggesting is that this could be added to the side list that is already available on here (where it shows sent/received/etc. messages) in the messages section.



AnninGlos Report 9 Jul 2011 17:08

The draft idea is useful, especially for long threads when you want to check something and there is the chance that somehow (usually a glitch) the post you have written is deleted before you send it.


jax Report 9 Jul 2011 19:19

You can just edit if you want to add to it



AnninGlos Report 9 Jul 2011 21:45

Not if you have not yet submitted.

Contrary Mary

Contrary Mary Report 9 Jul 2011 22:52

Not sure I understand about the *draft* messages?

There is, and has been for some time, the facility to save a draft message (pm) and return to it and edit/send it a later date.

Do you mean the ability to save a draft posting on the boards?



MandM Report 9 Jul 2011 23:44

Yes, I realise that there is a 'draft message' section already existing but what am I also suggesting is a draft section for this, the boards summary section, too. This is number 3 suggestion that I make in my original point

So, my suggestion for point 3 is to include a 'draft boards summary section' as well as the one that already exists for the 'draft message' section. I hope this is easier to understand.

No one seems to have commented on the second point yet, the photo section. I thought this might have been the one that caught people's attention. Or maybe something like this already exists?


jax Report 10 Jul 2011 00:51

There used to be a photo section and I think it is still on here....but where I don't know



InspectorGreenPen Report 10 Jul 2011 12:05

If you hover over Messages and select My updates you will see all the activity for your contacts. Updating their tree, posting on the boards etc.

They can also see your activity too, unless you turn it off using the option inder Messages, Privacy settings. You also have some control over updates that you can receive.

Note it is only those members who are in your Contacts that you can see at the moment , but it should not be too dificult for GR to show that last update datestamp against any member name when you send a pm to them.


MandM Report 10 Jul 2011 12:50

Yup, Inspector GP, you have very much understood what I am proposing. What I would like to see is the most recent date that a person has been online, whether they are in your contacts list, or not. As you have already said, this can be controlled already and you can choose whether to display this or not.

My main impetus for suggesting this is to do with when you send a message to someone. It would be nice to know if that person has been online and if they (may) have had the opportunity to read your message. I have sent messages to people that have still not been read, 6 months after I originally sent them. Have these people been online and just chosen not to read my message or have they not been online in that time? Are they still members? I just think that a facility like this might make it a little easier for these questions to be answered.


jax Report 10 Jul 2011 15:34

Its more than likely they started their tree anything up to 9 years ago and have since changed their email address or sadly died



MandM Report 2 Aug 2011 11:53



SylviaInCanada Report 2 Aug 2011 20:07

I've just seen this

Option 1.

Not a new suggestion, has been proposed at least twice in the last 2 months or so on this board. Probably more than 100 times over the last couple of years!

Like Tooty, I also never log out (unless the site throws me off) ........... so date of last log in will show as (possibly) 2 years ago.

Many members do the same thing

As far as I am concerned, the fact that the site now shows the number of posts is an indication as to how active a member might be.

PLUS, there is the fact that GR almost never removes a member ..... if you do not renew your subscription you are just downgraded to a free member. This means that people who joined at the vey beginning in 2003 still show as members. They might have died, become seriously ill, lost interest, changed their email address without notifying GR, visit infrequently (I've heard of people of check back once a year or every 2 years!), or just plain ignore pms.

You also have to remember that the vast majority of members are not interested in the boards, and are very probably Free members.

This site is promoted by a couple of other sites on the internet as having the best most easily used family tree program for FREE. In other words, they promote the free membership.

In other words ....... I think what you are suggesting is rather impractible given the state of GR

Option 2

This facility does exist, there are photographs and videos on it. Go back to your home page and check

In point of fact, it really is of no interest to me to put family photos onto a site that is as unsafe as this one. Anything you post on this site is likely to appear on Google within a very short time.

As an aside, who do you see giving the help in identfying photos, uniforms, etc? Remembering that it is other members who help currently!

There are other much better specialist sites on the web. Google them.

Option 3

Simple answer ................ save what you have typed, go and check whatever you want to check, then return and paste the message in the box again. That is, if Preview does not fit what you want to do.

No need to add another confusing tab button underneath a reply box!



philmoir Advisor Report 2 Aug 2011 20:38

Going back to MandM and the original proposals, all valid suggestions. Thanks and also to those responding.

1. Last Activity - this has been mentioned quite a few times and it is noted for review and implementation where possible. But some of the feedback is correct, where members don't read PMs, don't log out, etc.

2. Photos - there is a photo section
We are improving this in the next few months btw. If you want to do what you suggest you could go to the media page, select Share Photos, upload your photo and then post a message in Genealogy Chat askign for help identifying whatever and posting the link to the photo. I uploaded an example, and took the url from the top of the browser.
If it takes off, then we may have to create a new board or just integrate something into the photo changes.

3. Drafts on boards. Fair suggestion. I tend to use the route of posting and then editing, but I know some people don't like that route as they don't know it's been edited.

Thanks again for suggestions.


SylviaInCanada Report 2 Aug 2011 20:48


if I edit a post (for more than a mis-spelling), I type in "edited, 6:50pm, 2 August 2011"

That way, it is clear that I have made changes.

Doesn't take but a second.

I am a member of 3 or 4 sites that actually automatically add such a statement at the end of the posting after it has been edited.



philmoir Advisor Report 2 Aug 2011 20:55

Sylvia, I agree with you. I try to remember to do this every time too, but think we need to automatically flag the edit, rather than rely on you and other members to do it. Thanks.


Susan10146857 Report 5 Aug 2011 00:33

Ahh but aren't we a unique site?...why would we want to be like others?

As has once been said....You can please all of the people some of the time but you cannot please all of the people all of the time.......GR....stop trying too please all of the people all of the time and just make a site that works.....let the moaners moan but make this site worthy of our patronage.


TootyFruity Report 5 Aug 2011 08:45

Susan10146857 we all want a site that works however a site cannot afford to stay static otherwise members just get bored and move elsewhere especially true of subscription sites.

The best way to develop a site, in my opinion, is to ask the people who use the site i.e. members. Members of this site invariably use other sites too and draw their preferences/suggestions from there experiences on these sites. However, having said that I agree that GR should not be a clone of any other site and keep its uniqueness.