I signed up to Geni the new viral family tree site to play around on it for the Ajaxian post.
The viral piece really does work. I put in a few family members and when I went to my tree the next day I saw 400 entries in it! Family had added family, who were invited, signed up, and the circle continued. Suddenly I had my family tree and had not had to do much of any work :)
The Geni launch had been so successful that the site couldn’t keep up. The site was barely functional for a significant time, and even when it was up it was randomly slow.
If a Web 1.0 site is down, you know. The site doesn’t respond. No page comes up. People get that, go away, or hit Refresh continuously (often making the problem worse).
Geni has a rich Flash/Ajax interface and it wasn’t obvious to people when it was in trouble. The interface had been loaded and was fine but when you went to add someone it would wait for awhile. This made putting in content painful for family members but some thought it was an issue on their side.
The feedback is different to what they are used too. Click on a URL. No response. I get it. Cause an event in a rich UI that otherwise seems like it is working? not as easy to grok. “I can move my family tree around and zoom in, so it must be working. Why won’t it let me add a person though?”