Oct 2, 2015

MyHeritage is perplexing me --

This morning I got a new kind of message from MyHeritage, about what to me is a new thing, an "Instant Discovery."  The message said this:

"Good news, we’ve found a new Instant Discovery™ for you. It can add an entire branch to your family tree with 20 people, in just a few clicks!"

Well, that sounded interesting, so I headed over to the site, where I saw this attractive graphic:

                
All rights to this image belong to MyHeritage

This kind of thing is intriguing, right?  With just a few clicks, I can add 20 new people to my family tree.  While attaching a new branch like this is potentially exciting, I do have a few problems with it.

If I click on the "View Discovery" button, I am taken to a screen where the two main people are set side by side, with the information from both family trees (mine and in this case, B. Jensen's).  I am asked, "Is this the same person?  Yes or No."  At this point, I would like to look at my family tree and B. Jensen's family tree, but there's no link I can click, only "Yes or No."  If I back out of the comparison screen and try to look up B. Jensen's family tree by clicking on the "Home" tab and going down to "Site Members," I have no luck -- it tells me that there's no member with either the name "B. Jensen" or just plain "Jensen."  I'm perplexed at this point.

If I go ahead and click "Yes," an animation combines the two individuals and then shows me the merged individual and all the connected ancestors from the other person's family tree -- in this case, 20 people.  At this point, my options are  "Add to My Tree," or "Reject Discovery."  If I reject the discovery, I get an ominous message telling me that if I reject it, I will never be offered it again.  If I accept and add the people to my tree, presto changeo, they're added.

What's the problem with this?  Well, sitting in my Discovery Hub right now are four different possibilities for adding new branches, 80 in all (why in each case is the group made up of exactly 20 people?) just with a couple of clicks.  But I haven't been able to look at the family trees in question, and I have no idea of what the sources of these people are, whether there's any documentation on them and so on.  Also, in not one of the four cases can I find the site member in the MyHeritage directory, so there's no way for me to back out of the Discovery Hub and go look at their tree.

I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who's troubled about this -- we all know the danger in adding people willy-nilly to our trees, especially without documentation.  But with its new Discovery Hub, MyHeritage seems to be encouraging this bad habit, and I'm afraid I'm against using what might be valuable information.  But there's no way for me to know that.  

I feel as if I'm missing something with this new, potentially exciting feature.  Can someone with an insight into MyHeritage give me an idea of what they intend with this, and how it is helpful to serious genealogists?  I'd appreciate it.

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