Ancestry.com

Introducing Hint Notifications and Preferences

Posted by Aaron Orr on May 3, 2012 in Ancestry.com Site

Ever wonder if there are new hints you haven’t seen hiding in your family tree? Now it’s easy to see new hints when they come your way—we’ve just released a feature to notify you when you get new hints. You may have noticed when you last visited Ancestry.com that the menu bar in the top-right corner of the site looks different. In addition to a new design, there’s now a leaf; a red number will appear on the leaf when you have new hints waiting for you.

From anywhere on the site you can click on the leaf in the menu bar to see a list of your new hints and review them right then or come back to them later. Clicking on an individual hint will take you to the Person Hint List to review hints for that person, and clicking on “See all recent hints” takes you to the All Hints Page to review all hints in your tree, which are listed by the most recent.

If you have several trees, but are only active on some of them, you can also set your preferences so you’re only notified about hints in the trees you’re actively working on. Hint Preferences are located on the Site Preferences page – just click on Site Preferences from the dropdown menu under your username.

Additionally, we’ve heard from some members that they are less interested in hints to other member trees than other hints, such as record hints.  We want to make sure that this new feature, as well as Ancestry Hints in general, is useful to everyone.  Now in Hint Preferences (found in Site Preferences) you can choose whether to display your Member Tree hints or not. This setting can remove Member Tree hints from the tree viewer, hint notifications, hint lists, hint counts, etc. Member Tree hints are still accessible, however they’ll only be found in the Member Tree view on the All Hints page (it will say “OFF”, but you can still click to see any Member Tree hints you may have). If you turn Member Tree hints back on they’ll reappear throughout the site.

We hope that these new features will help you to get the most from the hints in your family tree and make more meaningful discoveries. Let us know what you think. As you use this new feature, please take this survey to share your thoughts with us.

 

19 comments

Comments
1 Donna GoodwinMay 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Love it. Thanks,

2 CampbellJillMay 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I like it. [so far]

3 NickMay 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Great feature, thanks. The hint feature keeps getting better. I love the sortable, searchable hints. An excellent next step would be to allow sorting of hints by closeness of relationship to the home individual in one’s tree. For example, I care more about hints about direct descendants, aunts and uncles, and first cousins than I do my fourth cousins in law.

4 Michel BrysonMay 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :-)

Now I can finally set my preferences to not display trees, and only to look for hints in my two active trees!

I set my preferences immediately after reading this post!

5 BEEMay 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

All people with hints 7…..”There are currently no People hints in the Family Tree Tree. Please try a different search”
All Hints 101…..”There are currently no All Hints hints in the Family Tree Tree. Please try a different search”
Record 78…..”There are currently no Record hints in the Family Tree Tree. Please try a different search”
Photo 14…..”There are currently no Photo hints in the Family Tree Tree. Please try a different search”
Story 2…..”There are currently no Story hints in the Family Tree Tree. Please try a different search”
Member Tree 7…..”There are currently no Member Tree hints in the Family Tree Tree. Please try a different search”
Another tree has “only” two “ghost hints”.
Yes, I have “cleared cache, etc” – yes, I have talked to “tech support” – yes, I have reported it,
but the list just grows!

6 Aaron OrrMay 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Bee, I’ll email you separately from this blog to get more information about what your experiencing.

7 LizMay 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm

The Hints are all fine and dandy, but what happened to the Messages? I had several messages saved that I referred back to on occasion. Where are they? And what happens in the future if I want to contact someone directly?

8 Long time memberMay 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

“Recent Hints.” Useless. It doesn’t show what the recent hints are. They just seem to be the last sources I saved, not a hint at all. The Member Connect is much more useful. I won’t be using the recent hints but I sure wish you would fix the Member Connect so it is current. What is the problem? It used to be current.

If you can’t load the Member Connect on the home page without an extra click, because you have too much traffic, then you didn’t do a good job planning ahead. Your advertising budget must equal the national debt! If you have so many new members, plan ahead for that! Spend some money on that!

9 ETMay 7, 2012 at 3:40 am

Great new feature, thanks!

10 danniebMay 7, 2012 at 6:17 am

To Liz 7 – Messages you saved are still there – click on the envelope icon and your messages box will open.

11 BrittMay 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

I don’t know why you keep changing things that work fine as they are all you keep doing is slowing things down in the long run

12 BEEMay 14, 2012 at 7:08 am

In case anyone is wondering, I received an email from Aaron, and while there are still some “currently no People hints” it has greatly improved – 101 down to 27, so I’m hoping that I will finally see an end to this issue.
So thank you for your help, Aaron.

13 BEEMay 18, 2012 at 9:19 am

Well, it looks like this is going to be an ongoing problem.
As far as the 1940 census, I think I for one will be glad that other states I am waiting for are taking longer to be indexed, because the almost 500 “hints” that have popped up with the Maine indexing will be enough to get through, especially when I am already getting hints that aren’t there.

14 Lori DickmanJune 18, 2012 at 8:57 am

Recently, I have gotten new hints of photos added by members I am connected with that are photos that I originally added and I even get some hints for photos that show that I am the member that added them. Why do these show up as “new” hints when I added them to my own tree originally?

15 Mark ThomsonNovember 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

One thing that would be great would be the ability to delete/ignore blocks of hints. There is so much crap in the hints that it virtually makes the hints useless unless you have hours to scroll through thousands of stupid images such as flags, etc. Need a way to process the data quicker and get to whatever good stuff is there

16 DenitaDecember 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I would love to ignore hints from entire trees. I have trees that I’ve been invited to that include information from research that I’ve already done and I don’t want to see anything that is posted on those trees. Please consider adding that option in the future.

17 KareeJanuary 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

What is your problem??? For a week I have been getting “Come back soon” messages and the loading is so slow. In fact, it appears the page is double loading.
I have had an Ancestry membership since 1987 and each of your “improvements” just slows your system & my research down.
And as to the “hints” at 14,000+ hints, it is not a feature I will be using as most of the “hints” are my own entries…
Maintain services for existing customers before you spend my membership dollars to advertise for more memberships.

18 KareeJanuary 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm

What is your problem??? For a week I have been getting “Come back soon” messages and the loading is so slow. In fact, it appears the page is double loading.
I have had an Ancestry membership since 1987 and each of your “improvements” just slows your system & my research down.
And as to the “hints” at 14,000+ hints, it is not a feature I will be using as most of the “hints” are my own original entries…
Maintain services for existing customers before you spend my membership dollars to advertise for more memberships.

19 KareeJanuary 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

This “leave a comment” feature automatically blocks honest evaluations of the so-called “improvements.”
At 22,000+ hints, it is a ridiculous feature that is bogging down your program. From what I can see only a small percentage are not “hints” of my own original entries.
Stop spending my membership $ recruiting new members to a slow, flawed program. Give me what I have paid for since 1987.

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