At the end of July we launched our new Member Connect feature on Ancestry.com. Since then we have been gathering feedback from members, analyzing how it has been used, and working to continue to improve it. I wanted to review some enhancements that were added to Member Connect yesterday, as well as highlight a few of the other improvements we’ve added in the last couple months.
Yesterday we made a number of additions to make it easier to get to the information you are most interested in on the Recent Member Connect Activity list. If there has been activity from other members on Ancestry.com that is directly related to your own research activity, you’ll find this activity list on your homepage when you are logged in, as well as on the main page under the Collaborate tab. Here’s what we’ve added to that list:
1. Recent Activity filter options
We’ve made a number of changes around how you can filter out activity from your Recent Activity list.
First, if you have multiple family trees on Ancestry.com you can choose to filter out the activity for any of your trees. For example, you might be invited as an editor to a tree, but not be interested in all of the activity related to that tree. If that’s the case, you can simply un-check the box for that tree and we won’t show you that activity anymore.
Second, based on member feedback we’ve updated the types of activity your can filter out of your list. We hope that the new categories make it easier to get to the activity you are most interested in, especially if you have a lot of activity on your list.
Third, we will now remember your filter settings for you. So if you filter one of your trees out of the list, or a specific activity type you’re not interested in, we’ll keep that activity off of your list until you choose to re-check the boxes to add it back in.
Finally, we’ve made these filter options available from the Member Connect sections on the homepage and under the Collaborate tab, as well as on the full Recent Activity page.
2. Top daily activity items
Some members who have done a lot of research on Ancestry.com, or who have large family trees on the site, may have a lot of activity included on their Recent Activity list each day. If this is the case for you, we’ve made an update that we hope will help. If there are more than 10 activity items related to your family history research on a given day, we will initially just list the top ten items from that day on your list. Hopefully this gets the most interesting items at the top for you. Then if you would like to see more activity from that day you can simply expand the list for the day to see the rest of the activity items.
3. Expanded activity display
Sometimes if a few similar things happen on the site, we may only list one item on your Recent Activity list. For example, if another member researching your great-grandfather added three photos of him to their public family tree, you might get one activity item mentioning that three photos were added, but without giving details on each of them. For activity items like this there will now be a new “show” link that will let you expand the activity item to see all of the details related to that item.
We’ve also made a number of other enhancements to Member Connect in the last couple months. I just wanted to highlight a few of them for you here:
1. Links to your family tree from trees you have connected with
You can connect with another member who has common ancestors of yours in their family tree, either by saving information from their tree through an Ancestry.com Hint or through the Member Connect section of the profile page for the matching person in your tree. If you’ve done this and later go to the matching person in the other member’s tree, we will confirm that you’ve already connected with them and will include a link for you back to the matching person in your tree. This helps you keep track of who you’ve connected with, and also makes it easier to get back to your tree when you are checking family trees of members you’ve connected with.
2. Explanations about information in your Recent Activity list
Some information included on your Recent Activity list may be related to research you did a while back rather than more recent research that is fresh in your mind. If that is the case, you may not be sure why a specific item is on your list. To learn more just put your cursor over the activity item and you will see a “?” icon on the right. Simply click this to learn why the item was included in your list. We’ll also often be able to provide a link for you to the related person in your family tree.
3. Information you’ve ignored from members you have connected with
Within your family tree, Member Connect lets you compare what information other members have about one of your family members with what you have. If you’ve connected to the other member, after checking into their information and validating it you can also update your tree with the new information. If the information doesn’t seem accurate or interesting, though, you can also select to ignore it. Previously we didn’t label which items you have ignored from another member’s tree. Now these items will have a simple “ignored” button, which will still let you update your tree with this information if you change your mind later.
These are just a few highlights of improvements we’ve made based, in large part on feedback from our members. We’d love to continue to get your feedback about Member Connect so that we know how we can continue to improve it for you. Please just email us at MemberConnectFeedback@ancestry.com with your thoughts.