Modern Software Experience

2009-12-12

social genealogy

Mundia

Mundia is yet another social genealogy site. It was introduced on 2009 Dec 6. There was no big announcement in the genealogy media. That is not strange, as yet another social genealogy site hardly sounds like news anymore. There are plenty of those already.

Mundia is a multilingual site. So far, it is available in Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, English, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Dutch, Italian, German, French and Swedish. That sure is nice, but it is not groundbreaking.

However, even Mundia turns out to be an utterly unoriginal social genealogy site, its introduction remains noteworthy for its byline alone: by Ancestry.com.

Mundia Logo

Ancestry.com

For several years now, Ancestry.com seemed to be watching idly by while dozens of upstarts created social genealogy sites that nibbled away at its market- and mindshare.

Some of the social genealogy players have become almost as well known as Ancestry.com itself. Most genealogist have heard about and tried services such as Dynastree (Verwandt.de), FamilyBuilder’s Family Tree, FamilyLink (formerly We’re Related) and Geni.com.

Several of the social genealogy sites have successfully piggybacked on the growth of social sites such as Bebo, Hi5, MySpace, Orkut and, most of all, FaceBook.

premium access

To use Mundia, you need to register and log in. Registration for a Basic account free. Ancestry.com plans to charge for Premium accounts, but while Mundia is in Beta, Basic accounts get full access to all premium features.

double login

Mundia supports FaceBook Connect. You can create a Mundia account to log into Mundia, but you can also log in with your FaceBook account.

Mundia Sign In

I created a Mundia account, and soon received a confirmation email. However, logging into Mundia apparently isn’t enough. As soon as I had created my account, Mundia informed me that there is an Ancestry.com account for my email address, and prompted me to provide my Ancestry.com password.

Ancestry.com offers little of interest to Dutch researchers, but I did register with Ancestry.com for the free upgrade from Family Tree Maker 2008 to 2009.

Ancestry.com account

After a few passes through the login and logout procedure, and several unexpected invalid password messages, it became clear that there isn’t really such a thing as a Mundia account. Mundia did not expect me to log in twice, but to use my Ancestry.com account to log into Mundia. It was not asking me to log in again, but trying to prevent me from making two separate accounts.
Mundia is not just an Ancestry.com venture, it is an Ancestry.com service, and you log in to Mundia with your Ancestry.com account.

 

Although just introduced and still in Beta, Mundia already claims more than 1 billion profiles.

one billion

The reason that the Ancestry.com link is so explicit seems to be that Ancestry.com takes all the data it already to war with its competition. Although just introduced and still in Beta, Mundia already claims more than 1 billion profiles.

Mundia Beta Home Page Logged In

Mundia’s family tree view is nothing special, and not as graphical as some others. Like several other social genealogy sites, its user interface seems inspired by Geni, but the awful colour combinations are definitely their own.

Mundia Family Tree Start

That a social genealogy site starts your tree with yourself, by using your signup data, and actively uses email address as identifiers is not surprising anymore, but the dialog used to add another individual does surprise a bit; there is a prominent Invite from FaceBook button.

Mundia Family Tree Add Mother

Even FamilyLink.com, which started out as We’re Related on FaceBook, but now allows logging in with a FamilyLink account, does not show that button whenever you add an individual.

Mundia for FaceBook

The presence of the Invite from FaceBook button suggests that Ancestry.com is eager to make a splash on FaceBook.com. And sure enough, there is a FaceBook icon at the bottom of the page that links to the FaceBook application.

Mundia On FaceBook Allow Access

Once you allow the Mundia application to access your FaceBook profile and data, you get to see the Mundia for FaceBook application, which invites you to create a free Mundia account.

Mundia on FaceBook Create Account

Ancestry.com account

My experiences with the Mundia.com login made me suspect that it is not necessary to create an account at all, but that you can simply enter your Ancestry.com account details. I followed the Sign In link to the Sign Page.

Mundia On FaceBook Sign In

spreading the word

Entering my Ancestry.com account details into the Sign In page worked fine.

Mundia on FaceBook confirmed that you’ve linked your Mundia account to Facebook and immediately invited me to spread the word about Mundia by presenting three options:

Mundia on FaceBook You:ve linked your Mundia account to FaceBook

All three options had been checked already. I am not eager to invite friends to use applications I hardly know yet because I have not even begun to use it myself, and I consciously try to keep the amount of the application messages in my FaceBook stream, so I unchecked all three before clicking the Continue button.

Mundia on FaceBook Home Page

The Mundia on FaceBook Home Page.

The Mundia On FaceBook application appears to have exactly the same features as the Mundia web site, including the ability to show trees.

Mundia On FaceBook Tree

Premium features

You need to dig around the Mundia site a little to discover what the benefits of a premium membership are. I’ve provided a link to the Mundia Membership Benefits page which details the differences between the Basic and the Premium membership below. Roughly speaking, Basic membership allows you to make your tree, and Premium membership allows you to contact others.

I seriously doubt the wisdom of limiting the social aspect of a social application by throwing up a pay wall. Perhaps Ancestry will come to its senses before the Beta is offer and decide that making the application more attractive, to attract more users and thus generate more FaceBook advertising income is a better approach to monetising the application.

advertisements

While I briefly had another look at FamilyLink on FaceBook I was immediately reminded why I do not like this application at all; it is not enough for FamilyLink to make money of the advertisements that FaceBook shows alongside the application, FamilyLink additionally shows advertisements in the application itself. Mundia does not.

GEDCOM

Mundia’s most interesting feature is probably the Find People tab, which leads to other Mundia trees, but Mundia seems so squarely aimed at FamilyLink that I had to check for the one feature that FamilyLink so infamously lacks, only to discover that Mundia does not support GEDCOM either.

updates

2009-12-12 Hot Studio

The site design and tasteless colour combinations were apparently provided by Hot Studio, a company that makes JavaScript sites.

2009-12-13 Genea-Musings

Randy Seaver has started a series of blog posts about Mundia.com on his Genea-Musings site.

2009-12-14 YouTube Channel

The Mundia Team has a YouTube channel.

2009-12-15 GEDCOM

Mundia does not support GEDCOM (yet), but Mundia uses the same database as Ancestry.com Family Trees, which does provide limited GEDCOM support; the GEDCOM export does not support real GEDCOM, but produces illegal ANSI GEDCOM only.

2010-01-28 Mundia jobs

Yahoo! Hot Jobs lists jobs for a Social Networking Guru a.k.a. Product Manager: Ancestry.com and Community Manager: Ancestry.com for Mundia.com.

2010-02-11 GEDCOM support

Mundia has limited GEDCOM support now. There is no GEDCOM export, only import, and the option to import a GEDCOM is only offered when you log in for the first time.

2010-05-11 GEDCOM support

The blog post Summary of New and Enhanced Mundia Features enumerates post improvements, and mentions GEDCOM import once again - but Mundia still lacks GEDCOM export.

2010-05-11 Yahoo! Hot Jobs

The Yahoo! Hot Jobs listings are gone. The links have been removed.

2011-04-23 HotStudio

HotStudio seems to have deleted it blog plost about Ancestry and Mundia. The broken link has been removed.

2012-07-26 4 milliard

Mundia just passed 4 milliard profiles. A few seconds ago, their counter was at 4.034.894.712 profiles. Ancestry.com's Mundia continues to be in Beta, and is still offering all features of the premium membership for free.

links

Mundia

background

Genea-Musings