I've been following a long thread regarding Missing photos for individual associations as well as missing tombstone photos, missing notes and stories, etc when one decides to publish. What I did was go to 'Publish' and it 'makes your book'. Then I went to "Review" to look at it before I would progress on to actual publication. YIKES! Most individual association photo never showed up including my own and there are hundreds of photos for individuals.
Also none of the tombstones for association with the 'virtual cemetery' show up. I would have thought that since we took the time to gather, photograph, search, travel, etc to gather these parts of our heritage, then they would be important enough to include in the final publication.
Then there are the stories, land transactions, battle stories and family history with is the important glue in making a family ancestory come alive.......welll, it's also missing.
I contacted and got a real person at My Heritage and asked if they ever read the 'FORUM' to see what members are asking about. People have been asking the same questions that I am raising for over two years. There reply is that they are aware of this problem and have been working on it. Hey, two years is a long time without resolution. This is the end product of years of hard work. They did say though that members need to contact them, just as I did so this is the clarion call...contact My Heritage and voice your concern. I choose to take the High Road and not lose my cool but be open to listening but also stressing that resolution is important for members. I still feel that My Heritage is a great program, it just has some issues that need attention. The new additions (WVR,Record Matching,etc) are great features.
I see that my colleague Arbel answered your original post a few days after you posted it, but it's been pushed down to the bottom by other replies. I mention this because I want anyone else reading this post to understand that we do monitor these forums and reply to the questions asked as soon as possible.
I think your particular question might be resolved if I explain how the system works. When you say you "Publish" and it makes your book I understand that it will help to know a little more about Family Tree Builder.
Publishing is the way you upload your family tree to your family site at MyHeritage so that your family members can view it. Publishing will never "make your book" (there is another feature that does and I'll explain in a minute) and there isn't a "Review" when you publish.
When you publish, the names, facts, notes, stories, geographical information, photos and all other data you entered are published to your family site. Once you publish, you have an online backup that you can use to restore your tree in Family Tree Builder in case anything happens to the file on your computer.
The one thing that isn't published is photos from the Virtual Cemetery. You are right in this aspect. This was a carefully weighed decision that was made after we received a LOT of feedback from users who were upset to see this information on their family sites.
I apologize if it is inconvenient for you not to have those photos published. I hope you will understand that we take this decision seriously and are trying to do what the majority of our users request.
As for the "making a book". This feature is called the "Book Report". It is located in the "Reports" menu in Family Tree Builder. If you edit your tree online, this feature is called the "Family Book" and can be under the Family tree tab under "Charts & Books".
The "Book Report" is a very nice feature that summarizes the people in your family tree, is centered around a specific person and describes that person's relations to each individual in the tree - direct and indirect. It includes the personal photos in the tree if you added any. If you had problems with the photos when creating a Book Report that is something we can investigate and try to fix.
We're very glad that you take the time to give us your important feedback. I hope my answer clarifies a few things for you.
Jean, I wanted to second (or third) your comment -- thank you for posting it!
I am also very concerned that so much information we put on the site will become inaccessible in time, defeating the purpose of all we are attempting to archive and spending *SO* much time as a family compiling! (My mother has started calling our project on this site her "legacy". Seriously! You know you have built a great product when people put this kind of faith in your service.) The point being, this is a lot of effort NOT to store data such as:
- NOTES and keywords for every single photo we have on the site (not just the ones in the family tree!), and optionally the comments on those photos as well.
- Each person's full profile and all the data that should be attributes of that profile.
These details need to be backed up by your service, and also available to users for export, or at least for printing a preformatted hardcopy of some kind (yay for PDF!).
I've been a member only briefly, and yet the first concern of everyone in my family has been: what will happen if the MyHeritage site ever went away? So far the best option we've been able to come up with is: running through our entire freakin' site and printing off every page, every photo, every profile. What an ominous prospect! Those of us building records for posterity need reassurance that we are investing our time wisely.
The book options the site provides are great, but they do not contain sufficient data. We need to know that the vast amount of info we've compiled can be printed, saved off of your system, backed up by us personally (as well as by your professional service), and that the data is flexible enough to be ported and shared. The GEDCOM tree files are a start, but they do not contain enough of the periphery information for the photos and personal bios, which tell the life stories of these people.
Giving us a way to export, backup, and import this additional data would take your service to the next level, and save us admins a lot of time negotiating with our families... time we could spend selling/talking up your product for you, rather than excusing its omissions. :)
Thank you for your excellent input. I'm glad to hear your mother appreciates the work you've done on your family history!
I would like to address your concerns. I'm going to start by stating the obvious for others who might view this post at a later date.
Most people at MyHeritage start here by building their family tree, either online or in Family Tree Builder.
When you build your tree you also get a family site, which lets you do some social things surrounding the tree, such as inviting family site members, who can comment on photos, tag people, send birthday and anniversary greetings to each other, upload photos and tag people in those photos, etc.
You also get birthday and anniversary notifications by email and there are some other features like a place to add family recipes and a virtual guestbook people can sign.
For the majority of MyHeritage users, most of the data that is added is added to the family tree. By a large margin. Data that is added to the family tree is saved and can be exported as a GEDCOM file. When you edit someone's profile and you add bios or stories or notes or facts, all those are saved automatically and can be exported as a GEDCOM.
You can export a GEDCOM and get the photos when you open it in Family Tree Builder. So even the photos are saved.
Each person's profile information is saved as facts in the tree. When you enter a bio and write someone's life story, it is saved in the tree and will be exported with the GEDCOM. In addition each individual you invite to become a family site member has a MyHeritage account and a MyHeritage profile, but the amount of information contained in this profile is pretty limited. It's basically just name, birth date, country, the person's other site memberships and a profile photo that is most times taken from the family tree (and therefore saved in the tree information anyway).
About notes, keywords and comments on photos added to the site (not only those added to the family tree) you are correct. We don't offer the option to backup and download that information. It's not so different from Facebook. When you download a photo from Facebook you can export tags, but you don't get all the peripheral information such as "likes" and comments, etc.
That being said, I can definitely understand your wish to keep this information. We'll consider this possibility for future improvements.
You wrote a great reply and I totally agree...the problem is that we are post our valid concerns to the Forum and those that matter, don't seem to read anything on the Forum.
We need to actually get through to someone at My Heritage...copy, paste and send our concerns. Considering that I spend approx 6 hours /day/night working on the project, it breaks my heart to think that all of the hard work is for naught.
The worst part is that they are not afraid to charge a credit card and therefore renew a flawed program..and no concern for notification of the membership when you click onto 'my site'. Instead of some lame articles enticing folks to write about family valentine dinners or some such drivel..they could use that space to level with the membership about the program and what they are working on fixing.
I did find that IF I go to a different facet of publication, I can pay a mere $50 /- and it includes an array of items that will be included in your publication. Several columns of check mark boxes showing what is NOT included in publication if its a Premium Membership but if you upgrade to the next 'what ever', then you will get these other items included.
Why did I need to ferret out this data. Why isn't it readily available? Heck, after a hundred here and a hundred there, pretty soon we are talking about real money. Watching the news while typing this and seeing that Israel shot out a convoy delivering some kind of lethal rockets...not in Syria but rather on the Hesbollah sp? side which is going to amp up discontent, etc. I said to my husband...'what if something goes awry and that big mainframe computer of My Heritage is knocked out.....is all of our data gone for good? Its downright scarey.
We need to send our data to a person that really counts and get as many people as we can to follow suit. Together, maybe we can make a difference. I too have thought of having to print off every note, photo, story, and on and on...Where would I begin??? It downright scares me to think of thousands of hours of work going down the cyber toilet!
I just want to clarify here for you that our servers are located in the US. Those servers are copied onto other servers (also in the US) so there is always a backup in case an individual server goes down.
In addition we offer external backup service for your family tree and photos for a very affordable monthly fee if you want to make extra sure you won't lose your tree.
We serve over 72 million members in countries around the world. Your data is not going to be lost because there is some unrest in Israel.
If you are interested in learning about the features you get when you buy a family site subscription, there are some FAQs that clearly state what you get:
1. There were a decision made that information stored in the Virtual Cemetery won't get published. I agree that there should be an option to choose to publish these (maybe to a different album), and I opened a feature request for this.
3. Can you make sure that the people you associate are "tagged" in the photos? To do this, go to your project, and when you go to the photo association page, click on "Add Face". Tag the person photos, save, and try to create the book again.
We know that the program is not perfect, and we do our best to make it better. Users like you, that help us by pointing what troubles them most, are of great help to us.
I totally agree with you. It is sad to see the lack of support. Priority support, that I pay for, does not exist. It also seems that there is no wish to develop the program and get rid of the bugs and threre are al lot of them.