Famicity Closing

It’s a sad day. The content of our family’s Famicity network was delivered to my inbox this morning. Famicity is shutting down. It has been a delightful family network for our family – a network designed to support all members of the family – young and old.

Famicity page

We used Famicity to share special events like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations with family members all across the country. It was also a digital scrapbook where we could share family stories, photos and other ephemera related to ancestors so younger members could discover more about their family history.

Famicity posts

We will miss Famicity. Yes, there are other social networks but none of them have protected our privacy like Famicity did. I would love to see someone take on Famicity in a way that families can afford and the platform can support itself. These features along with privacy protection are worth paying for.

Famicity – A Beautiful Family Network

Famicity is many things. It’s part scrapbook, part photo album, part social network and all about family. Famicity gives you a private network to keep in touch with your family wherever they are. Once you create your Famicity account, you can invite family members – near and far – to share news, stories, photos and even videos.

The network owner controls who will have access to the site and can set permissions on an item by item basis. For example, there may be photos or stories not appropriate for younger members. Those items would be assigned to a group just for older members.

Tell stories, share special events, post news and build photo albums in Famicity.

As you can see in this example, the “news feed” will support any number of purposes. Notice the Tag item included on each story. This makes it possible to build an index of the items posted to your Famicity network. There’s room to “like” and comment on each item too.

One of the many things I love about this network is how beautifully layed out the site is. Everything in the timeline is displayed showing who sent the post and when along with titles, tags and captions. Yes, you can include videos in your timeline. If you have videos on YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion, all you need is to copy the link to the video and paste it into your story. Once the story is published, the video will be available on your timeline. You can add as many videos as you like using these three platforms.


You can do very well with the free Famicity option. If you want to post your own high-def (HD) videos and photos, you can take advantage of the Famicity Premium subscription. It costs $4.99/month and gives you 50GB of storage to share those photos and videos along with access to Famicity’s dedicated technical support.

Put your creative juices to work to include a bit of family history here and there. Share artifacts like the portrait you see here. When your family research discovers an interesting story about an ancestor, share it along with a photo. You’ll be surprised how much your family will enjoy them.

In addition to access via web browser, Famicity also offers free mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. To get started, visit https://www.famicity.com to learn more and create your account.

Famicity – A Scrapbook for the 21st Century

Famicity is described as a private social network designed for families. It is that, but it is also a beautiful way to build a scrapbook of your family’s history – current, near past and distant past. Those of us researching our family history have collected all kinds of photos, ephemera and stories about our ancestors. Famicity offers a beautiful platform to show off all those wonderful things along with their stories.

Famicity Screen

In this view, I’ve posted individual photos from my family collection. Each photo has fields to include date, place and description. The description can be a simple caption or a story. You can also add tags to each entry. These tags can be useful to quickly display all photos and stories associated with a particular tag. You can tag a person, a place, an event or whatever keyword will help you organize the elements you post at Famicity.

Each item you include in Famicity can be assigned permissions. This makes it possible to include friends as visitors but limit their access to certain entries. It could also be used to limit the younger family members access to photos or stories that aren’t appropriate for their age. As the owner/manager of your Famicity network, you control who has access and what they have access to. The Tree element also serves as the “profile” for each member. As the site manager, you can also organize individuals into groups. Groups are useful for quickly assigning permissions or sending messages to a certain group.

Albums and video in Famicity

I love the albums component. It’s the perfect place to celebrate an event, vacation or family collection – both past and present. You can tag and comment on the album and on individual photos within the album. You can also include captions to each photo.

Don’t ignore the video element either. Capture and share those special moments like a baby’s first steps. You can share videos from platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, but that means the video is still visible to the world. When you are posting a “private” video – one you don’t want to share with the world – you can post the video file directly on Famicity. You would need the Famicity Premium account ($4.99/month) which includes 50GB of storage with 1GB for each member.

In addition to photos, videos, ephemera and stories, Famicity also includes a private messaging space where members can communicate with each other. Using the Inbox, only the people in the conversation will have access to those messages. Each person has a profile page which also serves as an address book for members. The profile information on each member includes email address, birthdate and a photo. Famicity is set up to send birthday reminders to Famicity members using the profile information. Send your birthday greetings as a private message or as a graphic birthday “card” on the Famicity timeline where members can share their greetings with everyone using the comment element for that card.

There’s a lot more Famicity goodness just waiting for you and your family to enjoy. One very nice feature is its cost – nothing! To learn more and get started on your own Famicity network, visit them at https://Famicity.com.

Famicity – Getting Started

Famicity is a private social network designed for families. It’s designed to provide a safe way to share news, photos and videos. It’s also a great place to stay connected in a secure environment that won’t sell your information to the highest bidder.

How do you get started with Famicity? Actually, it’s quite easy.

Go to Famicity at https://www.famicity.com/en/welcome. Take a few minutes to get a feel for the site. When you are ready, click the Sign up button in the upper right side of the screen. When the sign-up screen opens you will see several registration options. You can register using your Facebook login (not recommended), your FamilySearch login or create your own with your email address and a password. Before pressing the Start key, it’s a good idea to review the site’s terms of service.

Once you click the Create Account button, you will be taken to a page where you enter your name, sex and date of birth. Once that’s done, you are ready to start building your family tree and trying out the various components of Famicity.

Sample Famicity screen

You won’t have any stories or photos yet, but it won’t be long before you’re adding photo albums, videos and stories. Right now, you need to check out the toolbar running down the left side of the Famicity screen. The News button at the top of the bar displays your Famicity site’s timeline. As you invite others to join Famicity, this is the place to view all the latest posts to the network.

Story area

The Story button takes you to your profile screen. It contains information about you along with each of the items you have added to the site. This could include photos, videos, photo albums and stories. The name “stories” is a bit misleading. While writing stories about yourself and others are always encouraged, stories will often include short captions, announcements and news. You choose what your stories will be.

Albums are just that . . . A place to display multiple photos associated with a particular event or topic.

Famicity also includes a family Tree. You can either build it from scratch or import a GEDCOM. The tree is used to show your Famicity members how they fit within the family structure but it is also used to invite family members to join your Famicity group. The birthdate information maintained in your family tree is also used to automatically announce birthdays in Famicity’s News section.

The Inbox makes it possible to communicate with your family members via private message.

Contacts is the directory of members. This can be used by members to contact each other. It is also used by administrators to send family members an invitation to join Famicity and it is used to organize members into groups – like the Florida group and the California group.

The My family section contains a directory for all the members of your Famicity family. The directory can be used by members to find contact information. For network administrators, it is a great way to manage groups and invitations as well as contact information.

Before you start inviting your family to join you at Famicity, post photos, videos and even a story or two. This will help you get a feel for how things work in Famicity and it will give your family something fascinating to look at when they first view the site. The Help button in the toolbar takes you to the Famicity help center where you will find detailed instructions on how to use the many features available.

Once you are comfortable with the site it’s time to start adding others. As they get comfortable with Famicity, start encouraging them to add their own photos and stories. You’ll be surprised how quickly they will settle in.

Safe Social Networks

Recently we learned that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytics to access the personal information of 50 million users to be used for political purposes.

While Facebook is a great platform for news and “public” resources (genealogy network groups, apps, archives and resource pages along with other research pages and groups), it’s not a safe place to share personal information. Even something as innocuous as celebrating a birthday can turn into identity theft. Fortunately there are safer alternatives for sharing news, photos and other information.

A note posted in my MeWe timeline using the iPhone app.

First on the list is the MeWe social network (https://mewe.com). With MeWe you own your content and you control how you interact with other members and what level of privacy you want to maintain.

MeWe supports timelines, private chatting and groups. Safely share photos, videos, documents, voice messages and more. You can access MeWe using your desktop browser, smart phone or tablet (iOS and Android).

With MeWe you can create private groups for family and friends as well as topic groups. When a post is shared to a group only members of that group will see it. This means you can safely post your travel photos to your family and friends while on the road – something you would never do on Facebook.

Want to learn more? Get the details at https://MeWe.com/faq.

Another interesting option is Famicity – a family-based network with a focus on privacy. It has a look and feel that seems more like a scrapbook than a social network. This platform is focused on family – present and past. You can create and share photo albums, stories, videos, news and scanned ephemera. There is a family tree component which shows how you are related to others and serves as an index to view the entries related to that person.

With Famicity you control who can see that content. The social side kicks in when family and friends add their comments, photos and stories.

Famicity is free to use and your content will never be shared with a third party. They are planning to add “premium” features which will cost you to use. Learn more at https://www.famicity.com.

A sample post in Posthaven

Although it isn’t a social network, the Posthaven blog platform is a great way to share news, photos, birthdays, special events and more. There are a number of features that make Posthaven a great family tool. The primary goal of Posthaven’s developers is to create a service which will be there for the long run. In order to do this, it will cost you to use Posthaven, but the cost is minimal. For $5.00 a month, you can create up to ten blogs. Even if you quit paying, your existing content will remain on your site (unless you decide to remove it). Posthaven supports both public and private blogs.

In the Posthaven world there are three types of users – publishers, subscribers and visitors. Publishers post content on the site. This includes photos and videos. Publishing is as easy as sending an email message. Every Posthaven blog has a unique address. Publishers create an email message and send it to the blog’s address. The subject of the email becomes the title of the post and the message becomes the content. Photos, links and videos can be included in the email to be published with the text content. On public blogs, any visitor will see your content, but on private blogs a password is needed to see the post. Each post has a comment form making it possible to start a conversation online.

Subscribers have posts delivered to them via email. They will receive all the content included in the post. They can even add comments just by replying to the message/post with their notes. This subscriber service is especially useful for family members who have trouble remembering passwords.

To learn more about Posthaven, visit the site at https://posthaven.com/.