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.

Famicity101.png
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.

Famicity102.png

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.

Goodbye Facebook

It’s time to say goodbye to Facebook. Here are a few reasons why:

Fortunately there is an impressive alternative to Facebook . . . a social network that respects your privacy while giving you a broad range of useful features. At https://mewe.com you will find all the whistles and bells that make it easy to connect and collaborate with family, friends and a growing number of organizations.

MeWe301.png
MeWe user home screen

Here you see my home screen. In addition to my timeline of posts you can see my photostream on the right. These aren’t all my photos. They include photos from the people who have posted to my timeline. On the left, the Chats box lists people I have connected with so I can easily start a conversation with them. In addition to adding comments to a post, MeWe supports text, voice and even video chatting. When viewing MeWe in a web browser on your desktop computer, you may not have the tools (webcam, speakers and mic) to take advantage of these features. No problem! MeWe also has free apps for iOS and Android devices (phones and tablets) so you can chat any which way you want.

When I first created my MeWe account, I was wandering around the site when all the sudden I heard my cousin’s voice talking to me. Whoa! Next thing I knew she had turned on her camera and we were enjoying a video conversation. If you think Facetime is easy, you haven’t seen MeWe at work.

MeWe302.png
Sample MeWe group screen

MeWe supports groups, pages and even events. Groups are quite impressive. A group can be open – anyone can join, selective – must be approved by the owner or administrator, or private – by invitation only. Group settings include things like group description, membership permissions, notifications, preferences and group chats.

MeWe supports hashtags for organizing content. You can see the tag list in the right column of the group screen above. Use the hash mark (#) before a word in the content of a post and MeWe will add that hashtag to your #Tags box in the sidebar. Group members just tap a hashtag in the #Tags box and all posts with that tag will be displayed in their timeline. Each group offers features for saving photos, videos and files within the group. It also supports online events. These features are a dream-come-true for genealogical societies and other associations wanting to provide online activities. Using the group chat feature, societies can provide one-on-one support or take advantage of these features for online-only special interest groups.

By now I’m sure you are wondering how MeWe can afford to make all this available to us at no cost. Well, it’s not totally free. In the top right corner of the screen above you will find the MeWe Store. Here you can purchase emoji packages for a whopping $.99 per package. There’s also a Secret Chat feature available for mobile devices providing secure, encrypted chats with other MeWe users. Every member gets 8GB of file storage for free. If you need more space, it can be purchased through the MeWe Store. If you want to create a page to promote your business, society or whatever, it will cost you $2.99/month.

It may have a funny name, but it won’t take long before you realize what an amazing service MeWe.com offers its users. Once you create your account, stop by and say hi at https://mewe.com/p/moultriecreekgazette.  See you soon!

MeWe304.png
The Moultrie Creek Gazette page at MeWe.com

Make the Move to MeWe

MeWe201

MeWe is a relatively new social network and the first one built with privacy by design for its members. The MeWe network has no advertising and no tracking. It is free for members with features that includes text, voice and video messaging and even encrypted chats. MeWe supports both private and open groups. While the network basics are open to all members at no cost, there are optional features that do require payment. For example, all members have 8GB of storage for photos, videos and files at no charge. If you want more space, you can add it for a small monthly fee. Other “premium” features include encrypted chat and an emoji store.

You can access MeWe in your web browser at https://mewe.com. The view above shows the home page for a MeWe member. From the home page, you can participate in online chats, groups and events. There is also a page called MyCloud displaying all the photos, videos, files and posts you share in your account. Not only can you post photos, you can create albums to keep them organized.

MeWe supports mobile devices too. Check your app store for the free MeWe apps – for both phones and tablets. If you connect your address book to MeWe, the app will tell you if any of your contacts are also MeWe members, making it easier to find family and friends. Within an hour of installing the app on my iPhone and connecting my address book, my cousin – and fellow genealogist – sent me a contact request. Within seconds of accepting her request, she was calling me for a video chat via MeWe.

MeWe202

It’s not just timelines and chats either. MeWe supports groups and events too. Groups can be Private, Selective or Open. As you see here, the Storytellers Studio group has been moved from Facebook to MeWe.

Notice the group chat box to the lower right of the screenshot. While you can chat from just about anywhere in MeWe, the Group Chat is set up just for members of the group. Using Group Chat, you can schedule chats on specific topics and even invite speakers to join the chat. Photos and files can be posted in a chat  . . . (Do I see the possibility of a presentation here?) . . . and it also supports voice chats . . . (Even better!)

MeWe is just the thing the genealogy community needs – a protected place for networking, sharing resources, discussions and more. Take a look at WeMe (https://weme.com) and see if you don’t find it delightful alternative to Facebook.

MeWe – The Next-Gen Social Network

Facebook’s days of telling us to ignore that man behind the curtain are over. It’s obvious that our privacy means nothing in their world. Fortunately we have options. One of them is a delightful social network called MeWe. Their privacy policy is short and to the point:

Your personal privacy and the privacy of your data is paramount to us at MeWe. We have prepared this Privacy Policy to clearly explain how we protect you and your data at MeWe.

With MeWe, your content is yours. You won’t find tracking cookies collecting information about us or how we use the MeWe network. As you can see here, your account isn’t bombarded with advertisements either.

MeWe101.png

How do they do it? They offer a “freemium” service. You can get started at no cost. Each user has 8GB of free storage for posting photos, documents, videos and other files. If you need more space, you will be charged a monthly fee based on the amount of storage you select. There are other premium features you can choose to use – or not. For example, you can purchase additional emoji collections or add an extra layer of security for one-on-one chats with Secret Chat encryption.

MeWeCloud106.png

The My Cloud section is fascinating. It displays all my posts, photos, videos and voice messages. From here I can select any item to download, share or delete. In the left sidebar is a panel showing how much space I’ve used and how much is available. If I need more space, I just click the button to purchase it.

I just had a very pleasant video chat with a cousin via MeWe. She has been a member for a while and once I had given MeWe permission to share my contacts, I popped up in her My Chats panel. They only display your contacts to people who are MeWe users so, for now, it’s just the two of us. I have connected to several other users since creating my account and they also show up in My Chats.

screenshot_220.png

Groups are impressive yet easy to navigate. The group’s timeline is front and center. Each post has an area for comments – which can include photos, links and files. MeWe uses hashtags (a keyword prefaced with a hash mark) to make searching even easier. Use the Group Chat box in the right sidebar to start a discussion and the Events calendar to organize online events for the group.

I have moved the Storytellers Studio group to MeWe and have found it delightful. It’s easy to navigate, has a Files library where I can post PDF user guides and provides not just commenting, but one-on-one chats and even group chats. They have announced an upcoming video option which will make it possible to present demonstrations and other fun goodies.

If you are looking for creative ways to share your family history, join us here and at the Storytellers Studio group on MeWe.

 

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.

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 your network.

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. One of the primary uses for groups is to batch assign permissions and such for members.

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 provides an easy way to manage groups and invitations as well as contact information.

At first Famicity may look a bit too simplistic, but as you and your family begins adding photos, stories, videos and notes, you will soon see how beautiful simplicity can be. Even better, you can share these special moments without worrying about stalkers, advertisers and bots stealing your personal information. With Famicity, family really is a beautiful thing!