I have been looking for a better way to share news, photos and family history stories with my family. Most major social networks are more interested in selling our personal information for commercial and political gain. There’s little privacy and expressing your opinion can generate a terrifying response. What’s a person to do?
That’s where Famicity comes in. They describe themselves as a “private social network designed to protect, share and continue your family’s legacy.” It is that – and more! You can post photos, build albums, post videos and stories. You can access Famicity using your web browser or using the free mobile apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets. All the content you post in Famicity is encrypted and stored on their servers.
Tap the “hamburger” icon (the three green horizontal lines) at the top left of the Famicity screen to display the menu you see here on the left. You are looking at the News screen where the most recently posted content appears at the top of my timeline. As you scroll down the screen, you go futher back in the timeline. Note that the photos shown here show who posted this item and when. When posting a photo, once it has been added to an album you can tap the photo to display an overlay making it possible to add a description and date for that photo. In the example above, the photo on the left was edited to include the date but the photo on the right was not so the current date was automatically displayed.
When viewing an album, you’ll see a panel similar to the one shown here. In the column on the right you see the title and description of this album along with icons to Like, Comment or Tag the photos in this album. You can also use the comment box at the bottom of the panel to ask questions or share thoughts. Each comment is displayed in date order in this panel.
Tags are used to identify the people included in your album or story. If you are creating a story describing a vacation or holiday get-together, you can tag everyone present at this event. Use the Tag icon in the album, story or photo to set your tags.
Inviting family and friends to your Famicity network is quite easy. All you do is enter the email address of the family member you want to invite. There is also a place to include a message to add to your invitation. You can use this to add friends as well. Sometimes you will want to limit access to specific content to just your family or a specific set of friends. Famicity supports organizing your network into groups. This, combined with Famicity’s permissions feature, makes it easier to define who can see what within your network. There are two permissions – “Share with” or “Do not share”. You add who can and can’t see that item. By using groups, you can assign one group to share an entry rather than having to list each member by name. There’s no limit to the number of groups you create. You may want a group for the family historians and another for the Georgia cousins. It’s up to you.
The Inbox component makes it possible to send private messages to individuals within your Famicity network. Messages can be addressed to one or more individuals or to a specific group.
Famicity also has a family tree component. You can build your tree on Famicity or import it via GEDCOM if you already have one. While your family may not take to the tree at first, the stories, photos and ephemera posted to the network might just inspire them to see how they “fit” into the their family’s history. When you create a story or album in Famicity, add tags to identify who all are part of the event or photo. When you tap on an individual in the family tree, then select the option to see their story, Famicity will display a timeline for that person including every story and album where they have been tagged.
Famicity is a delight to use. Right now I am collecting stories, albums and ephemera telling our family’s history – recent and historic. Once I have a nice collection to capture their attention, I will start inviting the family. This will give us all opportunities to share the many wonderful family events, vacations and precious moments unique to our family without having to wade through the trash, trivia and advertisements found on most social networks.
Life is good!
To learn more and get started building your own network, visit Famicity at https://www.famicity.com.