Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tech Buzz on FamilyLeaf: Social Networking for Families

The online tech world is abuzz with a new family oriented social networking site called FamilyLeaf. The site describes itself as
Stay up to date with your loved ones.
Be current with birthdays, new phone numbers, where everyone is living, and much more.
Easily share photos (from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and more) with just your family in a few clicks.
As stated in TechCrunch
FamilyLeaf was created by childhood friends Wesley Zhao and Ajay Mehta... it was borne out of a desire to have an easy-to-use online space for you and your relations that address some key “misuse” of sites like Facebook — something they say became especially apparent to the two of them after they left for college... In their view, Facebook doesn’t make it that easy for families to have a private network, and it’s not very straightforward to create silos to share things with some people (like your friends) but not others (like your family). On top of that, there are many who refuse to join Facebook because of wider Facebook/privacy concerns...
 As noted in the article there are other sites already in operation, including,,  and, but unlike these sites, FamilyLeaf is free (for now) and very easy to use.

But isn't it is just one more thing, if you are already going on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter and whatever? But if you all decided to use it, it might work. Here is a little more description from TechCrunch,
Once you activate a FamilyLeaf network, you can use it as a kind of private, centralized digital locker: you can share contact information, photos, and post messages to your family. And while you can do all that through the site’s homepage, you can also, more simply, update the page by sending to an email address (the site links it up automatically based on the email address). Mehta tells me that email uploading was key to developing the site because they found that this is how many families share photos and other information already these days.
Photos currently can come from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Picasa, or from a user’s hard drive by way of Chute. A family administrator controls each group, and users can be a part of more than one family.
Anyone want to try it and report back? I will comment if I hear anything more about the site. But will it do the dishes?


  1. I am surprised by the 'buzz' since has been doing this for years and years. They are huge in this and the family social network goes hand-in-hand with your family tree. Beginning level is free too.

    I agree with your comment about 'just one more place'. I hope they have super security like MyHeritage does.

    Onward To Our Past

  2. Hi James and Scott! This is Wesley, one of the co-founders of FamilyLeaf.

    We are super secure :). But we just don't think that the a) existing big social networks, b) the family tree sites, or c) the quasi-family social networks that currently exist work right now.

    A) None of those have a good enough reputation (or work well enough) in regards to privacy. Facebook is meant for friends. Family use it sometimes because there is no other tool, and it makes a lot of people (like myself) uncomfortable to use it as it was once meant to be used.

    B) Family tree's and genealogy data is cool, but not what we are focusing on. Genealogy tools help you go viral, but don't result in a lot of retention. It gives Moms and Dads something to do on their time off but it doesn't really engage the people they care about i.e. kids and grandkids.

    C) Along the same. You can get as many moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandpas using it, but they really love connecting with their kids/grandkids. That cross-generational gab is huge. We understand that and we know how to make it work for kids our age. We also understand how to make something so simple that anyone of any age will love using it. At least we'll try to!

    I'd be happy to share more or answer anything else. Try me at