We have the following email from Dr Nick Barratt about a new website to ‘Manage Your Family’s Legacy Online’
Subject: Famicity – Manage Your Family’s Legacy Online
(To the) Chair, Sheffield & District Family History Society:
For many years I’ve felt there has been something missing in the genealogy industry. I’ve written and spoken about how we might link family history research into the past together with our own personal archives today, alongside the stories we are currently creating each and every day. In many ways, these will be our true legacy to our children, grandchildren and future generations.
I tried to find a solution in 2007 with my Memorybank project, but the technology was not sufficiently advanced – those were the days before the rise of social media! However, there’s now a platform that’s been developed with personal archiving and family history needs in mind. Famicity has designed a ‘legacy centre’ for families, and is the resource I’ve been hoping someone would build over the last ten years since Memorybank. I believe that this will become a core tool that will help family history society members to curate their personal archives for their descendants – in line with the talks I’ve given to many societies about ‘the future of family history’ since I first started working on Who Do You Think You Are back in 2003.
Famicity is a social network designed to protect, manage, and continue your family’s legacy. While our family members might be on Facebook, it’s not a private, ad-free environment where the focus is family. Famicity is a clean social network where you can upload and share:
• your family tree GEDCOM
• old family photos (free). Videos, audio and documents (subscription)
• new photos (free) and videos, audio and documents (subscription) of the latest family events
• messages and stories
You can even create subgroups within your family network so family members can participate as they wish, and sensitive information can be controlled. These groups are also great for sharing daily research activities and results; and you can opt to share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you wish.
Your FHS members can start by creating their own Famicity account at www.famicity.com.
CEO and Co-Founder Guillaume Languereau explained how Famicity started with his grandfather, Lucien, who had taken the time to painstakingly research Guillaume’s mother’s side of the family. Lucien shared the research by printing four copies of a book, one for each grandchild. Guillaume LOVED it, but he was concerned about the book getting lost or destroyed. He also wanted to be able to add to it, and share his thoughts and feelings both now, and in the future, but not necessarily on Facebook. This is how Famicity sprang to life.
The website and app resonates with all ages, and is a great way to involve younger generations with our work who – sadly for us! – often aren’t as excited about family history as we are. However, they are very skilled at using social media platforms, even if they don’t like having pictures of grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles plastered all over their Facebook wall. We need a way for young people to be able to share with older relatives who are yearning for contact, and I think that Famicity offers that private space away from their social media friends, where they can freely share photos and comments. Famicity is also the perfect vehicle for sharing family history in a way that they can understand and appreciate. It’s a bit like having pictures around the house, but in digital format, constantly reminding them of the care and importance that goes into preserving family history.
Ever since I first became involved with genealogy, I’ve been careful to remain ‘brand neutral’ – working equally with all dataset providers so I can give a critical view of what I see. However, having spent some time exploring Famicity – and especially since I’ve taken up a position at the University of Nottingham as an associate professor of public history, with a duty to promote ways we can bring the past to life – I firmly believe that this is an important tool that we should all be using, and I’m happy to do what I can to help support this free basic service, and help it grow.
Based on the exciting response they received at the Innovator Showdown at Rootstech 2016, and their support from organizations such as FamilySearch, Famicity launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on January 30, 2017. Kickstarter offers genealogists a way to become early adopters of Famicity, and help fund and support its growth. There is more information about the Kickstarter on Famicity’s Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/events/599221416951726/.
Famicity is an amazing resource – a great way to archive your life and keep precious memories, photos and multimedia content safe for future generations. However I believe it’s far more than a digital shoebox for the 21st century as you can actively build a legacy that grows as your family does. This is why I’m pleased to be able to support Famicity and share it with you and your members.
If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them or put you in touch with the right person at Famicity who can do so.
Prof Nick Barratt
Hon. Associate Professor, Public History
University of Nottingham
Visit the Famicity website at www.famicity.com