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My family is far-flung, partially because Ted & I decided to move to Seattle 10 years ago.  We've got relatives on both coasts, and some who travel internationally on occasion.  There's no way we'll all be together for Christmas, but we can stay on top of each others' daily tribulations and triumphs online.

Having a private online space for your family to gather is a great way to stay connected when you're physically far apart.

Why start a family community?greatgreatgrandma
  • Free options - no-one has to fork out cash to run the community. There are free options out there (and if you want free with no ads, check out our own
  • Not time-zone dependent - I'm always wanting to call my parents at 10pm their time. An online community allows you to share news or pictures whenever the mood strikes you.
  • Share photos and videos easily - even technophobes can click a link to see pictures, videos, or audio files. My parents even print hard copies from my site to show to my grandmother.
  • Help remembering birthdays and occasions - I know you remember every birthday, right? An online community can give you notifications that jog your perfect memory.
  • Something to talk about at next real-life gathering - sometimes when you get together for real, it's like a cocktail party, ", how have you been?" If you've been connected via your online community, it's more like, "that picture of Joey pulling down the Christmas tree made me snort milk through my nose."
  • Privacy - yes, even your Aunt Lucy is on Facebook now, but in your own private community, your movements are not being tracked, you can be sure that Aunt Lucy won't accidentally tell your work colleagues that your childhood nickname was Skippy, and that photo your brother tagged of you in the bathtub won't show up in an ad for Need I say more?
  • Support each other any time - your family is your first real social network; if you're connected online, you can help each other through the tough times, celebrate together, and commiserate whenever you need support. 
  • Instant historical record - I love to go back and peruse old forum topics and online photos from our family; no-one has time to make a fancy cut-and-paste scrapbook, but the online record creates itself. I still have the forum thread where everyone was congratulating us on the birth of our first son.
So even if you can't be physically together for the holidays, why not try pulling your family together in cyberspace?  No TSA patdowns necessary.


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.


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  • greatgreatgrandma: Great Great Grandma

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