Please recommend a website to preserve private family memories.
April 2, 2018 1:12 PM   Subscribe

My children are scattered. But we all love each other and want to stay in touch. I would like to find a good private family social website, preferably free, where we can all post photos, videos, recipes, thoughts, quotes, jokes, calendar items, share a youtube link, etc. Accessible via computer and android phone or tablet. To be clear, I don't want a photo (only) sharing website. But one where we can share all kinds of media among family member only.

I know there are many invitation-only websites for what I seek: Famicity, Zalongo, Cluster, Familybelle, Story of My Life, Everyme, etc. But I can't find any website that compares them. Yes, I can try them all, and probably will, but I also want to turn to the mefite hive mind. Do you have good or bad experience with any of these websites or any others? Can you recommend a good private website, easy to use, free or very cheap?
Thank you!
posted by luvmywife to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If I ever get my act together, I will install a full MediaWiki on a shared web host and turn all the siblings and young'uns loose on it.

I hesitate in the mean time, though, because some of those sites claim ownership or license to stuff you upload, and that gives me the creeps. :7(
posted by wenestvedt at 1:29 PM on April 2, 2018

I haven't tried this but might work for you.
posted by WizKid at 1:50 PM on April 2, 2018

The thing is if you're not paying for it you're generally what's being sold. So you're probably going to have to pay for *something*.

Perhaps a self managed and hosted Discourse server?

posted by iamabot at 1:57 PM on April 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

What about Slack?
posted by tapir-whorf at 2:07 PM on April 2, 2018 [13 favorites]

A Wordpress site on a $5 or $10 a month hosting account? There has got to be some pre-made WP themes for a shared family memories website.
posted by COD at 2:12 PM on April 2, 2018

You could create a Google Account for the family, create a Google Site for sharing family stuff, and set the Site's share settings so that only family members can view it. Either have them send the materials to the account owner to upload to the site, or share the login with them. Cost: free...but Google, in case you care about that.
posted by Lunaloon at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I mean...a closed group in Facebook would do this. Very easily, pretty much universally accessible, super easy to upload pictures, video, links, etc.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:03 PM on April 2, 2018 [10 favorites]

Agreed that a closed facebook group would be a really easy way to do this, though I realize a lot of people don’t like to use fb for very good reasons.
posted by insectosaurus at 3:52 PM on April 2, 2018

Evernote could definitely fit the bill.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 4:24 PM on April 2, 2018

Seconding that I think Slack is almost exactly what you're looking for. It reads like a messaging/chat app/website, but enables everything that you're wanting to do and is dead simple.
posted by General Malaise at 4:47 PM on April 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nextcloud might fit your needs. Note that only with "free as in price" are you the product. Nextcloud is free as in speech so you can host your own instance if you want or just pay someone else to do it for you.
posted by Poldo at 5:15 PM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

The thing about Slack is that you have to pay to keep your stuff.
The simplest thing might be to set up a google drive folder that you can all drop things into and shared documents to type in.
posted by bleep at 6:06 PM on April 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

Seconding bleep on Slack and payment - after you've generated 10,000 messages, you can't retrieve older messages without a payment plan, and it's a monthly/yearly *per active user* charge, so for an example immediate family of four members, you're looking at ~$30/month. If your family is larger, the price goes up.

(I'm watching this thread to see what gets recommended, as I know nothing about the sites you've listed, but even though I agree that you're likely to have to pay someone somewhere something ongoing for what you want, I think that a cheaper option like a private Wordpress site might fit your needs better than Slack, even though I love Slack and it's what my husband and I use for our related needs.)
posted by Pandora Kouti at 6:07 AM on April 3, 2018

Discord is similar to Slack but AFAIK it's free. Checking their premium-account advertising, it doesn't look as if any of the differences are about server hosting, just stuff like "extra custom emotes" and such which.... presumably aren't a high priority here.
posted by inconstant at 6:34 AM on April 3, 2018

My family has had a good experience with Storyworth. You can get emailed interesting question prompts. Their support is also good. I think my sister originally gave a subscription to my dad as a gift. Participation has trailed off over the months, and some family members have never contributed but overall I've been impressed with it.
posted by Pademelon at 7:01 AM on April 3, 2018

Response by poster: I am the OP. Thanks for all the suggestions!
After careful review of each, we have chosen to go either with Zalonga or Facebook Messenger. Each has its pros and cons. . . .
posted by luvmywife at 3:18 PM on April 3, 2018

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