Here’s an interesting thing to think about: joining yet another social network in order to keep photos of your kids truly private. Would you do it? New site Rootsy sure hopes the idea holds some appeal. According to the developers, “Rootsy is a private place to share your family stories and connect with the people you care about most. Our site lets you: 1) build your family tree, so you can map out your family relationships and explore your heritage, and 2) share photos, videos and stories that your family will enjoy. Everything on Rootsy is private, so only your family can see what’s happening in the network.”
The Rootsy team says, “Before we decided to build Rootsy, we were frustrated by how difficult it was to stay in touch with our own families. When we looked to technology for a solution, we found that the vast majority of social sites overlooked family relationships and took important notions like privacy for granted. Tired of these frustrations, we set out to build an experience that was custom made for our needs and which would help us to better connect with our loved ones.”
But there are other sites that can already do what Rootsy is doing in terms of privacy without requiring Grandma to sign up for an account herself. There was a time when I kept a blog exclusively dedicated to the chronicling of my daughter’s first years on earth, and when my life started to change and I realized my marriage might be falling apart, I privatized it so that only family and a select few friends could see it. I ran the blog using Blogger and all anyone had to do was login with their email address in order to see all of my daughter’s photos, videos and such. It didn’t require those who wanted to just look to actually interact, the way a social network requires you to create your own profile and connections.
So what do you think? Does a site like Rootsy have enough value and mass appeal to change the way we use the Internet? Should more people make less information available to the greater public? Or is the beauty of the Internet that we’re all in this together?