Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

I’ve Been Busy Lately

I was at the Wiki barn-raising, and I made some contributions, I have been organizing my family reunion this summer, so I decided to do this topic. While looking for links for that, I stumbled across a Family Website builder, FamilyLobby.com.

FamilyLobby.com is a MY SPACE company. It is secure and private. Your website won’t be on any search engines, in any directory, the only way for anyone to access your site is to know the address, have a link to it or be invited as a guest. Even if someone does stumble across it, they won’t be allowed to view the private pages without a log in. The Guest is invited by email and requires a Guest Password, which can and should be changed regularly. The guest can log in until the password is changed, or they are blocked. The Guestbook can be moderated. There are several permission levels:

Administrator
Can change any information on the site and update any member’s profile.

Regular member
Can post news, journals and photos.
Can view e-mail addresses and mailing addresses.
Can edit their own profile.

Regular member (+Edit child/spouse)
Can post news, journals and photos.
Can view e-mail addresses and mailing addresses
Can edit their own profile along with their spouse and children.

Restricted member
Can post news, journals and photos.
Cannot view e-mail addresses and mailing addresses.
Can edit their own profile.

Restricted member (View only) Cannot post news, journals, photos, comments, or any other information. Cannot view e-mail addresses and mailing addresses. Can vote.

They offer free family (or group) websites with a variety of themes. There is a limit in the free site of 30 members and 50 members on the family tree. There is also a storage limit of 100MB.

You can set a free site up in a couple of hours, and make the different sections public or private. I have the Homepage and News public, everything else requires a log in. There are some public pages also, a Public Forum, For Kids, and Online RSS. I added a couple of links to the For Kids, I’m going to add more when I come across them.

Since I have a large family, 51 members, the newest born yesterday, I had to get the upgrade. With the upgrade for less than $5 a month, I got unlimited members, unlimited family tree, 3 GB of storage, more customization options etc.

With the paid version, I was able to put a flash introduction on the site and optional header. I made a few custom pages which can have a totally different look than the website, and sections that have the website background and template, which all members can add to. I am going to make custom pages for the members who want them, also.

Now, back to the family website, I found some Google gadgets and put them on a special section for my family to use either on the page, or copy & paste the code into any box except the Guestbook, discussions and comments. Gadgets like games, Youtube players, MP3 players, clocks, MSN Messenger etc.

I sent out the first Monthly Newsletter the other day, you can add different sections to the Newsletter from the website, News, Photos, Recipes, etc. I sent them out to every family member with an email address in a mass mailing. It didn’t take long at all, about 30 minutes. You can send out Special Editions as well, in between, if needed, or send online messages to any or all members that will be available to read online in their in-box as well. If there are any new messages, you are notified by a new message with icon in the menu bar. There is a private chat room as well.

I will upgrade again, if I find we need more than 3GB of storage, with the upgrade we will be able to have our own domain name free, I have the option of buying a domain name now. We will also have unlimited storage.

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