Monday, May 12, 2008

A Great-Grandmother's Dream Come True

There is no denying that we live in a digital age. However, not all of the inhabitants of this earth are technologically inclined. Take, for example, my grandparents, and probably yours as well. My uncle provides them with state of the art phones, cameras and computers but my Grammy has never once sent an email. She still answers her phone by saying, 'Who is this?' instead of learning to program our numbers. Then as soon as I identify myself she demands to know why she hasn't seen recent photos of her only great-grandchildren.


You see, I spend a great deal of time putting photos online for all of my friends and family to see. Most of them love seeing the photos of Sam picking his nose even though we live hundreds of miles away. Every Sunday my mother visits my grandmother and she tells her all about the most recent pics I've emailed to her. An hour later I get an angry call demanding prints.

The other big complaint I get from friends and family is that I send too many pictures. As a precaution I back up all of my photos to an online source (in addition to an external hard drive. What can I say? I'm nuts.) That means that my second cousin Carrie from Ohio usually has to sift through 900 random photos to find the 6 or 7 cute ones.

Sound familiar? Guess what? I've found a solution!

It's called Kinzin. It's a new family photos sharing website that takes your privacy and your non-computer savvy family members seriously.

According to the site, Kinzin allows you to 'Keep tight control over who has access to this valuable personal content,' i.e. your kids images. Now I've never been shy about putting my kids' mugs online, but as they get older it's something I think about more and more. Kinzin makes it easy (both for you and the people you invite to share with) to keep things private. Plus the site is fun. If you already have your photos in a flickr account you can link the two services up to avoid additional uploading. You can caption each photo as you upload it, so it's almost like a virtual scrapbook. And? You can use your photos to actually create an actual scrapbook if that's your thing.

As as added bonus, if you use facebook you can make your kinzin page available to people already in your friend pool as well as us non-facebook users as well. I'm sure there is a better way to express that, but since I don't do the facebook thing I don't know the lingo. Sorry! If you are a facebook user definitely check it out.

But the thing that sells it best for me is the mail service. While membership to the site is free, for just $2.99 per month you can have the ten most recently uploaded photos shipped to three separate addresses. Every month! As in real, true photos in my Grammy's mailbox every month. I haven't received my first set of photos just yet, but I should get them tomorrow. There was, however, a little mix up where I received photos of kids I don't know, and I have to say the print quality looked awesome!

Overall I have really enjoyed my experiences with Kinzin and plan to continue using it. Don't believe me? Check out all of the Kinzin reviews over at the Parent Blogger's Network. I'm not the only one who's been singing their praises!

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