There’s been a lot of chatter on the blogosphere lately about how (and I’m paraphrasing here) old people suck. This is, of course, not true. But I do think it’s much more difficult to convince someone with a full-time job, a husband/wife, 2.4 kids, and a 5 page honey-do list to spend 30 mins a day checking their MySpace profile to see if some hottie is loling at their shared YouTube video featuring 14-year-old Yakasoto Lin lip synching to “Who Let the Dogs Out“.
Yet, when I look at my own family, it seems like there is one aspect of the Internet that non-techies are latching onto – the ability to stay in touch with family members. This is one reason that I thought Geni was a great idea when it launched. In fact, TC is reporting today that Geni is up to 5M
users profiles (approx 100K users – thanks James!) and has a $100M valuation. In five months. Not too shabby.
Today’s idea is gonna be a threefer. It’s not a unique idea, but one that takes aspects from three successful sites and ties them together. The idea is a locked-down social networking site (ala Facebook) that allows you to define a family network (ala Geni) and send out messages/files/family invites to individual family members or select groups (ala Pownce). Users would start by entering in their family tree (or importing directly from Geni). Each family would appoint a “Head of Household” who would perform admin activities like validating new users who claim to be part of that family. Users could send or receive messages, but only to/from other users in the family. This would be a great way to get the younger generation involved in a safe social network without the FOM (fear of MySpace) many parents currently have (or should have if they don’t).
Another interesting feature would be to take a cue from my boy Kevin Rose’s new Pownce service and allow users to choose how they plan to distribute their messages. For instance, you could send out to a message specifically to your Grandma Parkerson, a graduation annoucement to your entire family, or share the latest Kanye West single with your whole Auntie Team.
What do y’all think about this one? I’m on the fence, could be interesting, could be just another lame social networking site that never gains any traction. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.