The massive scale of social networks like Facebook and Google+ is really astonishing in many ways. The idea that half a billion people can sign up to a single service and exchange phone numbers is, frankly, astonishing. But it can also be quite unnerving to some folk, and even intimidating to those who prefer a slightly more quiet life.
Family Leaf is a clear attempt to cater for those people who prefer intimate locations. The new online service is a Web repository for family matters, you know the sort of thing, birthdays, photos, contact details, chat etc. The idea is you don’t really need all the extra stuff you get on Facebook, all you really need is a way to stay in touch with Great Aunt Maude in Tanzania, and swap the occasional photo at birthday or Christmas times.
The interface of the service is fairly clean, although I found it hard not to compare it with the massive Geni service and wonder what advantage this one had? The great thing about Geni is it offers all the standard contact info and shared photos and stuff, but also throws in powerful family tree functionality, which is a huge crowd puller when it comes to getting remote family members to sign up.
Everyone wants to see where they are on the tree, and who their famous cousins might be. I’m not trying to do Family Leaf down, but in a straight shoot-out between the two, I’d be hard pressed to say why I’d use it instead of Geni, especially since Geni has developed into such a deep product after all these years.
Anyway, if you’re in the mood to grab a nice corner of the Web and make it a part of your family life, then Family Leaf is a decent option to try.