[Ed: We have introduced you two family-centric networking sites: Geni (in Chinese) and MyHeritage. Here are two new stories: Kindo and Famioo. This time, I’d like to leave you readers to discover both sites, the question I am asking here is how we can make the Family networking more attractive.]
Famioo is a Beijing based family-centric networking site. The design of site does not really look that professional, but if you know it is made by a group of people from WebEx in their spare time, it really worth a visit. On Wikipedia, Family is denoted as a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups linked through descent (demonstrated or stipulated) from a common ancestor, marriage or adoption. But Hans, founder of Famioo has a different image to drive his site. He said:
“Famioo makes SNS from “One to One” to “Many to Many”. I don’t think “Family” in Chinese has the same concept as “Family” in English. Chinese always say “We are family”， “All men are brothers”, so “Family” means “a group of people in your trust “, so it could be a real family, it could be a group of good friends. As we can image, “many to many” is much efficiency way to get in touch than “One to One”, and we believe the concept of “Family” in Famioo is much closer to “The Family Culture” of China than the western ones. “
Founded in 2007, London-based Kindo is an internationally-focused web-based family networking platform that spans generations. On Kindo users can build their free next generation family tree and stay in touch with their loved ones.
Mario from Kindo told me,
“Kindo is probably the most international family social network, it is available in 14 different languages with Arabic, Chinese, Turkish and Russian being exotic examples. We have a slightly different approach as well, as Kindo is rather about staying in touch and sharing experiences with your family than about ancestry. So we are rather a “Facebook for the family” than a family research site. “
So Famioo is expanding the concept of Family from pure consanguinity to the friendship, it sounds truly Chinese. What confuses me is that how we can build the Family tree and I think it will be a Graph rather than a tree, which reminds me of Microsoft’s trial on social networking: MyWallop (now re-launched as Wallop) where the friends are virtually and nicely linked. Mixing up the concept of consanguinity and friendship might be a good effort as you can have the features from both family-centric and social networking sites. But we have to notice that it also risk itself by joining the tough competition of tens of social networks.
Kindo is to be the Facebook for the family. I understand and also like Mario’s opinion. What can the users do after they build their tree. The issue within many family-centric sites is that the members are lack of interaction or communication either online or offline. Kindo might give us the solution as it has partnered with some e-business sites so you can actually buy real gift to your family member. It is a good way of monetization too. However, I would question if this idea will work in China or some other countries. The netizen at around my age, we never expect my parent will one day ping me from a family-centric site, simply because they dont or only have basic idea about computer and Internet. I know it has become a phenomenon here in western countries. I always meet people at the age above 40 asking me for my id in Facebook and Linkedlin. Well, in the near future in China, I do not think it will happen.
Kindo has already got
a Chinese engineer based in UK (a Chinese developer team in China, please check Mario’s comments on this post), which I do think he can the key man to direct the localization of Kindo to the right way. I could not find a Chinese version of Famioo and I hope the team can be more commercial one day.