‘Family Communication’ Archive

Start a Family Journal

December 29th, 2014 by Joe

Now is a great time to start recording your family history via a family journal.

You can use FamilySays.com as a quick way to capture the fun and memorable events of the day.

We use the Quick Thoughts feature to record the funny things our kids say. It is then easy to go back and pull those together at the end of the year to share in our family Christmas card.

We also love to post recaps of our family adventures and travels with pictures so our family and friends can see them on our FamilySays.com site.

By posting our memories, pictures, and daily happenings, we’ve created a family journal easily within our FamilySays.com site.

Time passes by so quickly, so start recording what is happening in your family so you don’t forget it! Start your family journal today.

The Benefits of Photo Scanning and Tagging

June 1st, 2011 by Joe

A typical family household has thousands of photos, either taken with digital cameras, or in the form of photo prints and slides taken before the digital photographic age. They capture some of the greatest memories of your life, your ancestors, your relatives, and your family and friends. Yet most lay forgotten, hidden away in boxes or on your computer hard drive. Then when you want to look at them, you can’t find the photos you want!

To bring these memories back into your life, it is important to scan your print photos and slides into digital form, add these scanned photos to your photo collection taken with your digital cameras, and then organize your entire digital collection by tagging each digital photo.

Scanning is easily outsourced to companies that do this professionally. Tagging is more personal and does take some time and effort to complete. The effort is totally worth it however. Once tagged, you can employ power search tools to find the photos you want, and you keep critical information about the photo stored within the photo itself. With thousands of photos on your computer hard disk, you will quickly wonder how you ever survived without tagging!

Why Scan your Old Photos and Slides?

Scanning your photo and slide collection offers several valuable benefits. Once scanned, you can:

  • Protect your photo prints and slides: We all worry that photo prints or slides can be misplaced, damaged beyond repair, or destroyed in a catastrophic event. By having a digital archive of your originals, you have the comfort of knowing your scanned images can be reprinted at any time.
  • Restore them back to their former beauty: All photo prints fade over time and images get washed out. Slides and negatives decay. Loose photos get scratched, bent, or ripped through years of mishandling. Have a close look at some of your older photo prints and you will notice these changes. Professional tools such as Photoshop™ can reverse the years of decay and damage in your originals and make them look as clear and vibrant as the day they were taken.
  • Share them with friends and family: You are already sharing digital photos through “Family Says”. Now share your print photos as well!

Why Tag your Digital Photos?

Tagging involves storing information about the photo within the photo image file. You can tag any information you want, but standard tags typically include:

  • Location: Where the photo was taken
  • Time: When the photo was taken
  • Keywords: These keywords capture anything you want to record about the photo. Common keywords are people’s names, and event type (e.g., wedding, birthday)
  • Caption or Title: Tagline to go along with the photo

There are two main benefits from tagging:

  • Photo organization and search: Storing your photos in a series of folders quickly becomes limiting. For example, do you store your family 2010 vacation photos in a vacation folder, in a family folder, or in a year folder? Years later, which folder do you look in to find a particular photo? The problem gets exponentially worse as we collect more and more photos. Photo tagging lets you organize, then easily search for the photos you want. Imagine how nice it would be if you could immediately find “All the photos from our vacation in Italy” or “Just those photos that contain you and your kids” or “Photos of Jeff when he was 10 years old”?
  • Keeping critical information with the photo: I recently created a family tree. The only person who knew the people in the photos was my aging mother. Some photos had names written on the back, but most didn’t. In another case I had a photo of my daughter taken on one of our camping vacations, but I couldn’t remember where it was taken. Tagging lets you keep all that information with the photo for as long as the photo exists. You can edit it at any time, and update it with additional information at any time.

Most advanced photo library applications provide automatic facial recognition to help tag the people in a photo, and newer digital cameras will automatically tag (GPS) location and time into each captured photo, but on the whole, tagging is still mainly a manual effort. That means it can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you have lots of photos. The effort is totally worth it however. Once you have your photos tagged, you will wonder how you ever managed without it. With thousands of photos on your computer hard disk, it really is the only way to go!

One last note about tagging. It pays to experiment with various photo library applications before you embark on tagging your entire photo collection. The quality of tagging and search varies dramatically between photo library applications. Secondly, most facial recognition information is stored in the application’s database, which means you will lose the information when the photo leaves the confines of the application (e.g. uploaded to a website or emailed to a friend). I personally use Photoshop Elements because I can easily organize my tags, employ facial recognition, search for the photos I want, yet keep all of the tags within the photo file.

About the Author
This was a guest post by George Swan, Owner of Aberscan Imaging. Aberscan Imaging specializes in scanning your old photos and slides into digital form. We can handle any number or size of photos or slides. In fact, if it fits on a scanner, we can scan it: letters, scrapbooks, old documents, newspaper clippings, and much, much more. We also offer great scan quality, image enhancement and restoration using Photoshop™, and miscellaneous other services such as image tagging and DVD slideshows. Turnaround time is usually less than two days.

7 Essential Family Blogging Tips

March 16th, 2011 by Joe

Family blogs are a great way to share your latest family news and happenings with others. To make sure you get the most out of your family blog, keep these family blogging tips in mind:

1. Choose Your Audience

For whom are you writing your blog? For the grandparents? For friends?

Decide who you want to read your blog and write accordingly. Perhaps family will want to see videos and pictures. Remember to share the story and context of these pictures so people know what is happening.

2. Choose What to Share

Think about the highlights of your day or week with your family. These are the things that you should share on your family blog. If you document absolutely everything that is happening, you’ll get burned out.

3. Let People Know About Updates

Make sure you let people know when you’ve posted something new on your family blog.

You can manually email family and friends but this may be tedious. Look for a family blogging service that will send out automatic email notices sent to subscribers or provides a feed that people can use in their blog readers (like Google Reader).

4. Post Regularly

Your family blog is a wonderful way for others to see what is happening in your family. Keep your family and friends aware of what is happening in your life by posting to your blog regularly.

5. Encourage Comments

You can encourage people to comment on your family blog posts by asking questions. Questions will prompt others to answer. Additionally, you can share some amazing family pictures or video to spark conversation.

6. Write For You

Think of your family blog as a family journal. This is your chance to archive what is happening in your family. Write posts and share information that you’d like to know about when you look back a few years from now.

7. Have Fun

Posting to your family blog shouldn’t be a chore. Keep things fun by including funny anecdotes about your family, stories of a fun family trip, or a video that made you laugh.

By following these family blogging tips, you’ll be on your way to having an amazing family blog that your friends and family enjoy reading.

How to Create a Family Blog

March 9th, 2011 by Joe

A family blog is an easy way to keep in touch with your family and friends.

You can create a family blog in 4 easy steps.

1. Choose a Family Blog Provider

You have two choices when creating a family blog: do it yourself or find an online service that handles all the hassle for you.

The do-it-yourself route will require some technical expertise that is beyond the scope of this article.

If you choose to use an online family blog service, make sure you can try it out to see if it will work for your family’s needs.

2. Private or Public

Decide if you want to have your family blog visible to the entire world or just those you invite. There are advantages and disadvantages to both public and private family blogs.

If you are concerned about privacy and keeping your family’s information, pictures, and happenings private, then you should consider a private family blog.

Make sure the family blog provider you select allows you to keep all information private. Be careful with some sites with complicated privacy settings that make it hard to tell what is or isn’t being shared.

3. Start Writing

The foundation of creating your family blog consists of the stories, pictures, videos, and news that you want to share. Start by writing a couple of posts about the highlights of your last week with your family.

4. Invite Family and Friends

Make sure you have some posts and messages in place before you start inviting people over to read your family blog. You don’t want to make a big deal about inviting people over if there isn’t anything to see yet.

Check to see if your family blog provider has a way to automatically let others know when you make updates to your family blog. This will save you the time of having to both write a post and manually inform people that you’ve got something new to read.

Private bloggers still stay connected at Family Says

December 10th, 2008 by Mindy

I am a fan of blog feeds. It makes my world so much easier to just have one place to go to see what’s new with my friends instead of checking each of their individual blogs. However, one of the catches of blog feeds is that you can’t subscribe to blogs that are private. You have to go check each one of those individually, and generally with a user name and password. So I completely sympathized when one of my friends ranted on her blog about five people she knew who were taking their blogs private. But I also sympathized with those five friends, since I am also one of those private bloggers.

Fortunately, Family Says provides a silver lining for both the private and the friends of the private. Email notifications. Yes, regardless of whether you have a Family Reunion or a Basic Family Says plan, any author or guest will receive an email notification with a link to the new posting as soon as something new is added to your site. This feature can also be turned off by individual authors or guests if they desire. In order to receive email notifications, a user name and password is required to initially log into your site, but if cookies are enabled in your browser, your authors and guests can bypass the login step by clicking on the link included in the email.

It’s a wonderfully simple solution that keeps everyone happy without having to compromise privacy or staying in touch.

Report Finds Internet Helps Family Communication

November 18th, 2008 by Joe

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a study about the impact of Internet and cell phone use on family communication.

Overall, the results indicate that the Internet has enabled families to draw closer together and strengthen their relationships:

One-third (33%) of online adults say that the internet has improved their connections with friends “a lot,” and nearly one-quarter (23%) say that it has greatly improved their connections with members of their family.

While the research isn’t always clear on the difference between Internet and cell phone usage, it offers some very interesting insights into how families use these technologies to their benefit.

Family blogs are just one way you can stay in touch with family and friends. This electronic medium can help solidify those family links even if you are physically very far apart.