This project was my capstone at Bloc where I pursued the problem in my family around communication. I have about 40 family members (and growing!) which often show up at major gatherings with a low-count of about 15 that show up to almost everything. This makes the chain emails often very confusing and difficult to read along; I wanted create a closed private social network (more on why that's a requirement later) to document events as they come up. So, I added an event planner and tracker portion.
The scope expanded as I began to think of other communication problems my family (and likely others face). Family Recipes, they are often documented on a small sheet of paper in a cookbook. That means once their lost or the family memeber who created or documented it passes, it's gone. I wanted to create a way that family recipes could be documented and searchable within the family. So, I added recipes.
I also realized that some family members are very skeptical of privacy on the internet (which is a valid concern in my opinion). I also realized some family members were concerned about "blowing up people's inboxes" with updates via email. This formed a bit of a catch-22 because they were not comfortable enough to share on common social networks or to send out an email for it might be "bothersome". I disagree, so, I added a news feed portion with posts and comments.
I also realized along the privacy train-of-thought that a directory would be helpful because consistantly in chain email's year after year we get comments like "The original didn't get to Jane. I need a good address for her. Please forward to her, someone." So, that was the last main feature to be added for the inital version.
Another nifty feature that I added, was the ability to invite via email however that requires a bit of setup beyond a default deploy. You can view the FamNet project here.
Any family member's name you've read in this article has been replaced with a pseudonym.