Posted in News

MeWe – The Next-Gen Social Network

Facebook’s days of telling us to ignore that man behind the curtain are over. It’s obvious that our privacy means nothing in their world. Fortunately we have options. One of them is a delightful social network called MeWe. Their privacy policy is short and to the point:

Your personal privacy and the privacy of your data is paramount to us at MeWe. We have prepared this Privacy Policy to clearly explain how we protect you and your data at MeWe.

With MeWe, your content is yours. You won’t find tracking cookies collecting information about us or how we use the MeWe network. As you can see here, your account isn’t bombarded with advertisements either.

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How do they do it? They offer a “freemium” service. You can get started at no cost. Each user has 8GB of free storage for posting photos, documents, videos and other files. If you need more space, you will be charged a monthly fee based on the amount of storage you select. There are other premium features you can choose to use – or not. For example, you can purchase additional emoji collections or add an extra layer of security for one-on-one chats with Secret Chat encryption.

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The My Cloud section is fascinating. It displays all my posts, photos, videos and voice messages. From here I can select any item to download, share or delete. In the left sidebar is a panel showing how much space I’ve used and how much is available. If I need more space, I just click the button to purchase it.

I just had a very pleasant video chat with a cousin via MeWe. She has been a member for a while and once I had given MeWe permission to share my contacts, I popped up in her My Chats panel. They only display your contacts to people who are MeWe users so, for now, it’s just the two of us. I have connected to several other users since creating my account and they also show up in My Chats.

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Groups are impressive yet easy to navigate. The group’s timeline is front and center. Each post has an area for comments – which can include photos, links and files. MeWe uses hashtags (a keyword prefaced with a hash mark) to make searching even easier. Use the Group Chat box in the right sidebar to start a discussion and the Events calendar to organize online events for the group.

I have moved the Storytellers Studio group to MeWe and have found it delightful. It’s easy to navigate, has a Files library where I can post PDF user guides and provides not just commenting, but one-on-one chats and even group chats. They have announced an upcoming video option which will make it possible to present demonstrations and other fun goodies.

If you are looking for creative ways to share your family history, join us here and at the Storytellers Studio group on MeWe.

 

Posted in Journaling

Lost Memories

The hurricanes that devastated the Carolinas have left many of us stunned at the horror Mother Nature can inflict.

While most of the damage can be repaired or replaced in one way or another, there will be many precious treasures that can never be replaced. The family photos and treasured ephemera from generations past are often victims of disaster. Storing them in archival quality containers can protect them from a normal environment, but not disasters such as these.

Photographing treasures, scanning photos and documents won’t save them from destruction but when those digitized items are saved in a secure location (or multiple locations) their memory will live on. And, with a little extra effort, you can also tell the stories of these precious things. These photos and their stories can be passed on to future generations.

Journaling TreasuresThe wicker chest you see in this screenshot was taken using my iPhone and the Day One journaling app. Day One is more than just a daily journal of events. It is also a delightful way to capture the people, places and things that are part of our lives.

The Day One app is available for Mac desktops as well as iOS and Android devices. The apps are free, but a premium subscription ($3.99/mo or $34.99/year) is needed to take advantage of features including unlimited encrypted cloud storage, unlimited photo storage, multiple journals and cloud synching between devices. The cost of a premium subscription is well worth the cost. Having copies of your journals – and the photos included in them – safely stored far away from the disaster insures that this memories will not be lost.

The premium subscription supports multiple journals. You can create a journal just for your treasures. Use the app to photograph those treasures along with a note describing it, where it came from and any history that goes along with it. Don’t stop with furniture. Things like art work, Christmas decorations, wedding gowns, antiques and even toys all have their own memories.

One more thing . . . Day One also has a publishing feature so you can create custom books to share with others. Premium users get a 25% discount.

My treasured wicker chest and other special items may someday be lost in a disaster, but their memory will live on thanks to Day One.

Posted in Project Ideas

Build A Family Heritage Cookbook With Paprika

The Paprika Recipe Manager is the perfect example of a 21st century cookbook. It is available for Windows and Mac desktops along with iOS, Android and Kindle devices. And, while it makes it easy to capture, organize and share recipes, it also does a lot more. You can plan meals, build grocery lists, scale recipes to fit your serving size and even automatically detect and set timers from a recipe’s directions. Yes, it’s a delightful tool for people who love to cook. It’s also a great way to capture your family’s legacy recipes and the stories related to them.

I fell in love with Paprika when I first installed in on my iPad. It has a built-in web browser set up with bookmarks to an impressive collection of online recipe sites. Are you a fan of the Pioneer Woman or The Food Network? You’ll find them already bookmarked. If there are other sites not found in the Paprika list – like the Apron Recipes at Publix – you can add them to your bookmarks. Using the built-in browser, you can cruise through these sites and when you find something you’d like to add to your recipes, all you do is tap Download and enter a category (main dish, dessert, brunch, etc.). Paprika does the rest.

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Adding your personal recipes takes a bit more effort. Enter the ingredients and the instructions, add a category and even a photo if you wish. There is a field for entering personalized notes about the recipe. This comes in handy if you are posting a legacy recipe. Use it to describe the cook and how he/she fits into the family “tree”. Is it a recipe that is traditionally served for a specific event like Thanksgiving, Christmas or anniversaries? Include that in the notes too.

The recipe above is one of our favorite family recipes – Minorcan Clam Chowder. Instead of a photo of the dish, this recipe has a picture of the chef (my father). He had a unique way of making this dish which is well documented in the Notes section. The recipe is listed under the Soups and Stews category but it is also listed in the Legacy category. This way we can easily find our family favorites at any time.

The recipes in our Legacy collection look a bit different from the others. The photos in these recipes are usually focused on the cook or the event where it is frequently served. The notes area is used to describe why this recipe is a family favorite.

The Paprika app is available on Windows ($19.99) and Mac ($29.99) desktops along with iOS, Android and Kindle Fire mobile devices ($4.99). I have been gifting the mobile version to family members for some time so we can take advantage of Paprika’s sharing option to pass our favorite recipes around. Paprika has also become my favorite gift for bridal showers. In addition to the app, I also add the exported collection of Legacy recipes which the new bride can easily import to her app and learn a bit about the history of her new family.

Recipe sharing continues long after the wedding. Our family is constantly sharing recipes and Paprika makes it so easy. Don’t stop there. Paprika is an delightful way to document and share your family’s legacy recipes, but it is a lot more. The features for meal planning and grocery lists are also quite impressive. This $5.00 app will quickly become a tool you can’t live without. Try it an see for yourself.

This article was originally published at Moultrie Creek Gazette.