If you are looking for an easy and affordable blogging platform, Posthaven is a good place to start. If you can send an email message, you can post an article at Posthaven. The example you see above was created and published from the porch of a restaurant using a mobile phone. I took the picture with my phone, popped it into an email message, added a short note and emailed it to my Posthaven blog. The subject line of the email message became the title for this blog post. And, within minutes, this post was delivered to my family in Florida via their email inbox. Yes, it’s that easy!
For $5.00/month you can build up to ten blogs with the pledge that Posthaven will never be acquired or shut down. You may say you have no inclination to manage ten sites, but you will quickly find you can use your Posthaven sites in many useful ways. For example, you may want to set up a blog just for your family history. You can also set up a private blog for your family to share news and events that aren’t appropriate on public social networks. Obviously, you won’t want to post vacation pictures on Facebook. That’s an invitation to criminals looking for unoccupied homes. With a Posthaven private family blog, only the people you add as subscribers will see your photos.
The Posthaven Primer will show you how to get started. You can read it right here and you can download a PDF copy to keep for reference.
Taking a trip? Add some photo-editing apps on your phone to build more than just a photo album of your travels. In this example, the photo was turned into a painted card with an added caption. The photo was edited using the Brushstroke app [iOS – $3.99] to get the painted effect, then sent to the Supermatic app [iOS – $1.99] to choose an appropriate card style and add the caption. You can share your finished creations individually via email and social media. You can also use the Blurb app [iOS – free] to build a print photo book using the “souped-up” photo graphics you created with Supermatic.
The Posthaven blog platform is a great way to share your travel adventures just with family and friends. Posting is as simple as emailing your photo(s) along with any comments you want to include. Set up your family and friends as site subscribers and each new post will be delivered to their inbox. You can also make your travel blog private so that only those you’ve given access will see your posts and pics. Posthaven will cost you $5.00/month to use, but that gives you up to 10 blog sites.
Don’t forget the Day One journal app [iOS – free] or [Mac – free]. The apps are free but you will need a premium subscription [$3.99/mo or $34.99/yr] to take advantage of the premium features – unlimited photo storage, unlimited journals, cloud sync to all your Day One apps, encrypted cloud storage and 25% discount for any books created using their printing service.
Other features include an impressive collection of sharing options including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and Evernote along with the ability to save an entry as PDF to iBooks. Of course, you can easily email any journal entry to anyone.
Today we have a broad range of apps and services making it easy to document your travel adventures. Not only will you have your own memories but you will also be able to save them for future generations to enjoy. See which options suit you best.
If you’re like us, you’ve got family spread across the country and maybe even overseas. Although the costs to travel mean we don’t get together as often as we would like, that doesn’t mean we haven’t found creative ways to stay involved with far-away family and friends. Facebook has revolutionized how we can “keep up” with each other, but it does have serious privacy and security issues. I’m not about to share my vacation photos on Facebook because it sends an open invitation to crooks that my house empty and easy prey. Personal news like new babies and deaths in the family can give con artists the information they need to rob us blind. I still enjoy Facebook. I just don’t put much personal stuff out there.
Our family has been building its own family communications network. Some of it was intentionally set up, but a lot of it has just happened. For example, we have used Skype – a lot – to make video calls. It’s great to visually participate in birthday parties and other special events even when we can’t be there. Today, there are a growing number of web-enabled televisions offering both a high-def webcam add-on and Skype access. Imagine that same birthday party on a big screen tv! Skype supports free group calls too. Up to ten users can participate in a group call – audio or video. Skype’s text messenger component can be used in conjunction with an audio or video call to share photos or files while you’re talking.
As more and more in our family have moved to iThings, Skype is being augmented with FaceTime. We can even FaceTime directly to the grandkids through their iPod Touches. Although FaceTime doesn’t support group calls, the combination of FaceTime and Messages – sort of SMS and IM on steroids – make it easy get “status updates” just about any time. And, while nothing’s totally secure or private, it’s a much better option than Facebook.
We also use Posthaven to maintain a family news service. It functions as both a mailing list and a family journal and is so easy even the most digitally-challenged can participate. Here’s where birth announcements, family news and vacation pics are shared. Because posting is done via email, it’s a mobile-friendly platform that works well for posting vacation updates. Posthaven will cost $5.00 a month to use, but each account supports up to ten blogs.
For our photo archive, we use Flickr. You can define who can see your photos and Flickr has a group feature that lets a group of Flickr users share selected photos to one or more groups. Flickr supports private groups which are only visible to group members. One of the nice things about using a group is that group members can see all the photos shared to their group regardless of the privacy settings the owner set for them. This means I can post my current vacation photos privately, yet members of our Flickr family group will be able to see any of them that I share with the group. Yahoo has increased the storage limit for free accounts to 1 terabyte (the equivalent of approximately 560,000 photos) making it a good off-site storage option for our photo collection as well.
Our network combines easy apps and platforms with a comfortable level of privacy and security. It allows everyone to participate regardless of their digital skills. Best of all, it allows us to stay involved with our families both near and far. No, there won’t be letters handed down to generations to come, but the family web site, photo archives and other cloud-based services will take their place to provide a rich record of our lives.