Chattertree: Social Networking for Families

May 16, 2010

3:28 pm

Family dinners, weekend visits with relatives and regular family gatherings and holidays have traditionally been how families have stayed connected, sharing stories and updates about life. But as more and more of us have large distances between us, the occasional holiday visit is forced into a manic and stressful catch-up time. But what if you could stay better connected with family members? Enter Chattertree, a social network for families which is focused on offering a place for families to share and connect privately.

Chattertree is a private social network where only the invited members of your family can convene. Chattertree offers private family rooms, live family chat, free 6-way video conferencing, private photo/video sharing, family calendars and family emergency alerts and reminders. Facebook offers some of those features but navigating Facebook’s privacy settings can be somewhat of a challenge so I could see where families may want to try something like Chattertree.

In a quick test, the setup was fast and easy  – which is good since there will likely be varying levels of tech-savviness across the family unit. The ability for family members to create their gift wishlists with sizes/dimensions for easy shopping could definitely be a hit, although currently it’s focused on their own online mall where users choose from millions of real products to add to their personal registry for birthdays and celebrations. Hopefully they add in an easy way to pull in Amazon wishlists as well, with quick links to items.

Although many people do utilize Facebook for staying in touch with families, Chattertree may be a very useful alternative for keeping other family members updated during health emergencies, big moves and other significant life milestones that are just too private to share elseware.

Chattertree was founded by Ryan Beale and Todd Brook and was selected as a showcased startup at TECH cocktail Chicago 13, a startup and entrepreneurial mixer event in Chicago.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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