'But we weren't comfortable sharing ourselves and our kids on public networks. I wasn't comfortable with the people who follow me on Facebook seeing everything.'
With a background in digital media the couple set about creating their own site purely for people they wanted to access the information and view the photos. When several friends asked them to replicate the idea for their use, they decided to develop a commercial service.
FamilyHQ which formally launched yesterday already has about 1,000 users, who are able to construct their invitation only networks and then upload status details, participate in groupwide chat, upload videos, photos, access a shared calendar and even recipes. In the future the Farmers intent to add a video communications channel and to harness Microsoft's Health Vault to store health related data when that becomes available locally.
There's no search function - so it's not possible to find out whether Aunt Bertha is deliberately excluding you from her Christmas cake recipe. Users can start a network and invite others to join, and also decide whether those individuals can invite other people into the network or not.
Users have the facility to block anyone in the group, so if Aunt Bertha is really playing up, you can switch off her access to your photos and uploads.