Working women out there rarely find themseleves with too much time on their hands. Having little ones in the home can drive your free time into extinction. This doesn't stop Mom & Dad, Sis, and Grandma from complaining that they never get to see you and why don't you ever call? Thankfully there are many online resources to help you stay in touch with your loved ones when you don't have the time to update them all individually. Here are a few of Ms. Minchin's favorites:
Babysites.com: This site offers an easy way to share photos and updates of your little one with friends and family. You can post video and audio clips, maintain an online journal and growth charts. This site offers a free version (with advertising) and paid upgrades. You can password protect your site to keep out the weirdos too.
The family post: This site provides a great way to create your own family forum. You can share photos, stories and a family calendar. It even comes with a family directory as well as a message board. This is a great tool for keeping the extended family in synch, and planning events such as a family reunion. One problem with the site is how to determine who pays for it. It can be a little pricey, and money always has a way of causing family problems. It would be nice if Family Post could find a way to split the cost across family members (of course gandma and grandpa don't have to pay).
Free Wikis: There are countless free hosted wikis that could be tailored to a family forum format. The downside is they aren't as user friendly for the non-technical family members, and require more time from the site administrator to maintain and customize the site. The upside is they are free, and provide a way to collaborate or jsut share updates with extended family. My favorites are:
Lastly, don't be afraid to try Facebook. The fastest growing demographic for Facebook are people aged 35+. Ms. Minchin signed up and was immediately back in touch with an old High School friend. You may not be able to talk your mother into creating a profile (and probably don't want to) but it is a handy way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues.