Guest Author - Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, M.D, F.A.A.P
With our world faster and more global, what if you could have all these features at your finger tips on one web site, with an educational element for kids:
* Web pages
* Instant Messaging
* Infant and Toddler Matching Game
* Internet phone services such as Skye
* Online photo-sharing
* Genealogy programs
Thatís what Amiglia.com has not only set out to do, but accomplished. Founded by husband and wife team, Paul and Milena Berry, Amiglia started as an off shoot of the Berryís personal web endeavors as they strived to stay in touch with their friends and family around the world.
According to Milena Berry, ďAmiglia aspires to be the best of breed Family 2.0 site which uses technology to bring your family closer together - with related websites linking your nuclear families by sharing a family tree and the latest family news, photos, videos and calendars in a playful and engaging way.Ē
What I love about the site is how interactive it is. You can email, chat, send pictures or navigate through the genealogy tree from one screen. The site also includes journals, a family blog and recipe sharing. And, for those of us wanting a more multi-media experience, you can add video and music.
For kids, the web site offers a unique way to learn about the family tree. It is visual and easy to navigate with a mouse. By that feature alone, the site would be a great way to introduce simple computer and mouse skills. The map included on the site allows kids to get a visual idea of where there friends and family are located as well as learning simple geography. Kids learn best with personal associations and this site does allow that.
Right now the site has a matching game for infants and toddlers that allows for simple face recognition. My only real critique of the site is this feature. It doesnít allow much variation and is really a pretoddler game. Older toddlers would lose interest very quickly. The Amiglia team is current working on enhancing the game features and hopes to expand that niche to other age groups.
Ease of use is a top priority of the site. It includes easy upload of all pictures but features to import from flickR or photoshop. The site includes a GEDCOM import at signup so you donít have to reinvent the wheel of all your genealogy files.
New features include an improved interface for sharing photos and video as well as RSS feeds. The site now can send birthday and new photo reminders so everyone will be updated as new material is added to your site. All in all, many ways to share online with each other.
A feature that will be launching early November is a photo printing service so families can order prints and photo merchandise of each others photos similar to SnapFish or Shutterfly.
The site has a demo loaded so you can see the features first hand: Amiglia Demo
The final gem of the site is the price: $49.95 for an entire network of friends and relatives. This is an amazing deal when you compare it to other sites out there that require a subscription per user for full access to features.
All in all, I canít say enough good about this site. It is one of the best family-oriented sites Iíve come across in a long while and I highly recommend it!
I am on the Board of Advisors to Amiglia for development of their gaming concepts. I receive no compensation for my reviews or advice. Any reviews I write are my personal assessment of the program, its features and value to families. Pediatrics Now does have an affiliate relationship with Amiglia and any revenue produced from that relationship is applied towards the operating expense of Pediatrics Now. Please see Pediatrics Now Legal Notices for more information.