Along with entertaining all of you fine people, this blog is supposed to be an online scrapbook about my kids. The hope is that one day, Mazzy and Harlow will look back, read all the good, the bad and the ugly, and decide whether they love me or hate me for it.
I'm hoping, love??
But… as my blog has grown (it's almost three!), I find less and less of my content is exclusively about my kids. And I've stopped uploading random photos and videos of little things only I'll appreciate.
As exciting as I find things like Mazzy putting on her own shoes (three cheers for Crocs!) and Harlow throwing her hands up on command (she started doing that this week! GO HARLOW!!!!), I feel a responsibility to make sure each of my posts are worth you all stopping by.
Social media isn't a great place for minor milestones either. Facebook only cares if I can weave it into a clever status update. Instagram only cares if it's accompanied by a great picture. Sometimes you just wanna shout, "Harlow finished her can of mashed peas!" and be done with it.
Sadly, this means a lot of the little stuff I'd like to record (or the stuff Mazzy and Harlow might like to know one day) never gets posted.
If I do post something, it goes in one of many different places and I'm starting to realize that a hard drive of several thousand uncurated photos, hundreds of stories on my blog (only some of which are about my kids), a continuous stream on instagram and years of status updates on facebook aren't something my daughters are ever going to be able to piece together to get the story of their lives.
In short, everything I record has become more for me NOW, than for them LATER.
In olden times (back in the '90s maybe?), people kept baby books. I bought a beautiful book for Mazzy and ended up filling only half of it before it got buried in her closet. I didn't even bother with Harlow. I haven't printed out a photo since I started posting my favorites on Instagram. Mike finally stopped asking me to create a tangible album. Who has time for tangible albums? That's what computer hard drives are for!
So, I was very excited to find out about a site called Blinkbuggy, which pretty much solves all my problems.
Blinkbuggy is an online baby book.
That is, if your baby book was on a steady cycle of performance enhancing drugs designed to make it THE GREATEST BABY BOOK OF ALL TIME.
Let's start with Blinkbuggy's privacy features, which I think are really important (and the reason I recommended it to my sister, who won't even post a picture on facebook). You can opt to share your posts with no one (except hopefully your kids at a later date), share them with everyone or just share some of them with some people (like the grandparents, for instance). Each and every upload gives you a choice.
What are you posting exactly?
In addition to photos, you can upload quotes, milestones, artwork and longer letters, creating a highly searchable stream of written and visual memories, listed by date.
You can upload straight from your computer or you can upload from facebook, instagram or google +. One of my favorite things is that every photo you upload comes with a pre-embedded date, so it automatically takes its place in your stream chronologically.
Once uploaded, you are given the option to share it on any of your social media sites or email it. You can also give access to family members so they can see your memories as you make them.
Another great feature is that when you scroll over a photo, it reveals the date and caption.
As it should…
So let's say, oh I don't know… Harlow says "Ma-Ma" for the first time. You can upload that little factoid as a milestone. Then you can tag it "Harlow" so that in the future, you can easily pull-up all the entries for each child.
The tags are one of the coolest things about Blinkbuggy. You might have noticed the more you use social sharing sites like facebook, twitter and instagram, the harder it gets to find stuff you've posted there in the past. Hashtags are used across the entire platform so something like #Harlow on Instagram pulls up 18,325 photos including other children, puppies and *ahem* naked ladies.
On Blinkbuggy, your tags are used within your own account only, so "Harlow" only pulls up items that I posted about my own child.
You can tag something like "birthdays" and then twenty years from now, easily pull up pictures and anecdotes from every birthday your kids have ever celebrated. Or you can tag "Grammy" so she can see only the photos and stories that involve her. I even tagged "mommy" so I can see I was there too.
Also- you realize you now have a place to store digital photos of your kids artwork so you can throw the hard copies out?
Once you start using Blinkbuggy, you'll realize the possibilities. Remember that Google commercial where the dad opens the email account for his baby girl and then records everything she does in a series of letters to be opened up one day in the future?
What if you posted all the photos and milestones publicly but then kept monthly letters to your children private?
The only thing Blinkbuggy can't do for you that a regular baby book can, is store an envelope of your child's first hair cut.
But really. Why do we think we need to save that again?
If you'd like to open a Blinkbuggy account, it's totally free and you can do so here. Please come back and let me know if it's made as much of a difference for you as it has for me.
UPDATE: I reached out to Blinkbuggy to answer some of your questions. They say, "We are thrilled to report that the iPhone mobile app, the ability to print and the ability to upload video are in the works and should be available in the October-December timeframe. We love getting questions and ideas from users – please reach out to us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org." Woohoo!
This is a sponsored post by Blinkbuggy but I love it and wouldn't talk about it otherwise.