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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids are supposed to be 13 to join the site and agree to its terms and conditions. Got younger kids? Set up the site on their behalf and give them the member password (or better yet, surf with them!). Macintosh users are cautioned that the site runs slowly using Mozilla. Check the FAQ for more hints on how to speed up the site when using a Mac.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
FAMSTER offers users a private way to blog and share photo albums, recipes, links, and more. You can finally get your family tree online (complete with photos), build a library of favorite family recipes, upload vacation photos, and even post items to a shared calendar and get email reminders about upcoming events. The blog component allows you to type in different fonts and colors, upload photos, create links to other sites, and more. Famster also lets you make every family member into a cartoon caricature. Select different hairstyles, facial features, and clothing, and then put your characters into various thematic scenes for display on your home page.
Is it any good?
Although Famster is easy to use, it does require some time to set up. You need to register in order to build your own Famster, then set your administrator password (different from the member password) and decide on your security and safety parameters. This could be a good time to gather the kids around and decide what to offer on your family site and which of those features should be public and which will be for "members only."
Although the site offers a nice selection of components, it's not without its flaws. For instance, you can't add "alt tags" to the photos -- something that's needed to make your family site compliant with accessibility standards. You also can't see or adjust the raw HTML either, but most users won't care.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which family events to write about, what theme of wallpaper to use next, who to give the member password to, and so on. And then there's the ever-popular question: What does dad's nose really look like, and what's the best way to represent that in his online caricature?