is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can reach him through one of the services below.+
For parents of young kids, like my wife and me, photos have become an inextricable part of how we think about our family, both within our household and amongst all of our relatives. Photo documentation for the benefit of all of our loved ones — grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, family friends of all kinds — is now a part of raising kids in a way that it never was before the advent of the digital camera.
In some ways, it’s easier than ever for us to get images of our kids to those who care about them most, but in other ways it’s still much harder than it should be, too. I know for a fact that the sheer number of venues for sharing has made it difficult for my parents and in-laws to keep up with the images that Laura and I post to Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and other services. And truth be told, even I frequently miss some of the photos that Laura posts, too.
I started thinking about this problem last fall; why shouldn’t it be possible to knit these services together via email, the most universally accessible channel that we have? All we’d really need to solve this problem would be an automated service that rounds up all of the kid-related content that Laura and I post each week and then sends it out in a summary email. It wouldn’t require either of us to post to any new services or change our current sharing behaviors, and it would only ask our relatives to do something they’re already doing: check their email. It seemed like something that really ought to exist.
After talking this problem through with my friends Matt and Mike and finding that everyone we asked thought it was a good idea, we decided to go ahead and build it for real. Today we’re pre-announcing Kidpost, a service which bundles up your kid-related content from your social network accounts into a private, weekly email that gets sent to family members and friends of your choosing.
We’re deep in development for it right now, but our ambition for Kidpost is to build something incredibly simple and lightweight. Once you authorize Kidpost to access your various accounts, it will simply watch for posts that you tag appropriately, and will aggregate them automatically. That’s all you have to do. As the account holders, parents control the content of the emails and who receives them — you can add as many people as you like to your email group, and the recipients don’t need to sign up for new accounts or download apps or visit a new service of any kind.
Kidpost will be ready this spring, but as we build it we want to solicit feedback from interested parents and relatives. If you sign up on our home page now, we’ll give you early access, and we’ll also give you a discount on the paid plan when it launches. Just head on over to Kidpost.net. And watch this space for future updates!+