OurStory: ‘Social Scrapbooking’

A new (dare I say yet another) social networking site launched today — OurStory.com. It enters a field that is growing progressively more crowded. The site seeks to appeal to women and occupy a segment that was abdicated by Lycos, when the struggling portal closed Circles and went instead for a MySpace wannabe destination: Planet. As opposed to dating or a way to meet new friends, Circles was supposed to be a way to manage existing family and friends relationships online. But it didn't get any traction.

No existing network has yet successfully established itself in that space. Sites like MySpace and Facebook largely appeal to people who don't yet have families; OurStory, by contrast, is clearly targeting a different, older demographic. InsiderPages and Judysbook which appeal to that "mom demographic" are highly directed and don't allow for a full range of self-expression. Thus recognizing that moms and families are largely underserved by existing social networks, an increasing number of sites is cropping up to target them. I wrote about some of these new sites previously:

Flickr-esque, OurStory also seeks to tap into "scrapbooking," a pastime that is both increasingly popular and appeals almost exclusively to women. One might put OurStory into a new category: online scrapbooking. The phenomenon is largely "under the radar" for most people but it's big business. According to an article that recently appeared in the NY Times about "scrapbooking cruises" (that's right) here are some impressive data:

A survey in 2004 by Creating Keepsakes, a magazine about scrapbooking, reported that about 25 percent of American households includes someone who participated in it, supporting a $2.5 billion industry that supplies acid-free paper, durable adhesives, tools and all manner of decorative accessories. Scrapbook stores have opened around the country, Target and Wal-Mart carry scrapbook merchandise, and EK Success, a New Jersey company, says it has a Martha Stewart line of scrapbook products in the works. (emphasis mine.)

Given that all these social networks are effectively "walled gardens," there's the race to critical mass that confronts them all. The question for OurStory is will its target audience recognize what it is and invest the time and energy into that site vs. other sites targeting women that have just launched or are about to launch?

Here's more about OurStory from CBSNews.com


Update: I was made aware by the comment below of Amiglia (say it 10 times fast), a slick family tree/photos website with a Flickr import capability. This is another site in the same general vein as OurStory and a couple of the sites mentioned in the posts above. And here's an interesting eHub interview with Paul Berry, one of the founders who posted the comment below. It goes into some detail and underscores the absence of family oriented offerings in the social networking world . . . but not for long.


6 Responses to “OurStory: ‘Social Scrapbooking’”

  1. Paul Berry Says:

    Hi Greg, we know its a definitely crowded space, but we feel its up and coming. We’d love you to check out Amiglia.com, its gotten a good review at CNet and a considerable user base.


    Best regards,
    Paul Berry

  2. Ben Says:

    Andy worked with me at Spoke and has had a passion able people capturing the wisdom gathered through life experiences since well before I met him. His passion on this project has been great to watch.

    I will admit for the record, I thought this was important but would never work for he masses. But the first time I saw a response from my father with a picture about his first kiss, I knew Andy was going to touch a natural vibe with the masses.

  3. Screenwerk » Blog Archive » Next Up for Web2.0? Moving from the Margins to the Masses Says:

    […] The tools and applications need to become less about geek chic and more about daily mundane utility — and they will. Then mom and dad and maybe event grandma will start to use them. So argues a comment to my post about OurStory: […]

  4. sam Says:


    I would like to recommend you to http://www.zamily.com . Its a new family social networking site including cool features an interactive family tree.


  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks. I was not aware of the site.

  6. Eric Says:

    scrapbooking cruises…

    I found your post interesting and share most of your views, but just dont get your second point….

Comments are closed.

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