Who We Are:
We're Kin Valley, a small, independent startup dedicated to changing the social networking paradigm. We're developing an online network that is safe, multigenerational, fun, unique, and easy to use for everyone.
We're a tight knit, hard working, passionate, creative and overall awesome team of people who want to continue doing what we love. We want to achieve our goal of bringing greater purpose to what social networking can be.
Where your money will go:
All of your money goes toward the essentials for the continuation of Kin Valley's development and keeping the site running. Your contribution will help to keep our small team and their cats fed and housed. Our CEO and CTO don't even take paychecks! We all simply love and believe in Kin Valley, and want to keep improving and sharing it with you (for free!).
Why is there a need for Kin Valley?
Most of us can agree that social networking and media exchange online can be a very rewarding experience. We stay in touch with our friends, share our opinions, show off our achievements and otherwise express ourselves in just about every way possible through our online networks. However, while there's plenty that social networking currently offers, there is a vast realm of potential that is not being addressed, and a lot of serious issues that need fixing. These are some of the important topics driving the Kin Valley team:
1) Most social networking sites are not safe, or private.
It's likely we've all experienced it. Someone tags a less-than-appropriate photo of your awesome weekend shenanigans on Facebook, and since your boss "Friended" you, you're going to hear all about it on Monday. Facebook offers privacy buried in complexity that doesn't work well for a lot of people, and Kin Valley is creating an alternative.
Kin Valley is invite only. People can't search for you, view your content, or contact you if you don't want them to. It's safe, secure, and private with a bottom up approach to your privacy instead of "after it's too late" privacy settings.
2) There is no multigenerational, family friendly social networking option.
There are social networks for kids, and there are social networks for adults, but nothing that suits the needs of both. Most websites are simply not built with both kids and adults in mind. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (C.O.P.P.A.) determines how websites are allowed to interact with children on the internet, and is too much of a hurdle for most big companies to deal with, so they avoid the issue. This is why it's illegal for kids under 13 to be on Facebook or on any site that collects personal information from kids.
We built Kin Valley from the ground up to comply with C.O.P.P.A. standards and to keep kids safe on the web. This is possible because of Kin Valley's Parental Control system. Our Parental Controls involve a unique permission system that makes parental consent the final word in kids' interactions online. The system manages who kids can interact with, what information they can exchange and how they can exchange it.
3) Important people are being left out of the social networking equation.
Educators, community leaders, caretakers and coaches are all examples of important people in your life who often get left out of the social networking equation. We know these people may not fit into your life the same way your family does, so we've set up Kin Valley Groups to support the ability to interact with these important people without the need to give them full transparency into the stuff you put online.
We're working to provide all the tools that make it simple and convenient to manage your Groups online. We've made it simple to communicate and coordinate with your groups, but that's just a start. Event scheduling, calendars, and gift exchange are all in the works.
4) Oversaturated networks can easily become full of trivial interactions.
We're not saying that you shouldn't want to see what your highschool acquaintances are eating for lunch, but maybe it doesn't mean much to you. On the other hand, when you're away from home and out of reach from the people you care about, seeing what your husband and kids whipped up for dinner tonight suddenly becomes a real and meaningful way to keep those people close to heart. It's not the food that matters, it's the people that make it meaningful.
We believe in a quality over quantity approach. Sure, people post meaningful things on Facebook, but even the most meaningful things can become lost in a sea of trivial noise that dominates other social networks.
5) Most social networks don't help drive the real-life goals of family oriented organizations.
Social networks can be a useful tool for organizations, but most social networks aren't being built with those organizations in mind.
In addition to providing tools to help groups like the Girl Scouts distribute materials, plan events, create stories and share photos to broaden these groups' positive impact online, we seek to extend their positive influence into the real world.
Here's an example: The STEM Education Coalition (Science, technology, engineering and math education initiative) needs a way to connect its mentors to members of the Girl Scouts. Kin Valley acts as the bridge between these two organizations, providing a setting for young people to connect to educational mentors and promote learning in a way that is fun, safe, rewarding and beneficial for everyone.
6) Some people simply don't like using Facebook.
We all have that friend or family member who refuses to join Facebook. Maybe they're concerned about their privacy, or they find Facebook to be overwhelming and confusing. Either way Kin Valley is a safe and easy way for even those hold-outs to connect online.
7) There aren't enough ways to exchange funny pictures of cats.
This one's self explanatory.
What's in the works for the future:
Aside from a lot of haiku writing, we are constantly working hard on new features that will make using Kin Valley the best experience possible. Some of our plans for new features include iPad integration, file sharing, badge systems, chore charts, gifting, quests, re-vamped invitations and multi-player games.
We're already up and running!
Join Kin Valley! We are currently open and live, and you can create your account today by visiting kinvalley.com/register/!