Remember when keeping an online journal was a social requirement? (If you don’t, chances are you were not a teenager during the late 90s or early 2000s.) Fleets of pizza-faced diary enthusiasts flocked to sites like LiveJournal to record their experiences back in the day. In addition to serving as a storage bin for awkward teenage rants, early web blogging sites were the precursors to some of the biggest names on the internet.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are essentially updated interactive journals that let users share parts of their lives in all their ego-driven glory. Incorporating photos and video into the way people share information with friends and family was a natural progression. The only downside to this was the narrative behind the posted media got lost somewhere along the way. For all this talk of, “telling one’s story,” we seem to have left out the mortar that holds our memories together – words.
Just in case the flood of wedding and baby shower invitations didn’t clue you in – we are getting older. The generation that came of age putting emoticons at the end of a journal entries covering crucial topics like Dawson’s Creek and snap bracelets is now starting to have kids.
Startup founder Anirvan Dam saw that parents wanted to give their kids an online presence, (apparently that’s not just for companies anymore), and that they were really invested in recording and preserving their child’s growth and experiences. Anirvan and his partner, Lovekesh Sharma got to work developing a web-based service designed to meet those needs.
That was back in 2011, and since then, Joognu has grown (big time). Twenty thousand users and over 100,000 memories later, Joognu is starting to build some serious momentum. Not only do they have impressive website stats, their Android App on Google Play has a 4.5 user rating. On top of having stellar stats, Anirvan’s startup recently raised over $100K in angel funding, which has been earmarked for additional product development and marketing endeavors.
What’s All The Buzz About?
Joognu is a parent-focused web-based platform that allows users to store, organize, and share their children’s experiences and memories. The site and app let parents upload video and photos along with journal posts they write. All of this is stored online and can be accessed later when the parent wants to string these “memories” together using the site’s Weaver feature – which helps users string together their children’s life moments into a sharable (not to mention cute) digital timeline.
One of the site’s marketing points is that this timeline can be shared with children once they get older, giving them a sense of self and their past. It’s a cool idea, and definitely has potential to connect with the “Me” generation as they pop out little copies of themselves.
In addition to features like The Weaver, Joognu also gives users the chance to turn their photos into “Video Letters,” available in 5 different themes, which can be stored or shared. There are also 5 additional features that allow parents to paint a fuller picture for their children:
- My Diary – the journal function that introduces a narrative into this multimedia memory trove
- My Prayers – a non-denominational feature that lets parents record special messages or prayers for their kids
- My Documents – saves space on the fridge by letting users upload scanned art and achievements from their little ones
- My Photos – easily generated albums and slideshows
- My Video – stores video files to use later or just to keep safe
Joognu has both free and paid subscription options, and lets users sign up on their own or through Facebook. Combining advertising revenue with turnover from paid users has enabled Anirvan Dam to expand Joognu’s reach. Regardless of what the future brings, it’s safe to say the memories stored on Joognu will probably be notably less embarrassing than the ones we have on those old LiveJournal and Xanga blogs collecting cyber dust somewhere.
Joognu | Courtesy of Anirvan Dam