09 January 2006

Email for the underage

Anselm says:

I gave my newborn son an email address so that when he was old enough to read he would have years and years of quaint spam and advertisment to wade through. [And he could use his allowance to assist Nigerian civil servants. -- Ed.]

But seriously - I found it was a nice way to let my friends share and remember the big transitions in his life. Now he has mail from all kinds of people that he has met. When he is older he may value this intimate record of his life.

Very cool. Just be sure to back up your data! Or (gasp) print the notes on acid-free paper and put them in a notebook.

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Just a quick note: the trackback URL is showing the default host (typepad.com) - you need to specify your own domain name in the settings.. it's amazing how many little things there are when you are a geek with a family, eh? :)

[No way to edit the trackback display settings, I'm afraid. -- Asha]

Nice idea, though I think that spam could be a huge problem.. it's too bad we can have no such thing as a totally kid-safe email service.

i did this by setting up both of my boys (currently 3 and 5 years old) with gmail.com addresses. free, lots of storage, easily accessible, etc.

What a wonderful way to save memories! I should have friends and family do that for our son. Thanks for the idea.

We set up a generic email address for an Amazon wish list we created for our son. When he is old enough he can have a more personal address and be in control of his own wish list.

What did we do before such cool techonology was available?!?

I did the same thing for my boy at http://www.wkdelong.org. Crappy at updating it.

However my BIG experiment is giving him his own Amazon.com account and TV.com account.

I'm essentially using TV.com to manage his favorite shows, what he likes and doesn't like. Once he starts watching videos, I'll setup an IMDB.com account.

We created an Amazon.com list for his birthday and Christmas. After he was born, my wife and I moved the items from our joint baby registry onto his wishlist and keep it updated. We also keep track of things he has or owns. Should be interesting to see how Amazon.com changes as he grows out of things.

Email address-wise, I create a new address for each site to see who is sending the spam. amazon@wkdelong.org, tvdotcom@wkdelong.org etc.

Has anyone done this with other sites? Are there other sites where I should consider building a potential "life-long" profile?

We have been using http://phlog.net/ to create a photo-blog for my daughter. This site is designed so that it takes updates via e-mail (for like a camera phone).

Combined with our camera phones and camera/WiFi equipped PDAs (plus standard digital cameras), we are able to take day-in-the life snapshots, no matter how seemingly trivial.

This has had many advantages: we get a good record of our daughter's life. Our family, which is far flung, is able to follow along, even if they can't see her every day (or month). Finally, these photos are kept off site--backed up, in case of a problem (my mom and siblings were hit by Hurricane Rita, so disaster recovery is on the mind).

Well, one way to do this is to buy a domain for your child. In my case, I have my last name (zirkel.com), but you could get firstnamelastname.com, or some variation that's available. That would be a highly logical place to keep a photoblog of the kids.

This approach requires a bit of web savvy, but not much. For example, my weblog at zirkel.com is powered entirely by blogger, it took about five minutes to set up (OK, a bit more to tweak the template to my specifications).

My daughter is now six and she loves to browse through the 14 months of posts on our site.

Also, with your own domain you can parse out e-mail addresses to the kids as you see fit. nickname@domain.com, for example. Super-cool.

Something else that's cool about this would be utilizing the host of e-mail "time capsule" sites like http://www.futureme.org

Send your 1 year old an email to them as an 18 year old. I guess it would be freaky for your kid if you died between now and then, but odds are it would be fun.

I pretty much had all these issues and created

It answered all my isues... don't hesisate to forward me your thoughts at

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