Public/private Aus social networking site launches

Family HQ gets Microsoft approval

Microsoft is using a fledgling Gold Coast based social media site targeting families as the poster-child for its Azure software platform.

Queensland couple, Jase and Brooke Farmer, officially launch their start-up, Family HQ this week after a four week beta trail of the site which has attracted 4,616 members from 25 countries.

The social networking site which aims to provide a sanitised version of Facebook will also expand to New Zealand, the UK and Ireland in the next six to nine months, targeting 500,000 members by the end of 2012.

Jase Farmer is a digital media executive with digital agency Cake Media and devised the site in 2007 after looking for an alternative to Facebook for curating private family orientated digital media.

Developed on the Microsoft Cloud platform Windows Azure, FamilyHQ has been noticed by Microsoft and the site is part of the Microsoft Partner Network.

"Microsoft saw us as a national case study for Windows Azure," Farmer said.

The site differs from mainstream social media as it focuses on privacy concerns and does not claim copyright ownership of any digital content posted, it also aims to leave no digital footprints outside of the social network.

The initial buzz around the platform has attracted an unnamed investor who is in negotiations to buy ten percent of the site for $AU1 million.

“The site is Australia’s only site that enables the ability to create unlimited numbers of groups that remain private from each other, creating a solution for the complicated nature of how we communicate with people in our lives,” he said.

The wholly self-funded, Family HQ, will also be pitched as a private communication platform for groups such as sporting clubs, support groups, school classes, day care groups and other privacy conscious groups. ®

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