Use it if… You like things organized―even in your digital life. Send post card–type updates that fit into one of six milestone categories, like Growth, Food, and Word.
Best features: You invite friends and family to receive your grams, but they can choose how often they get them (from Immediately to Once a Month). That way, you’re not bombarding friends with info every 15 minutes.
How private is it? Nothing on Lil’grams is public unless you want it to be. You control who gets your updates, and because there’s no profile to create, you won’t have to worry about who is seeing your personal information.
Use it if… You’re more interested in big moments than minute-by-minute updates. Kidmondo helps you craft a type of online baby book, then sends update alerts to your friends and family via e-mail.
Best features: You can design charts and graphs (for height, weight, important events) and create digital photo albums. At any point―say, after baby’s first year―you can create a hard copy of the online postings.
How private is it? Kidmondo is private unless you designate it to be public. So you can be sure that people are not reading about your family unless you want them to.
Use it if… You like to share news bits with everyone―all the time. “Tweets” are 140-characters-or-less updates that collect on your Twitter home page or are sent to friends’ e-mail or phones if they subscribe (it’s free).
Best features: Twitpic is the application that allows you to post photos along with your mini-thoughts. Register your cell-phone number and you can tweet straight to your feed via text messaging (from the playground).
How private is it? If you don’t want the whole world to see your update, think twice before posting it to Twitter. You can send direct messages, which are private, but that’s no different than e-mail.
Use it if… You want to reach a wide audience. Chances are, many of your acquaintances, including family and school friends, are already on Facebook. Since it’s not kid-centric, it’s useful for adult interaction, too.
Best features: In addition to posting photos and status updates (“Emma lost her first tooth!”) for all to see, you can add applications to your page. Try Bebiki or KidsAge to create mini-profiles for your kids within your own.
How private is it? You choose. The privacy settings allow you to pick who can see each part of your profile (for example, just friends you’ve accepted or their friends, too). For anything kid-related, stick to friends only.
Use it if… You’re willing to spend time updating a blog with stories, photos, and videos. Family and friends won’t get updates e-mailed to them, but if they check in often, they’ll want new content.
Best features: You can customize your blog with graphics, fonts, and more, and you have room for 8,000 words on baby’s first foray into carrots. Visitors can leave comments on each entry―perhaps little notes to your child.
How private is it? Most blogs are public. You can make them password protected, but then every friend will need the password.