You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!*
What is Kinfo?
Kinfo is a simple, safe, and customizable way to share life stories across generations. We are an early-stage startup in Wilmington, NC, and we are fueled by a commitment to help families capture and preserve invaluable personal stories that would otherwise go untold. If you can record a video on your laptop or tablet, you can use Kinfo to tell, save and share your life story with your family and friends (or anything you want them to know about you, really, if you aren’t a “life story” kind of person!). Our onscreen instructions will guide you through every step. Your videos will be safe and secure, and with a quick click you can share them with your authorized loved ones. Read the longer version of our story here.
How does Kinfo work?
Very well, we hope! Simply put: You can browse a number of categories (to name just a few: Early Life/Growing Up; Our Family & Roots; Values & Beliefs; Favorite Things; Education/Training; Career/Military). Choose the “story prompts” that work best for you, click to record and save your video responses, and then send your videos to your loved ones via our Share My Videos feature. It’s easy, your videos will be safe, and you’ll have enabled your friends and family to get to know you in a whole new way!
How is Kinfo better than just recording my life story on my own?
Great question! When we first started describing the Kinfo concept, more than a few people commented, “Yeah, but I could do that on my own” – to which we responded, with our warmest and friendliest smiles, “Yes, but have you done it on your own?!?” Not one person responded with a yes. (We haven’t done it on our own, either, by the way, so no smugness here.) Everyone always means to, and some get as far as gathering materials or interviewing family members. But then what?
It’s hard to know where to start, or how to weave those bits and pieces into a story that makes sense. Kinfo allows you to customize the way you tell your life story and with just a few clicks and a bit of video magic, you’ll be able to share your story with your loved ones in a simple, streamlined way. And most importantly, your stories will be saved in one place for you and your authorized loved ones to access anytime. No more wondering where Granny kept her photo albums or if Great Uncle Ed kept a journal…we will safely and securely store and guard your family’s stories for you as if they are our own.
Who owns Kinfo?
We are a small startup in Wilmington, NC. Our founder never had plans to start a business, but after losing two grandparents in 2014, she felt a calling to help families save and share their personal stories in a way her family hadn’t – so here we are. Losing a third grandparent during the 2020 pandemic has only reinforced her drive to bring Kinfo to families everywhere. You can read more about our humble beginnings here.
When will Kinfo launch?
Once we review our testers’ feedback (hint, hint: if you’ve already recorded two or more videos, be sure to fill out the feedback survey!) and spend some time polishing the site, we’ll be able to announce a launch date. But we hope the site will be up and running in mid-2021. We will be sure to let our testers know before we announce our launch date to the public. You’re VIPs, after all!
Recording my videos:
How can I be sure I’m “doing it right”?
Our gut instinct is to tell you this is YOUR life story, so there is no “wrong way” to tell it…but for tips and tricks from a technology perspective, head over to this page to learn how to make your video shine. You can also record a test video, just to be sure your lighting and sound are optimal.
How long will it take me to choose story prompts, record my responses, and share my videos with my friends and family?
The beauty of Kinfo (well, one of the beautiful things) is that you can spend as much or as little time as you’d like telling, saving, and sharing your life story. You can leisurely virtual-stroll through the story prompts, or you can quickly choose the ones that jump off the page for you. Your response may take you less than a minute to record, or, as a test user, you can spend up to 5 minutes recording your response (and up to 15 minutes once Kinfo launches). If you have your loved ones’ email addresses handy, it will take you just a few seconds to share your videos – and then you can call it a day, or go back to browsing the prompts and recording responses, if you’re feeling particularly energetic.
If I record my videos on a Mac, will they be viewable by my family who have PCs, and vice versa?
Yes. As long as your recipients have a web connection, the link in the email we’ve sent them will allow them to create a profile and view your videos.
Can I use my cell phone to record my videos?
You can, but…eh. We advise against using your cell phone to record your videos. Even with a stand or tripod to stabilize your phone, it will likely be difficult to read the onscreen prompts you’d like to record, and there will be an awkward lag between when you finish saying your response and when you find the “stop” button, since that button will seem pretty small on your phone screen.
Can I delete or re-record my original videos if I don’t like how they turned out?
You sure can! Next to your recorded videos, you can click to view, re-record, or delete each. We recommend viewing a video a second time before deleting it, just to be sure you really want to delete it.
Can I record answers to story prompts not currently offered?
Absolutely! Feel like “free-styling”? Just click on the Wild Card category when you’re ready to choose your prompts. You can record a response to one of the suggestions meant to capture your general thoughts (“Something I’d like you to know,” or “Reflections on life so far”), or click on “A holiday message” or “How I’d like to be remembered,” if those are better suited to your “wild card” goal.
Privacy and sharing:
How do you help keep my videos safe and secure?
We will do everything we can to protect your stories as if they are our own. The Kinfo website runs via a server that is both physically secured from tampering and behind a wall of protective encryption. The videos you create are stored within our secure S3 data vault, and cannot be accessed by anyone other than you or your named “legacy surrogate” (or an approved Kinfo team member, if and only if we are asked to view the videos to help troubleshoot an issue). We do not store, use, or share any sensitive information, such as social security numbers, personal data, or credit card information.
Who can view my videos?
We take this element of Kinfo very seriously. When you are ready to share your videos, you will submit a name and email address for each authorized user, and they will get an email inviting them to view your videos. As an extra measure of protection, that person will have to create a Kinfo profile in order to view your videos. At that point, they must agree to not share your videos with anyone else, in any way; if it’s reported that they’ve done so, their account will be revoked.
How do I invite my family or friends to view my videos?
It’s easy. When you’re ready, you can visit the “Share My Videos” page, select which videos you’d like to share (you may not to share all of them with everyone, so we’ve made it possible to pick and choose!), then enter your recipient’s email address. See? We told you it was easy!
Will my family and friends need a Kinfo profile to view my story?
Indeed they will, as an extra measure of security for you. We hope they will want to create and share their own videos, once they check out the videos you’ve sent them – and, we hope, after they hear from you that Kinfo is equally fun and easy! When they create a profile, we will offer them the opportunity to participate in the demo, but they certainly don’t have to, of course.
Can I name someone as an account “surrogate” in the event that I’m someday unable to access my account, so my Kinfo stories will still be accessible to my family?
Yes. When Kinfo launches, users will be able to name and provide contact information for a “legacy surrogate” who can access their accounts in the event of their passing. (This is a gloomy eventuality to mention, but we want to reassure you that your stories will not be lost.) Upon providing proof of death, that surrogate will be able to download and save the original user’s videos.
Where are my videos stored?
Video responses are stored on our secure AWS S3 data server – which is a fancy way of saying they are safely and securely stored and guarded in the Cloud. They cannot be accessed by anyone other than you, your authorized recipients, your named “legacy keeper” if you are someday unable to access your account, or an approved Kinfo team member, if we’ve been asked to view videos for troubleshooting purposes. We will never share your videos outside those you authorize. Any videos used to demonstrate or promote Kinfo will be from specific users who have granted written permission specifically for this purpose (see above, Will Kinfo use my videos for advertising or any other purpose?).
Can I download my recorded videos or save my videos to my own storage device/Cloud?
Once Kinfo launches, all members will have the option to download their videos to their own computer, or to their own Cloud storage space, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. However, because we know your own storage can be expensive and time-consuming to administer, Kinfo is committed to storing your videos safely. As part of your Kinfo membership, we include secure long-term storage of your videos with easy access. We will never delete your videos without your authorization.
Does Kinfo own the videos I record?
Kinfo does NOT own the videos you record on our site! You will always maintain the rights to, and have access to, all the videos you record using Kinfo. Our job is to hold these in safekeeping for you and your family. Once we launch, members will be able to download and store their videos if desired, but we will still securely guard your videos on our server unless you direct us to delete them. On some platforms, you maintain ownership rights in exchange for the platform’s right to use your videos. This is NOT the case with Kinfo. We will never use your videos without your express written consent (see more on that below).
Will Kinfo use my videos for advertising or any other purpose?
This answer includes a lot of “nevers” and one “never ever”: We will never even watch your videos, unless we are asked to do so for troubleshooting purposes. We will never use your videos for advertising purposes, but if you have recorded or received a particularly poignant, funny, or surprising response to a prompt, and you’re comfortable sharing it with us, please share it with us via email@example.com – we would love to take a look and see if your video meets our initial marketing needs. We would require your express written consent in order to share your video(s). But we will never, ever share your videos without that permission.
How do I get a friend or family member to record their life stories on Kinfo?
Until we close our testing period on December 13, you can invite friends to visit this page.
Can I suggest new prompts?
Absolutely! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to let you know if we’ve added your recommendation to our collection of prompts.
What will Kinfo cost?
Between now and our 2021 launch, we will continue to “crunch the numbers,” as they say, to determine a fair and reasonable cost for a Kinfo subscription. But we want to help as many families as possible with the process of saving and sharing their life stories, and our pricing will reflect that commitment! The trial membership will include many of the features available during our testing period. For a small subscription fee, many new features will be made available to help users tell and save their life stories for generations to come.
* Are we missing anything? Drop us a line at email@example.com!