Meet Steve Bardouille, Creator of Famberry


By - Wednesday 20th November, 2013

Ahead of tomorrow’s #Croydon #TechCity November session, Becca Taylor speaks to Steve Bardouille of Famberry about the importance of private social networks and the news of royal appointment.

Image by Larissa Holland. Used under Creative Commons license.
http://goo.gl/7r718e

At the end of October, Purley-based Famberry founder Steve Bardouille unveiled news that the Royal Russell School in Croydon would be using the social platform to help their students build their family trees as part of a school project. The school’s choice to use Famberry is proof of the hard work the team has put into developing a network which is practical, useful and serves a genuine need in the online world.

Steve’s team found a niche for Famberry as a great alternative for parents with young children, keen to keep photos and family news within a smaller network. This led to them researching schools which would be interested in their product.

“We looked at many schools in the area, but we felt that with its reputation for innovation, Royal Russell would make an excellent choice for an initial roll out to schools. Royal Russell loved the concept from the outset and was so supportive. The school provided us with our own room, set up with laptops, so that parents and children could try the demo or ask questions regarding the Famberry features.

“The children at Royal Russell have really seen the benefit of the project and we hope to leave them with stronger family units as families connect to each other through Famberry. Since Royal Russell we have been in talks with a number of other schools who have shown an interest in using Famberry.”

“More than 48% of the people who leave Facebook do so because of privacy concerns”

Famberry’s strongest selling point is privacy – with traditional social networks regularly changing and updating their policies on our information, people are becoming more and more concerned about what’s happening with photos, updates and information they post online. Networks like Ask.fm have come under huge governmental pressure to change after the site was linked with several teen suicides, and Twitter users who abused the activist Caroline Criado-Perez have faced court over their threatening behaviour.

“People are certainly becoming more aware that the things that they post on social networks are automatically stored by search engines and can be spread by anyone else or used in a manner for which it was not originally intended. We have all become too familiar with stories of houses being burgled while the owners are posting messages about being away on holiday or individuals victimized because bullies feel that they can hide behind the supposed anonymity of the internet.

“The lack-of-privacy aspect of social networks is now a common feature on the news, with many high-profile figures finding themselves in trouble for posting messages that were not intended for the whole world to see. More than 48% of the people who leave Facebook do so because of the privacy concerns that they have and this has caused a mistrust of open social networks in general.

“These issues were high on the agenda when designing Famberry and we feel that the closed social network of Famberry, where only the family members have access to the posted messages, makes it a safer place for families to enjoy the positives of social networking without having to concern themselves with privacy settings that often change.”

“We have even been told of users having Famberry parties where family members get together to build their tree together on Famberry”

Famberry’s appointment at the Royal Russell School is a big success story, not just for the company and the borough but for #Croydon #TechCity too. As one of the early adopters of Tech City they have received a lot of help and support. Steve even spoke at their second ever event alongside the Citizen’s own James Naylor.

“Croydon Tech City has really helped us to meet other like-minded people whom we can bounce ideas off and gauge their opinions. It’s nice knowing that there is a community that supports technology companies and embraces innovation.

“Croydon is an area of surprises for anyone who visits and it’s interesting watching the reaction of visitors when they see that Croydon has one of the most active technology forums in the UK.”

The future looks good for Steve and the Famberry team, who are aiming for controlled growth over the next few years. “We need to grow the team, so we are looking for creative thinkers who share the passion for strong families and positive communities.

“Our first few months of marketing the platform has hit all of our planned milestones, but the feedback that means the most to us are the emails from users who tell us that their family members are thanking them for simply connecting the family and starting their family tree on Famberry. We have even been told of users having Famberry parties where family members get together to build their tree together on Famberry. Our aim for the next five years is to become the prime destination for families to connect, interact and grow closer to each other.”

Inspired? You can grow your family tree at Famberry.com and see Steve talk at tomorrow’s #Croydon #TechCity event – see below for details!


To reserve your place at November’s #Croydon #TechCity event on Thursday November 21st 7:30pm at Matthews Yard, make sure you sign up now on Facebook or  to confirm your attendance.

Becca Taylor

Becca Taylor

Becca is a newcomer to South London, currently living in Sutton and working in Purley, as ICUK.net's Head of Marketing. She has a background in politics and journalism, and is slowly learning the ropes in the tech world. A graduate of Swansea University, Becca is also a keen fitness enthusiast and a proud fan of Southampton FC.

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  • Anne Giles

    Sounds like a great idea. I don’t think there are any privacy issues with Facebook, though, as long as one’s status updates are only sent to “Friends”, rather than “Public”.

    • Becca Taylor

      Very true on the status front, Anne, but there are other aspects of your information that Facebook itself can withhold rights to – that’s the main concern that some users have.