When was the last time your family was together?
I love about family gatherings of all kinds! Family gatherings are like fresh soil for stories, they just seem to spring up out of conversation when people are together!
Of course, it's easy to see this happen at events like weddings or funerals, even game nights or holidays. But, what about those in between times? What about when family reunions happen years apart or, most recently, when family is separated by world events like the coronavirus?
In times like these, there are still lots of ways to create a culture of story sharing.
One great way to create a "virtual" family gathering that works across all time zones and schedules is through collaborative document sharing. Services like Google Docs, Coda or Microsoft Office allow many users to work on a document together. This is a great setting to write down stories and even answer questions.
Today, I'm going to walk you through how to create a space like this for your own family using Google Docs. I'll also provide a link for a free template called "Family Gathering: Sharing Stories in a Virtual Space" that you can use to start your own virtual family gathering!
Note: While I've been informed Google Docs editing can be done with people who don't have Google/Gmail addresses, you may experience issues with this. Please don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to troubleshoot or talk about other options for your family sharing space.
Setting Up the Virtual Space
1. Open the "Family Gathering: Sharing Stories in a Virtual Space" document in the link below:
2. Click "Make a Copy" when prompted and the document when open.
3. Once inside the document, read through the introduction and other information. When you're ready to start inviting family members, click the blue "Share" button in the top right hand corner
4. Once you've clicked the blue share button, a window will pop up asking you to enter the emails of the people you want to share this document with. Be sure to click the pencil icon to the right and select "can edit." If you don't do this, the people you invite won't be able to put their own stories in.
5. Once you've sent the emails off, that's it! Anyone you added to the list will be able to log in and input their stories. You can also edit in real time together, so if you see someone else typing when you're not, rest assured all is well!
I'm excited to hear how your virtual spaces work! If you have any questions or great experiences with this document, please email me at email@example.com!