Will Facebook Replace CaringBridge and CarePages?

Yesterday I wrote about using web applications such as CaringBridge and CarePages to keep friends and relatives informed about serious illness or injuries.  I also recommended blogs.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long until one of my Facebook friends read the post and commented on Facebook that they used Facebook for that purpose.  I have in fact noticed a growing use of Facebook to do exactly that in my circle of friends.

In yesterday’s post, I didn’t mention Facebook primarily because people who are not your friends on Facebook don’t/can’t see the information.

But the likelihood that your friends and family are in fact on Facebook is  changing fast.  There are currently 200 million people who have a Facebook account, 60 million of them in the U.S.  That’s one out of every five Americans alive.  Further, the over 35 demographic of Facebook has doubled in the last two months.

That means that a lot of your friends and family who will be interested are on Facebook.   So, depending on your situation, it may be a very viable communication tool for this purpose.  And it’ll get better by the day.

In fact, within a year, I won’t be surprised to see it all but replace the specialized web applications like CaringBridge and CarePages.  Why?

  1. People are already using it for other communication with friends and family.  They’re all comfortable with it, it’s easy to use, and it’s rapidly becoming second nature.  Why use something else?
  2. I believe that within a year, most people that use the web at all will be using Facebook.  It is rapidly becoming THE communication tool that we all are on and using.

So, what’s your take.  Do you think Facebook will replace CaringBridge and CarePages?

  1. John Dobbs says:

    In my opinion the only way that CaringBridge and Carepages can save themselves is to become interactive with FaceBook, so that users do not have to choose, but can use both easily. Otherwise, Facebook wins.

    John Dobbs’s last blog post..Petty

  2. Sona Mehring says:

    Great question ..One I’ve asked myself many times. The answer to your question, however, is NO! … It won’t happen for some very key reasons. 1) the ‘author’ of a CaringBridge site is usually not the ‘patient’ — its not the patient talking about themselves giving updates on their status – its usually the caregiver speaking on their behalf — that is not Facebook. 2) CaringBridge is a great way to capture the health journey – centralize it. 3) CaringBridge is more protective – something that is needed for the health journey 4) CaringBridge provides value to everyone involved – the patient, the caregiver, the circle of family and friends

    That said, its vital to have great easy back and forth between Facebook (and other social outlets) and CaringBridge – when the author/visitors want it.

    I’m very confident that CaringBridge, just like we’ve been doing for the past 12 years, will continue to make the adjustments to technology and the social cyber-phere, and be the absolute best choice when there is a need to connect friends and family during a serious health journey. http://www.caringbridge.org

  3. Jim Hughes says:

    Thanks for giving us some insight into your thoughts and plans, Sona. I continue to be a big fan of CaringBridge for just the reasons you enumerate, and frequently recommend it to people I visit or to families who are going through some difficult times.

    Interestingly, I received a private communication in response to this post from a friend who has used CaringBridge in the past, and who once again is coordinating providing information for a friend who has a serious illness. This time she is using Facebook, not really because she wants to, but because her friend thinks that if she has a CaringBridge page that she’s admitting that she has terminal illness.

    Thanks so much for what you do, and for the blessing CaringBridge is to so many. I’ll be watching with great interest as things develop.

  4. Kathy says:

    I am looking into Caringpages and CaringBridge for my mother’s medical journey. I feel these two sites will continue without ever having used them. The reason I say this is because of the privacy issues. As Facebook continues to change security settings when they make updates, a person’s very private and personal journey could end up becoming available to people that shouldn’t be included.

    I am encouraged by the comments left earlier that one of these sites will be a great way to communicate with family and friends in a secure, appropriate way

  5. Paul says:

    What about more modern options like http://posthope.org? Options like PostHope offer the private secure community without all the intrusive ads and solicitation for donations that CaringBridge and CarePages have. They also allow the individuals receive donations to support their cause and need.

  6. Seanna says:

    So far caringbridge is allowing us to censor what we share in the Facebook world. I see them as similar yet separate entities. I’m new to it and hoping I can post links from caringbridge to my Facebook but because my his ad is the one sick and doesnt have interest in Facebook it is a nice buffer that he can feel isn’t broadcasting to the world and random friends of friends so much.
    And having that separation is a nice breather for me now when I want/need a diversion and not a pity party on my FB page

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