Debuts with Site Concentrated on Family Social Networking

With an eye for bringing family and intimate friends together, New York’s is unveiling its new website today, in a bid to take its online social scrapbook from beta to center stage. While other types of social networks encourage users to amass large and sometimes unwieldy lists of followers and friends, Proust is aiming for highly personal groups, says cofounder Tom Cortese. But Proust will have to find the right balance of popularity with the public and closeness among its users to make its mark in this competitive field.

Proust is named for French writer Marcel Proust, who’s best known for his seven-volume novel “In Search of Lost Time.” The site seeks to conserve its users’ time partly by laying out its information in a storybook format rather than a flow of status updates found on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Proust users write personal accounts of important times in their lives such as road trips, engagements, and weddings. They can upload photos and videos to accompany the stories that they can choose to share with other family members and friends using the site. The website creates a personal timeline for each user that displays significant dates. “We wanted to create one snapshot of your life that you could see from birth until today,” Cortese says.

Proust (the company) was born in February 2010, at the blessing of its parent, Internet company IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), which owns a bevy of subsidiaries including online dating sites and OkCupid, video sharing website Vimeo, and … Next Page »

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