Facebook may soon have some company. Two months ago, sisters-in law Megan Brown of Westfield and Kirsten Bischoff of Springfield launched a social networking site, Hatchedit.com, a virtual calendar.
The women, who began creating the site a year ago, said it offers one important aspect Facebook does not, privacy. In order to see someone else’s calendar, that person must be invited. Each member has a calendar where he or she can create to-do lists. It also allows the user to add photos, blog and create groups.
“We’re reaching out to people to tame the chaos,” Brown said.
The site lets mothers like Bischoff and Brown know what their children are doing at all times. Both women said it can be extremely helpful to families. Another added bonus: it’s free. After quitting their 60-hour-a-week jobs—Brown worked at JP Morgan while Bischoff toiled as a hedge fund reporter—they both agreed it was worth it.
“It’s a lot of work,” Bischoff said. “We both realized if we believe in this we have to put 100 percent of our efforts behind it.”
Without any press or media coverage, the site already has 500 members. Most advertising is through local shops in Union County. Brown said she is not surprised at the number, but hopes to reach 10,000 members by Jan. 1, 2012. The site will have a phone application in November, which both women said will really help jump start the growing process.
“I think it’s that word-of-mouth,” Brown said. “We wanted something local.”
A lifelong friend of the co-founders, Cecily Tralong is now an avid user of the site. Tralong said the virtual calendar has played a major role in her life, allowing her and her husband’s lives as high school teachers to be much easier.
“I’m very impressed that they did it; it’s the best way to communicate with one another.” said Tralong, who noted that her favorite part of the site is the privacy. “I don’t want everyone knowing my business. It’s better than using a paper calendar. I think the phone app is going to be what really launches it.”
Illyne Ganley, the owner of Beauty Lounge in Summit, leads a very busy life. Using the site at work and home provides a sense of calm and balance, she said.
“It’s helped simplify my life,” Ganley said.