Developing Rootsy - The social network for families

Before starting Tanooki Labs, co-founders Eric and Dave were part of the team tasked to create 7 products over the course of 18 months at QLabs, the innovation arm of AOL Ventures. The final product from that team, Rootsy, was a social network for families, which provided a dynamic and collaborative family tree that your whole family could edit together and share media on.

As your close relatives were added to the tree, they were also added to your social network, and could see the content you shared. You could also create spots in the tree for family members who had passed away, and share pictures, video, and stores of those people.

The underlying graph database which powered Rootsy’s family network was developed using Neo4j, which provided the ability to quickly model complex family relationships and return any user’s family as well as the named relationship to each person (Step-Father, 2nd Cousin, etc) from a single, extremely efficient query.

As part of QLabs, Tanooki co-founders Dave and Eric participated in initial feature selection, UX & wireframing, the design and build of Rootsy throughout its development, building the core graph database interactions & named relationship algorithms, the core API, and Ember.js on the front-end.