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At first look, it seems strange that a name like BBC is prefixed with a web service that calls itself BBC Memoryshare and that stores and replays personal memory bits like a social sharing site. But, doesn’t memory of events past translate into history?
Personal memoirs provide us with lessons in history that a classroom textbook cannot replicate.
It was a chance discovery while hunting for web tidbits on the Moon landings that gave me an insight through someone’s contributed memory. If you go to the site and type in “˜moon’ you will get quite a few others.
So what exactly is BBC Memoryshare?
Is it just meant to be an online keeping place of user contributed personal memoirs or does it add more value with the BBC stamp?
BBC Memoryshare is positioned as a living archive of memories from 1900 to the present day. Life experiences are pieced together as a mash of linked videos, images and text commentary. But the USP is that these digital anecdotes are in the context of recent and historical events. Like a timeline but more personal. Memories take the form of text, photos and videos. Users are invited to contribute and build up the content and relate it to dates. With the passing of time these collective memories become a historical record of events.
What’s in it for BBC?
In their own words:
The BBC wants to build an open and collaborative approach with audiences in order to deliver programs built on audience participation. Memoryshare is a means for the BBC to connect with individuals who have stories to tell about their own lives, and gives everyone a simple tool to search and discover contemporary news and social history content.
What’s in it for us?
The serious and the not-so-serious user can read or watch these memory snippets, research background events and tie in to context material even going back as far as January 1st 1900. You can search for memories against a particular day or event by using the search box.
Contributions apart, it is also a place for people to peep into the life events of others. Just like any other social media site, users can comment on the personal memoirs of others.
The growing collection of memories straddles the other BBC sites as well; wherever content can be enriched with a personal recollection. The list can be found in the About page.
Contributing your own memories
To be a part of BBC Memoryshare takes a free signup. It’s a quick four step process where you have to settle a username, go over the rules, give some personal info and verify your email.
BBC says that sometimes it contacts users who send in memories and asks them to be a part of their program. That’s a bit of an incentive to give some valid contact info. To be a part of a BBC program and sharing your experience is a memory of its own.
A log-in later, you are ready to upload your memory hopefully for posterity. Clicking on the Add your own memory large button takes you to the first of several panels.
Give your memory a Title. Give a description of What Happened. The more descriptive and true to life you are the better. For a more graphic job, you can include web links and links (only) to images and videos. To be more specific pin it down to a date and a location. The final panel is for entering some keywords which really help to index the memory for search. All that done”¦ You can now publish your memory, or you can preview it and go back to edit any mistakes.
The profile page keeps track of all memories you have submitted. You can add, edit or delete your memories here.
The BBC hopes it to be a lasting archive. After all, memories are supposed to last forever. BBC Memoryshare is a social sharing site with a slight historical twist and the added extra of the BBC track record. Though the site may sound and look Euro centric, it does have universal appeal. There are many places around the web where we can park our memories. How does BBC Memoryshare sound to you?