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The site aggregates your social history into one interactive timeline
Have you ever wanted to dig up a Facebook conversation or tweet but can’t remember where or when it happened? Memolane, which recently launched in beta mode, will take all of your scattered social networking experiences and frame them within a neat little timeline, be it photos you uploaded onto Flickr, check-ins via Foursquare, status updates on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, and more.
Founded by Eric Lagier, Memolane aggregates all of your social data into one location, which, if you’re a shut-in like me, will make you realize that you’re much less interesting on paper than you previously suspected. The idea for Memolane came about during Startup Weekend in Copenhagen earlier this year, where it won 10,000 DKK (a little over $1,800).
"The idea was very simple," said Lagier in a recent lecture at Startup Bootcamp. "We're all on the Internet more and more. More of our lives is on the Internet; we're on Facebook, Twitter, we're on Picassa and Flickr...we're on so many of these sites and everything is happening now, now, now. But where is the history? How do I navigate back and forth in time?"
Following Lagier's one-minute pitch at Startup Weekend, he suddenly found himself swarmed with roughly a dozen people who wanted to work with him on building a solution. The team began working on Friday and by that Sunday they had a working site to demo and pitch.
So here is how it works: you log on and connect through your various social networking profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, etc.) and within minutes, the site aggregates all of that information into an interactive timeline. Multiple uploads on a single day are arranged vertically and a panel along the bottom of the screen allows you to browse through dates within your social history and select one at random to recall what you said/did on any given date and time, beginning with your earliest upload to your most recent.
There are, of course, some limits to this. Social media has been around for quite some time, but the social networking sites that Memolane supports include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picassa, TripIt, Foursquare, Last.fm, Spotify, and Rss feeds. No MySpace or Bebo, or any of those early social/blogging sites like Livejournal, so you won’t see all of your social history, but the interactive timeline is cool nonetheless. It even allows for collaboration. For example, if you and your friends threw a Halloween party last week, you can invite those friends into a shared timeline to upload video, photos, Tweets, check-ins, anecdotes, and anything else related to the event to create a collaborative narrative around the party. Users can also share these timelines with other friends and family members who don’t need to have a Memolane account to view them.
As the site is still in beta mode, it is available by invitation only (but you can see an example of one Memolane timeline here), and it still has a couple of kinks to work out. For example, in my own Memolane timeline, I’ve noticed that there is a gap of a year and a half between the time I joined Facebook and the first status update that shows on my timeline. Additionally, while the timeline will include content that you uploaded yourself, it does not include tagged content like photos and videos.
Memolane has kept a low profile and has made no announcement as to when it plans to launch publicly. Since the company’s founding in April of this year, it has raised $2 million in a series A round led by August Capital and Atomico, the fund created by Skype founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. It is worth noting, also, that August Capital’s investment was led by Howard Hartenbaum, who was the first investor in Skype.
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