A Trip Down Digital Memory Lane

Memolane is a new online service that allows users to aggregate the content of all their social networking sites in one place and organize it as a timeline. At the moment it’s only a public beta but it shows tremendous promise, and on a scale of 1 to 10 for neatness, I’d say it gets an 11.

The San Francisco-based project was generated during Startup Weekend, an event that takes place every year in different locations around the globe and which works as a sort of express breeding ground for new enterprises and ideas. The one where Memolane was created happened in Copenhagen on April last year. Since then, the startup has raised enough funding to become a more or less full-bodied tool that any social networking fiend will love.

The user is required to register at the Memolane website and choose the services they’d like to have added to their timeline from a list. So far, this list comprehends most major sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, though apparently there’s more to come.  After the desired services have been picked, all that’s left is to lay back and let Memolane do the work. It will capture the entire mass of music, tweets, posts, pictures, check-ins and videos accumulated on each site throughout the months/years and use them to build a timeline that’ll look something like this:

The construction of the line will take different amounts of time depending on how much content of yours is available on the web. Once it’s done you can navigate it backwards and forwards, pick any day you like, and simultaneously re-view everything you uploaded online on that precise date, presented in the shape of individual memos that descend vertically. Below there’s a bar that permits to surf the timeline more easily and speedily.

The coolest feature is perhaps the possibility to create Stories, “collaborative timelines […] with hand-picked content from your Memolane”. For example, if you and your friends went on a trip together, you can bring the pertinent elements of your respective Memolanes together and come up with a joint visual representation of that shared experience. Moreover, it’s important to remark that Memolane lets you control your privacy settings very strictly: You can make your entire timeline public, available for friends only, or just yourself. You can also adjust the privacy of individual memos and stories in a similar manner.

The service still has a few glitches and shortcomings – for instance, due to limitations of the application, it collects only up to 3,200 tweets previous to the day when you register. Still, it’s bound to become smoother with time and the idea is undeniably great. Check out Find Places To Go On Public Transit With Mapnificent and Muzeit: Send Musical Messages For Every Occasion to learn about other cool Web 2.0 developments.