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06 Jan, 2010 – 15 comments

free idea: social time machine

At every demarcation of time, we look back. We sift through our memories for those bookmarks… for those vibrant moments, and we blur the rest into our periphery.

Now with so much of our social interaction tied to digital means – why aren’t we collecting our actions for posterity in a more accessible form? Why can’t I look back ten years and see the sites I visited, friends I accepted, content I created, and content I shared? Why can’t I look back to see the seeds of a new friendship or the first movements within a new social networking site?

You could start by simply capturing profile data, connections, and content per social platform at a daily or weekly interval. This would give you a pretty full picture of your online social life over time. I’d hire a fellow like Nicholas Felton to design the data display.

And I’d charge for this service. How’s $99/year to start?

Spelunk for more posts about:

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  1. Jean
    Jean January 6, 2010 at 9:24 am .

    I love that idea!
    Two key points in my opinion : data and mood. I want to have figures about my past online social life, but I also want to feel what I was feeling at that time.

  2. Johannes
    Johannes January 6, 2010 at 10:56 am .

    I think the term for this is “Life logging”.

  3. Johannes
    Johannes January 6, 2010 at 10:58 am .

    And to capture everything besides social media data, check out

  4. antje wilsch
    antje wilsch January 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm .

    We’ll be doing something along these lines in the coming months – stay tuned! :)

    Story of My Life

  5. Johannes
    Johannes January 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm .

    @Bud: So you’re looking for “social life logging” then? ;-)

    Btw. have you seen this book about “life logging” (without the social)? h

  6. wt
    wt January 7, 2010 at 6:11 am .

    isn’t that what b*logs* are for?

  7. David @ data acquisition
    David @ data acquisition January 7, 2010 at 11:38 pm .

    This form of logging could tell us more about ourselves and provide powerful data to online companies that could make use of it.

  8. Dean Richardson
    Dean Richardson January 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm .


    Here’s my attempt to propagate and amplify your idea for the genealogy & family history community:

  9. Dean Richardson
    Dean Richardson January 23, 2010 at 9:34 am .


    I was followed on Twitter today by a startup named Eternos ( that looks to be trying to implement a lot of what you suggested in your post.

  10. Facebook User
    Facebook User January 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm .

    Hello, I’m with
    We’ve been working on this for sometime now (longer than I care to admit). We currently log your Twitter stream, Facebook feed, Gmail, Picasa content, blogs and RSS feeds.

    This data is set to a timeline scrollable by your age, day, month, and year. We do offer a search, unfortunately we can’t index encrypted emails without compromising security, so no email search (for the time being).

    For those that aren’t comfortable with social networks, we offer direct file upload and a video journal.
    We’re definitely in Beta*. I look forward to your feedback, Mr. Richardson’s has incredibly helpful.

    *Security is solid, your connection is encrypted and your data is encrypted on our servers; we are tested daily by McAfee Secure.



  11. Adam
    Adam February 9, 2010 at 4:08 am .

    Close. Something to build on?

  12. matias jaramillo
    matias jaramillo October 16, 2012 at 10:23 am .

    Take a look at
    I really enjoy looking at what happened a year ago.

Comments are closed.