Memory Engineering: What is this new Trend?

As with all trends on the World Wide Web, we have a plethora of new terms used to describe new ways of organizing your on line and off line lives. Newest to this assemblage is “Memory Engineering” term coined by Clive Thompson, who is a writer for the popular technology trend magazine Wired. It is becoming less of a trend, more of a utility used by professionals, students and homemakers alike. It takes on many forms, from applications for your cell phone, to websites that connect your vast social network presence on line to photo and music play-lists that are kept and meticulously stored in order to bring back memories from a week, month or year ago. With the shortening of attention spans worldwide in every single age group, this new utility will assist the user in keeping a track record of their lives as they appear on the World Wide Web.

OK: Sounds neat, where do I go in order to sign up for one or many of these sites? Well, first of all you need to define exactly how you would like your on line life to be tracked. Do you prefer to have an all-in-one solution that includes your FaceBook account, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress Blog and your favorite RSS feeds (as well as many other options)? Or are you only wanting to keep track of a few specific things, like just your FaceBook and Twitter since you are not connected to every single social networking site on the planet (yet)?

From there you need to consider if you would prefer an application for your cell phone as well or prefer to access all of this through your main computer only. I know, it sounds like a lot to consider when it comes to social networking options. However, the more thought that you put into the initial choices, the less spread out your on line life will be in the end. Is that not what we are trying to accomplish? Never fear, we have taken some of the guess work out of the situation for you, and below you will find some information about the most widely used sites.

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Memory Engineering Sites and Applications Review:

  • 4Squareand7YearsAgo: This service is essentially a sister service to the well known geotagging social networking application and website, 4square. For those unfamiliar with this, 4square is a website and cell phone application that allows you to “check in” to different places through the cell phone application and share the locations of places that you have ate, drank, visited, etc… with friends who are on your friends’ profile and through other services that you may connect, like Twitter and FaceBook. By using your “Check ins”, 4squareand7yearsago compiles a list of exactly where you were and where you checked in as well as any notes and to-do list items that you may have logged on that day. In the morning, it will send you a nicely presented email showcasing your movements that day. It becomes an amusing and potentially helpful record of your movements and creates a deeper memory of the time for your enjoyment (or other, less positive emotion, depending). This service requires a 4square account to work and the application installed on your cell phone to facilitate checking in.
  • PastPost: PastPost is essentially 4squareand7yearsago for FaceBook. It does the same exact things that the above service does, just only with FaceBook. It gathers your information, your likes, notes, status updates and other shared items and puts them together in a well-presented, easy-to-read email going over your experiences a year ago on that day. This service does not require you to have any applications installed on your cell phone thanks to FaceBook’s well-developed website.
  • MemoLane: Here we make an entry into the multi-service platforms for memory engineering. MemoLane allows the user to link several services such as: FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, WoodPress, Rss Feeds, 4square, Last.Fm and many more. However, unlike the above services, MemoLane offers far more options of what to do with your information. Touting itself as a “Time Capsule”, it allows you to share your history as well as to work on “stories” which you can invite your friends to assist and collaborate with. Also offered, which is a large bonus over the last two services, is a search option. You can search your own “memos” (as the service calls your entries), other users and also stories created by your friends and family. It does in effect create a “time Capsule” effect.
  • Daily Review: Daily Review is expressly for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. The Kindle allows you to take clippings of your books, either to make notes on or to keep for later because they are good quotes. Daily Review allows you to take those clippings and have them shared across your network of friends as defined in your Kindle user settings. It also allows for you to review and recommend those books and clips via twitter right from your kindle. While this is by far the most limited of the services offered, it does serve a rather specific niche that has not been touched at all. The world of the avid e-book reader is large and diverse with many interests and preferences. Of course, this means that this particular service is limited to those who use either the free kindle computer or cell phone reader or who own an actual kindle. While this is not as large a group as those who use FaceBook and Twitter, it is still a rather large contingent.
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Privacy Concerns

Thankfully, all of the above listen services have customizable privacy settings so that you can choose what is seen by everyone, what is seen by friends and what is private. Not everyone is going to want to share their past with the entirety of the Internet and there is be some people that for whom this is a very private endeavor.

In conclusion

Memory engineering is a new and interesting way to keep track of your life and remind you where you were and when, as well as allowing you to share those experiences with friends and family. In some cases, it can be useful for crafting a biography, such as in the case of using memo lane where stories are a feature of the program. This is a trend that I believe will be seeing much more attention as time goes on and will change the way people interact with the internet and keep track of their lives and memories. Truly, we are becoming life bloggers.

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