I suppose Facebook for dead people was inevitable. Now it’s a reality.
Kudos to Randy Seaver for tipping me off to the new Facebook application, I Remember. The Facebook folks have hooked up with Footnote to create the app which aims “to preserve, honor and share the memories of those important people in your life that have passed away.”
It’s pretty cool and it comes at an appropriate time – when many Internet users are finally embracing social media and at the beginning of Personal History Month, a time to reflect on one’s own family history. I’ve started my first I Remember page, for my mother, Elsie Lehmer.
Much like a regular Facebook account, I Remember offers a home page (or Wall) that offers basic biographical information, room for a photo of the person being honored and a “news feed” of comments from other Facebook users.
Click on the info tab and you get a nifty timeline showing big events that happened during that person’s lifetime. The timeline is expandable and will accept links to stories you provide that are dated. There’s a photos tab and a “Remembered By” tab that is similar to the Friends tab in the regular Facebook.
Any Facebook (or presumably Footnote) user has access to the honored person’s page and may add information, photos or stories. I Remember is just the latest entry in the social media genealogy genre, joining sites like Geni and We Relate, but the first to carry the huge startup momentum that Facebook and Footnote bring to it.
Blogger Kirsten at A Grain of Salt was prescient enough in February to write about how great it would be to have a Facebook for our ancestors. While the new Facebook-Footnote collaboration takes us just half the way to establishing a true conversation, that’s as close as we can reasonably ever expect to get.
Writing prompt for the day: Which of your ancestors would you most like to have as a Facebook friend? Write about why you would pick that person.
Photo: Elsie & Jack Lehmer with dog Stubbs in 1944. (W.B. Lehmer collection)