MemoryMiner is an application developed by GroupSmarts, LLC, a company founded in December 2004 by John C. Fox, a recognized pioneer in the field of networked digital asset management.
MemoryMiner represents the first step towards a long term goal: the creation of the world's most extensive network of first-person accounts of modern society and culture. Despite the explosion of digital media in the last 15 years, there remain millions of untold stories "trapped" in boxes of old photos, letters and the like. With this thought in mind, we hope that MemoryMiner will be widely used to bring these materials, and more importantly, the stories that can be told from them, into the networked, digital world.
The video, shown below, is of a presentation made at the Los Angeles Idea Project back in July 2008. It talks about the ideas behind MemoryMiner:
Just as old photographs and documents contain the seeds of fascinating untold stories, so too do many of the millions of digital photographs that are taken every day. So many people are experiencing and doing interesting and even amazing things with their lives, yet their stories remain effectively hidden when not easily discoverable and linked in coherent ways.
The first step to realizing this vision is a better tool for linking digital media in a coherent way. While there are plenty of tools for "managing" digital media, there is a real need to link media in meaningful ways, using an easy to grasp "People, Places and Times" structure. We hope that MemoryMiner will expedite that process and contribute to bringing the experience of digital storytelling and publishing to all.
Another interesting aspect of digital storytelling that becomes apparent with MemoryMiner is the ability to explore the threads which link people's lives across time, place and shared experience. Often, the most wonderful connections and greatest development of understanding comes from discoveries about peoples' lives that are similar to your own, or when a piece of the "puzzle" of your own background falls into place. This becomes increasingly likely the more that people create and publish their stories.
The GroupSmarts team is currently working on developing a set of network services that will link individual MemoryMiner libraries using the descriptive metadata that goes with story elements. The long-term goal of MemoryMiner is the creation of a many-to-many marketplace for "Creative Commons" digital media that would allow people to exchange media elements in order to fill in gaps that they may have as they set about recording and publishing their personal histories.
GroupSmarts is committed to making its software easily available to schools and universities for educational purposes. University/College faculty, staff and students can purchase MemoryMiner at a 50% discount. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a coupon.