Connecting Curious Dots

On the intersection of technology, culture, and everyday life: My semi-updated space to collect and link my thoughts about interesting things I spot.

Burying Time Capsules with Yahoo!

Picture_2_1 For fun, my friend and I wrote down predictions: "Will be attempting original ideas in graduate school", "Still with but not married to ‘John‘, etc etc… We sealed those thoughts and dreams in an email, not to be opened for 5 years. (Forgotten, then recently remembered and opened, some predictions turned out amusingly false).

Much more sophicated and scaled is another digital time capsule by Yahoo!.  Unlike the intimate shoeboxes of the past buried in that secret backyard nook, the era of Web 2.0 is one of the communal shoebox showcased on a public web.  For 30 days from October 10 to November 8th people worldwide can contribute (and view and comment on) personal photos, writings, videos, and audio as a mosiac snapshot of what is meaningful in this moment of history.  So far nearly 52,000 men and women have contributed (most about "Love" and "Beauty" and least about "Anger" and Sorrow") to this electronic anthropology project to be entrusted to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.  Tied nicely to the theme of leaving behind a public digital legacy, Yahoo! is also donating $100K among seven charitable organizations that participants help select. 

Aside from the Yahoo! Time Capsule, other projects are likewise capturing ordinary life to be shared with generations to come in digital form.  Since 2003, StoryCorps has recorded over 8,000 voices of everyday people commenting on their lives (some of which can be heard online).  Perhaps the popularity of user-generated content (and reality tv) exemplifies a yearning to be seen and recorded in our everyday live, or perhaps alternatively it can be interpreted as a desire to see and relate to the rest of the billions of us out there.  Personally, for now, me and my friend are keeping the particulars of our email time capsule private.


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This entry was posted on October 20, 2006 by in Culture and New Media, Social Media Networks, Visualization.
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