Social Media Challenge: Telling a life story

Grandma Pat

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my grandmother recently passed away at the age of 83. During the festivities (and I do use that word specifically… we are, and she was Irish Catholic, after all), I volunteered to take Grandma Pat’s photo albums and some other keepsake books home to archive digitally. The theory went, if I took them, I could scan them so they could be easily reproduced for all six kids to do what they wanted with the content.

Pat was nothing if not an organizer, and so I find myself with a wealth of wonderful, decades old content, including recipes, household tips collection, photos, and baby books. I’ve been thinking a lot about the opportunities that this content presents when combined with the tools that exist both on my Mac and on the Web.

Honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

The most obvious solution goes something like this:

  • Scan the photos
  • Upload the photos to Flickr, allowing family members to comment on each photo
  • Use iPhoto to create a slideshow, then export the slideshow to a DVD or Web video
  • Share the Web video on YouTube or
  • Send an email to friends and family alerting them that the photos and videos are live.

The thing is, I want to do more than simply digitize the content, and hope that someone leaves a comment on the public version. I want to do something with the content…. and more importantly, I want my family and her friends to do something too. I want stories to be told. I want to create opportunities for her kids and grandkids to share their own memories, photos, videos. I want to involve the extended family (which again, Irish Catholic – no small feat).

So I turn to you, my internet social media friends. What processes & methods (technical or otherwise), software, Web apps, or anything else would you suggest? How can I use the tools at hand to help me tell stories as vibrant as she was and always will be?

Update: I’ll keep a running list of ideas and finds here, so hit this page again if you want to see how this turns out.

  • MemoryMiner – Mac software app, lots of options to add metadata to your photo collection, but honestly not much you can do with said metadata. Maybe I’m just missing it?
  • Dandelife – Web app for building story timelines.
  • Bee Doc’s Timeline – another Mac app specifically designed to create timelines.