Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Capturing ... and Holding ... a Moment in Time Online

Today's front page of the Los Angeles Times features a touching story about how online profiles on MySpace and other sites become living memorials for members who have died. In effect, these profiles capture rich details of lives cut short by terrible circumstances -- the friends members had, the music they loved, the books they read, and photographs of moments in time. These details are particularly gripping because they are those of the members themselves. These profiles also become a refuge and sanctuary for those who knew the owner in life -- a place where friends and family can share their grief and where the member can live on in a tangible way for those left behind. Obviously, MySpace and other sites never had this in mind, but the Internet, as always, takes on a life of its own.

Capturing, and holding, these kinds of "slices of life" is a uniquely powerful aspect of the Internet. At my company, we have had numerous SightSpeeders reach out to us and underscore that a major benefit to them of video mails (i.e., spontaneous messages captured with a web cam and sent via a "click") is that they ultimately become individual time capsules since they can be saved by the recipient. A simple intimate video mail from a grandpa to his grandchild, as just one example ...

Powerful and gripping stuff ...

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