If someone plotted out your life over the past five or so years, what would it look like? What if you could revisit every comment you've posted, every tweet, every photo you've uploaded or was tagged in, and recall every expression of the ups and downs you've made on the Net...all on a single timeline?
Memolane is a Web app that makes walking down memory lane visually interactive and borderline effortless. It extracts each moment you've shared with your online accounts from popular services such as Facebook, Last.fm, Twitter, Foursquare, and more and combines them into one visual timeline. Each tweet/photo/post/scrobble is organized by its respective tag dates, drawn from APIs and then posted as "memos" under each day.
Once you sign in with your various online accounts, Memolane will lay out your content as memos dating all the way back to the first day you activated your account. (Mine dated back to 2005, which was when I first started using Facebook.)
The Memolane timeline can be controlled either by mouse or keyboard. You can swipe through memories by clicking and dragging the memos left and right or by clicking on a timeline segment located at the bottom of the page. Playing with the HTML5-driven interface felt tabletlike and smooth.
The main section features expandable memos for days with multiple entries or photos. You can also customize and share specific segments to show what you were doing around a particular event, thanks to Memolane's "Stories" feature. Friends can contribute to your stories by adding parts of their own timeline to yours, should you give them permission. You can also quickly jump to any point in time by clicking on the master timeline, located at the bottom of the page.
Worried about showing too much personal content? You can also set privacy settings for each individual account; you can pick and choose select account histories to publicize, or privatize everything for personal viewing only.
Memolane has a comfortable interface and makes navigating easy, but it's the sentimental presentation that can truly hook you. Those who are active in their online lives will likely get the most out of the experience, but being able to look back at our social behavior spanning across so many services and trying to piece back your old life is fascinating. Memolane feels less like archived data and more like a streamlined, personal scrapbook.
Exploring all the fun, stupid, sad, and endearing moments of the past in a linear montage of videos, photos, check-ins and status updates is not just nostalgic, but straight up surreal. Being able to see tangible evidence of your memories and see how you've grown without having to spend hours or days scavenging your accounts is pretty darn cool.
Memolane is currently still in beta, but you can still sign up and give it a run. Check it out and sound off on the comments below!