Recently as part of their anniversary celebrations, Facebook released a little app that made a movie out of your 'Facebook life'. It was only simple, and not exactly accurate, and couldn't be customised. But it was one of the most beautiful apps I've seen for a long time, and my own movie made me cry. I really enjoyed watching the movies of my closest friends and relatives too.
Well, Memeoirs is a little like that, but on a much better and bigger scale, and it offers to take your special emails, and reproduce those memories in book form rather than electronically. So you can hold your memories in your hand, and keep them forever. The idea also predates the Facebook movies too, just in case you think they've suddenly whipped something together to cash in!
How does it work? And indeed does it work at all? Could a total technological incompetent (like me) use it? Read on to find out!
First off there are two Memeoirs book options. A paperback for 40 euros, and a hardback for 60 euros. Delivery costs in Europe are another 3 euros, and it takes up to 10 days. So if you would like to order one as a Mother's Day gift now is the time to do it.
There are three email options. Hotmail, Gmail and Outlook. As long as you use one of these you are fine. Unfortunately all my most precious emails are stored using Thunderbird, but I was able to give this to PlayPennies parents Ed and Becky who in the last year got married, and had their first baby. With their family all around the UK, and Ed having to travel for his work in the music industry, they had quite a few memories. Ed put the book together for Becky as a Mother's Day gift.
There are two layouts to choose from, either classic or modern. Ed chose modern as he felt this fitted the email format more. However, he wasn't particularly inspired by either choice. The cover was a greater success, having a sort of Penguin classics feel to it. Changing the title and uploading an image was easy.
Next you chose the time period you want the emails to be chosen from. This wasn't quite so straight forward and it took a bit to select dates with some accuracy. The preview was good though, and after having a look at the book - the preview allows you to flick through the pages - Ed went back and chose the Classic layout.
Now, no matter how hard we looked, we simply couldn't see anywhere to select exactly the emails we wanted to publish. This meant an email that said 'oh no I forgot to pick up your dry cleaning' was left in the book. Not really the stuff of romance.
Going back to the Contents section, where you select the contacts for the emails you want to appear in the book, we could only find the option to change the contacts name. But not select exactly which emails to choose.
Given that things like weddings and pregnancies can be fraught with emotions, we were lucky that there weren't any exchanges that a couple would rather not remember forever. I can imagine that being a rather sizeable drawback.
It was also hard for me to find a couple who used email for all this. Most of the people I approached lived their lives through Facebook messages these days, rather than email.
The idea behind this is amazing, and the book itself is beautiful. I really can't think of a more special way to mark an event like an anniversary or Mother's day. I just wish there were more options to customise the content.