A Collective Memory


Zan McQuade muses over the growing intimacy of the Internet:

Along with things that were already in the public domain, the television shows and baseball games that were broadcast to everyone, there are an increasing number of personal souvenirs of the past gradually appearing on the Internet. It’s these personal souvenirs that seem to most impressively contribute to our collective memory. Scanned brochures, ticket stubs, blurry photographs of family vacations. Somewhere on the Internet might even be a picture of someone else’s childhood, a trip to King’s Island perhaps, with me in the background. Detailed accounts in forums of events that few people might have experienced, but, once accessed, brings back a flood of new memories to be assembled and posted and disseminated. Like a postcard from the Lauderdale Biltmore, and a memory of a family vacation.

As more of these mementoes are brought forward and become publicly accessible, as we find better ways to tag and search, we are coming closer and closer to creating a massive online collective memory; a living, breathing, changing vision of the world from our perspective, to be shared and passed along and consumed and sighed over. Were you there? Did you see it when…? I was there!

(Photo by Flickr user HA! Designs – Artbyheather)