How to Record a Life Story
There are different ways you can go about capturing a loved one's life story and preserving some of your family history. When weighing the options, consider things like:
What are the needs and preferences of the person I am interviewing?
What are the capabilities of the person I am interviewing?
Will this be a long-term project or a one-off event?
How will the memoir be formatted?
How many people will want access to this life story?
What is the best way to share this person's stories?
If you are looking for specific details on how to record a life story, you might find these blog articles helpful:
What is a Digital Memoir?
Life story books are very popular. When people think about capturing a life story, a book format is probably what most commonly comes to mind. But technology has opened a whole new world of personal narrative that extends beyond print. While life story books make great, tangible gifts and keepsakes, they have major limitations. In this article we will examine the benefits of creating a digital memoir. A digital memoir can incorporate video, audio recordings, music, articles, images, etc. These elements come together to build layered, multi-media stories that provide a much fuller picture of someone's personality and biographical experiences than plain text can.
Why Create a Digital Memoir?
Here are some of the benefits of not just writing a life story, but creating a memoir or preserving personal history in a digital format:
Easier and more cost-effective to share
One of the nice things about a digital memoir is that it can be accessed and enjoyed by unlimited friends, relatives, and other loved ones. Life story books can be expensive to produce and therefore you may be limited in the quantity you order. With a biographic video or multi-media life story, a URL, downloadable file, or login credentials can be shared with anyone you desire.
Creating a digital memoir can be a bonding experience for families because its collaborative nature. Often the onus of capturing a life story falls on one individual. But with services like Storii, family members can collaborate by:
- Creating and queuing up life story questions
- Scheduling automated life story calls on days and times that work for your loved one
- Uploading family photos, recipes, letters, etc. to accompany audio recordings or written text
- Finding relevant videos, images, and articles to link into life stories
- Sharing life story answers with friends and family via email or text
Interactive and engaging
Descriptive text can help us imagine where a story takes place, what characters in the story looked like, things about the environment and time period, etc. But digital memoirs help the storyteller paint an even more vivid picture for their audience. For example, let's say you're answering the question, "What were you like in high school?" You might use audio to record your answer so that your loved ones can hear your voice. Then, you might upload some yearbook photos of you in high school showing off the extracurricular activities you took part in. If you talk about the music you listened to back then, you could include YouTube videos of some favorite songs. If your high school is still around, you might include a link to the Google Street View page of it so that they can see the building and surrounding area.
Because digital memoirs can be backed up and stored in a cloud, they offer more permanence than physical copies. It's harder, or nearly impossible, for a digital memoir to get lost or damaged. This is key to preserving your family legacy.
Given how interactive and engaging you can make a digital memoir, it can be very in-depth. Video and audio allow you to take in someone's voice, mannerisms, body language, and personality. This becomes very powerful and meaningful after someone dies. Loved ones feel like they're in the room again with their dearly departed after they've passed. Additionally, these recordings can be shared with family members who never had the opportunity to meet or truly know this person.
Every person has a unique story to tell. They deserve this to be captured in a way that honors their agency, the entirety of who they are, and the life they've experienced. A digital memoir is a great way to capture and preserve someone's legacy for the relationships they hold dear.
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There is no easier way to create a digital memoir for yourself or a loved one than through Storii.