A long time friend of Joe’s (and then luckily, friend of mine by default) has created Dandelife, a place to store your memories. Kelly Abbott calls it a Social Biography Network. He didn’t just create this as a hobby. He believes in it so much that he actually quit his job to do it full time. You could say that Dandelife is his life. (I know. Sorry.)

I tried it out a while back and realized that I could really use a place like Dandelife. It’s different than a blog in the way that you can chronologically write in the memories and stories of your life instead of what you ate for lunch yesterday. You can capture your story so you don’t forget it, and put in the details you might not want to go into on your blog but you do want somewhere. And, if you’re like me, it’s fun to see who else was doing things around the same time and where.

I asked Kelly a few questions about Dandelife and he was nice enough to answer.

LP: What was the inspiration for you to create Dandelife?

KA: Loved blogging a little too much, you could say. That’s the short version. The less-short version? Dandelife Origins – I’ve got 11 posts and counting on our blog that create some kind of picture as to why I would drop everything for Dandelife.

LP: What does Dandelife mean to you?

KA: What is it to me? It’s my baby. It’s funny, but I’ve been giving birth to this idea for many years. You can read some of those stories here. But what Dandelife means to me deeper, I suppose, than just a business. I often joke with people that it’s the culmination of my being. I love photos. I love storytelling. I love the Internet and community building online. In a way, Dandelife is the logical progression of bring all of those desires I have into one place.

LP: What kind of mark do you think Dandelife will leave on the world or with individuals?

KA: The mark that Dandelife should leave on individuals is simple: I want people who visit to be entertained by the stories people are sharing here. For the members who’ve signed up, I want their lives to be an archive of sorts. A trusted venue for housing their memories is important to do right. Which leads to the world at large. I want the community at Dandelife.com to reflect the world as it is. The stories people are sharing are quite different from the stuff you read about in your daily news. The connections being made run deeper than those you make at MySpace. What’s happening on Dandelife is very real – even if it is “virtual.”

LP: What is your favorite part of Dandelife?

KA: My favorite part hasn’t been developed yet. Users are giving me recommendations on a daily basis. That combined with the constant loop of ideas that we have going on internally, there are some pretty creative features coming. I can’t wait to tell you about them.

If you were to put my feet to the fire, then I’d have to admit that my favorite part right now is the timeline you see on the home page. It’s what our members love the most and seems to be what the blogosphere digs the most as well. People just love the idea of seeing their life – visually – at a glance. Keep hitting refresh on the home page and you’ll start to see some pretty neat stories popping up every time. I sometimes find that I’ve wasted an entire afternoon bouncing from one good story to the next. Of course, for me, that’s not an occupational hazard at all. 🙂 For you – I hope it’s a nice diversion from the daily grind.

Thanks, Kelly.

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  1. Holy mother of God. What a fantabulous idea! This is precisely why I started blogging, to create timelines, memories, etc. I am quite forgetful. In fact, when a very old and dear friend reminded me that I used the phrase, “Eat me” every other word, I totally denied it.

    Thanks for passing this on, and HOORAY KELLY! (Oddly, I just created a post entitled “Kelly” today in honor of my oldest and dearest friend (same one who reminds me of my previously bad behaviors).

  2. I have to say, I checked it out and I don’t quite “get” it. This sort of thing used to be called a scrap book and it was kept in a closet, discovered after some elderly aunt or grandpa passed on. Its musty smell tickeled your nose and the pages, worn and crinckled on the edges, revealed more than photos, there were ticket stubs, event programs, sometimes letters and postcards. I know because I have several….

    I wonder how we will “hand down” all this memorabilia that is stored on servers out there somewhere? who will treasure and save this for future generations?

  3. piglet – glad you like it.

    thanks, jessica. : )

    JeSais – i think for people like me that just glue the ticket stub to a blank sheet of paper but then never get around to writing about it, this is a great way to get the writing part done. i am a terrible ‘scrapbooker’, kind of an anomaly for my family incidentally, and break out in hives at the thought of trying to put one together. i have piles of old photos that will never, ever make it into an actual book. but if i have digital photos and something to write about them, this makes it easier for me. i admit, it might not be for everyone, tho…..

  4. through the chip installed in everyone’s head in the future. you’ll dock your brain and download it along with the smell of musty paper and the texture of grammie’s couch. and then you will fly home using your jet propelled boots. and sleep in your air bed 3 feet above the ground.

    seriously, i don’t know. i don’t think it bothers me. i like the digital-ness of the alternative to physical scrapbooks.

    but you sound worried about it. why? can’t we pass down the scanned images of both the photos and the other memorabilia long after the aging papers have disintegrated? please to explain, dear jenn.

  5. oh hell, I dunno. It seems kinda sad in a way. Of course I have no one to pass these things down to anyway, but the idea of history being lost into the ether seems a little scary. Maybe I’m more old school than I care to admit 🙂

  6. Leah – Thanks for the interview. It was a pleasure to do.

    Piglet and Jessica – Thanks for the props.

    JeSais – I hear what you mean. Feel free to join the site and let me know personally how you think it would meet those needs better. We have a forum for just that: http://help.dandelife.com

    Kelly, Co-Founder, Dandelife.com

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