Saturday, November 07, 2009

How TwitPic and "The Cloud" Improves Your Memory!

Have you done this yet? Have you used your digital droppings in "the cloud" to supplement your brain power when it comes to your own memory?

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a co-worker about our plans for SXSW.  We were talking about hotels and I was trying to remember the name of a particular hotel I had gone to a few parties at and really liked.  My brain was useless.  I could not remember the name of the hotel.  I did, however, remember that throughout SXSW last March I was posting pictures from my phone to TwitPic and Pikchur, and I specifically remembered taking a picture of this hotel and it's classic facade.


So, I opened my browser, went to TwitPic, scrolled down to my pictures from SXSW and sure enough, there was the picture I took of the beautiful DRISKILL Hotel, labeled accordingly.  Brain Fart remedied.  Memory repaired.  Mission accomplished.  Sometimes we forget how much "stuff" we put out there.  Our digital trail may have more value and function than we are thinking about when we are busy posting and tweeting and sharing. 

Some folks are taking this phenomena quite seriously and I was fascinated to read about the Microsoft SenseCam project, which has been testing the use of "lifestreaming" as a means of improving memory for amnesic and Alzheimer's patients. From my own experience trying to remember the name of the Driskill Hotel, it seems there could be some real opportunity and value to the research going on here.

What do you think?  Can our digital history help our memory, or is my head just in the cloud(s)?

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