That photo was taken in 2006, wait no, 1998, on a fishing trip in Montana, err… the Catskills? Sound familiar? Most of us are pretty lousy at preserving our family histories and memorabilia. And now, with our messy digital lives – photos and videos and notes spread across apps and different devices – the task of maintaining any kind of meaningful record isn’t getting any easier.
Let’s not fool ourselves. If we don’t take action immediately, we never will. But there is hope. It can be done.
Arq is “the smart website that helps people capture the memories of family members and preserve them for future generations.” First Arq collects all of your voice and video recorded memories, typed notes and photos. Then it transcribes those recordings, and adds depth to memories by augmenting them with relevant information. Finally, Arq stores everything securely online and helps turn it into beautiful keepsake books for future generations.
This is a smart service for a couple of important reasons. It gathers precious content in one secure location. Too often we wait until a funeral to come together and share our memories and heirlooms. By then, maybe an account has been deactivated, a hard drive erased. Any number of errors or oversights can result in the loss of priceless memories. The value of stashing family content in one place where everyone in the family might find it cannot be overstated.
What’s more, Arq preserves not just data but narrative. Keepsake books tell our family stories. We lose context with frightening ease. Memory is notoriously unreliable. Details blur and vanish over time for nearly everyone. Unless our memories are arranged in a meaningful light, there’s little chance that we ourselves will remember people and events clearly, let alone future generations.
If you want to safeguard your memories and have them rendered into book that will make family stories both more intelligible and more fun to share, Arq is a great medium. Sign up for early access at v3.myarq.com/#sign-up. The startup is wisely not throwing the doors wide open until they’re fully prepared for traffic, accepting a few people each week. Even so, they’ve still managed to quickly sign on over 5,000 people.
It’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to have such a wealth of memories at our fingertips today. We can digitally record so much now. Not so long ago, capturing a grandparent’s voice and learning his or her entire story was a far greater challenge. With Arq, no one should let their invaluable family legacies fade away.