Friends Reunited and Genes Reunited founder talks with historytrace about Liife.
Steve Pankhurst, the founder of FriendsReunited and GenesReunited is poised to launch a completely new service called Liife.
Liife is all about capturing key moments in your life, both the past and the present. By creating a timeline of your life’s memorable moments through memories and photos you can share these with just the important people who actually took part in those moments.
Steve took time out of his launch preparations recently to talk with historytrace about the very personal origins of this new service.
What sparked the Liife idea for you?
A number of years ago I found all my old diaries and realised there were lots of events in them that I had forgotten about – parties, holidays, gigs, football games, weddings etc. I wrote a small system purely for myself so that I could digitise them and not lose them in the future. When I was getting back control of FriendsReunited a couple of years ago I realised how much the personal timeline was a sort of extention of FriendsReunited and GenesReunited and that formulated the idea of Liife.
What are your favourite Liife features?
Its simplicity I hope and the way it shows photographs. However, I think when you invite someone you know to one of your moments, and they register and automatically see the old photos then I believe that is a big draw to use the site. This has already happened to me when a cousin uploaded photos from an old holiday, they were pictures I had never seen and probably never would have.
We see lots of ways Liife can be used for family history sharing, how can users utilise Liife to capture the timelines of historical ancestors?
At the moment it’s very much about building moments from your own life. However, we will be adding the facility to build the timeline of anyone in your family – and in fact of any person you so wish. You can in a way already do this by registering under a different email address however we will be making this easier under your own login.
Is there a limit to the number of moments you can have on a timeline?
No, there is no limit on moments or photos.
We really like the idea that “some moments deserve a proper story”. How does collaborative story telling work on Liife?
Each moment has its own discussion board for invited friends to share comments. All invited friends to that moment can also upload extra photos.
In what ways does Liife differ from other photo sharing social media apps?
For each moment, only those friends and family invited by the originator can view and edit the moment. Privacy is important to people and we won’t be adding any features on your personal timeline which get shared to the world.
What do you think is the biggest genealogical significance which Liife provides for users?
It’s not just about plotting your own life. I have plans to sit down with my mum and go through my late father’s life, through all the numerous pictures I have of him. I realise I know very little about his life before I was born. I also want my mother to do the same exercise. Doing this opens up people to tell stories about their lives which could get lost forever. My father’s, mum’s and eventually my own stories will act as a sort of legacy and history of our lives I hope for our future family.
We look forward to Liife being available soon so we can use it to develop our family heritage legacy, moment by moment.
At historytrace we specialise in European family histories. We work with international clients who want to better understand their personal heritage, particularly those who have complex family stories with missing pieces and persons. In order to find answers where others cannot our strategy of deep research brings profound insight. This means that clients experience a real transformation in their knowledge of their unique personal heritage.