Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.
What's your favorite tool?
But as a user? It's LifeQs. When it comes to making LifePosts for my friends and family, I don't want to do all the work (heck, I use this thing all day. As much as I love it, I don't want to spend ALL my free time on it, too!). So I set up a bunch of LifeQs designed to get specific info from friends or family that I share with so that I can reuse their answers and media elsewhere. It's a really effective way to put them to work gathering the info while I kick back and eat potato chips.
Why did you decide to work with LifePosts?
Around the time, Steve and I started talking more seriously about the project, I was about to embark on a similar initiative to allow people to share their first-person narratives in text, video and writing. That project was to be a digital incarnation of a book I had pitched more than a decade ago -- a collection of stories capturing the oral traditions of African and African Americans in passing down stories from mother to daughter to granddaughter. The more Steve and I talked, I realized LifePosts could be the combination of all of those things. Most importantly, I believe LifePosts could become the glue for families and even communities to reestablish lost connections.
Already while building this project, I've shared lots of laughs and a few tears with family members as we've sorted through old photos and shared old stories to cobble together family history. For me, my LifePosts will become something I can share with my children and siblings and cousins, and in turn, they can share them with their families.
What do you want LifePost to be when it grows up?
What do you do about people who died a while ago?
My grandfather died 11 years before I was born. I know so little about him. I had my mother and aunt go in and fill out what they could from memory: when and where he was born, what he did at what points in his life, etc. From there, I've been taking each little factoid and fleshing it out, and I've learned so much about his little quirks, sense of humor and general mindset about things... and I'm only into his teens! It's been a really rewarding project that only needs a few minutes here and there. Especially helpful has been getting my family to pitch in without taking up any significant amount of their time.
What's the meaning of the 3 bars?
An earlier version (in this image) had the third color in a more pastelle-ish blue, but it the whole thing seemed a little bit somber so we switch the the chirpier bright blue.
Beyond the 'market need’ blah blah, why do you REALLY care about this?
It became pretty clear that people need relatable human stories about their neighbors to break up some of the drearier elements of the news cycle and remind them what brings them all together. Though many of the readers were strangers to the subject, it gave them a real, uplifting sense of community. And in the case of obituaries, the power it had to give comfort, support and hope to the families as people left notes and memories... well, it was palpable.
So that's why I really care about this. Journalism is about helping people, and that's not always a town hall rundown, crime blotter or business report... sometimes it's just shedding light on the moments of life, love and loss that bind them together.
Attached is a photo of Ed Eisenberg, a community activist whose passing I wrote about in 2014 (http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2014/03/ed-/.../9-years-old/). The effect writing this had on me and, more importantly, his family, is something I think about a lot as we work on LifePosts.
How can a LifePost help with grieving?
Collaborating on a LifePost is way to continue the communal story-telling, grieving, and appreciating. And since LifePosts has no time limit, people can contribute when the time is right for them.
Where did the idea for LifePosts come from?
If I hate writing, what's the best way to use LifePosts?
How did LifePosts get its name?