Monday, 7 July 2008

Return to the sandpit

Yesterday I happened to cycle past the first flat I ever lived in when I moved to London, suffice to say I hadn't been back nearly two years and I was suddenly gripped with that feeling that you get when you go back to your old school. In many ways it's indescribable but I think you know what I mean when I say I felt slightly apprehensive mixed with excitement as well as a sense that I shouldn't be there. It was odd and whilst I looked up at the windows and balcony all the memories of the parties and fun times flooded back and I felt immensely warm whilst chuckling to myself. People walking past must have thought I was slightly unhinged as I looked longingly at a block of flats grinning away.

One thing that I did think however was how great it would be if you could tap into this feeling through some sort of communication? Now obviously the biggest stumbling block would be that everyone's feelings are acutely personal (old schools, houses/flats, ex's etc) so whatever was being said and whichever medium was used would have to combine ambiguity with specifics. Ambiguity, to avoid wastage of ideas on un-receptive audiences and specifics, which tap into the key feelings that are generated in these situations.

Immediately I'm thinking that this might be something that is user generated at its core and maybe facilitated through the brand, for example Orange could offer users the facilities to put together a slide show of their memories of school which would include photos of old teachers and perhaps classrooms and playgrounds. From this I could see other people from the same class/school chipping in and giving their opinions and versions of the school/events etc. This is quite a large scale example and I imagine it would be for primary and secondary schools however that's not to say it wouldn't work on a really small scale personal level. i.e. destinations of childhood holidays, the first place you met, maybe track down your first car?!!!

Bit of a stream of consciousness and lacking in details but I think if it worked this would create a very neat network that would be fed from all sorts of different sources and could allow for people to share their early experiences using modern technology as a facilitator.

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