Share your memories at the BBC

An intriguing social experiment from the BBC – The Time When:

[…] The site is a place to record and share memories of the important days in your life. It also gives information about events which have taken place on any day since 1st January 1900, and on many dates before that.

Using The Time When, you can add your memories of events that happened on any day, read other people’s memories, search for memories by date and see what happened on any day since 1st January 1900.

The BBC say they hope that a version of this site will be available on To test the idea, they have developed this prototype for a limited period.

The site has some neat features such as each “memory” posted relating to a specific date links to a Wikipedia entry for that date or event, thus connecting to and expanding your access to the overall net of knowledge.

Interesting concept.

There’s more though – 40,000 RSS feeds:

  • A feed for all memories posted to the site
  • A feed for each user, featuring memories posted by them (see any user’s page for the link)
  • A feed that aggregrates memories posted by each user’s friends
  • A feed for every day on the site, listing memories posted about it, ie, 7 July 2005 has its own feed, as does every day since 1900

This is quite a project.


Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Anna Farmery

    The thing that constantly amazes me is the new mind set o forward thinking by the BBC. They seem to be really trying to understand the new media – vs the troubles of ITV at the moment. Maybe this just shows that the debate of the licence fee has finally woken up “The Institution” and they have realised that they need to understand their future customers if they are to survive. Amazing M&S and the BBC both awakening at the same time…. But hats off for trying, whether these ventures succeed or not at least you are attempting to re-engage with the public – who said a leopard cannot change their spots!

  2. Anna Farmery

    The mind blowing element is that it is the BBC- they have never been known for leading edge, since the other channels have come on board?? My thought is the threat of losing the licence fee, but even then it has been a fairly rapid change round and we all know how difficult changing an institutional culture is? The internal marketing and vision setting would be interesting to study as an example of how business can embrace change despite difficult trading environments. Maybe it is just another example of competition brings out the best in you, if you recognise it, work out a way to differentiate yourself and enjoy the ride….

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