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I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to get the rest of my family involved in genealogy and family history. I think I may have found a fun way to do this . . . Pass It Down and their new product greetingStory™ Cards Memory Box.
One of the biggest challenges especially with my older living relatives is preserving their stories about growing up and what life was like for them. When these stories simply stay in their heads or they are only conveyed verbally, there is a huge risk of these memories being lost once the storyteller passes away.
greetingStory Cards are a unique way for someone like me, the de facto family historian, to collect stories and easily share them with other family members, friends or even the public.
Why greetingStory Cards Work So Well
Who said that greeting cards were “old fashioned” or “dying?” This isn’t the case from my perspective! I see more and more of my friends in the Baby Boomer generation using greeting cards because they “stand out” especially in this age of digital communication. It takes nothing to leave a voicemail or type an email, but it does take quite a bit of thought to pick out “just the right card.”
In addition, it seems that Millennials are “hooked” on greeting cards. In speaking with my friends from that generation, this is more than just chasing nostalgia or quirky old-fashioned items such as vinyl records. According to a recent article at the Boston Globe (see Millennials’ strange love affair with greeting cards, 22 June 2016), there is a trend towards purchasing and sending unique cards among 20 and 30-somethings: “The product itself is all about connecting people, and maybe that’s one of the reasons that we’re seeing this resurgence . . .”
So the tactile greeting card concept employed by Pass It Down in its new product greetingStory Cards is spot on for me and many others. These cards are unique in that they contain important family history prompts that you won’t find on the Hallmark rack at your local grocery story. Plus, they are paired with an easy-to-use online platform that helps preserve stories and share them with others.
What Do You Get with the greetingStory Cards Memory Box?
I received a beta prototype of the greetingStory Cards Memory Box as part of this review and I was impressed with what I found inside.
The box contains a story card about Pass It Down and instructions on how to use the cards. There is an assortment of cards with a simple graphic and a family story prompt on the cover.
The card interior contains instructions for the card recipient including expanded story prompts.
There is also an envelope included. You could use this to send the card to a relative OR how about this . . . address them to yourself, add a stamp and hand them out as “favors” at your next family reunion!
There are Memory Box configurations in 12, 24 and 48-pack assortments PLUS you can also take advantage of a subscription program that will send cards to you or someone in your family at set intervals.
Using the PassItDown Platform
Once a card is completed and given back to the family historian, the Pass It Down platform is used to preserve and share the family story. I found the website intuitive and easy-to-use. I had to create an account, agree to a basic Terms and Services, and then I could customize my profile with a photo and bio.
Next, I located the URL on the reverse of the card – https://passitdown.com/grandparents – and started to add the contents of the card. There are several choices available: I could take a photo of the card itself and add it in order to show the handwriting of the person writing the story. I also decided to transcribe the text and I would strongly recommend doing this since it can be difficult to read some hand writing. Since my memory prompt was related to my grandparents, I found a photo to add to the story. Other options include adding video and audio clips as well as text and photos.
Visit https://stories.passitdown.com/stories/41412 to see the story that I’ve posted at Pass It Down and consider setting up your own account to collect and post your family’s memories.
Suggestions for the greetingStory Card Concept
I realize that the greetingStory Card product is still in its infancy, but here is what I’d like to see as the concept develops:
- Develop an easier way to upload content to a story. Perhaps a unique email address that can receive items such as photos. This way when I have a story established, I can send a photo from my iPhone and it is added automatically.
- Allow the ability to add GPS locations especially for photos. Speaking of which, it would be nice if I could add a caption to a photo, tag people and make the photo a bit more interactive.
- Create a project concept where other family members can add to the same story. I know with my mother’s family there were 12 children and if you asked about a specific family story there would be at least 12 different versions!
At first, in a world where everything digital is the latest and greatest, using a tactile greeting card to collect family stories might seem odd. But it definitely works, especially with older relatives! I could see sending these to my aunts and uncles as well as cousins. Or I would purchase an assortment to use at my next family reunion. The important thing is to just do it and not put this important family history project off until it is too late!
Check out both the greetingStory Cards Memory Box product as well as the Pass It Down website and see if this site works for your own family story project.
About Pass It Down, LLC
Since 2015, PassItDown has been dedicated to helping families around the world capture and preserve their memories and stories. Through its pioneering digital storytelling platform, Pass It Down is leading innovation in the storytelling and genealogy industries and has won numerous awards and recognition from organizations including: the International Storytelling Center, the National Storytelling Festival, the Aging 2.0 Global Startup Search, BYU, the Miller Lite Tap The Future contest, and many more.
PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”
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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.
©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.