In September, 2008 I scribbled this idea in an old journal that I recently stumbled upon: Create a website called "Remember When" – a chronological scrapbook of the moments in your life.
Yes, I had invented Timeline nearly three years before Facebook. No, I did not do anything with the idea beyond writing it down in an apparent plot to torment my future self.
At the time I was inspired by the insight that many of us have a running stream of memories and events that are sometimes fuzzy on dates and details. Was it in 5th grade or 6th that I took that camping trip with my childhood friend Mike Harris? Was that memorable guys reunion trip to Vegas (that we really should not remember) in 2002 or 2003? In what year did I spar with Muhammad Ali on the back of that plane? Was the drunken Barney the Dinosaur at Lauren's 4th or 5th birthday party?
The idea was based on a wizard that would prompt and post memories along a timeline so that over time you could see the story arc of your life. It would include multiple views into your life's chronology – through events or photos or pop culture milestones.
I also wrote about a community of friends posting recollections of shared memories, with an ability to overlay a friend's timeline on your own (what were you doing when I was doing...). What kills me most is this next notation: include a way to alert friends when you post a memory that includes them.
So the moral of the story is this: If you can dream it you can do it. And if you do it...secure the legal rights before Mark Zuckerberg does.