Video Capsule

A web-based time capsule for video diaries

The Idea

How great would it be to watch a video of your great-grandmother, at the same age you are now, talking about her life? Can you imagine how your own views and attitudes might change over the next forty or fifty years? Would octogenarian you be interested in reliving your teenage aspirations?

This idea is the creation of a place for secure and specific media hosting, with the intention of deep storing these files for decades (or even centuries) to come.

Users could create an account and would be able to upload webcam video diaries about themselves and their lives. The site could offer elementary guidance on interesting topics and prompting questions.

These video files could be stored privately as a default, or made public if the user wished the world to see. These autobiographical videos would be stored away for review in years, decades, or centuries to come.

What Problem Does this Solve?

  1. The fear of having no trace of our memories. As print media is replaced by digital formats, the need for guaranteed sources of safely stored reminders is going to increase.
  2. The fear of being forgotten. This idea allows future generations to learn who you were and what mark you made on the world.
  3. Escape from the ennui of modern existence. Being able to reflect on past thoughts helps to better plan for the future. Watching a video diary of yourself from three years ago could serve as a reminder of what’s changed and what CAN change in the next three years.

Target

Target users are anyone interested in self-reflection. Reminiscing is an emotional and personal experience. If we compare the traditional popularity of photo albums and wedding videos with the modern enjoyment of facebook timeline reminders, it’s clear that people like reliving memories via media.

The idea may also appeal to those with a thought for the interests of posterity. There is an old Greek proverb that says “society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in” – one potential marketing position could be to focus on fostering empathy for one’s antecedents and the historians of the future.

Strong work could be done with schools, museums and universities to get students involved. These young users could be enthused with a passion for history and futurology through the idea of being able to look back on themselves as grown-ups.

Genealogists at popular sites like ancestry.com could be persuaded to join because of their awareness of leaving traceable accounts for future generations.

Revenue

The revenue stream would need to be tailored based on initial data and market feedback.
The most obvious is to offer a freemium subscription service. The ability to upload a small number of videos might be free, but unlimited storage, length, and retrieval could be offered to users with paid subscriptions.

As ever, PPC ads are another potential revenue source. If a user’s profile was adequately detailed then targeted advertising might prove effective. If user visits are infrequent then revenue based on through-traffic might be a dead end.

Content is king, especially highly personal content. One last potential of this idea is the revenue from interested parties of the future. When the media content is able to lapse into the public domain, much like a national census from 100 years ago, the interest in old records from archivists and genealogical corporations may become a major revenue stream. Imagine if the site stored the video diaries of users who go on to become future stars, leaders or despots.

Barriers

There would be technological and legal barriers in guaranteeing the security and data integrity of personal media files.

Storage costs may have to be offset with tiered subscriptions if they cannot be covered by an alternative revenue source. However, the historical downward trend of file storage costs could mean that the concept gets cheaper to run the longer it operates.

Promoting awareness of the idea and encouraging uptake could be an initial difficulty. Reassurances would have to be given about security and the benefits of nostalgia could be a tricky sell to the here-and-now generation.

Summary

This idea would allow the habitual diarist to explore some of the rich qualities of the vlogger space whilst leaving something for future generations to ponder. Monetisation could come from a number of sources but only after overcoming the initial barriers of storage and user uptake.