Social media for the lost

Social media training - Social media for the lost

The Telegraph, in an article written by Jasper Copping, has dubbed the project we're looking at today as "Facebook for the Fallen".  It is a very fitting title.

We decided on "Social media for lost" for this remarkable digital offering being undertaken by The Imperial War Museum in conjunction with a range of partners.

The project is called "Lives of the First World War".

If you've not heard about the project already we'll try to summarise it for you.

It will attempt to create an online profile or record of every single person who served in World War I.  It'll do so by combining and digitising the collections of archives, museums and libraries across the globe, with the intention of being live and accessible for 2014 - a century since the outbreak of the war.

Aided by the creators of Friend Reunited, they've teamed up with geneaology websites Find my Past and Genes Reunited, to build a website of huge proportions in terms of the data it'll hold and the insight it will give us for generations to come.

Social Media Training

The general public will be able to take part too.  The Imperial War Museum wil be looking for memories, family information and images to complete the profiles of individuals on the site.

If you have an old family photograph of someone who served in the war, you'll be able to upload it to the site where it will be moderated before publication.

The scale of the project hits you when you consider there were 8 million people serving in World War I.  Men and women from Britain and the Commonwealth, including those on the home front, will all be catalogued.

The project has the backing of a wide range of sponsors, including The National Archives, Epson, Auckland War Museum (New Zealand) and the Commonweath War Graves Commission.

The Imperial War Museum have been swift to address any questions about the copyright of material that the public upload to the site (something often overlooked or hidden deep in the terms and conditions of other websites).  Users will retain the ownership of materials they upload but will agree to the IWM being able to reuse it.

They've also stated the general public will be able to reuse the accessible facts from the website, as long as it is for non-commercial purposes.

Lives of the First World War website

The project launch will mark the start of 4 years of official events surrounding the centenary of World War I and will run throughout that time (presumably meaning that is the timeframe in which you'll be able to add to the site, after which it will be archived).

The social media element of the project is clear.  The creators need your assistance in making this a collection of memories, information and imagery that will build into a truly unique online experience and wealth of history.

You can sign up for updates to the project on the official website at Lives of the First World War or by clicking on the website image above.


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