Scrapbooking, Turbo-Charged

Famsourcing means everyone has everything.

By Kurt Rump

Are you ready to take scrapbooking to the next level? You do that through famsourcing.

It’s not a typo. I’m talking about famsourcing – a new word we have coined that means “sourcing from everyone in the family.” It’s a play on crowdsourcing but a lot more personal – to you, to your family, and to your collective memories.

We’ve said this for a long time – “Everyone has something, but no one has everything.” You might recall that in my last post, Photos and the Great Comment Conundrum, I shared “one more thing that bugs me,” and I asked the question, “How many cameras were clicking at that [special event]?”

Bear with me, I’ll pull this all together for you in a moment.

Whether it’s an event that happened last week or thirty years ago, there were no doubt multiple perspectives captured – digitally or on film. And you likely have access to ONLY the perspective that was captured by you or passed on to you.

Typically, scrapbooking and related activities, like the creation of photo books and photo albums, take into account only the photos that the creator has. Yes, that means, in most cases, one perspective. If your parents took pictures of YOU at your grandparent’s anniversary party, what about the pictures your aunts and uncles took of your cousins at the same event? Where are they? How do THEY get included in your scrapbook or photo book or album?

What about all of the other perspectives? What about all those stories?

It’s time to take scrapbooking to the next level. Turbo-charge it.


So much of “capturing memories” has been about getting the elder family members to answer questions and tell stories before they pass on. To be honest, we’ve talked about that a lot, too, because we are deeply aware of how much we missed by NOT asking questions when some relatives were still here to answer us. Now there are services where you can get your elders to answer questions, submit their answers along with any pictures they want to include, and a book gets created from their memories. Beautiful.

And yet – still one perspective.

And yes, while we DO want to capture the memories, we’d rather do it collectively and interactively – through conversation, where lots of stories get shared and other family members augment an elder’s recollections with their own memories. Perspectives begin to mingle. Fuller pictures of events and people begin to emerge.

You’re famsourcing.

And here’s the beauty of it. It works for events from a century ago and events from yesterday. It gives you the opportunity to combine photo perspectives, memories – and the laughter and tears that might go with them – into one turbo-charged scrapbook accessible from anywhere, because it’s online.

Now Everyone Has Everything

A few years back, there was a TV crime show episode in which the good guys got access to all of the cell phone camera footage of a particular event, then merged all that footage together to create a virtual walk-through of the crowd and everything that was happening. I don’t know if that technology really exists or not, but thinking about it is what inspired this post.

What if you could create a sort of “virtual walk-through” of your once-in-a-lifetime trip to a major theme park? An engagement party? A book signing event featuring your newly-minted author daughter (see the real-life story about Eric’s daughter here). Of course they wouldn’t be full-motion movies like the TV and movie special effects people can create, but it could feel like that. Where you get ALL the perspectives.

And you know how someone (Mom or Dad, usually) is NEVER in any of the family pictures you have because they’re the ones taking the pics for posterity? What if you also had Aunt Trudy’s pictures – the ones that SHE isn’t in but your photographer parent is? Now add in the few shots Cousin Ernie took from the carnival ride (or softball game, or buffet line – you get the idea.) And what about the photos daughter Lilly took when everyone was getting ready for the event…?

See what I mean by getting all the perspectives?

What if you could stitch them all together in an online, famsourced scrapbook? Share it with the people who are interested or who were there. Collect all the comments, allow others to add their own photos, and before you know it, you’ve got a living, breathing memory bank, curated and shared with those who matter.

If you are a scrapbook or photo book creator because you love the creative part – the design, and the stamping, and the special papers, and all of that, that’s wonderful. We are not suggesting you should stop doing something you love to do. Consider augmenting your “touch-able” work with an online scrapbook.

If, however, you are a scrapbook or photo book creator because your main goal is to preserve the memories, there’s a point at which that’s going to break down. Heck, there’s a point at which it all breaks down – because we are human. Let me explain:

I was chatting with a friend who was describing to me how she had every intention of creating a beautiful scrapbook commemorating the first two years of her children. The first-born child has a GORGEOUS scrapbook, with every milestone captured beautifully. “And then,” she shared with me, “it seems like I just never got into it again.” “That’s easy,” I told her. “You had a second kid.”

Think about it. Does every child in your family have a completely filled out baby book, with every milestone captured? Or do the details get a bit lost for child #2 and even MORE lost for any other kids who follow? Of course that’s what happens (at least in most families)! Right?

Meaningful memories are best preserved online, in a way that makes it easy to share with the people who matter – and equally easy to secure from the rest… those who have no stake or natural interest in the story.

We know some people who are REALLY good at that.


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