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Social Networking with History

Posted on 9.10.2008

TechCrunch50 finalist takes social networking and adds in some historical significance. As a user, you can annotate and contribute to any number of historical events, photos and documents or even upload your own findings, personal or family history. In essence, it allows those who know history to inform the world and those making history to author it on the go. In all, there are over 43 million documents and photos to browse. Along with user-generated content, Footnote has a partnership with the National Archives, sharing some 4.5 million pages of historical documents and photographs.

User profiles are created upon registration, where you can create galleries, make connections with other members and keep track of your site activity. Another nice feature is the ability to watch items - for example, if you find an image of interest, you will be notified when a new connection is made (perhaps a historical document that pertains to that image) or when another user comments on the image.footnote

For their TechCrunch50 presentation, Footnote launched Pages, where you can create and edit profiles of events, places or people - historically significant or part of a family tree. It's kind of a mix between a social profile on Facebook or MySpace and a Wikipedia entry. The pages can include timelines, photos, documents, maps, links to other websites, member profiles and more. Footnote Pages has already been pre-populated with 80 million pages created from data from the Social Security Death Index. The site claims, "Most visitors will find existing pages about several deceased friends and family members already on the site."

As you can imagine, it takes quite an effort to build and maintain a site like this. While there is a free, limited registration, the full experience will cost you $11.95 per month or $69.95 for an annual subscription - including unlimited access to all Premium images, the ability to annotate, comment, print and save images, the creation of your own gallery and story pages and the ability to share Premium images. You can also get a free 7-day trial on the website.

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