Web­site Pro­vides A Place To Re­mem­ber

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - EN­TREPRENEURS Christina O’Con­nor

Acou­ple years ago, on a fam­ily group email, one of Beth N. Carvin’s cousins started ask­ing ques­tions about a bar in Bos­ton that their grand­fa­ther owned. Her cousin had heard sto­ries about the bar grow­ing up and wanted to know more.

That launched Carvin’s un­cle and fa­ther into tales of bar­maids and slot ma­chines and boot­leg whiskey.

“My cousins and I were on the edge of our chairs,” Carvin re­calls. “Every day, an email would come in and we were like, ‘What are they go­ing to tell us next?’”

That’s when it hit Carvin that what they were do­ing — shar­ing sto­ries of their per­sonal his­to­ries — had mass ap­peal.

So Carvin, who also runs hu­man re­sources tech­nol­ogy com­pany Nob­scot Cor­po­ra­tion, de­cided to cre­ate a place for peo­ple to do just that. She and co-founder Bruce H. Daly launched JamBios, a web­site that pro­vides a space for peo­ple to write their per­sonal his­to­ries along­side friends and fam­ily, this past spring.

The way it works is sim­ple: You pick a topic — any­thing - lege days — and write down ev­ery­thing you can re­mem­ber. Af­ter you’re done, you can send in­vites to any­one else who also would have thoughts to con­trib­ute about that topic.

“If you look at ge­neal­ogy, you find (rel­a­tives’) names, but you don’t re­ally know the sto­ries of their life,” Carvin says.

JamBios of­fers a chance to cap­ture those sto­ries. It’s a lit­er­ary retelling of your mem­o­ries.

“You pull up these mem­o­ries, and there is just some­thing about that,” Carvin says. “It’s not only fun for me to do the rem­i­nisc­ing, but it gets greater as it con­nects you back with your friends and your fam­ily in a re­ally deep and mean­ing­ful way.”

As users go about cre­at­ing a JamBio, they’re guided by Monty, a char­ac­ter that will prompt you to re­mem­ber by ask­ing ques­tions like, what was your first car? Or, what was the view from your bed­room win­dow as a child? Monty is voiced by ac­tor Henry Ian Cu­sick, who starred in Lost and cur­rently The 100, and is JamBios’ spokesper­son.

By both of their ac­counts, Cu­sick’s in­volve­ment with JamBios came about by pure kis­met. Carvin was sell­ing her Kailua home, and when Cu­sick and wife An­nie Cu­sick Wood came for a tour, the three of them struck up a con­ver­sa­tion. At the time, Cu­sick had re called Re­mem­ory, which deals with a ma­chine that can record mem­o­ries, and the cou­ple felt im­me­di­ately con­nected to the con­cept of JamBios.

“The whole thing about Re­mem­ory was about the dif­fer­ent per­cep­tions of a mem­ory,” Cu­sick says. “If you have some­thing that can record it, you can get back to the true mem­ory.”

See­ing the way the idea res­onated with them, Carvin in­vited the cou­ple to join the team. As spokesper­son for JamBios, Cu­sick helps pro­mote the prod­uct (Carvin calls him the com­pany’s “se­cret magic weapon” when it comes to mar­ket­ing), and Cu­sick Wood serves as cre­ative ad­vi­sor.

While Cu­sick ad­mits that he is still new to the tech in­dus­try, he says that he and Cu­sick Wood, a play­wright and di­rec­tor, were drawn to JamBios’ sto­ry­telling as­pect.

“We rec­og­nized that this could be a great plat­form for shar­ing sto­ries and mem­o­ries,” Cu­sick says.

“It’s the lit­tle sto­ries — sto­ries of the joke that you said that day in the car,” he adds. Or the type of sto­ries that come out, as he phrases it, “only af­ter a few drinks.”

Hav­ing these sto­ries ac­ces­si­ble and gath­ered in one place, Carvin and Cu­sick hope, will al­low them to be pre­served.

“JamBios re­ally feels like an op­por­tu­nity to … (record) all those sto­ries we have in our heads — and we don’t want to

Ac­tor Henry Ian Cu­sick is JamBios’ spokesper­son.

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