Print-on-Demand Service Memeoirs Brings Online Conversations to the Printed Page
Memeoirs is an on-demand publishing platform that pulls content from online social interactions. Below, founder Fred Rocha explains how Memeoirs transforms impermanent, yet meaningful online content into permanent, printed works.
How does Memeoirs work?
At Memeoirs we aim to be the go-to place to render online conversations eternal. We started by allowing loved ones create beautiful books with their email exchanges, and have recently expanded to include Facebook messages. Very soon anyone will be able to turn their WhatsApp conversations into a book as well.
On Memeoirs.com anyone can easily create a book by choosing which messages to include, customizing the look and feel, and choosing between paperback or hardcover. Memeoirs' proprietary technology takes care of fetching the messages from the chosen service (Gmail, Facebook, etc.), filtering out redundant content, laying it out neatly and elegantly, printing (one or more copies), and shipping it to the customer no matter where they live in the world. The production and delivery of the books is made in close partnership with a print-on-demand (POD) company in the U.K.
In these days of information overload, we want to give full attention to the deep conversations that happen daily between loved ones. The book is the perfect medium to tell one's life story. People are writing that life story on a daily basis -- we just try to make it simple for them to publish it for their own consumption.
How did you come up with this idea?
I met my co-founders while we were still in university and the desire to build something innovative using our technical skills brought us together. We kept in touch mostly using email while each of us was settling back into our home countries. (I'm Portuguese.) The first Memeoirs prototypes we printed thus contained our long-winded rants on life, culture, technology, our families, and loved ones -- thoughts and feelings both intimate and pervasive. This was the long gone year of 2009 -- no one was yet talking about bridging digital and analogue.
Is Memeoirs a response to a particular publishing trend?
The market for physical artifacts in general is shrinking and clearly the trend is for customers to focus on high-value, meaningful objects. The same way we're witnessing the comeback of vinyl (through limited, highly tailored editions), special editorial releases that deliver a lot of value (either through careful design, relevant content, or personal stories) will be the future winners in the publishing universe. In particular in the POD world, it's interesting to witness how the freemium model pioneered by internet SaaS (software-as-a-service) products is bleeding to digital-to-print services -- get a digital version for free, pay X for a hardcopy version.
Who is your competition?
Today companies offering solutions to print slices of your digital life keep surfacing. Examples of companies that publish social media (mostly photos) into a book include Mixbook, MilkBooks, and Prinstagram. The market is much more educated and ripe. We want to focus on helping people preserve their conversations with loved ones in a beautiful medium because we believe that's where the real value is. We've started with email -- no one else is doing this -- but have already moved to Facebook and soon other channels. We want to be wherever deep and meaningful exchanges are happening so we follow the call of our customers and of the market. This novel approach together with the excellence we strive for in our product (web experience and books) is what makes Memeoirs unique and gives it all its potential for growth.
We have all sorts of funky ideas we want to put in place -- think easier interfaces for book creation, new types of books and covers, different sources of content and media -- and the recent investment deal we closed with the largest Italian printing company Pozzoni Group is helping us achieve that vision. Together we're thinking about ways to highlight the fact that physical objects, and in particular the book, are still relevant and irreplaceable.