There’s no time like Thanksgiving time for sharing stories with the ones you love!
To help celebrate national turkey day, Proust has created 10 questions sure to uncover the fun memories of Thanksgivings past. From taboo topics that always come up, to daydreaming about the leftovers you can’t resist, Proust is here to help bring holiday memories to the tip of your tongue.
Explore the Thanksgiving chapter or dive right in with our first question: What are you most thankful for?
I love this time of year. There is joy in the air and countless opportunities to celebrate with the people we hold dear. But, it’s also the time of year I most miss those close friends and family who live far away. I miss them at the Thanksgiving dinner table where conversations are often dominated by everyone sharing old stories. And, I miss all of them as I shop for holiday gifts and send holiday greeting cards while thinking fondly on the times we’ve shared together.
Luckily, our well connected digital world allows us all to remain connected no matter the distance. And, with Proust, I get to go a little deeper and connect and share about more than just what’s happening right now. With Proust, my family and friends, no matter where we all are, can reminisce and share the stories that we would have otherwise shared around the dinner table.
Here are a few of my favorite questions that can help get the conversations started.
Share a memory that makes you smile when you think of it.
What advice would you now give to your 10-year-old self?
What’s the view from outside your window? Add a picture.
Try answering these yourself, then share your answers. Tell family and friends to connect with you on Proust and add their answers too. Just one question can bring you closer!
brought to you by Proust.com
Everyone has stories to share and memories to reminisce about. But it turns out that men and women tend to take different paths as they stroll down memory lane! We crunched the data, looking at the number of answers recorded by men vs. women across all of Proust.com’s more than 100 chapters and 1,000 questions. We got a kick out of the results and thought it would be fun to share them with you. While where we differ as men and women might not always shock you, you’ll no doubt enjoy seeing just how wide the disparity is when it comes to discussing certain topics.
Men vs. Women – the Breakdown:
- We took a sample of over 2,000 people who answered questions from Proust’s “Love Songs” chapter and found there to be 8 times as many female respondents as male respondents.
- When asked to share the love song that makes them the most teary-eyed or what song represents love to them, men were significantly more likely to take a pass on the question, while women were happy to share their answer. Surprised?
- When we looked at the gender of respondents to questions in Proust’s “Nerd Alert” chapter we found that men were overwhelmingly (10 to 1) more likely to record an answer than women; for the most part women steered clear of sharing “In what ways are you nerdy?” effectively ceding the term “nerd” to the men.
These are just a few examples from the data we dug up, and we encourage all ladies & gents to check out the full battle of the sexes infographic below. Finally, in the spirit of sharing, we’d love to hear from you – what piece of information most surprised you?
The Proust Team.
Proust was designed as a place to share and preserve your memories. But why would anyone want to do this? Well, for a lot of reasons. In the past months, we’ve seen people use Proust for many different purposes, each a variation on the main theme of sharing your memories and connecting with your loved ones. Take a look at some of the best ways to use Proust below.
1) Learn more about your family
This is why we created Proust – to help you learn more about the people closest to you. Choose a chapter of questions and send them to your mother, your husband, your friends, or whomever. Then Proust will email you when they answer. There are chapters about love life, career, growing up, opinions, you name it. You think you know someone, but you can learn lots you never knew. Just one question can bring you closer!
2) Write your memoirs
Those same questions on Proust can be used as writing prompts for yourself, too. Answer them one at a time and eventually you’ll have written the story of your life. At any point, you can download a file of your story that can easily be printed out into a book as well. Just click “Print” at the top of your “My Story” page.
3) Blog about interesting topics
If you were focused on your memoirs, you might start at the Childhood Memories chapter on Proust, but if you start with a chapter like My Two Cents, for example, you can think about your answer to “What do you consider to be the greatest invention?” If you make your story public on Proust, it can become a unique kind of blog with timeline, map, and storybook views that you won’t find anywhere else.
4) Curate your memorabilia
Have you seen your Proust Memorabilia Box? It’s a collection of all things important to you: photos, videos, historical documents, recipes, artwork, heirlooms, and more. Any attachment you add to your story becomes a part of your Memorabilia box automatically. Proust is the perfect place to store these important documents of your life. Just add photos, files, or videos to any of your posts and they automatically appear in your Proust Memorabilia box.
5) Create the map of your life
Whenever you tag a location in your story, it gets added to your map. You can build your map on Proust to be a comprehensive diagram of your life – where you’ve lived, where you’ve traveled, and where your most meaningful memories were made. It’s your interactive memory map.
6) Keep a private diary, a personal journal
Want to keep you thoughts just to yourself? You can, simply by keeping your story set to private. Record your innermost thoughts in a safe, secure place, and if one day in the future you want to share them, Proust makes that easy too.
7) Pass down your family heritage: Record you and your family’s memories, before you lose them
In business, companies know that when they lose a good employee, they also lose lots of what’s called “institutional knowledge” – crucial information that the employee has learned over time, which perhaps only they know. Institutional knowledge – for the institution that is your family - is lost whenever someone passes away, too, and even sometimes when they move far away. It’s important to save those traditions, history, advice, even recipes, for future generations. What wisdom you would like to pass to your grandchildren when the day comes?
8) Understand yourself better
Answer questions in the “Thoughtful” category to get yourself thinking about issues you may have never consciously considered before. You may think you know your own opinions on issues, but writing down answers (even short ones) really forces you to think. Do you know what you would create if you had unlimited resources, or what fuels you?
9) Have fun answering questions
Got a minute to spare for a break in the middle of the day? Answer a question on Proust. Browse in the Fun or Entertainment categories for questions that’ll take you just a few fun seconds to answer, like “What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?” or “Is there a song you love to sing out loud?”
10) Explore the Proust community
Each person can choose to make their Proust stories private or public. The public answers to questions are available to read and can be a lot of fun to browse. For example, take a look at the great answers people have posted in response to “What movie could you see over and over?” and “What is the best gift you’ve received?” It’s a way to learn a lot of interesting tidbits about people as well as spark memories and get ideas for your own story.
Which ways do you use Proust?
A few weeks ago, my mother found an old book in our basement and gave it to me (I guess I should stop calling it “our” basement since it’s been 15 years since I’ve lived in my parents’ house.) It was a memory book of questions with answers hand-written by my grandmother in 1984. The book is called “The Grandparent Book” and was meant as a gift to my sister and me. My grandmother and I had been very close when I was younger, but she passed away in 1998.
Grandmum wrote in the book about growing up in London and living through the Great Depression and the Blitz of World War II. She talks about having “an amazingly happy childhood” even though they never had cake or presents for birthdays, wore only hand-me-down clothes, and could only afford to eat chicken once a year, on Christmas. The questions in the book ask about her life chronologically, from her childhood to her married life, and then move onto more philosophical inquiries about her thoughts and opinions. She even mentions her favorite movies and books. And I had never realized how painful it was for her to leave her family behind when she moved to the U.S. to get married.
Imagine finding such a gem from one of your loved ones who is no longer with you. Needless to say, it’s of incalculable value. I’m so happy my mom found it. It even has a bonus value since I work for a company devoted to this idea – we always appreciate getting ideas for different ways of preserving memories.
There are some big problems with the book, though. First, it was hidden in my parents’ basement for over 20 years. It’s too easy to misplace, and now I’m trying to be super careful with it.
Second, we still only have one physical copy. This means that even though it was meant as a gift for my sister and me, only one of us can actually keep it. My mother, who of course misses her own mother even more than my sister and I miss her, can’t hold on to a copy, either.
Third, I wish I could have commented on my grandmother’s answers and asked follow-up questions. Even more importantly, I wish I could have answered similar questions myself and shared them with her. They would have made for some good discussions, and deepened the bond we had. But it hadn’t occurred to me to discuss those particular issues at the time.
To me, this perfectly encapsulates the need for a digital memory book like Proust. No one should have to wait until after a loved one’s death to get to know them better. That’s why I’ve connected with my other grandmother on Proust, and we’ve been sharing lots of stories. Why do you use Proust? And what physical reminders of memories from your family members do you hold on to that you wish could be digital?
The Winners of The 2011 W3 Awards have been announced by the International Academy of the Visual Arts and Proust.com is taking home awards in 3 categories!
The W3 Awards honors outstanding Websites, Web Marketing, Web Video, & Mobile Apps created by some of the best interactive agencies, designers, and creators worldwide. It is an honor to have received these awards from the Academy.
We set out to create a unique, online space for people to share their memories and get to know one another better. The W3 awards we won represent excellence in design, branding, and outstanding achievement in creating a new type of online community. We love what we do and we’re proud to continue building this award winning site just for you.
☞ Proust.com W3 Awards:
- 2011 Gold Award Winner: Proust.com - Josh’s Story (Video)
Category: Branded Content: Promotional/Branding
- 2011 Silver Award Winner: Proust.com
Category: Visual Appeal
- 2011 Silver Award Winner: Proust.com
This is Josh’s Story. The two-time award-winning video we created as part of a series to introduce Proust. Everyone has a different reason to start telling their story. These videos highlight different people and why they started using Proust.
Watch all of the Proust Videos on YouTube.
Proust was named one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2011! We were #9 overall and #1 in the Family category.
This is exciting news as we continue to try and build the best site on the web to share and preserve memories and get to know the ones we love.
Sharing stories is something that we all do, all the time. Indeed, it’s something people everywhere have done for generations. Proust.com is here to help take the great tradition of oral history, celebrated by so many cultures, into the digital age.
Proust.com is a place for you and those closest to you to share and preserve memories and get to know one another even better. When we set out to create Proust, we instantly understood how difficult it can be to organize–and even to recall–our most important memories. We also recognized that no matter what your age, sharing a lifetime’s worth of rich, meaningful stories can be a daunting task. So, with this in mind, we molded Proust into a fun and easy-to-use site by using questions to help you reminisce.
Let our questions take you on a journey down memory lane. Answer a whole bunch at once or wait for the Question of the Week to show up in your inbox. And when you find a question or chapter of questions that you know would be great for someone else, be sure to ask those questions. You’ll be surprised what you don’t know about the people you know best!
Reminiscing is a feel-good experience and we all have a story to tell, so start sharing your story today »
Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.