Boredom from having thought about myself to answer all these questions
July 19, 2011 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Proust is a way for you and your family to share and preserve your stories, one question at a time. The site takes its name from the Proust Questionnaire. Stories can be viewed in several different ways and be set as private or public.
posted by unliteral (17 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Just so you know, I'm the second highest regarded expert on this.
posted by anarch at 10:38 PM on July 19, 2011

Anarch, are you for reals or is that a reference to Little Miss Sunshine?
posted by jnrussell at 10:50 PM on July 19, 2011

Unfortunately, the latter.
posted by anarch at 11:00 PM on July 19, 2011

I only asked because

Metafilter: Just so you know, I'm the second highest regarded expert on this.

Which ends up being true more often then I ever thought it could be.

Ok, on-topic, this is a really slick site. I think I want to use it, but I'm a little disappointed that the only hardcopy output is a forthcoming keepsake book. What I really want is a slick website that I can get all my family to sign up for, answer these kinds of questions, extract the raw data and let me design my own book via a print-on-demand service like Blurb or Lulu. That would be stellar.

Also I'm a little squicked by the facebook aspect of this, which seems to hint at a larger data-mining goal on the part of the creators...
posted by jnrussell at 11:10 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

Hmm... clever domain. Interestingly, Partner Sites: Chemistry• Evite• Match• OKCupid. An IAC/InterActiveCorp Company. ie. the company owning | | Citysearch | CollegeHumor | The Daily Beast | Daily Burn | | Dictionary Boss | Electus | Hatch Labs | iWon | |
Notional | OkCupid | OurTime | Popular Screensavers | | | ServiceMagic | | | Smiley Central | Smiley Creator | Urbanspoon | Vimeo |

posted by bitteschoen at 12:20 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think the concept has some merit, but like others in the thread I am a bit wary of the implementation.

One of my Aunts used to send around this sort of typed (and mimeographed, or at any rate some similar reproduction method that I never really dealt with) family newsletter/survey. It's really neat to read the stuff people wrote. It would be fun to build a site that mimicked the simplicity of that exercise.
posted by brennen at 2:21 AM on July 20, 2011

It's actually a pretty cool idea, but I'm wary of their plans for the data, especially after seeing the list of partner sites that bitteschoen posted.
posted by asnider at 7:02 AM on July 20, 2011

I wish I'd known about confession albums back five or so years ago, when Livejournal was full of "If you were a novelty macaroni noodle shape, what novelty macaroni noodle shape would you be?"

My LJ friends were all a-GRAR over the phenomenon, and thought it was proof that This Internet Business was making These Damn Kids These Days all narcissistic and self-obsessed. Contrarian asshole that I am, I would have loved to point out that Those Damn Kids In 1885 were just as adorably self-obsessed without any help from the internet at all.

(Or maybe those quizzes are still going around on LJ or Facebook or somewhere? I've aged out of having 17-year-olds in my extended social circle, so I wouldn't know.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:34 AM on July 20, 2011

asnider I imagine sites like OkCupid convinced them that people love filling out endless surveys and if they could decouple it from the dating part it would be a goldmine.

That said: In the age of mandatory security questions for things like, oh, my bank, well I see this going bad places.
posted by selenized at 7:49 AM on July 20, 2011

Just this past weekend, my family decided to start putting together a family history and I volunteered to organize it - somehow. So this is a very interesting and timely post and I will likely use some of the questions and topics myself, but I share jnrussell's hesitation about what happens to our information, particularly with the list of partner sites from bitteschoen.

Any suggestions on a good way to organize this type of information on my own? Seems to me that mere text documents will not be up to the task of keeping straight hundreds of answers to dozens of questions from all the various family members.
posted by webhund at 8:33 AM on July 20, 2011

Oh dear! I may have made a mistake posting this then. What does partner site mean, they share information? I'd hate to have been an agent in some sort nefarious data mining exercise.
posted by unliteral at 8:37 AM on July 20, 2011

No, not that I know of, partner site normally just means a site that belongs to the same company, I don't think that implies they do share ALL the data across all websites! I haven't read the privacy policy for this one website, will have a look...

NB I didn't mean to imply anything necessarily nefarious by copying and pasting that bit from the footer -- just found it interesting because as soon as I saw the site name I thought "hmm that domain name must not have been cheap, who are these people?" so I went and aah, ok, they do have lots of money.
posted by bitteschoen at 9:36 AM on July 20, 2011

Well here's what they say:

We may share aggregated, non-personal information to other IAC businesses and also with advertisers and others.

So no it doesn't sound like they'd automatically be sharing personal identifiable data across all their partner sites - unless users opt in to sign up to offers, promotions etc. from the partner sites (they say that in other parts of the privacy policy).

So I don't think this is any more nefarious in terms of privacy than any other social networking thingy out there... which is of course an open issue itself but yeah really this doesn't look any different.

Can't see myself using it, not interested in sharing that kind of personal stuff online in that kind of format really (and heh my family is definitely even less in the target audience for this) -- but I have to say it's a clever idea AND a very neat looking website.
posted by bitteschoen at 9:48 AM on July 20, 2011

More frequently than not it seems that sites like this will opt you in whether you like it or not and the only way to be sure you're not opted in is to be vigilant and uncheck all the boxes (assuming you can locate them) that say "We'll share all your personal data and information with anyone we want! OK? (Uncheck if not OK!)."
posted by blucevalo at 11:47 AM on July 20, 2011

Why not create one fake sign-up, copy and re-write all the questions and set up an open source version?

posted by sneebler at 8:42 PM on July 20, 2011

This is going to make next year's All-England Summarize Proust (SLYT) competition even more challenging!!
posted by kuppajava at 8:06 AM on July 21, 2011

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