Monday, February 7, 2011


Sure, it's cool to know what your friends have been up to, via Facebook. But history buffs everywhere might find it way cooler to know what dead people had been up to...via Facebook.

I'm taking about an Encyclopedia, but told through the same media that Facebook uses to tell everyone's story. Historical figures would be designated an official profile, on which they could post relevant photographs (if they lived within the past 200 years) or scans of important documents, create and attend historical "events," fill profiles with likes/interests/philosophies, and post statuses from throughout their lives. These profiles would be given special permission by Facebook to alter date-stamps, allowing Benjamin Franklin to post, "Signed the Declaration of Independence today" (or better; excerpts from actual letters and other autobiographical sources) with the date-stamp "July 1776," as opposed to "6 minutes ago." The profiles would be maintained by an organization of historians, updated with accurate information, and marketed as an educational resource to rival Encyclopedia Britannica.

Turns out, this isn't the first time this has been considered. Of course, these mock-ups from Cool Material are more of a joke than an educational tool, but they help get across the gist of what I mean.

Status Update: "Et tu, Brute?"

Isaac Newton has tagged you in the note: "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica"

Mary Todd Lincoln is now single.

So perhaps those are a bit comical for a serious educational resource, but you get the idea. Brand new, next-generation-friendly educational tool...sounds profitable to me...


  1. Check out bro, it's been done a lot.

    But would be interesting. Requires a lot of attention from dedicated people though, and to upkeep the profiles.

  2. This one tops them all:


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