Types of Engagement (Updates: TEDMED, Book Draft, Medical Partner)

Thomas here! As usual, we begin this post with a fresh topic, then some updates, and then end with what may be in store. First, here I am, featured on a slide in a TED talk (more details on that at the end of this post), along with ME.mory and an all-too-common reference:
The fresh topic – Engagement: Are users both willing and able to use ME.mory?
We at Team ME.mory, and myself in particular, talk about ME.mory users as being in one of two populations:
1) There are “need-based users”, including people like myself, with severe forms of memory loss, due to a variety of conditions. These users require a tool such as ME.mory in order to function well. They have recognizable “memory issues” and/or disabilities relevant to the recall of memories. ME.mory for these users should significantly enhance their quality of life. When they can readily know what happened the last time they saw their daughter, for example, they can feel more connected, more comfortable, and less compromised by their conditions. Again, myself included. I will even include here the users recording the lives of others through ME.mory, as we have seen some parents doing so for their children.
2) There are also “want-based users”. By definition, these users do not need a tool like ME.mory. They may instead find ME.mory interesting, or feel excited by the possibility of such rapid insights into their own lives. While I continue to view almost all people as having severe episodic memory loss (Ex. On your own do you know what you ate for lunch on 7/27/13?), these users are not considered to have more-compromised-than-usual episodic memories.
As relates to the topic of “engagement”, each of these users presents with a specific problem:
Need-based users: While they need a tool akin to ME.mory, are they functioning at a level at which they are able to use it? Will they admit the benefits of a tool such as ME.mory, the same as if they needed to use a cane for mobility?
Want-based users: As they do not feel a need for ME.mory, are they incentivized enough to try and continue to use it consistently? Will they reinforce the power of ME.mory for themselves by beginning to use it and then consistently continuing with it?
Regarding the need-based population, I have lately messaged with Katie, a case manager I had worked closely with when I was going through my rehabilitation. She shared with me how many clients struggle to input appointments into their calendars, even appearing afraid to use such technology. Other clients lack the determination and/or interest to record their memories, content in their circumstances of not knowing the events of their own lives. We see how I refuse to live so.
For the want-based population, how is ME.mory exciting or cool enough that they admit the hole in their lives which ME.mory fills, and then decide to fill it so? As one’s ME.mory is more powerful the more it is used, how are these users enticed to make ME.mory powerful enough at first to want to continue using it?
ME.mory has allowed for the importing of my Twitter feed, and so users with Twitter may do so. Could other apps/services be linked so that users do not have to start from zero? Could each user be given a free trial of “ME.mory+” (the tentative name of the suped-up version of ME.mory, with features unavailable in the free version of ME.mory) which may lead into their continuing to use “ME.mory+” (if so named) when paying a small amount per month (or at once) for it?
Your own thoughts are welcome on these topics. Reach out to let me know what you think.
Updates:
1) Book draft – Reviewing the PDFs continues to go well. I’m moving at a rate of just over five pages per day. I have now reached page 118.
An issue which comes up in many autobiographical works may be the problem of “and now this”. In other words, it’s quite easy to share what has happened from past to present, one event after another. It’s harder to zoom out and hold everything together, creating narrative structures which are reinforced throughout the work. Hence, my current approach to identify the recurrent themes and either emphasize them or minimize them as needed, reducing the problem of “and now this”. I am truly excited by this step as I believe my book will become ever closer to the type of book I wish to see.
2) Medical partner – I have reviewed the variety of medications, populations and conditions which our potential medical partner associates with, and have shared how ME.mory may fit in with their efforts. This alignment may provide us with the roadmap for how to proceed. Still TBD!
3) I noted the TEDMED talk would be posted between the last update and this one. Guess what? Here it is!: http://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=624548
It is so exciting to see myself and ME.mory being mentioned on a TED stage, in a format that I can link to for all of you to see whenever you wish.
What’s next?: I expect the usual topics of updates here in my next post, while also believing that I may be surprised by events over the next two weeks. This feels like a time of adjustments and changes for both the present and future of ME.mory, myself not knowing just how events and items are going to shake out.
Stay tuned! Until next time, bye!