The idea for TSOLife arose during Thanksgiving of 2013 when the David Sawyer's (CEO/Founder) grandmother passed away. Sawyer says:
While I was at her funeral listening to all the stories of her life that I had never heard, I realized that my children would never get to hear these stories. It is said that verbal history dies after only two generations. The implications of this didn’t resonate with me until my grandmother passed away. The only lasting legacy future generations will find is her funeral service page. All my grandchildren will know is her date of birth, occupation, and the names of the family she left behind … and possibly the rumor that she said, “Behave!” a lot. They won’t ever know she told us to “Behave!” as a means of telling us she loved us. The need to fill this information gap, not only in the lives of the elderly, but also for the generations they leave behind, was the motivation behind TSOLife LLC.
What is TSOLife:
TSOLife is an online platform where users can write the story of their lives. On TSOLife's simple and integrative platform, stories, videos, photos, and memories can be preserved for future generations, allowing the user to leave behind a personal legacy. TSOLife focuses on not just being another repository of information but creating a truly unique viewing experience. TSOLife ensures the preservation of family memories and emotional connections that tie the past, present, and future together in a beautifully ever-changing story.
Why we are different:
Sharing photos, milestones, and snapshots is simple and easy to do due to the prevalence of smart phones and social media, but where would someone go to tell the story of their first date? Or to talk about what it was like raising their first kid? These stories do not currently have a home. Most personal narrative sites only provide a snap shot or overview of one’s life focused around major milestones. Here is where TSOLife comes into play. We wanted to give our users a more in-depth experience. TSOLife does not just offer a superficial snapshot of one’s life, but details around events, moments, people, and memories that matter.
We are trying to solve what is lacking in the genealogy market. While there have been tools to assist in the telling of life stories, they have missed the mark. No other solution has successfully integrated an easy-to-use interface that is engaging, allows people to add stories easily, and offers multiple interactive views tailored to specific audiences. There has been no widely accept platform for recording stories. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some struggle with providing an easy-to-use interface. Others struggle with offering features the users want. Overall, regardless of the strengths and weaknesses, all platforms try to fill the same void by offering a way to preserve a legacy to pass down for generations.
TSOLife takes the best elements offered by other story-capturing websites and connects them with our own strong innovations. A foundational element was to ensure our platform is easy to use. To achieve this we worked with WWII veterans in designing the user interface and perfecting the intuitive navigation. To provide color to ones stories, we implemented a number of viewing options:
• Google maps integration to show you all the places your life was lived
• A timeline allows a chronological walk through of your life stories
• A story wall provides the ability view your stories by category - show my all of my vacation stories
• A family tree to show you how you are connected to the different players in your life. This is also where links to other TSOLife accounts are available to allow easy access to stories recorded by other family members. This truly provides the ability to build a family legacy.
Each story has the ability to show pictures and videos as well as add audio so people can hear you tell your favorite story or joke. Our latest innovation is just getting started but we are incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology with our site that will take our platform to the next level and set us apart as the premier site for recording your life stories.
• Carin’s Foundation Innovation Challenge winner
• Score Biz Fest winner
• Florida Venture Forum finalist
• Brighthouse Regional Small Business of the Year Finalist
• Documented the life story of notable people, including former U.S. Senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland
• Reached over 1,000 users on the platform and thousands of stories
Featured in local news:
Orlando Sentinel (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/technology/tech_check/os-stetson-story-telling-app-launch-20151019-post.html)
The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://www.news-journalonline.com/business/20150905/stetson-university-students-launch-legacy-recording-business)
The West Volusia Beacon (http://beacononlinenews.com/articles/2015/09/10/stetson-senior%E2%80%99s-company-saves-life-histories)
What’s next for TSOLife:
We are in the process of integrating our family tree with Family Search to become a certified partner. TSOLife aims to serve as the largest collection of personal stories. To assist with this goal, we are furthering of development of a virtual personal historian (VPH) leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate the process of recording life stories by creating a simple and engaging storytelling experience. This VPH will be the world’s first AI developed to record life history. The VPH assistant will make the storytelling process simple and engaging. Tying our VPH with our unique viewing options provides an engaging experience for both the story teller and the viewer!
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