The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Business

May 5, 2012

Anderson native launches website soliciting first-person memories

ANDERSON, Ind. — Long before he was a University of Pennsylvania Wharton School MBA graduate, investment banker, private equity investor or Internet entrepreneur, Brandon Sokol was a historian.

As a junior high school student in 1997, the Anderson native created a publication for his family “dedicated to all of our ancestors,” according to an early issue.

He named it the “Falcon Journal,” because “Sokol” means falcon in Polish, the homeland of his people.

Fast forward 12 years. Business school was coming to an end and the real world beckoned. Sokol and friend Jason Becker were thinking of what to do next when they found a hole in the real-time phenomenon of social media. Memories. Where were all the memories?

“There was no platform on the Internet dedicated to memories or first-person accounts of historical events,” said Sokol, 29.

So the pair decided to launch one. They call it

Sokol describes it as a Wikipedia of memories because anyone can add to it. is distinctive, Sokol said, because the basic idea isn’t just social networking like Facebook. Rather, the idea is crowd-sourcing.

Account holders can write, post and publish memories and first-person experiences on based on people, places and topics, all of which are searchable.

Both Sokol and Becker are DePauw University graduates and they launched the site in time for the university’s 175th anniversary in March.

Their initial investors have been friends and family, including Becker’s father, David Becker who, among other enterprises, funded the First Internet Back. The men used that money to hire software engineers to build the site.

Although the company has offices on the northeast side of Indianapolis, Sokol lives in Anderson because “I do have a lot of loyalty to the city,” he said.

The site is organized in a grid format. You can find memories of Peyton Manning, James Dean and Michael Jackson or places like Anderson High School, or Anderson Acre and the Polish Lodge. Under topics, visitors to the website will find memories of the Civil Rights movement, World War II and Indianapolis Colts.

That wasn’t what Sokol and Becker originally planned, though. They envisioned a digital timeline. Then Facebook debuted its version of that concept and the pair changed direction rather than compete directly.

“Building the site was expensive,” Sokol said, “but the product will always be free.”

In the week since an initial story about the website was published, Sokol said there have been 3,000 new visitors to the site, and more people have contributed memories.

They also have a new investor, the founder of digital media company from Warsaw, Poland.

That cash infusion, Sokol said, made it possible to hire a graphic designer to redesign

Ken Owen, executive director of media relations at DePauw, said “it was kismet that made this work out.”

He said the response at DePauw for the anniversary was favorable, but the website hasn’t extended its reach very far yet. He believes that will come in time.

“This will become a very special little corner of the Internet,” he said.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

Text Only
Local Business
  • NWS- HB0731 - Elwood Band 2 Elwood band plans march to Emerald City Like toy soldiers on an imaginary battlefield, members of the Elwood Jr./ Sr. High School marching band stood poised for action, silhouetted against a dying sun Tuesday night.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • boynton, brandon photo Teen receives funding for business venture Brandon Boynton is moving forward with his business dreams, thanks in part to a local working capital loan and a fundraising campaign.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior housing project advances If all the pieces fall into place within the next two weeks, construction on a new senior housing development could begin this fall.

    July 30, 2014

  • Roundabout bids higher than expected Bids for a planned facelift of the gateway into Anderson from Interstate 69 at Scatterfield Road came in considerably higher than the engineer’s estimate for the project.

    July 29, 2014

  • FEA - HB0729 - Senior Falls Aging safely in the comfort of her home Marilyn Moneyhun said being totally reliant on others is difficult. "Losing your independence is a shock to your system," Moneyhun, 84, said. "You are not in control anymore."

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0728 - business expansion CB Fabricating makes $2 million investment

    A local business founded in 2006 has invested $2 million in new equipment and a building expansion.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • nws - hb0725 - colts - jc - 4.jpg Colts camp's impact: pricey or priceless?

    Football fever is here and the city is flooded with fans eager to catch a glimpse of a favorite player. But officials say they are unclear what kind of economic impact the Indianapolis Colts training camp has on the area.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Skill gap 2 Seeking a solution today, not tomorrow Tina Warner-Morton says she wants to open her own healthcare business because it is too difficult to work for an employer with unclear employee expectations.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Cathy Cupboard Biz Profile Business Profile: Cathy's Cupboard focuses on customer satisfaction Cathy McPhearson opened her first storefront in June, but this is not her first venture into business. “I have always wanted to have my own business,” she said. “The problem was finding what people like, but everyone seems to like candles.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide