Here’s a story of how a membic theme got started, because sometimes an example is best.
Brunch and the start of a Theme
I enjoy going out for brunch around once or twice a month. It’s a great way to get together with some friends to enjoy food and conversation. Not all of our friends have the same priorities about food as we do, but in this particular case we were getting together with a couple of folks who not only have the same priorities, but are even better than we are at finding interesting, great value places to eat.
After several email exchanges over a few weeks, we found a time and decided to try a grill we had all heard of but never been to before. The food was really good, and the location was fairly convenient given where we were all coming from at the time. Over coffee, conversation turned towards other places we had tried since we last met. One restaurant was in another city, but definitely worth remembering for the next time we were there, so it made sense to make a future membic to remember it (naturally I have membic.org on the home screen of my phone). We happened to mention that we don’t make membics for every recommendation people make, but if these folks say a place is definitely worth checking out then we completely trust that it is. After mentioning that, the response was something like “Exactly, I trust you for recommendations, but not just anyone.”
Someone (I don’t remember who) said the four of us should set up a membic theme, because it’s a curated list. That was when it became really clear to me what trust meant. It meant we could collaborate. If they think something was memorable, there is an incredibly high chance we will also. And vice versa. I’m definitely looking forward to this collaboration because what these friends note as memorable in restaurants is worth more to me than all the reviews on the internet.
Usually when I think about trust, I think about it as the chance of getting misled. A trustworthy person is someone who won’t mislead me, either through malice or incompetence. This seems like reasonable minimal criteria, but to collaborate with someone I also need to believe that they would make compatible decisions. They might balance things differently, or have a different perspective on the details, but what we find memorable is compatible. Together we can build a curated collection, not separate lists mashed together.
Most of us have already chosen people based on exactly this kind of trust. That’s what it means to have something in common. But we don’t have everything in common, and we trust different friends for different kinds of collaborations. We have close friends who we love to spend time with, but wouldn’t want to collaborate on a restaurant list, but a movie list with them is a whole different thing. A membic theme helps us focus our common interest, which is part of what makes it different than a general posting to a social network.
Being part of a theme with your friends as members helps prompt you to make a membic when you discover something worth remembering. You might still mention it when you next meet, send a note, or broadcast to social media, but regardless if that happens or not, you will still share relevant posts when you want them. And learn from what your friends post about things you haven’t experienced yet.
Membic themes can be accessed by navigating from the site, but they can also be accessed directly via permalink or newsfeed, making them extremely handy for quick access. If you share an interest with some trusted friends, consider setting up a theme for collaborative memory.