Local dad develops free app to help families preserve memories
Like most dads, Logan Metcalfe of Greenville realized his son, 6, and daughter, 4, were growing up fast, but he wanted to preserve as many memories as possible — for his sake and theirs.
That’s the driving force that led him to develop Arkiver, a free app for smartphones, tablets and computers that allows users to preserve and enjoy their stories.
“I started my company after struggling to manage the memories of my own two young kids growing up and regretting not capturing more of my grandfather's life stories before he passed away,” Metcalfe said.
Originally from New Zealand, Metcalfe moved to Greenville after meeting his wife, who was from the Upstate.
“My family is all over New Zealand, so keeping them up to date on how the grandkids are doing without having to share everything on Facebook was important to me,” he said.
He compared the Arkiver app to a scrapbook — similar to Pinterest — that allows families to add photos, videos, documents and audio files along with notes about their meaning. Unlike other services, everything is stored securely on the user’s own Google Drive or Dropbox cloud storage account and only viewable by those the user allows.
Metcalfe said he got the idea for creating the app after his wife’s grandfather passed away and while he was helping go through the older man’s belongings.
“It kind of struck me that, yes, he left photos behind but he was in the war and all of those stories got lost,” he said. “If they’d been written down or recorded somewhere, it would have been so valuable to his family. Thinking about going forward, we have all this great technology, but are we doing any better in preserving our intergenerational stories and family stories?”
He said most people share photos and memories on Facebook and Instagram, but those items are seen by non-family members and people there’s not much of a connection with. Arkiver helps creates a centralized place to store items for sharing with only family and close friends.
“Storytelling is important within families,” he said. “I think we’ve lost a lot of that because of social media, so part of what I’m trying to do is provide a bridge for that gap.”
Arkiver, which launched last year, recently underwent an update. Users can print photos, photo books and other photo products using services such as Walgreens and Shutterfly, Metcalfe said. The app also now features a search that enables users to easily find what they’re looking for and creates a full-screen slideshow.
Metcalfe said Arkiver also launched a pilot program in Greenville that provides curating services to families, helping them gather, organize and digitize their photos and stories.
“There are lots of families with boxes of old photos in the closet or basement, but they never get around to going through them,” he said. “We can help people go through their photos, with scanning and collecting stories from loved ones.”
The Arkiver app is available for free in the Apple and Android app stores, or through the Arkiver website at www.arkiver.com. Anyone interested in their services as a curator should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 864-342-6698.
“Think about your family’s stories now, and ask yourself how they’ll be viewed later in life,” he said. “How will they be shared with your kids and grandkids? Now there’s this tool available to help you preserve your most meaningful moments and memories. It’s as much for your children’s sake as yours.”
You can use the app
Download the Arkiver app for free in the Apple and Android app stores, or through the Arkiver website at www.arkiver.com.