John Shin refuses to buy a copy of his high school yearbook. Instead, he’s turning to the Internet to preserve and share memories of his sophomore year.
The 15-year-old has posted a collection of photos and videos, as do many of his classmates. They’re able to exchange virtual notes, vote for the most likely to succeed and take part in other yearbook traditions.
All Shin has done is that he logged on to the website myyearbook.com. But skeptics wonder if the free website can ever truly replace the traditional printed chronicle of high-school memories – even for the generation that's grown up with the Net.
Still, the teenage siblings who created myyearbook.com, Catherine and David Cook of New Jersey, are confident their generation will trust the Internet with their school memories.
myyearbook.com allows users to create a profile with separate sections for high school, college, graduate school and professional life. Students who sign up are automatically linked to others at their school. Acting as their own editors, they can select friends from their classmates.
Members can “autograph” each others’ yearbook pages. Catherine and David founded the site in 2005 and built it up to about 950,000 members in about a year. They developed the idea after becoming frustrated with the cost and layout of their own yearbooks.