In 2004, at a Nokia event in Helsinki, an engineer showed off a fancy new concept that he hoped would be a big hit. His "automatic multimedia diary" was a way to upload pictures, thoughts and other tidbits from a mobile phone to an online site. He called it a Lifeblog. "Lifeblog is a PC and mobile phone software combination that effortlessly keeps a multimedia diary of the items you collect with your mobile phone," Christian Lindholm told me at the time. "Lifeblog automatically organises your photos, videos, text messages and multimedia into a beautiful chronology you can easily browse, search and save. The phone part of Lifeblog automatically keeps track of your photos, videos and messages so you don’t have to." Sound familiar? It was an early version of the social media mania we now know as Instagram and Snapchat. But it is probably more akin to Posterous and Tumblr, two of the great pioneers for uploading a "multimedia diary". Much has changed in the past 15 years. Nokia was once...

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