Welcome to Facebook Stories, a new site dedicated to sharing the extraordinary, quirky and thought-provoking stories and ideas from the more than 950 million people around the world who make up Facebook's community.
This month, we're highlighting stories about memories. Recently, we met Mayank Sharma, a 29-year-old man from New Delhi, India, whose entire memory was lost after he contracted tubercular meningitis. As he recovered, Sharma used Facebook's People You May Know feature to help piece together the time he lost and was overwhelmed by the response. The connections he developed sent him notes and mementos to help him recover some sense of the life he had led. Though Mayank's memory hasn't returned - doctors are baffled as to why the damage was so great - these contributions proved to be valuable breadcrumbs for getting his life back on track.
We also visited Guelph, Ontario to meet a group of passionate locals who are tapping into the community's collective memory to save a local building. The Petrie Building has been a fixture in Guelph since 1917, nearly everyone in town has a memory of walking by the building's distinctive facade. But years of neglect left it worn, and while the building is a mark of local pride, it isn't the type of structure to rally national media attention to its cause. In the absence of camera crews, a Facebook Group has become a vocal advocate for the building's survival, attracting more than 400 members who share memories and strategies to ensure the Petrie stays standing.
We're also introducing some regular features you'll find here each month. The Bookshelf will feature a Goodreads list of books that helps you dig deeper into each month's theme. For August, author Joshua Foer shares some titles that helped him hack his memory en route to winning the U.S. Memory Championship, an experience chronicled in his 2011 book, Moonwalking with Einstein. The Playlist uses Spotify to allow you to explore different genres of music curated by inspiring artists. This month, electronic artist Sabrepulse shares how nostalgia for childhood video games led him to a the Chiptune community, a group of artists who turn old gaming systems into unlikely dance track instruments. Finally, the Reading List gives you exclusive access to the archives of some of the world's best storytellers like The New Yorker, who provided three picks this month that will get you thinking about the process of remembering from different angles.
Finally, we invite you to tell us about your own extraordinary experiences on Facebook. If you have a story to share, submit it using the form on the site's homepage and you may be featured in an upcoming instalment.
Be sure to stay connected to Facebook Stories by liking our Page on Facebook - we'll use it to publish exclusive content each month, like this essay by writer Chris Gerben on remembering. Be sure to subscribe to our monthly podcast on iTunes as well. Check back each month for a new theme and a new collection of extraordinary stories.