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Preparing for the 'Digital Afterlife' raised an interesting question earlier this week: How should the "digital afterlife" work, and what do we need to be doing now to make sure our intentions are carried out? 

Digitalafterlife People invest a great deal of time, energy and money in their "digital selves," Dave Wieneke observes, and he says that he and his lawyer friends "have always wondered about digital inheritance, and if businesses would rise up to provide escrow services for endowing our digital selves. Who will be your digital executor?" For instance, if you have created something online that you think your kids or perhaps others will value, why not "endow" it to keep it running after you are gone? 

As someone who has put a great deal of effort into creating something online that I think has value, I too have occasionally wondered what would become of it if I was no longer around. I can barely remember all of the passwords and accounts I have set up to support my website, and there is certainly nobody else who would have all of the information necessary to either keep it going or properly wind it down.

So what would happen to your blog or other digital assets if you were gone? Would they just stay online until your credit card expired with your Web host? Should we start collecting passwords, URLs and other relevant information and store it all in some easy-to-find place so that a digital executor can make intelligent decisions and carry out your wishes? Do we need to document our digital wishes before it is too late, e.g., "no one shall ever post on the 'I Love Labrador Retrievers' blog after I am gone?" Seems like a good idea.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 18, 2010 at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)


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