Earlier this year a friend of mine died, it was very sad. Some weeks later I realised that she was still in my Skype contacts and that really I should remove her, when you remove Skype contacts they are shown as going into a rubbish bin; I felt in the circumstances it was tasteless.
There are a number of services becoming available that allow people to lodge details of their digital presences so they can be dealt with after their demise. A recent article in the Daily Telegraph (1) highlighted Legacy Locker (2), where you can lodge details of accounts which can be bequeathed after your death, I’m not sure that my nearest and dearest would want to go round shutting down my accounts, so I’m not signing up.
The other side of this is there are a number of memorial sites were obituary notices can be set up, for example Lasting Tribute (3) is linked to death notices in newspapers. There are a number of Facebook groups which are set up in memory of youngsters who have died. William Henry Bonser Lamin, born August 1887 in Awsworth Notts, to Henry and Sarah Lamin, did not have a Digital Identity when he was alive, but now he does, and he has his own blog at http:/
Only try this worksheet when you are feeling good about yourself, as it explores the Digital identity that will be left after you have died.
1. Consider one social networking site you are represented on, if you were never able to update it after today what changes would you now make to it?
2. Of all the digital places that you are represented on which ones would really need to know if you have died?
3. Estimate how many years it will be before there are more than 50% of blog accounts belonging to people who are dead?