I have to admit that I’m fascinated with this stuff because I had an idea for such a service many years ago. Yes, I know it’s morbid and a little sad and disturbing but that’s life or death in this case. I remember coming up with the idea after watching the movie “My Life” starring Michael Keaton. In the film he played a dying man that videotapes a bunch of messages for his newborn son. It was a great movie but a difficult thing to experience because of the subject matter. Still, the concept of capturing messages for your loved ones is vastly interesting, isn’t it?
Obviously, the downside to this idea is that everything would be lost if this service goes out of business. They claim that they will send your emails for up to 10 years after your demise with their “Silver Lining” package and your profile will stay online for up to one year after you die with their free plan. You can send 25 emails to loved ones with the free plan and 500 with the premium package.
My idea is a little different than what is offered up here. My service would also aggregate all of our online profiles, messages, emails, etc. This would allow your loved ones to have access to all of your accounts and either save things or terminate accounts as well as notify and inform all of your online friends and contacts.
Death Policies on Social Networks are D.O.A
Like it or not, we must address the matter of death when it comes to our online lives, not just offline. What happens to all of those online accounts once someone passes away? Here’s an excellent piece on the different ways popular services handle death of members and the many ways they fail at it.
The best answer appears to involve the OpenID Project which provides single sign-on for countless services. They have a good death policy that would be ideal because it would allow loved ones to notify thousands of service providers of someone’s death with one simple notification to OpenID. They wouldn’t have to contact each and every service which would save a great deal of time and heartache.
What are your thoughts on this subject matter? Do you prefer to be an ostriche and stick your head in the ground and not think about it or is this something that should be addressed because death like taxes are inevitable and eternal?