From Here to Eternity in Cyberspace
When you die, will your blog live on? As we live more aspects of our lives online, there’s a growing concern about just what happens to all those tweets, e-mails, photos, and accounts—not to mention social network pages—that we’ve created during our lifetimes.
“It’s a hard subject for people to get their heads around,” says Evan Carroll, interaction design expert and coauthor, with interaction designer John Romano, of the Website thedigitalbeyond.com and the book Your Digital Afterlife (New Riders Press, 2010). The book is a how-to primer for securing digital assets for your loved ones and, perhaps, posterity. Internet service providers like Facebook, Yahoo!, and Twitter have widely different regulations governing access to the accounts of deceased members.
Carroll and Romano suggest making an inventory of your online assets and giving it to someone, along with passwords and instructions for what you’d like done with them. “It takes just 15 minutes, and it will save your loved ones untold hours of agony, wrestling through passwords and service agreements. A list and a conversation can help people secure the things that are important to them,” recommends Romano.
Digital estate planning also includes which blog posts, photos, or online musings are worth passing on. To learn more, go to thedigitalbeyond.com.