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"Cyberspace When You’re Dead"

Cyberspace When You’re Dead - NYTimes.com

I actually think about this a lot. I think this is at least the second time I have blogged about it.
  • Who will pay my flickr pro fees when I am gone (because my photos will not be visible if it is not paid for) and/or should I make a gallery on the ourshack.com boxen instead?

  • How best to leave my logins in my will - which would mean getting around to writing a new will.

  • Who would be likely to be interested in being my digital curator.

  • Drafting a message to post to all my forums, blogs, WoW accounts and so on in case of my death.

Yes, this may seem to be a morbid blog topic, but with so little in the way of physical posessions these days, my online presence is more and more who I am.

I also realise that I do not have anywhere near the following that the Mac in the article had but I would like to know that my online presence might exist after I am gone. I do need to find a way to pass on my logins, passwords, and instructions about what fees (e.g. flickr) would need to continue to be paid. Yes, this livejournal is a permanent account but what happens when livejournal is no longer here? All rhetorical but something I think about.

"…future historians. They surely won’t be poring over as many physical documents as today’s historians do, and surely the granular documentation of life in the 21st century, in digital form, is unprecedented. Fragile digital selves, then, represent a potential loss to the future. "



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
I don't think planning for your eventual death is morbid in the least. It is thoughtful to others, practical, and necessary.
Jan. 14th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I know you agree but also know that some others will find it morbid…
Jan. 14th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a tad morbid but I've thought about it before as well. It's something that needs to be done. I would like to make some sort of arrangement to keep my Grand Canyon site and BobsPixels around at the very least. I have left all of my Southwest/Arizona/Grand Canyon photos to Northern Arizona University. Many other photographers in the area have done so as well so I don't think that legacy will die and the photographs will end up in their archive, a lot of which is available online.
Jan. 14th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Interesting idea. Something for me to think about. I have photos taken at a number of places that might want to use them after I am gone…
Jan. 14th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
You know, its not that I really care what happens to my stuff after I'm dead. Because... well, at that point... I'M DEAD!

It is more a recognition that others may care and may have an interest in preserving some of it for their own pleasure.

For example, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Granddad's journals after he passed. I imagine that my kids might have an interest in what their dad was thinking all those years ago. And certainly an interest in things like their childhood memories that might be captured in some of my photos.

Because we do not have a single photo album at home. Not one. It all exists in various places in bits 'n bytes.

And every time I think I should find some ways to materialize things like this journal, or an album, the task just seems.... daunting.

Too much to do. Too little time.

But the least I should do - as a parent - is to ensure that these things are there for my kids if they want them. Sure, they might choose to dump some things I didn't expect, and to keep some things I would have imagined.

But I should at least give them the opportunity to make that choice.
Jan. 14th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
I can understand that but we do not have (and will not be having) kids. I just want to think that there is more to me than between birth and death. That someone in the future that is not related to me andhas never met me will see one of my poems/stories/photos/etc. and that it might mean something to them – that there might have been a point to me bothering to live (and not kill myself as I tried to at 19). Maybe death will only be a change of state in some way and there *will* be something afterwards. Maybe II will be able to watch people enjoying my photos from there. I just hate to think that, in a couple of generations, nobody will know that I ever existed. Egotistical, maybe. I dunno.
Jan. 14th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Actually, thinking further, I am glad we will not be having kids because many of my photos/writings/drawings/etc. were destroyed in 1993 or -4 when the box they were in in the leaky garage was found to be non-watertight… most of my childhood and teenage years were in that box. I was heartbroken for years and I still feel it as a bereavement.
Jan. 15th, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
If your will is held by a solicitor, you should be able to leave a letter with the will with 'extra information' (we have done this with the up to date addresses of our executors - mainly to save the solicitor tedious searching around our address books after we're gone).

I'm not sure whether it legally has the same status as the will, but as long as it is just up to date addresses/passwords, etc and not actually changing the terms of the will (and so not trying to get out of paying for rewriting it) I believe most solicitors don't mind.
Jan. 15th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that info. To be honest, though, I last wrote a will when I was with my ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-ex in 1991 and we bought the old flat so I NEED to write a new one sometime soon…

Then again there is no way we could afford the solicitors' fees right now. I might have to see what books I can get from the library and/or if WHSmith still sell will-kits.

Edited at 2011-01-15 11:40 pm (UTC)
Jan. 16th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


Nat S Ford
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