Web Graveyard

Very few peo­ple I know blog about death. It is not a pleas­ant sub­ject, and essen­tial­ly, one reads blogs to be hap­py. But let’s face it, death is very real. Though cyber­space was once known as the vir­tu­al world, it is becom­ing increas­ing­ly real, and the over­lap between online and offline is get­ting increas­ing­ly com­plex.

As blog­gers, gamers, sell­ers, artists, online com­mu­ni­ty par­tic­i­pants – we are increas­ing­ly liv­ing very real online roles. We have our own avatars. Our own book­shelves. Our Face­book per­son­ae. Our LinkedIn pro­files.

So what hap­pens when we die? Death is sud­den and unex­pect­ed for most peo­ple. What hap­pens to their blog­ger friends? How do their Face­book or Orkut friends know? What about items they have put up on sale on eBay? What if they’re part of an open-source devel­op­ment com­mu­ni­ty and are active­ly con­tribut­ing to projects?

Don’t take this light­ly. Sud­den dis­ap­pear­ance in the vir­tu­al world can cause a great deal of con­cern and have a wider impact than one may sus­pect. Our social world and legal sys­tems take care of the even­tu­al­i­ties in our offline life, but what about our online life when we real­ly go offline? Who are the legal heirs of the copy­rights to our cre­ative dig­i­tal con­tent that we so metic­u­lous­ly safe­guard?

CNET’s Tech­ni­cal­ly Incor­rect blog post inspired this post. It describes two web­site ser­vices that send out emails you’ve com­posed after you die. Death­switch has a free account option with one recip­i­ent and no attach­ments. With a tagline of “Bridg­ing Mor­tal­i­ty”, it encour­ages you not to take your secrets to the grave. Slight­ly­Mor­bid does not have a free account, but has a “Free Tri­al”. 🙂

Startup Concept — WebGraveyard

How about WebGraveyard.com? When ful­ly func­tion­al and out of beta, Web Grave­yard can offer:

  • My Grave­Space – auto­mat­i­cal­ly import­ed social net­work­ing pro­files like Face­book and MySpace Cemetery
  • My Mem­oirs – a diary of your blogs on Blogger/Wordpress
  • My Graveiti – com­ments on your blog and by vis­i­tors to your eGrave
  • My YouTomb – the videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube
  • My Gallery – auto­mat­i­cal­ly imports your Picasa web albums, Flickr pho­tos, etc.
  • My GraveRoll – links to eGraves of your friends
  • My Graveatar – auto­mat­i­cal­ly import­ed Gra­vatar
  • GrMail – auto­mat­ed email reminders of sig­nif­i­cant events in your life­time like anniver­saries

Premium Services

  • Users can import your birth­days and anniver­saries into their Google Cal­en­dar or Out­look
  • High-res­o­lu­tion gallery of Tomb­stones
  • Tem­plates for great Epi­taphs
  • Users can drag and drop flow­ers on your eGrave from an abun­dant gallery of beau­ti­ful arrange­ments
  • GPod – auto­mat­i­cal­ly import and cre­ate a repli­ca of your iPod
  • Your favorite last.fm playlist plays in the back­ground when vis­it­ing your eGrave

Any tak­ers for fund­ing this start­up? Any more ideas how it can be made more ‘user-friend­ly and pro­duc­tive’?

This entry was posted in blogging, culture, marketing, Personal, society, technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Mahen­dra:

    What a great idea! 🙂

    It is a good thing we die before find­ing out exact­ly how pop­u­lar or unpop­u­lar we are. Imag­ine if _nobody_ sub­scribes to one’s ‘death­feed’! Or nobody turns up at the funeral/ wake/ 4th day/ 13th day etc… 😉

    PS: How about adding a func­tion MyWill?

  • I am all for My mem­oirs, My Graveiti, My YouTomb and GrMail.

    This is a great ser­vice and I sin­cere­ly hope some­one wud come up with it in my life­time, con­sid­er­ing the num­ber of times my blogs have had near-death expe­ri­ences ensu­ing pan­ic 😛

  • Amaz­ing, nev­er knew these things are done but frankly makes me feel a lit­tle creepy. Shh­hivvvvvvvvvvvvver.

  • I like this! I’m glad to know that I’m not weird, I’ve already planned for such even­tu­al­i­ty! 😀 For the blog, I even have a post ready as draft, and my friend knows how to pub­lish it. Oh, I like Shefaly’s idea about MyWill! 😉

  • Mahen­dra: I post­ed this on Twit­ter. You raise a super valid point and recent­ly some­one in my col­lege in Cam­bridge died and I sent a note to the col­lege to enable them to inform LinkedIn about it.

  • Wow
    good ur back to blog­ging ,
    To think of it how many peo­ple make a will?
    Maybe its because death seems to be a scary top­ic or that peo­ple real­ly dont sit and pon­der about it long enough.
    this is a rather inter­est­ing topic,and fun­ny this is the first post i read in a long time on ur blog.. that too when i had put ur site in my blog grave­yard (hid­den links) as u has stopped blog­ging a while ago.

  • Prax:

    I was actu­al­ly talk­ing about India too. My com­ment does not say any­thing about the UK. 🙂

  • Pingback: Web Graveyard Update « An Unquiet Mind()