The Latest from Lola's Diner

Monday, March 16, 2009

How To Handle Online Community Death Notifications

"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." - Mark Twain

To everyone concerned about my glass eating incident (how bad does that sound? Sounds almost trailer trashy, doesn't it?) I am perfectly fine. So far. Knock on wood. I just really wanted to quote Mark Twain, how often do you get to do that?

You wouldn't believe the trouble I had concocting the subject line. I didn't want to scare anyone into thinking the worst about me.

In my blog hopping, email checking and online newspaper reading this morning I came upon this AP article, Death Leaves Online Lives In Limbo. The article talks about what happens to a person's online life when they die. Not only online gamer sites, but social networking and blogs as well. How do family members notify their dearly departed loved one's online community?

The article offers several options, including several services which offer to maintain and encrypt information and allow it to be accessed by whomever you specify. Suggestions were also offered to leave a listing of sites and passwords with a trusted family member or friend.

The services charge an annual fee, sometimes quite high, as much as $30 a year. Kind of taking advantage don't you think? The other suggestion, I don't know that it would work for me. I've given Anastasia my passwords several times, but she still couldn't log into my email if she wanted to because she can't remember them. Not high on her list of priorities. I can't even get her to remember where the wills are, let alone what my passwords are.

I know I've come across a couple of bloggers, not anyone I've known or followed, who have passed away from cancer and they had bloggie friends who were also real life friends and those bloggie/real life friends kind of notified everyone via a chain of blog posts throughout the blogosphere. That's completely doable, if you have bloggie friends who are also real life friends.

What about you? I don't know about you, but this is not something I've ever thought of. What would you do?

Lola's Diner

Lola's Diner


Shauni said...

Honest to God I was going to write this very blog today.. WOW!! seems it really did make an impact.

Now I am just gonna steal yours for my other blogs.. LOL

Jane Doe said...

I keep meaning to email my bestest gf with my blog info, passwords, etc. so she can notify my readers in the event of my untimely demise, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

melissa said...

my husband knows what to do with mine. he knows to keep it away from his family. and to password protect it.
it's something i've actually thought about because one of my very dear bloggy friends...disappeared. she is presumed dead. but her family had written about it, to help find her blog. and i wondered about what they are going to do with her blog, now that she is gone.

Patricia Rockwell said...

I wish I had Melissa's husband. Although mine is fairly computer savvy and READS many blogs, he has no idea how they work. He would be more concerned about why dinner wasn't cooked or the house wasn't cleaned.

beth said...

That's food for thought...And did I mention how great you look today?

Anonymous said...

And another secure and private service like this is VitalLock -

*lynne* said...

Kosh and I have touched on the subject, but we've not sat down and discussed it properly. He's got 2 blogs and a handful of email accounts plus facebook; I have a handful of blogs and a gazillion email accounts and an increasing number of social networking type accounts under my belt. He keeps passwords somewhere (cryptically); I tend to keep them in my head (and don't ask how many times I've had to do the "forgot my password" process!).

Yeah, I think it would be wise to at least have a list of the accounts somewhere. With cryptic clues as to what the password is for each, LoL!

Jan from BetterSpines said...

Never thought of that aspect of blogging! Goodness only knows what would happen - I guess our site would just sit in limbo! David doesn't know how to drive it.

Lin said...

Oh, I think my blog would collect dust like everything else in my house, my old life, etc. My family would be so consumed with trying to figure out how to program the DVD player, they wouldn't notice I'm gone.....until they needed a ride somewhere. I have my "secret Codes" written down, but I don't think anyone would even dream of posting a "she's dead" post for me. Sigh.

Margo said...

I've never thought about this, but it's probably a good idea... I should write some info down for my husband... it certainly wouldn't hurt! I wonder happens to all those internet accounts we all must have. I am now wondering if they expire after a certain amount of inactivity?

Lola said...

@ Shauni - Tsk tsk tsk. No stealing!

@ Jane Doe - It doesn't seem like something high on everyone's priority list. Kind of like making a will. You don't really want to do it for fear of jinxing yourself. Lol!.

@ Melissa - I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

@ Patricia - I don't think Anastasia even reads mine half the time. Sometimes I think I should test out that theory by planting something...Nah. She just doesn't 'get' the blogging bug.

@ Lynne - I think if I made a list my kids would be more likely to find it than Anastasia. And like I said about the wills, they are in the same place they've been since I brought them home and she still asks where they are when she's getting snarky. I've also told her she could just call the attorney who drew them up, but I know for a fact she has no idea who that was. I remember EVERYTHING. I guess that's my job in this relationship.

@ Lin - My family would starve. There is only so much spaghetti with Ragu or ramen noodles a person can eat. Sorry, I think that could be the plant, just to see if she's been reading. Yeah. I'm sticking with that answer.

@ Margo - I think after a certain period of time of inactivity they clear the account. I left my hotmail account inactive for several years, tried to access it not too long ago and found it empty. I was bummed, because I had some sentimental emails I had saved. But poof, they were gone.

Auntie E said...

I like Lin's humor.Laughed all throw it. that's my household.LOL. I do not think my family would do anything. I have index cards with all the info on them. Passwords, account #'s, and contact info. Maybe they would remember where I put them. but I think they would be more concern with what,s to eat , where's the Clean Clothes, and How to pay the Bills. What Are Bills?
Perhaps I will show them your Post. Maybe that will get their Minds Moving.:->

B Boys Mom said...

This was really interesting. I have never thought of what would happen to my online life if something happened to me. You have me thinking. Oh no!!!!

JD at I Do Things said...

I have a close blogging friend, and we've exchanged each other's passwords and log-in information. Supposedly one of these days we're going to write the "I'm Dead" post, but it's surprisingly hard to get to.

(Of course mine will be titled "I Died So You Don't Have To")

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