NBC Bay Area on Facebook Memorials

August 2, 2010 · Posted in Coverage · Comment 

Your Post-Mortem Facebook Life” ran on NBC Bay Area on July 28, 2010. It addresses growth of Facebook memorial accounts noting that a search for “R.I.P.” yields more than 23,000 pages. The news item highlights the stories of Eric Toscano, who died at 18 years-old. It goes on to say that the memorial on Facebook wasn’t possible a few years ago, but now just seems natural. The NBC piece also speaks to Julie Kramer, who wrote about Facebook Ghosts at the Huffington Post. Julie’s experience with Facebook memorials was around her friend, TV news reporter Darcy Pohland.

(This video may not be available outside of the US. If you have trouble viewing it, try using an IP masking service like HotspotShield and viewing the video directly from the NBC Bay Area site.)


July 23, 2010 · Posted in Coverage, Writing · Comment 

kulturaustausch ArticleI’m very excited because I’ve just received my copy of Kulturaustausch in the mail and my article on Digital Legacy is in it! Does that make me a mainstream media writer now that my writing has been published in print?

The magazine’s name in English is Cultural Exchange, while the theme of this issue is: e-volution: As we changed the digital world. The title of my article title translates to, “Digital Fading. When one dies – then what happens with his data on the net?” (Thanks Google Translate!)

Here’s more about the magazine:

resize_kulturaustausch10_3KULTURAUSTAUSCH – journal for international perspectives” is a German-speaking quarterly presenting current issues in international cultural relations from unusual angles. Authors from all over the world like Kofi Annan, Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama or Amartya Sen discuss the interdependencies between politics, culture and society. The journal is read by readers in 146 countries. Each issue has a thematic focus, looking at the growing importance of cultural processes in the globalised world. The journal is published by the Institute for Foreign  Cultural Relations (ifa) with financial support by the Federal Foreign Office. A copy is available on request. For further information please visit www.ifa.de

Although I took a few years of German in high school but it’s pretty rusty now. Hopefully my article was translated accurately from English. I guess I’ll have to transcribe the German text and run it through Google Translate to find out.

Australia: Unwitting Law Firms and Digital Undertakers

April 2, 2010 · Posted in Coverage, Digital Executor · Comment 

I recently discovered this very well produced and funny video from Hungry Beast, a weekly topical show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

As technologies move so quickly, the law is often slow to keep up. In the U.S., some law firms are advising their clients to leave instructions on their digital selves in their wills. But, not here in Australia. We spoke to ten firms, and none of them had even thought about it yet. But, they did all say, “Thanks for the heads up.”

As more and more of our lives take place online, it’s likely that we’ll see the rise of the Digital Undertakers. Companies employed to scour the web after you die to eradicate the more sensitive parts of your online self, ensuring that you leave the impression you want to in the everlasting digital afterlife.

What do you think? Do you think we’ll see “the rise of the Digital Undertakers?” Please let me know in the comments.

Prepping Digital Assets and Emru Townsend

February 7, 2010 · Posted in Coverage, Interview · Comment 

153725-Emru for Web_originalI was very happy to have been interviewed by journalist Amy Dempsey for the Canadian Press article “Prepping digital assets for the great off-line.” Even more gratifying was introducing Amy to Tamu Townsend, champion of bone marrow donation, who’s story of her brother Emru was featured in the piece. I met Tamu last year when I was organizing Twestival Montreal, but I had learned of  Emru’s struggle via Twitter many months before that. I’m grateful to Tamu for taking the time last summer to talk to me about Emru, his life and death, and her struggle to gain access to his online accounts. It’s a story I tell frequently when I speak about the many issues surrounding death and digital legacy.

For more:

Prepping digital assets for the great off-line

Help Emru Heal Someone

Pass the Slaw

February 2, 2010 · Posted in Coverage · Comment 

slawFellow social media professional, Connie Crosby, has just posted the interview that she did with me about Death and Digital Legacy for Slaw.ca. Slaw is a Canadian co-operative blog for practicing lawyers, legal librarians, legal academics and students.

The interview, taken from a telephone conversation last December, gives an overview of some of the discussion points around digital legacy.

If you are a lawyer or notary who deals with estate planning, wills or copyright, I’d love to speak with you about digital legacy. Please contact me at adele |at| deathanddigitallegacy |dot| com


New York Times Digital Afterlife

October 20, 2009 · Posted in Coverage, Interview · Comment 

Cross posted from adelemcalear.com


Yesterday The New York Times ran the interview I did about The Digital Afterlife and the need to appoint a digital executor:

Internet Protocol is Jenna Wortham’s advice column for technology. The question was:

Not to be morbid, but I have a lot of private information and details stored on my computer — in various Google Chat logs, e-mail and social networking accounts — that I wouldn’t want to be revealed when I log off for good. Who should I consult or what do I need to do to ensure my cache is cleared and e-mail and social networking sites accounts are deleted when I die?

This person wants to keep private things quiet. Perhaps they have another online persona or have made some online indiscretions or simply don’t want their family to know about certain dealings?

Things become much more complicated in attempting to keep this secret after they pass. Although there are automated services to notify your friends on social networks or selected individuals of your passing, in the case above, you’d still have to rely on someone to access your computer if you want your cache or sensitive files deleted. Yes, you’d need the digital equivalent of a “porn buddy” to wipe your computer clean of sensitive information, from financial information to, well, porn.

You can read my advice on appointing a digital executor here. What would you advise?

Have you appointed a digital executor to keep your online digital legacy alive? What about someone to delete private information from your computer or from online? Have you thought about it at all?

Let me know what you think.