death and digital legacy

macstartimage Mac Tonnies

// Today I’m @ the mesh workshop session called “death and digital legacy,” hosted by speaker Adele McAlear, one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Social Media in Canada. She’s feeling pretty morbid about touching on this subject at all but she’s enlightening a group of us on media history and how to hand over your digital inventory after you pass (yep, there’s premium services for this). For example, 574 years ago mass media was born, 110 years ago snapshot photography was born, and 78 years ago home videos became affordable, during the height of the depression (a quick fix to feel good), the JKF assisnation was actually home footage. The internet started being widely used by the public 15 years ago and today 2 billion emails are sent daily.

Coming to blogs – there’s an estimated 150 million blogs out there. In the past, to document, share and publish stories, was only possible if you you were wealthy. In today’s digital age, we now have to think about protecting all this emerging branded work. Like how do your social media accounts ‘memorialize’ you? which often doesn’t mean your digital assets are shut down, but rather your personal info might be frozen, although friends can still post. Some accounts just remain inactive…she recos appointing a ‘Digital Executor’ to take care of your wishes. One thing that was brought up that I can’t stand is the idea of an online memorial, really gross.

Adele touched on the Mac Tonnies story. His digital footprint was huge (audio podcasts, twitter, blogs ect.) At 34, he died of a sudden heart condition. His blog, twitter account and podcasts soon became a place to grieve for him, although his parents had no idea until much later on. His friend contacted his family to get a Creative Commons License to save his 6 1/2 year blog/work (pics, vids, links and even a manuscript). You can look at his work @

Adele is on twitter @