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When you die your tweets live on

April 22, 2009 Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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You may die but don’t expect your digital assets to go with you. Thanks to Legacy Locker, those instant tweets have been granted immortality.

The concept is simple and suddenly obvious. They protect everything you create on the internet for your trust or estate (just as you do with your car, house or retirement account).

It’s also a little frightening. Wasn’t the unspoken premise of instantaneous communication that you could shoot from the hip and speak freely? Should we now censor ourselves, or at least consider who else might see it after you’re gone? Enough people have been fired or exposed for having an affair by online postings for us to know that digital assets, left unmanaged, can cause a lot of trouble.

For instance, what happens when beneficiaries start fighting over your digital assets? And who’s to say what they will do with them? Salacious exposes are just as profitable when stuffed with digital goodies.

If you do take action, where do you draw the line? While that film you made is clearly valuable, is your warning you gave against mixing hot sake and chocolate pop rocks any less “ownable”? If not to you, than to squabbling relatives?

How do we filter who can see what? As parents we lock the door to our bedrooms (you know when) and put blocks on ours kid’s computers. Do we need to filter our digital lives in the same way for fear of their life after your death?

The warning signs are here. Sites like MyDeathSpace.com provide obituaries for MySpace users. Even after your death and despite profile protection by MySpace, people can discover the details of your untimely passing. Finally, online shrines and memorials live on well beyond the death and grieving process. Can the days of legacy hacking be far away?

It’s hardly surprising that as our attention, creative contributions and real life relationships migrate online, ownership issues quickly followed. It requires that we filter what we want keep for posterity and what we want to fade away.

The salient advice seems to be the same as ever: “Sharer Beware”. What we say in the spur of the moment may just live on forever.

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6 responses to “When you die your tweets live on”

  1. I have never thought of that! Maybe part of it has to do with the fact that I dont really want to die :P! I wanna live forever! heheheh

    Actually it is interesting to know what would happen to my digital assets. Imagine one day it would gain as much value as one of Da Vinci’s drawings! Who knows! 😛

  2. I have never thought of that! Maybe part of it has to do with the fact that I dont really want to die :P! I wanna live forever! heheheh

    Actually it is interesting to know what would happen to my digital assets. Imagine one day it would gain as much value as one of Da Vinci’s drawings! Who knows! 😛

  3. admin says:

    You’re right, actually. What I didn’t mention was the upside; that your assets may be worth a fortune even if that’s not recognized in your lifetime. The van Gogh syndrome. It’s actually motivating as you realize you’re creating for an audience or marketplace of the future. Only artists (like painters) seem to live with that daily awareness and the web is so instantaneous with the premium place on immediacy, that we rarely think of that. I’ll look out for your masterpieces (oh wait, I’l be dead too!).

  4. admin says:

    You’re right, actually. What I didn’t mention was the upside; that your assets may be worth a fortune even if that’s not recognized in your lifetime. The van Gogh syndrome. It’s actually motivating as you realize you’re creating for an audience or marketplace of the future. Only artists (like painters) seem to live with that daily awareness and the web is so instantaneous with the premium place on immediacy, that we rarely think of that. I’ll look out for your masterpieces (oh wait, I’l be dead too!).

  5. Imran Anwar says:

    Glad to see more services like this coming up. Very happy we launched what we believe was one of the first services to help your life’s work to live for eternity. http://neternity.org (which also has a free LifeLog for new or light users, including leaving living wills, last words, personal diary, etc.)

    We would love to have you sign on and tell your readers. Thanks.

  6. Imran Anwar says:

    Glad to see more services like this coming up. Very happy we launched what we believe was one of the first services to help your life’s work to live for eternity. http://neternity.org (which also has a free LifeLog for new or light users, including leaving living wills, last words, personal diary, etc.)

    We would love to have you sign on and tell your readers. Thanks.

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Simon Mainwaring

Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.

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