Friday, 2007-03-02

What happens to your online legacy when you die?

Dave Winer has an interesting post about your “digital legacy” — your blog, online photos and videos, email etc. — that is only accessible by yourself while you’re alive.

This is something that will impact a lot of people in a short while. My parents are not bloggers, but they do have an online presence in the form of email. Just as my sister and I will have to sort papers when they pass away (which I sincerely hope is far in the future), we will have to handle email and work accounts too.

The ones taking care of my mess will have to handle this blog and my Gmail and Flickr accounts; there are probably more places that I haven’t thought of now. Not to mention banking certificates, digital IDs, and so on.

That’s one part of the story. The other is Dave’s point: who will take care of the servers? Obviously Dave is more of a public figure than I am, but I’d like my descendants to be able to read what I’ve written online in the future. Our forefathers and -mothers had stuff like letters, wills, deeds, photographs. We will have online bits, just one DNS update or hard drive crash away from oblivion.