Funerals and Instagram: A look at the funeral hashtags

Digital Legacy at large

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About two-thirds of the way through the episode, Daniel and I begin talking about the concept of . We’re both relatively new fathers, so the idea of legacy is something that is new to us and increasingly near to both our hearts.

Prior to this chat with Daniel, I had always thought of legacy in the traditional sense. What would my children and grandchildren say about me long after I was gone? How will friends describe me when I’m not around anymore? What personal traits will I instill in my son that people will identify as something I was known for doing or saying?

Daniel, however, makes an important point when he says the digital age provides a new opportunity for people to establish a digital legacy. As he so eloquently and minimally states, “Digital content will never die.”

That statement initially caught me off guard. Personally, I’ve always approached digital content creation as something that was done in the moment and something that was inherently impermanent. On numerous occasions I’ve performed the digital equivalent of the nuclear option, the 410 Gone.

When considered in Daniel’s terms, however, digital content has the potential to be a living archive of one’s own life (or an institution’s history — more on that in the future) that can be left for future generations. Sure, we’ve always had the ability to keep a journal or photo album, but the opportunity here is lasting, permanent and public.

Acknowledging this potential also raises some important questions about digital ownership, sustainability and appropriateness.

Who ultimately owns the content? Is it Facebook? Twitter? Or do you host on your own server?

Is the content optimized using web standards so it will stand the test of time and progressing technology? Is it structurally sound enough to be available 10 years from now? How about 50?

Will future generations be sifting through (and ultimately giving up on) flows and flows of mobile images of your meals, pets and Foursquare check-ins? Or will they find a record of the important moments and some insight into how you thought about the world around you and the people close to you?

Daniel’s words struck a chord with me and I will continue to think about the idea of digital legacy and how it fits into my consumption diet. If you’re interested at all about the topics of digital communication and content development, I highly recommend Episode 2 of the podcast, which will be available here and on iTunes this Thursday, March 1st.


About two-thirds of the way through the episode, Daniel and I begin talking about the concept of digital legacy. We're both relatively new fathers, so the idea of legacy is something that is new to us and increasingly near to both our hearts.

Prior to this chat with Daniel, I had always thought of legacy in the traditional sense. What would my children and grandchildren say about me long after I was gone? How will friends describe me when I'm not around anymore? What personal traits will I instill in my son that people will identify as something I was known for doing or saying?

Daniel, however, makes an important point when he says the digital age provides a new opportunity for people to establish a digital legacy. As he so eloquently and minimally states, "Digital content will never die."

That statement initially caught me off guard. Personally, I've always approached digital content creation as something that was done in the moment and something that was inherently impermanent. On numerous occasions I've performed the digital equivalent of the nuclear option, the 410 Gone.

When considered in Daniel's terms, however, digital content has the potential to be a living archive of one's own life (or an institution's history -- more on that in the future) that can be left for future generations. Sure, we've always had the ability to keep a journal or photo album, but the opportunity here is lasting, permanent and public.

Acknowledging this potential also raises some important questions about digital ownership, sustainability and appropriateness.

Who ultimately owns the content? Is it Facebook? Twitter? Or do you host on your own server?

Is the content optimized using web standards so it will stand the test of time and progressing technology? Is it structurally sound enough to be available 10 years from now? How about 50?

Will future generations be sifting through (and ultimately giving up on) flows and flows of mobile images of your meals, pets and Foursquare check-ins? Or will they find a record of the important moments and some insight into how you thought about the world around you and the people close to you?

Daniel's words struck a chord with me and I will continue to think about the idea of digital legacy and how it fits into my consumption diet. If you're interested at all about the topics of digital communication and content development, I highly recommend Episode 2 of the podcast, which will be available here and on iTunes this Thursday, March 1st.


Eleanore

Eleanore

Main curator on Digitaldeathguide. Supported by a bot. Some articles may need to be weeded, don't hesitate to tell me !