With an increasing number of people living much of their lives online; whether it be through blogs, MySpace, Facebook or any number of other social media sites, one has to wonder what happens when that fateful days comes calling. Even though anything published to the web does for all intents and purposes last forever we are all made up of flesh and bone that doesn’t live forever. Regardless of how our demise might happen the fact is that at some point our online lives will out live us. As much as we might like to believe that we are indestructible one has to wonder just how many of us have planned for that day when we are proven wrong.
It is a common thing in our real world lives to plan for the day when we pass away. Part of this getting our affairs in order is writing out our Last Will & Testament; which is our last document that allows us to decide how our worldly goods are divided up. However when it comes to our online persona’s and businesses we don’t seem to do the same thing. For most non-professional bloggers and website owners this may not be all that important but for those who have being doing it in order to provide a living for them and their families this digital will should be looked upon with the same sense of importance.
Many people; especially those with a lot of assets, have an executor appointed to handle all the details after we pass away and yet when it comes to our digital assets we don’t think of even this simple thing. After all who’s going to manage your PayPal account that your advertising monies go to, who is going to make sure that the hosting fees are paid on time. As well if you have set up your blog business with additional writers who is going to manage them and make sure they get paid.
Due to the very nature of the Internet the fact is that the blog; or blogs, that you have founded and nurtured could very well carry on after your death. While this is a little more difficult if your blog business is centered around your personal brand it is still possible for it to carry on if you have already set the pattern for using other writers. For blog businesses though that are built around a brand name and regularly use additional writers it is very easy for it to carry on – if you have made the right plans for it.
As Mike Fruchter wrote today on Mashable there are five points to consider if you want your work to carry on after you are gone
1. Do we have the password for the social networking accounts?
2. If not, what are the next steps for gaining access to the accounts?
3. Do we make the profile private if the family wishes to grieve silently?
4. Do we leave the profile intact and public?
5. Do we let the profile become an online memorial for the deceased?
While his post was on the larger issue of social media in general; which include things like profiles on Facebook, MySpace or services like Twitter, they are equally applicable for those of us who blog for a living. Never before in the history of mankind has it been so easy for our words and thoughts to carry on after us; which when you think about it is pretty incredible – but only if you make sure the hosting fees are paid.
Have you made your social media last will and testament yet?