The practice of showing side-by-side photos of the deceased – one recent the other taken from the past – photo from the Salt Lake Tribune. Compare the format to death notices from Singapore Straits Times, and the streets of Ghana and Iran.
When your ashes are being scattered in the future perfect what form will your obituary take? Drawing on a life time of digitally captured, archived, searchable experiences your life stream there for the taking, everything interlinked. Given the tone, form and purpose of the obituary format – to what extent will the digital you be rewritten after your death? And by whom? In part its a question of who controls legal and moral rights to the digital you – after your death, those remaining aspects of your digital life not yet archived by Big Corp Inc. auctioned to the highest bidder, the proceeds used to off-set the funeral costs. The dead, archived and indexed you is after all, an advertising opportunity. Go in peace and remember to click on the banner ads on your way out.
How important is it and for whom that the collective memory of you is shared, agreed? In a world personal profiles and mapped relationships an obituary that is tailored to reflect your relationship with the deceased is only a click away.
Google Obituary beta is rolled out in 2010 hits the global mainstream by 2021. Slow take up? The competition is well established, it takes time for life to truly go digital, and it takes a while for the life-stream generation to die off…