Posted by: nickgerlich | March 25, 2008

After The Fact

I do not have a Facebook account, nor do I have one at MySpace. I do have a few places where I have probably provided more information about me than most people wanted to know. But in spite of my constant ramblings about Web 2.0 and all that social media stuff, I have yet to jump on this wagon.

But if I were to die tomorrow, it is possible someone might start one in my wake. GlimpseBack is a place where your survivors can go to create your lasting online memorial. It’s kind of like Facebook for the deceased, MySpace for the dearly departed.

Glimpse BackAbout the only difference is that GlimpseBack is not free, and will cost your still-living family or friend anywhere from $75 to $300 to establish, which includes a variety of features such as music, Flash graphics, and more. Resellers such as funeral homes may also participate by serving as retailing middlemen to the bereaved.

While the idea of your ancestors creating a lasting online legacy and memorial to you may sound a tad morbid (especially if you are a control freak and would rather not leave your digital remains in the hands of others), consider that GlimpseBack has the potential in future generations to serve as a permanent repository of memories that can be accessed by anyone from anywhere. Family reunions are nice, but if you can’t get the herd together to reminisce and share these pieces of family history, cousins and grandkids can do it from home.

I like this idea. It is admittedly a different twist on Web 2.0, an application in which the subject cannot actively participate. In fact, one could argue the subject is participating now by creating the memories of them that others will post later. Hopefully much later.

Of course, the potential for someone to easily post their reflections on your past brings up some sticky questions. What if you wouldn’t approve of the pictures they uploaded? Or, worse yet, what if some less-than-flattering comments are posted by a family member with whom you had a falling out? There’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

Unless they have internet in the afterlife.

Dr “I Hope I Don’t Appear There Anytime Soon” Gerlich

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