When researching the various services that deal with the digital afterlife, a certain pattern started to emerge. I call this pattern the three stages of the digital afterlife: missed, remembered, forgotten. I’ll address each in that order, naturally.
This is the stage that occurs right after death. You’ve left a void and your survivors need to step in and handle your final affairs. Things like closing accounts and distributing assets. Online services exist that allow you to share vital information that your survivors will need and send final messages to them.
Once your affairs are in order, your survivors will remember you. Tangible items like photographs and your headstone will help them do so. This stage lasts from the time your affairs are in order until those who knew you have also passed. A few online services help you or your survivors create an online memorial, but there are much fewer than those which address the first stage.
At this point, your identity, both online and offline has passed. Nobody remembers you first hand and what remains of your existence is a relic of a former time. Online content lacks context, is stored in legacy formats and hasn’t been curated in years. As far as I’m aware, there are no services addressing this stage. This is where the real potential exists in this industry. Imagine being able to examine the online content of your ancestors and know who they were and what they thought. I’m not sure how this will work, but we’re here to talk about it.