When I started researching the digital afterlife in 2008, I felt as if nobody was discussing the topic. We found a few posts here and there, but information on the topic was sparse. About a year ago I decided to take a look back and see what I could learn about the early days of death and the Internet.
I know from some of the early academic works that online memorials were present well before 1999 (I’ve heard some say as early as 1994). I wanted, however, to focus on milestones surrounding pre-planning, such as posthumous emails and digital estate planning. To keep this from being completely overwhelming, I’ve included only those events that were an industry first or unique in some way. Feel free to suggest additional dates.
Digital Afterlife Industry Timeline