Mar 3 • 17M

Have You Reserved Your Plot in Facebook's Cemetery?

The Art of Memorialising - Edition #9 - March 2022

 
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Peter Billingham
The Art of Memorialising curates news on digital immortality, digital legacy, digital life curation and all things #Deathtech. Welcome to The Art of Memorialising - an audio newsletter by Peter Billingham from Death Goes Digital and Memorable Words Eulogy Writing services.
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What can you do to stay informed about digital immortality, digital legacy, digital life curation, and all things #Deathtech?

Being ahead in this changing marketplace and cultural transformation could help you spot trends and find opportunities to promote and grow your end-of-life or funeral business.

Welcome to The Art of Memorialising - an audio newsletter by Peter Billingham from Death Goes Digital and Memorable Words Eulogy Writing services.

The Art of Memorialising curates news on digital immortality, digital legacy, digital life curation and all things #Deathtech.

Thanks for being here.

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WHITEBALLOON is sponsoring this month’s edition.

Whiteballoon is a quiet space to gather your thoughts and make informed decisions about how best to honour and celebrate the life of a loved one.


What Will You Find In This Issue?

  • Is The Eternal Digital Cemetery Called Meta The Best Way To Remember A Friend or Loved One?

  • The Dragons Who Got Feisty Over The Contents of A Biscuit Tin.

  • Mindbank.ai are giving 100,000 free premium subscriptions for distribution among NGOs in 2022 for Personal Digital Twin technology.

  • How Uploading Your Life to ‘Mindfiles’ Can Create Writer’s Block.


Photo by Veit Hammer on Unsplash

I’ve Been Visiting Facebook’s Cemetery - Unexpectedly And It’s Not A Good Experience

I stopped posting updates on Facebook a few years ago. 

Why? The pressure calling to me constantly to read the feed, the banality of some of content, the touched up, airbrushed, filtered images and messages of the rest left me wondering if it was the best use of my time?

Yes, I know, it was a way I could ‘keep in touch’ with my ‘friends.’ But I preferred a chat on the phone, or a coffee together to do that. So I stopped.

For seven years, back in 00s I worked in Kiev. Commuting there every other week. I know the city. I’ve walked the streets of that beautiful metropolis, marvelling in the history, culture and atmosphere of the roads where now people, many who are my friends, hide deep underground in metro stations and hidden shopping centres. It breaks my heart and I fear of the future for them.

So I went on Facebook hoping to ‘speak’ to some of these friends, and send support and whatever help a private message could bring. Just a few were posting odd pictures and prayers. Most were understandably silent.

And the silence was deafening.

As I was about to leave Facebook, I noticed at the top of my page a carousel of people’s faces. Facebook suggested I may know some of these, as we have mutual friends. 

Two of them I know are dead. 

One, a colleague in Ukraine who passed away with COVID, had sent me a friend request a while ago. I never replied or accepted. It made me very sad I hadn’t. I didn’t know what to do. Confirm the request, removing it didn’t feel respectful, so it’s sitting there waiting for me. 

The other person tragically passed away just before Christmas. I’d watched their funeral on YouTube from a distance. It seemed a grand celebration of a life just cut too short. A spouse read a poem I often read at the funerals I lead as a celebrant. I said my goodbyes to them online. 

It was a shock to see these two faces smiling back at me. After all, who posts an unhappy face on their Facebook profile? I’m sure, if I returned to looking at Facebook each day, it would soon tell me to wish them a happy birthday at some point. 

Both of their last posts were an updated profile picture just before they died. Both of their deaths were unexpected. So was the sight of these faces when I went on Facebook. It was disturbing. Very distressing.

They had memorialised neither profiles.

My friend in Ukraine was single and had no family left alive. I’m guessing nobody knew or could change that situation. The other, perhaps they have left the profile as it is. I’m not sure.

Two more lives digitally preserved in the Facebook Cemetery owned now by Meta - forever. 

This situation must happen millions of times a day. It will continue to happen - even more.

Makes me think telling the world about digital legacy is a cause to continue. 


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Interested in sharing your new product or service with readers of The Art of Memorialising? (check here)

We highlight your product, service, or idea sponsoring an edition. We give you the space; you get to tell the world about what you are doing or have created.

You and your business can become part of the adventure now. Secure your month in 2022 now.


Memorialisation Morsels

5 meaty bites of news for YOU to stay ahead of the conversation on Digital Legacy, Digital Life Curation & all things #Deathtech.

1 - What Happens to Humanity’s Data When All The Users Have Gone? (via El País) 

Pointing to the first-ever drop in the number of Facebook’s users - El País asks, is this a turning point in our online existences? What will mankind’s largest digital cemetery look like, and who will access it? With millions of deceased Facebook users profiles visible, it brings with them the shock, sadness and grief that may be suspending prolonging bereavement, even making loss perpetual? What will be the challenges of this growing digital cemetery? I know now, these editorials and articles are not fiction, but fact, and it is a subject that will only grow.

2 - The Dragons Who Got Feisty Over The Contents of A Biscuit Tin

Sheila Hogan, creator of the Digital Legacy platform, Biscuit Tin appeared on the BBC entrepreneurs funding show Dragons Den. She pitched her idea to the Dragons after having built a website that helped people to wrap up the affairs of loved ones who have died.

While the emotional side of the idea struck a chord with some Dragons, the business plan offered no incentive to invest. The projected losses within the first years were eye watering high. Thinking the major players in the field would engulf the business, for that reason, they all ‘were out!’

After the show, she secured a £300,000 investment, with Velocity Capital leading the round, alongside Scottish Enterprise and private backers. While a sizeable sum, in line with projected losses and the sums of other venture capital reported here, time will tell if it will secure the future of the business. (Via insider)

3 - Digital Devices (Access for Next of Kin) Bill - UK - 2nd Reading

To give it the full name - ‘A Bill to grant a right of access to the digital devices of a dead or incapacitated person to their next of kin; and for connected purposes.’ - Simply put - Your next of kin will may access your smart phone and your other digital devices on your death or incapacity.

You can (and possibly should) read MP Ian Paisley’s speech in parliament, here. The second reading of the proposed bill is on 18th March 2022 - You can check the ongoing progress of the bill, here. Will it become law? What do you think? It could have significant impact on privacy for dead people.

4 - 100,000 Free Premium Subscriptions for A Personal Digital Twin®  from Mindbank.ai (Via The Free Press)

Startup MindBank Ai announced they’ve joined the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with commitments to tackle technological and financial gaps through the use of Personal Digital Twin technology (PDT). This technology has the potential to transform society by leveraging personalised Ai to reduce societal gaps. They are providing 100,000 free premium subscriptions for distribution among NGOs in 2022.

A Gartner investigation predicts the Personal Digital Twin of humans might become a transformation technology used by 5% of the world within 2-5 years. With its commitments to the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, MindBank Ai’s goal is to ensure that they leave behind no developing nations in this digital transformation.

“I’m living proof that inclusive capitalism works and MindBank Ai will completely change the paradigm for millions of people who lack the access to healthcare and financial inclusion.” – Emil Jimenez – Founder & CEO of MindBank Ai

5 - What I Learned From Recording My Thoughts for an Immortal A.I.

Interesting and thought-provoking piece from Harvey James (via SLATE) on ‘Mindfiling.’ (Is this to be a new word?)

The definition - Mindfiling is a central daily act of uploading data about yourself to be stored until the resulting model of your mind and consciousness can be reconstructed and uploaded into an artificial body.

Another way of saying we can create a digital twin to live on after we die. In the piece, Harvey James discovered finding things to store others might find interesting after his death a bit of a challenge. Poignantly wondering if his great-great-granddaughter won’t actually want a digital representation of him in the future. Maybe the business opportunity is being a freelance life curation writer?


Snippets

It seems we mention GoodTrust in every episode! But worthy of the news this time, they passed 100,000 registered customers in over 60 countries. 

Now that is impressive!

Advance planning of a different kind - Digital Legacy Association UK Conference 2022 dates released. 


Who do you know who would find this information interesting?

Please, can you forward the email to them? I’d be very grateful. 

Let’s start a conversation - info@deathgoesdigital.com

Until next month, keep safe, and keep going. 

Pete