Link: “What Happens To My Digital Identity When I Die?” by Wouter Groeneveld

Original post found at: https://brainbaking.com/post/2022/09/what-happens-to-my-digital-identity-when-i-die/

Found this a thought-provoking blog post, which linked to this other post I found just as interesting: How Websites Die(external link). If I dropped dead tomorrow, my site would stay online for as long as Vercel is willing to keep it up (and I’m not aware of them currently deleting free plan sites for inactivity, but policies can change), but at some point my domain name would cease to be paid-up, and stop functioning, I guess. I found it interesting that a trust fund with $400 in seed money should, in theory, be able to keep a domain name paid up in perpetuity.

Of course there are other facets to my “digital life” as well – social media accounts, my acculumated photos and videos, the contents of my journal/Obsidian vault. I’m not really interested in making sure my future heirs can have unfettered access to those – the curated highlights are enough (although if I drop dead tomorrow I haven’t put together any πŸ˜‚). Having a social media account in “memorial mode” for a while makes sense, but ultimately I think of social media as impermanent, as new platforms or servers rise and fall. A dedicated, static website seems to make more sense as a long-term memorial.

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is also a great resource, and so long as it stays operational, people will remain able to browse many websites even after they’ve gone offline at their original location. It’s not really as good as keeping something online, of course, but it’s better than nothing.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.