Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When I Die who mourns my cyberlife?

NITROREV: Virtual Wake As I see Eduspaces - a social network I am part of - about to die and untimely death - I was wondering how to mourn the loss of those connections I made through this network. Then I encountered Stephen Taylor's blog entry where he muses about an actual incident of cyber friendship loss. It caused me a moment of thought. When I physically die, my cyber identityt continues on. The data remnants of my cyber activity exists - how will those I never met physically, yet socialized with electronically express condolences and grief? What happens to me cyber properties - do they revert to my heirs who have no interest in maintaining my blog entries and other data? Are they parsed out to my cyber friends? Further to this discussion I have a number of social software sites I maintain for educational institutions. Students post comments, reflections, artefacts and compile eportfolios. If a student does die, what is to be done with their entries? Do we just arbitrarily delete their account or maintain it in a condolences area? The expressions of grief, condolences and maintenance of cyber properties upon one's earthly death - these are issues we are yet to grapple with.

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