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Nov 11

The death cron; Morbidly thinking about speaking from the dead

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I had a strange morbid thought today. In the world of blogging and Twitter and FriendFeed and Facebook, what if you croaked right now. How long would it take for your “followers” and “friends” to wonder what was up?

This lead me to think about the equivalent of the Web 2.0 version of that service where old people push a button to say “yup, still alive” every half day.

I can setup a set of programs that will do spooky things after I die, such as:

  • Email loved ones with some deep thoughts
  • In the future email people to say things like “I know I am gone, but if I was around I would be thinking about your birthday today”
  • Purchase some items from Amazon and send them out to people
  • Send out the “What I really thought” emails
  • Write out a last story in daily Tweets

This flood of programs wants to run daily, but you hold it at bay by clicking on an online button that says “Hold on Frank, still sucking in the air.”

Hmm, messagesfromthedead.com sounds like a winner!

11 Responses to “The death cron; Morbidly thinking about speaking from the dead”

  1. Michael Neale Says:

    Sounds like a great idea – but one that would be really bad if it went slightly wrong. Lots of “hahaha yes I am still alive, sorry about that everyone” …

  2. Jeff Says:

    I’ve had the same thought, but keep ruling it out for the same reason Michael mentioned. It’d need to have vacation breaks so you can schedule X weeks to be away from a computer, etc.

    I think you have some good ideas in there, particularly the Amazon idea.

    One thing I’d add is revealing sensitive data such as account passwords, etc. to specific people upon expiring. I.e. you set it up (over ssl, of course) a person to email with your web2.0 identities and passwords and have a previously agreed upon passkey. So you die and the email goes out and the passkey is now active for them to login, get whatever info, and notify people of your death, last wishes, whatever.

    While that could be a premium feature, you’d be in even deeper trouble if, as Michael mentioned, you were incorrectly reported dead.

    Cheers

  3. Bob Lee Says:

    This is traditionally called a “dead man’s switch”. :-)

  4. carlos@webbynode Says:

    As Michael said it could be a two edged sword. by the way we’re looking for beta testers, you might help us spread the word thru your blogs. We’re offering some cool prizes for them too :)

  5. Dan Hinojosa Says:

    Don’t forget

    Delete porn off all media

  6. dion Says:

    haha yeah it would be crazy dangerous. But how fun/creepy could it be?

    “Wow, who bought me this book? Woooooah, Dad did even though he has been dead for 20 years!”

  7. Iraê Says:

    Wow!

    I already tought of that.

    But I was wondering something more crazy going on. I was thinking of seting somenting more automatic, without the buttton. No activity for 15 days in all my social sites and e-mail inbox unread count not going down, send me an email asking if I’m dead, wait for 15 days for confirmation that I’m not dead, if no response, I’m dead.

    And I would send all my passwords to my wife’s email too!

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  9. Alyysa Says:

    Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing a associate degree in nursing from associate degree nursing schools

  10. Michael Says:

    For US taxpayers at least, you could have your service check the Social Security Death Index periodically to see if the person has croaked. They wouldn’t even have to entrust you with their SSN, since name, DOB and location can be searched on. But just in case there are two Dion Almaer’s in the same area with the same DOB, the service could email and/or SMS you a few times asking you to log in to confirm your continued respiration.

    The SSDI is only updated some months after death, so if you want faster turnaround time perhaps the service could allow you to set up an Executor Login (not to be confused with an Executioner Login ;D ) to leave with whomever you’ve designated executor of your estate. Upon login, your death will be confirmed and whatever procedures you’ve set up will kick in. Of course, the executor should not have the power to view or stop your orders, just get the ball rolling. Maybe it would be simpler to leave behind a Forever-stamped and addressed envelope with an activation order in it, which your executor would drop in the mail to be received by the service within a few days.

  11. ambshah Says:

    i was thinking about starting a service on the same lines and googled to find your post. seems like an interesting service where an automatic obituary is also added
    in life the only thing certain is death.

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