How to Create a Personal Legacy Online

Now that summer is over*, let’s talk about death.

Sound grim? Not from this perspective. I’m interested in how the web can help
create legacies.

Evolution of Life’s Questions

As I understand it, people tend to work through the following questions
throughout their life:

1. Just about every child gets around to asking their parents,
Did I Come From?

2. By the time people become adults, they’ve usually found an answer to the
first question and move onto,
am I the person that I am?
” One of the ways they try to answer this question
is by looking to their parents for genetic traits that have been passed down to

3. As people near death, the question changes to,
I Be Remembered?

I’m interested in how the web can help enable #3. How can technology be used to
help people build a legacy.

A few ideas come to mind:

1. Personal histories: create a blog that can live forever so future generations
can learn about you through your writing.

2. Video: share your life’s stories on video and publish them to the web.

3. Contribute knowledge: Share knowledge you’ve gained over your life with
collaborative history projects like Wikipedia. Don’t take your knowledge with

What would you add to this list?

*In Minnesota, summer ends when the state fair is over and kids go back to
school on the day after Labor Day.

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