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DeadSocial: the final farewell & digital legacy tool

07 May 2014

Ahead of Dying Matters Awareness Week, ehospice caught up with James Norris, CEO and founder of DeadSocial – the social networking tool that enables you to say goodbye to your friends on Facebook and Twitter once you are dead – to find out more …

Can you tell us about DeadSocial?

DeadSocial is the end of life tool that enables those of us who are using Facebook and Twitter to say goodbye to our friendships groups before we pass away. With more and more of our time being spent online and the value we place on social networking sites we thought it a good idea to enable people to be able to address these areas before they pass away.

How does it work?

When website visitors land on the site they need to create a free profile. Once registered an email is sent from DeadSocial requesting that you click on a link to confirm that your email address is valid. You will then be able to login and create your messages.

Once your messages are saved a digital executor needs to be assigned. The messages are then only sent out once you have passed away and have been released by your chosen administrator, when they feel the time is right. The administrator is not able to see the messages, they only action that they are able to take is to ‘activate’ them.

The process of creating messages can be seen via this video tutorial online:

DeadSocial Tutorial from DeadSocial on Vimeo.

Who is it for?

It is for everyone, however it would suit those of us who spend a lot of time of Facebook and/or Twitter and use the services on a regular basis. We also run and speak at various events to help people prepare for death in the digital realm and well as the physical one.

When should people be thinking about doing this?

Now! Many of us haven’t made plans for our passing. We should all write a will and tell our families our funeral wishes. For those of us who spend a lot of time online we should also ensure that our digital files and social media accounts are addressed.

Is there a cost?

No it's free to use. We may however need to charge new users in the future. However everyone who registers now will never need to pay a penny.

Are there any restrictions on the type information that can be left?

People can leave photos, videos and text images. 

Is it safe?

We do not filter messages and take a reactive response to users messages. This is the standard response to online communication tools.

We have a ‘terms of service’ that users need to adhere too. If for example illegal or immoral messages are posted, we may need to delete a users account. However this has (so far) never happened.

What if you change your mind before you have died, can the messages be retrieved or deleted?

Yes you can go back and edit your messages at any time. Our personality and relationships change overtime and therefore it is vital for our users to be able to do this.

Our users are also able to delete individual messages whenever they like or their entire account. If you delete your entire account all messages, videos and images are deleted.

We are working hard to make DeadSocial as much use to as many people as possible. If you ever get stuck or want to ask a question please feel free to email us. We will also be opening a support phone line in June (you heard it here first! )

And finally, you are running a popup shop this week for Dying Matters Awareness week can you tell us more?

Yes, we are running a popup shop on Camden High Street London. It runs from 6-10 May and has a range of great organisations getting involved. These range from NHS Central & North West London to the Natural Death Centre. There will also be the ‘You Only Die Once’ art exhibition running from the Tuesday until Saturday. The full listing of events (including the DeadSocial party) can be found on the DeadSocial blog. You can also watch a video from last year's event online.

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