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Preserving Personal Legacy in the Digital Age

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  • 1. Preserving Personal Legacy in the Digital Age
    Evan Carroll
    The Digital Beyond
  • 2. About Me
    Author of Your Digital Afterlife
    Author and editor at TheDigitalBeyond.com
    User Experience Designer by trade
    BS and MS (2012) in Information Science at UNC-Chapel Hill
  • 3. Legacy
  • 4. Legacy
    Noun
    an amount of money or property left to someone in a will.
    a thing handed down by a predecessor : the legacy of centuries of neglect.
    Adjective
    Computing: denoting software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use.
  • 5. What is Personal Legacy?
  • 6. © Brittney Brown. Used By Permission.
  • 7. Courtesy of John Romano
  • 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thaddeusstewart/4347534278/
  • 9. Personal Identity
  • 10. Erving Goffman1959
  • 11. Identity Preservation
    Objects are passed to heirs as an act of identity preservation.
    Objects are often imbued with meaning.
    The story
    Why it’s important
    Unruh (1983) Price, Arnould, & Curasi (2000)
  • 12. Personal Collections
  • 13.
  • 14. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/2662243843
  • 15. © Brittney Brown. Used By Permission.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18. Shift to Digital
  • 19. Justin Ellsworth2004
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22. Leslie Harpold2006
  • 23. Issues
    Awareness
    Access
    Ownership
    Preservation
    And countless others
  • 24. Today
  • 25. Digital Estate Planning
    A repository of accounts and credentials that’s inaccessible by heirs until the account owner passes away.
    Verified by death certificate, secure codes or by trusted notifiers.
    Solves the issues of access and ownership.
  • 26. Digital Estate Planning
    Legacy Locker
    Entrustet
    DataInherit
    www.thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/
  • 27. Site Policy
    Grant access to heirs
    Provide content (but not access) to heirs
    Delete accounts
    Memorialize accounts
  • 28.
  • 29.
  • 30. Statutes
    Email: ConnecticutRhode Island
    Email and Online Accounts: OklahomaIdaho
  • 31.
  • 32. Going Forward
  • 33. Awareness Is Low
    Only 30% of Americans have a will
    Digital estate planning companies report low signups
    It’s like backing up, few actually do it
    Benign neglect
  • 34. As Archivists…
    How can we imbue digital objects with meaning?
    How can we design personal archives so that a lifetime of digital content can be accessible and meaningful to future generations?
  • 35. How Do We…
    Ease the transition from the creator to new curators?
    Honor and respect the wishes of the deceased?
    Maintain the personal value of the collection?
  • 36. Design + Education
  • 37. Design Principles
    Ensure awareness and access
    Wishes of the deceased
    Communicate personal value
    Tackle quantity
    Provide communal experience.
  • 38. Awareness and Access
    It’s not always easy to find digital objects.
    Heirs are necessarily sophisticated technology users.
    PDA systems should provide a means of awareness and access.
  • 39. Wishes
    How can we record and enforce the wishes of the deceased?
    Family members and other “trusted” caretakers often have other ideas.
  • 40. Communicate Value
    Why did the creator believe this object was important?
    We already have some metadata, but how can we passively capture meaning?
  • 41. Tackle Quantity
    Will caretakers of personal archives be overwhelmed by quantity?
    One important object is often as valuable 10,000 objects.
  • 42. Communal Experience
    Digital objects move us away from experiencing them together in person.
    Can we attach comments and other conversations to our digital objects?
  • 43. Education
    Organization
    File formats
    Storage media
    Curation
    Metadata
  • 44. Parting Thoughts
  • 45. JéromeBon. Used By Permission.
  • 46. Thanks
    Evan Carroll
    evan@thedigitalbeyond.com
    @evancarroll