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Personal Digital Archives and the Death Transition Evan Carroll The Digital Beyond
About Me Author of Your Digital Afterlife Author and editor at TheDigitalBeyond.com UX Designer by trade
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)
Shift to Digital
Issues Awareness Access Ownership Preservation And countless others
Meaning 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?
Value Value is relative, changing from person to person and time to time. Value is extracted from more than just the content. Sometimes you need the story behind the object to appreciate it.
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?
Design Principles Ensure awareness and access Wishes of the deceased Communicate personal value Tackle quantity Provide communal experience.
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.
Wishes How can we record and enforce the wishes of the deceased? Family members and other “trusted” caretakers often have other ideas.
Communicate Value Why did the creator believe this object was important? We already have some metadata, but how can we passively capture meaning?
Tackle Quantity Will caretakers of personal archives be overwhelmed by quantity? One important object is often as valuable 10,000 objects.
Communal Experience Digital objects move us away from experiencing them together in person. Can we attach comments and other conversations to our digital objects?
Thanks Evan Carroll evan@thedigitalbeyond.com @evancarroll

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The Lost Curator

  • 1. Personal Digital Archives and the Death Transition Evan Carroll The Digital Beyond
  • 2. About Me Author of Your Digital Afterlife Author and editor at TheDigitalBeyond.com UX Designer by trade
  • 3. 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)
  • 5. Issues Awareness Access Ownership Preservation And countless others
  • 6. Meaning 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?
  • 7.
  • 8. Value Value is relative, changing from person to person and time to time. Value is extracted from more than just the content. Sometimes you need the story behind the object to appreciate it.
  • 9. 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?
  • 10. Design Principles Ensure awareness and access Wishes of the deceased Communicate personal value Tackle quantity Provide communal experience.
  • 11. 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.
  • 12. Wishes How can we record and enforce the wishes of the deceased? Family members and other “trusted” caretakers often have other ideas.
  • 13. Communicate Value Why did the creator believe this object was important? We already have some metadata, but how can we passively capture meaning?
  • 14. Tackle Quantity Will caretakers of personal archives be overwhelmed by quantity? One important object is often as valuable 10,000 objects.
  • 15. Communal Experience Digital objects move us away from experiencing them together in person. Can we attach comments and other conversations to our digital objects?
  • 16. Thanks Evan Carroll evan@thedigitalbeyond.com @evancarroll