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Author Topic: Web accounts/sites when you die? 💀  (Read 721 times)
Melooon
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« on: March 28, 2023 @822.93 »

I think its important to be pragmatic about mortality; we are all mortal, we all have a limited thread, and when our time is done, it's very much done  :dl:

Something I've been thinking about recently is, what would happen to my sites and projects if I died tomorrow; what would happen to this forum, my website etc etc. This was also partly inspired by other topics about the risks of domain names.

I also think this is an interesting topic for this community because so many of us run websites, or host web resources that others love or depend on; yet at the same time we are individuals, we don't have big company teams to keep things going without us.

How can we keep running after we are gone? Or at least gracefully shut down our online lives when the time comes.

My personal plan is to create a physical document with master passwords to my password managers and instructions on how to get into them; that document will be given to a few trusted family members, or maybe given to a law firm as part of my will.

In my password manager, I'll keep an up-to-date document that provides instructions on what services I'm currently running and what needs to be done to ensure everything goes smoothly.

For those curious these changes would happen if I died:
  • Most of my Neocities sites would be untouched
  • Melonland.Net and Melonking.Net would be set up to renew indefinitely
  • Melonking.net would have a pre-written goodbye note posted to the news feed
  • The forum would be moved into read-only mode along with the surf club (although maybe someone could take it over)
  • Backend servers would be switched off and disconnected.
  • Emails would automatically be set to respond with a note explaining the situation
  • I don't have many social accounts, so those would mostly be ignored!

Don't worry though, I plan to hang around till Im at least 90  :ha:  But it's still good to be ready!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023 @908.39 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2023 @837.23 »

i feel like that could be a new fun section to add to a will!! like how someone who owns a business could put who owns it next after them. would you consider adding an heir to your websites in the same way?? (well like i THINK that’s how it works— i’ve never had to write a will or help somebody do it.)

i don’t think i would for my website because it’s mostly personal, but i might ask that my older sister or somebody add a page with really detailed instructions explaining the sudden stop in activity. maybe i could pre-code that and then it’s like a… just make this active and edit the text however relevant. : )

idk though!! i think by the time i’m old and dying, i’m unsure if the internet would be the same as it is now!! and i dunno if i’d be running any websites!! i’d like to move out into the boonies one day to never resurface… dream life <3 so upon that kind of departure, maybe just a “smell ya l8r (never).” page and then a deletion after.

edit: YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE FUN? a really bangin online funeral or something. some memorial service page. that would be pretty sad still, but a one last silly little hijink before i’m gone. : )
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023 @838.78 by GHOUL » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2023 @845.83 »

I wish my family members would at least have the brains to check my devices where I'm online, like Discord etc and inform people of my fate. They wouldn't have the skills to touch my websites though or anything. So I guess I'd just disappear.

(My biggest wish is that, when destroying and getting rid of all of my property, they'd at the very least save my notebooks of my conlang. Maybe someone in the family, generations later, would find that interesting. I sure would, if I found something like from passed down from a relative.)
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Melooon
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2023 @854.43 »

a really bangin online funeral or something. some memorial service page
That would be fun! Maybe you could have some guestbook thing where people could leave flower emojis :ozwomp: I can't remember where, but one of the first web shrines was literally a memorial shrine to someone's family member who passed away - it wasn't ironic, or cheesy, it was just a really honest way to memorialize them in a new medium (they had actually died in the 70s, so they never even knew what the web was, yet there was a shrine to them on it).

I know it seems a bit weird to suggest a shrine to ones-self, but it's not really for you, it's for your family - I think a lot of family members would really appreciate having your personal site online as a memorial when you're gone; it would make the web seem far more human at a hard time in their lives :4u:

they'd at the very least save my notebooks of my conlang
Things like this you've gotta be really clear about; make sure its digitised, and at least that they know you want it kept as an heirloom, if you think that might not work you can ask that it be donated to a local museum or library  :smile:
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2023 @922.11 »

No one lives forever. I'm not planning on popping my clogs just yet but the inevitable has crosed my mind and I've had a couple of conversations with some of my more techie friends about it and what is going to happen to my sites. They also happen to be a lot younger than me whch helps.

Two of them have already promised to host the sites on their own servers. There's letters with my will that has the passwordss they'll need, to remind them of their obligations and neither of them is allowed to pick through my stuff until the sites are taken care of  :smile:

Hopefully some will add a page about my life. I felt I had to do that twice now, once for my dad and another for a frined of 40 years who decided he couldn't cope any more - https://brisray.com/will/
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Melooon
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2023 @968.61 »

for a frined of 40 years who decided he couldn't cope any more - https://brisray.com/will/
Thank you for sharing this! I enjoyed reading about Will and Im sorry to hear how it went; I think it's a great memorial though, for however long your site and the web last.
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2023 @991.25 »

I know it seems a bit weird to suggest a shrine to ones-self, but it's not really for you, it's for your family - I think a lot of family members would really appreciate having your personal site online as a memorial when you're gone; it would make the web seem far more human at a hard time in their lives :4u:

This is a mindset I have when it comes to death in general. Many people feel a need to do something that they know their loved one would've wanted to be done in their memory. Or, at the very least, would've appreciated. That is why something like a choice of flowers, an online shrine, clothes, music for a funeral, or.. anything similar that can be requested in a will can be very important. I don't personally understand the need to do something solely for the dead since I deal with death very differently from most people, but it is something I've observed.. and in my will, I would include something like that for the sake of my loved ones.

 If I were to have something put up on my website or engraved on my tombstone after death, it'd almost certainly be something morbidly humorous. I would like it to communicate that life and death are completely absurd... and that's perfectly fine. What are you moping around about, anyway? I'm glad I'm off this godforsaken planet! It is riddled with unbearable amounts of illogic! I should- I should..     oh, wait.. I'm.. I forgot I'm not dead quite yet.

I haven't figured out how I would make a memorial page happen exactly, but I may create a thumb drive with my website and an extra HTML file of a "goodbye" page with directions on where to place it and how. I'd have the copy in case the original site goes down for some reason, but I'd also include the URL and login information for whatever host I'll be using in a (separate) word document or physical paper. If it happens to still be around by then.


Since it's somewhat related, here's an odd happening from my own father's funeral: Everyone was going up to a microphone to reflect on the past and say their goodbyes. There was someone (of whom I've never even met before) who came up and said something along the lines of "Up in heaven, he is painting a beautiful picture and smiling. Shortly, his two sons will join him, and he will welcome them with open arms."  ... He'll... shortly?? I'm never attending a funeral again!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2023 @995.94 by Commodorn » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2023 @997.51 »

I've never thought about it before, but it is something I should think about. I'd probably include a password to my password manager in my will. (on a floppy disk, maybe, as a final mark in the world to show the kind of person I was? :p)
Give whoever access the accounts to preserve the websites and other projects I work on. Maybe add a page explaining what happened to me.

Any source code from projects, cancelled or otherwise, should just be made public. If I can't make any more games or art, at least what has been made can be used to create more stuff, and provide more entertainment for years to come.

Going off topic a bit, it's gotten me thinking about physical things I own and make. Mainly my mixtapes. I would want whoever inherits them to listen to and watch them all one last time, and then digitise and upload it somewhere for others to enjoy. Then if they so wish, do whatever to the tapes. As long as they aren't auctioned off to someone not actually interested in them.
As for my game and movie collections, I want them to be sold to people or shops where they will get a good home. I don't want what I own to be used to make a profit for anyone. I want it all to go to people who will love them like I do now.
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2023 @8.22 »

This reminded me of an old webcomic I used to read called Force Monkeys. It was hosted on GameSpy alongside Penny Arcade and was about a Jedi and Sith who were roommates and played video games.

When Force Monkeys ended, the writer and artist released a promo for their next project called "The Indomitable Mr. Stick". But that comic never ended up happening. Years later I decided to find out why. I looked up the Force Monkeys creators, found a blog for the writer but nothing for the artist. Eventually I found a blog written by the artist's mother revealing that he died after tripping in his bedroom and hitting his head.

That stuck with me ever since. It was really the first moment I realized how easily someone can just suddenly die and how someone who is known online can suddenly disappear and most people will never know why.

Whenever I eventually stop posting here, will it be because I get bored or busy and moved on, or did I choke on a grape? You'll probably never know. I have no plans for someone to inherit my accounts or provide an update after I die. If you're really curious you'll just have to search and hope you find something that reveals what happened. Maybe it'll stick with you in the same way.
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2023 @22.50 »

"morbidly humorous" - something how I want to be remembered by my friends.

Mw and my wife have already agreed that who ever goes first gets wrapped in black bin liners and sat up on the sofa. At least until somebody starts asking too many questions.  :smile:

Aparently the best way to get rid of the problem is a couple of pigs or a feeezer and a big wood chipper.
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2023 @136.32 »

these are great answers (and a great question, melon!). i've thought about this a lot, and i think the best course of action is to leave behind a master password that unlocks everything (to my password manager) with a set of directions. i plan to have my will/trust pay for my webhost (especially in the event of an untimely demise), but eventually, the only thing that will exist is archives. i hope my digital history will live on and join a greater archive of certain parts of the web, but it's okay if mine doesn't, too.

in my will, i have instructions on where to update my website with news of my passing, a final goodbye love letter to the life i had. links to all of my digital presences (like social media) will be there, but there will be no updates there.

love the idea of things automatically 'switching on' upon death, though. that's something worth exploring. maybe i'll leave a treasure map for digital sleuthers to find when i'm older. :)
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