Over at Farmville, people are busy putting the finishing touches to their Haunted Houses ready for Halloween. Me, I've been looking at digital footprints for one reason or another, and I have to say I've been struck by the number of organisations that have sprung up offering digital services for the dead.
I haven't had a proper play around with it yet, but must say that the Futuris.tk site is very intriguing - here you can send a message to loved ones, posted out when you are dead, or 'future-blog' your thoughts now 50 years ahead. Others like Entrustet, Legacy Locker and My Web Will all look to managing your digital assets once your big Switch Off has occurred and - if there is absolutely no chance of a reboot - your loved ones can activate all the 'deactivates' that will be necessary once your chips are finally down. Facebook will enshrine your loved one's page for you, if you wish, but if, in real life, you have no close mates or family that can prove their relationship with you to Facebook then, rest assured, your party photos will live forever.
Spooky then, if you have diligently mashed your applications to auto-tweet during your living hours and a spam comment somewhere knocks it into action long after you've gone. Imagine the stick you'll get for not being a proper contributor to the conversation - it's bad enough now if you go quiet for a week or two!
My thought for the day on this one rests with those in the business community currently thrashing out digital strategies - and anyone else who has harnessed the power of their employees as brand advocates on their behalf. Imagine this. You have been asked to run a tweetstream talking about your place of work. You die. It doesn't. Who owns it? Who closes it down? And what if your digital footprint actually has financial value - in the same way as artists, writers, authors and other creative types have assets that increase in value after their demise, so too might the value of that Flickr stream you are so fond of. And if it does - who gets the cash? If there's a digital will, then there will be a way.
For most, this probably won't seem like a particularly worrisome problem - a bit like cyber-security concerns seemed a few years ago - but believe me, as more advocates are born, so will they die. If I were to blog my thoughts today for use 50 years ahead, I guess it would include a brief sentence: "Remember I suggested you work out how to deal with the digital assets of the dead - bet you wish you had now!"
It has also got me thinking about the point at which people will - to put it bluntly - shut up. Are we going to experience a rash of 'death blogs' as one by one we shuffle off this mortal coil? Unless they are really from beyond the grave and offer insight into a life beyond, then reflections of what dreams may come from the living - while they remain with us - will, I fear, simply be dead boring. Like the wonderful tombstone above, found here, there must be a time when we simply have nothing more to say.
PS: Would Vampires really want to engage with their Stakeholders?