Don’t let yourself be immortalized by a beer pong Facebook profile photo.
A quirky, little startup that lets you prepare your social media presence for when you die is now out of beta testing and open to the public.
MyWebWill stores people’s passwords and wishes, so that their online identities can be shut down or handed over to friends and family when they pass away. It creates a central hub, where you can plan what will happen with your web presence across all social networks and games. You can bequeath World of Warcraft armor to a friend, prepare a final tweet or automatically send a very last, personal letter to all of your closest friends by e-mail. You can also decide what you want as your very last Facebook profile photo. (You can see our original story and video on the startup here.)
It may sound like a silly idea at first, but increasingly, more of our lives are documented online. Who knows how long the web will be around, and whether your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren or even some generation far beyond that will be able to search for your name and see all of its accompanying photos, writing and videos?
Since testing in Sweden, the company has dropped the annual fee to $9.95, although co-founder Lisa Granberg says the company will ultimately pursue a freemium model with different pricing tiers and a limited free version. When you sign up for MyWebWill, the company will store your passwords and remind you once a year to keep them updated.
The company can tell if a person has passed away with two methods. In places like Sweden and Germany, there is a national registry that keeps track of all people living in the country, and MyWebWill will cross-check their database against the national ones weekly.
In countries like the U.S., they’ll need two people to act as verifiers. When you sign up, you’ll provide contact information for the verifiers and MyWebWill will contact them through e-mail explaining the service and their responsibilities. They’ll also e-mail them about once a year as a reminder to check if the person is still alive. Granberg and her co-founder have yet to look for funding for their site.
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