Digital legacy, so far

I was piqued a few years ago by David’s digital legacy article and Karl’s answer and thought about it quite a lot. In particular, Karl noted this:

Bien définir le protocole de gestion des scories numériques de notre vie est surtout une façon de libérer les vivants d’un poids administratif

In English: Defining the protocol for handling one’s digital dregs is a way to alleviate the living from an administrative weight.

It resonated with me and I decided to write a document and give it to Matthias as my executor for all things digital. I listed my website, online accounts (web hosting, domain name administration, social networks, etc.), online services (what are you subscribed to, how to close it, including your internet service provider). And I left it at that, promising myself to update it from time to time – and of course I didn’t, you know how bothersome curating administrative documents can be.

The project

Then in 2015 there was a conference by Agnieszka M. Walorska about the “Digital afterlife”; I liked her talk but was somewhat bothered that she mentioned only a few services (Facebook and Twitter, if I remember correctly).

So on the following Saturday at Paris Web we improvised a workshop on the subject and came up with a few ideas about how to handle your digital afterlife as a whole, including the curation of your computer after you die. And – stupid me – I promised to put something online in the following months. And – as can be guessed – it stayed in a wasted state for years.

Now I’ve committed the pictures that Franck Paul took at the workshop to a Github repository and hope that someone will take it up from there. Too busy living my life, it seems.

My own digital legacy document

In case you’re wondering, here is how my document is organised:

  • Basic organisation
    • where files are stored
    • who owns my (main user) password
  • Important stuff
    • Internet service provider
    • ADSL modem administration
    • domain names and hosting
      • websites
      • email addresses
    • Cloud hosting services
    • Online payment (Paypal etc.)
    • Nursit (small SPIP hosting company where I’m an associate)
    • Mailing lists administration
  • Less important stuff
    • Services to transfer to someone
    • Services to close (social networks, mostly)

Rereading this list and comparing to the original in David’s digital legacy article I realise that I still have some work to do, but each day its own, eh?


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