Video: After Your Final Status Update

As you know, I'm all about life. I live it to the fullest and I don't dwell much on things that could be considered negative or scary. But yesterday, as I drove past the franchised Fred Astaire dance studio in my neck of the woods yesterday, I began to think about how amazing it is that a man who died in 1987 is still making money. He's doesn't get to enjoy it of course, but his brand has so much stamina that dance instructors stake their entire business model on it.

But franchising is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to dead people “living on.” Who could forget the controversial DirecTV ad featuring Chris Farley, which aired 12 years after he died? In this 5:30 video, Adam Ostrow briefly explores the idea that everyone using social media these days is creating a vast universe of content that will live on after we die. In the video, Adam shares the following statistics:

– every minute, 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
– Twitter users collectively create 200 million Tweets each day
– every FaceBook user posts an average of 90 pieces of content to the site each day

Those statistics are astounding! So, have you thought about what will happen to all of this content after you die? I'm not trying to be morbid or anything, but the truth is that the only thing all of these social media contributors have in common is that they will all die someday. So what should happen to their content? What do you want to happen to yours?

In the video, Adam lists the following services designed to help you have some input into the process:

If I Die: create a video or a text message to be published after you die
One Thousand Memories: record and share the life of a loved one, and discover the memories of others through our network.
My Next Tweet: this site analyzes your past online social behavior and uses it to predict your next Tweet

For kicks, I put my Twitter name into My Next Tweet, and here's what it spit out:

My last Tweet

I have the option of Tweeting it, but since it makes absolutely no sense (and I have never Tweeted about a “Clearance Event”), you can see that the potential is there. As technology advances, I have no doubt that services like this will be able to Tweet exactly like me, so much so that my Twitter stream would offer no hint of my demise.

It's pretty amazing, albeit a bit morbid, yes? But while it's not pleasant to think about death, it is in fact a part of life.

More importantly, at least for purposes of this blog, what could it mean for your business? Can you contract with someone to continue your Twitter stream, paying a certain amount of money each month into your estate in exchange for access to your followers for a period of time? Or what about your FaceBook Page, or your email list? Weird, I know. I'm just thinking.

But maybe I think too much … your turn now.

Question: Do you like the idea of these types of services? What do you think they could mean in terms of the definition of a lifetime, both from a human and a business perspective? Please share your ideas and impressions in the comments section below.

(You can follow (the very much living) Adam Ostrow on Twitter here.)

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.