– Serving your last online wishes

Van Mensvoort
January 11th 2010

We live an increasing amount of our lives online, but what happens to our digital identity after we are gone?  Until now our blogs, photos and social network accounts have lived on without us, leaving our loved ones powerless to control them or wind them down. My Webwill is a new service that helps you tweet, email, or Facebook after you die.

Subscribers can set up a digital will with directions on what should happen to their e-mail and social network accounts after they are diseased. Currently, a Facebook profile, for example, can remain active long after its creator has passed away. In some cases they become posting boards for condolence messages or even gossip – against the family's wishes.

A handful of services, such as Legacy Locker Inc., Deathswitch and Slightly Morbid, tend to the virtual afterlife by sending posthumous emails to friends and family. But according to its founders, My Webwill is unique in actually entering accounts and "managing" them according to a person's last wishes.

The company is run by young Swedish entrepreneurs  Lisa Granberg, Magnus Wiberg and Elin Tybring – who originally developed the concept together with Bart Dohmen, Bram Braat and Connie Golsteijn during a Next Nature workshop in 2008, where the idea was awarded the first price by jury member Bruce Sterling.

The service is partly free. An subscription with more options will cost 30 euro a year, while a 'lifetime' subscription will cost about 300 euro. Now lets hope this start-up will live longer than its subscribers.

Sources: Associated Press, Bright.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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