Written by: Christopher Burgess | Red Folder
Do you “live” online? Who doesn’t? Whether you’re online for personal or business purposes, you have a digital footprint, and this online presence has needs of its own. In 2013, McAfee conducted a survey to try and determine the value of our digital legacy and digital assets. The results of the survey showed, the on average our online footprint carried a value of approximately $35,000 (in 2013 – no doubt more now).
Those who blog know their blog has personal value inherent in the sharing of knowledge, but what of the fiscal value of this digital asset? Is there a way to calculate the value of a blog? Yes, there is. “Blog Calculator” has created a nifty algorithm which generates a hypothetical value of your blog. The calculator asks a number of questions, which once answered does it’s magic and pops out a blog’s value.
While the answer provided by this site’s algorithm may be subjective, and open to interpretation (like the value of your car or home), it serves to demonstrate your blog is a digital asset with intrinsic value. Therefore, like any other asset, you have to consider the disposition of the asset should you become incapacitated or die.
1 – Disposition of your blog
The first decision to make is whether or not you want to keep the blog up and running if you are unable to do so yourself due to illness, accident or you’ve passed. Even if you desire this portion of your digital legacy to be shuttered, you should put forward a plan for your trusted designee to follow.
2 – Your designee
Selecting someone to handle things for you is no small task. Here at Red Folder, we recommend the designee be an individual with whom you have a great deal of trust. As they will be following through with your choices concerning the disposition of the blog.
3 – The administrative tail
Those who blog, and there are millions of you (e.g., 75+ million using WordPress according to Yoast) know that the administrative tail to your endeavor is long. Your instructions to your designee should contain the names of any blog-partners you currently have as well as guest bloggers, contributors or other site owners.
In addition, including the administrative permissions associated with your blog, unique to your hosting service, such as access credentials, two-step authentication, challenge questions should also be memorialized. You will also want to detail, any monetary arrangements which involve the blog, is the blog syndicated, have advertising revenue or associated with affiliate programs. And you don’t want to forget to provide access to the social media accounts associated with the blog – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. These too are a part of your digital legacy.
4 – Your directive (wishes and desires)
Within your instructions for your designee, discussion on how you wish things handled in the event of your passing is highly appropriate. Your instructions be they in written form, via a conversation or your Red Folder, provides you the opportunity to discuss, share and if necessary teach your designee what they need to know to maintain the blog.
In the example to the right, the blogger provides instructions identifies the presence of his final post in the content management system’s drafts folder. He also provides instructions if he is temporarily unavailable, more permanently incapacitated or has died. In addition, the blogger has identified the domain and service provider where the blog is hosted. For both, he provides information on where to find the passwords. If you decide to close it down, do you want the blog archived and saved to disk, cloud storage or put to another form of media?
If you have children, will you want them to have this piece of your digital legacy as keepsake?
5 – Will the blog live on or die with a last post?
While planning for anything involving your own death can be stressful, remember the words of Gail Rubin, “Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about death won’t make you die.” Rubin shared these words during her Tedx-ABQ talk, “A Good Goodbye.”
The late Derek K. Miller, an icon within the Pacific Northwest and beyond, well known digital journalist and technologist, who approached his stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer wrote his last blog in anticipation of his passing (Derek passed on May 3, 2011). He left instructions for his last post to be activated, the day after his passing – his blog remains active today.
The beauty is, you decide, “does my blog live, or does it die.”
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