I see dead people … all over the Internet

A social network for the dead? Why do we need one of those when we’ve got Friendster? Actually, two such venues are going live (pun intended) online: Tributes.com, from Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor, and Footnote.com. Both offerings, particularly Footnote, go beyond simple obituaries/memorials by serving as repositories for images and information about those who’ve passed on. There’s already some controversy over the notion of "monetizing the dead." (Footnote is subscription based; Tributes will sell its services to funeral homes.) But there’s something truly "immortal" about an interactive and interconnected databank representing—even recreating—people’s lives for later generations to learn from, study and share. It’s an ancient idea—seeking guidance from one’s ancestors, speaking to the dead. Perhaps we’re reached the point where technology allows them to answer.

—Posted by David Gianatasio