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Am I Dead or Not?

Website that tells distant friends if you've gone before (or vice versa)
  (+10, -2)(+10, -2)
(+10, -2)
  [vote for,

I have several friends in various parts of the world, who I only know through the Internet, through online diaries, bulletin boards etc. I expect many users of this site have similar relationships. Recently I had a rather morbid conversation with one of my friends where she said if she stopped writing her online diary, people wouldn't know if she was dead or just bored with it. But even before the Internet, I've had friends in distant places where I'd probably never find out if they kicked the bucket metaphorically.

So my idea is for a website similar to IMood, which keeps an updated status report on whether its users are either alive or dead. The site would be funded by some combination of advertising and subscription. How it would work is that my friend would have an account with the website and every month would have to confirm his/her membership. As long as he/she was still alive, the site would display a little "alive and kicking" icon.

If my friend ever failed to confirm his/her membership, their team of top investigators would attempt to ascertain whether this was the result of death or idleness. In many cases this should be trivial to find out. The website would then update their records accordingly, with a choice between "living"/"dead"/"missing" displayed.

I realise this probably sounds pathetic and/or paranoid, but, hey, this is the halfbakery after all.

pottedstu, Apr 22 2002

IMood http://www.imood.com/
Displays your mood online, but I don't see how you could set it to "dead". [pottedstu, Apr 22 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Workmates (Division of Classmates.com) http://www.classmat...user/work/splash.tf
Along with Classmates, to catalog your workfield experience. A way to keep up and to reunite. [reensure, Apr 22 2002]

Deathclock http://www.deathclock.com
Plan ahead with this handy tool [spartanica, Apr 23 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

PostMortem Mailer http://www.halfbake...Postmortem_20Mailer
Similar idea -- send out an e-mail message once you're dead. [jutta, Apr 24 2002]

(?) This guy's site has an "In Mem" section http://members.aol.com/uheep2/index.htm
[angel, Apr 24 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Baked, if you're a celebrity http://www.deadpeople.info
[mrthingy, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

MyLastEmail http://www.theregis...ontent/6/33976.html
Same idea? [brackley, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Deathswitch www.deathswitch.com
This exact thing [mylodon, Mar 16 2009]

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       Referring to these individuals as friends is a bit of an over estimation of your relationship. As you say you merely know them through bill boards etc. It sounds like you would be going to exorbitant lengths to keep a check on the livelihood of individuals who undoubtedly care little or nothing about you. Call me cynical, but you know, my name isn't even the garlic twins, if i was to pop the clogs tomorrow, i'm not sure even my bestest buddies at halfbakery.com would batter a fish for me. Except of course dr bob, who loves me dearly. Just the other evening myself and the good doctor shared an on-line drink together (a 1970 glass of fine tuscinian claret), followed by a passionate embrace and nibbling of the virtual ear. Sweet.   

       The twins
garlic twins, Apr 22 2002

       How about your friend supplies the site with their real name and a list of all their pseudonyms... every month the site receives a list of everyone who has died from police, hospitals etc.   

       All the pseudonyms belonging to someone who died are pronounced dead... There would also be an option on subscription by the user allowing the site to group all the pseudonyms together under the user's real name either before or after death...
RobertKidney, Apr 22 2002

       Or Rayfo for that matter and where the hell is Stew, 1%, daruma, etc.   

       I think Susen would fall into the missing persons category....we may never know her fate. Has anyone heard from her?
runforrestrun, Apr 22 2002

       This could be a side business for writeyourkiller.com.   

       You could create a list of addresses you want notified in the event of your death, and writeyourkiller.com (or another more appropriate name for the site) would send out a "Sorry, I've died." note to them.
waugsqueke, Apr 22 2002

       A load of the sites wherein I've registered send me a ‘notify’ after a set time that sets me up for d/c of my site privilege if I've not re-logged or otherwise contributed to my profile. There will likely be an industry-wide orientation file kept somewhere -- much like the insurance co.s keep files on folks who utilize those traveler's policies for the $50/day cash during a hospitalization -- all for the sake of data mining.   

       Automated: It's intrusive.
Voluntary: It's no change.

       I think the concept would work, given an accountable means to channel info into the database.
reensure, Apr 22 2002

       Out of Office Reply:   

       Sorry, I will be out of the office from Tuesday 23rd April 2002 until, well, forever actually - you see I'm dead. For urgent matters please contact someone who is alive.
stupop, Apr 22 2002

       The wine was crap...but I enjoyed the ear nibbling.
DrBob, Apr 22 2002

       I put my expiration date from Deathclock (see link) into Microsoft Outlook and asked for a reminder 15 minutes before the event in 2047. I figure that should be enough time to quick send out some notices and clean up the desk.
spartanica, Apr 23 2002

       Speak for yourself, Mephista.
waugsqueke, Apr 23 2002

       Ah'm not dead yet!   

       You'll be dead soon enough.
absterge, Apr 23 2002

       There should be a medical implant you can use that monitor your vital signs and update your living status wirelessly to some monitoring center daily. In the event of catastrophic consequence, the device will alert the emergency personal to save you ASAP. You can also have that device sent your pre-recorded last word to everyone if the help arrived too late. We are living in the information age, people. Make information work for you.
bing, Apr 23 2002

       //It sounds like you would be going to exorbitant lengths to keep a check on the livelihood of individuals who undoubtedly care little or nothing about you.//   

       This really got my heckles up. I've had two online friends die in the past 15 months, they were closer to me than I am to my own brothers. To the most recent one, I was probably the last person on earth to have contact with him. In this case the family went through his list of email addresses to let people know.   

       I was there through his last weeks, I heard his cries of pain as his illness took hold of him, and here I am crying again for someone I've never met.   

       //Referring to these individuals as friends is a bit of an over estimation of your relationship.//   


       Aside from those comments I think this is a good idea.
Helium, Apr 23 2002

       this is the stuff of nightmares, helium. I have come to care so much for these people..
po, Apr 23 2002

       I recently discovered, while looking for something else, that Peter Bardens had died. (linky)
angel, Apr 24 2002

       //I've had two online friends die in the past 15 months, they were closer to me than I am to my own brothers.//   

       Tragic. In more ways than one.
stupop, Apr 24 2002

       // ...all this time I've been posting to y'all from beyond the grave. //   

       Well, thank you for taking the time to let us know you're dead. I guess that means this is baked, then.
waugsqueke, Apr 24 2002

       //Tragic. In more ways than one.//   

       Not at all. I come from close family. I don't think it's at all unusual for one's closest friends to be unrelated.
Helium, Apr 24 2002

       wish I understood why I feel *close* to people - some I have never met - is that why we are here as a unit do you think?
po, Apr 24 2002

       I love this idea, but am afraid of how it would be abused by marketers and the like to keep tabs on people.   

       There would need to be some flexibility for the comatose, people in the witness protection program, etc.   

       croissant for stupop's out of office reply.
RayfordSteele, Apr 24 2002

       I have a premium bond for the last but two owner of my house ( 15 years ago) I don't where she is now, or whether she is still alive, I have tried (on the net) all the free directory enquries, but don't know where she lives now or her relatives. What should I do. If I return saying adress unknown, her winnings will just be consumed into the company. If she was listed on this site it would be great, but I fear Mrs Boyce (probably 70 + by now) isn't net friendly.
arora, Apr 24 2002

       I like the idea, in that I'd like to know the well-being of a handful of online acquaintances... however, I dislike it, in that I'd hate to be kept tabs on by an online entity. Call it a combination of overprotectivity/nosiness contrasted with personal paranoia...
Urania, Apr 24 2002

       Arora how much has this second but last, twice removed occupier of your present lodgings won. 50 bucks or something. Lets not go losing the plot here. You probably spent more on internet connections looking for the silly bastard than this person probably won. Deep breaths everyone, i fear your all slipping into a melodramtic unconscious state known to the medical profession as 'oprahism'.   

garlic twins, Apr 25 2002

       it's not one of those You Have Won !!! junk mails you get in the post - Premium Bonds in the UK are often very high value prize/investments. If Mrs Boyce is attempting to live on a state pension she will weep at the sight of a Premium Bond, or at least thank arora very kindly for trying to find her. In the UK, after being taxed on Pension Contributions, you then get taxed again if you managed to save enough to live on a pension of more than 6,100 a year. Nice, huh.
sappho, Apr 25 2002

       Considering the "theory" of six degrees of separation and all the UK people on this site....finding Mrs. Boyce shouldn't be *that* much of a problem...
runforrestrun, Apr 25 2002

       Thank you sapphora for that enlightening investment lesson. Yes premium bonds can be for a substantial amount of money, however, the average payment is £50. Mrs Boyce is more than likely to be a wealthy old grandmother with a well stuffed mattress, i wouldn't be too concerned.   

       cynical twins
garlic twins, Apr 26 2002

       Were she to turn out to be a wealthy old grandmother, I would rather hope that she would not turn up her nose at someone's effort to help her, regardless of the actual value of the Bond.
Were you a little wiser, you might understand that life is not too short for kindness, and may even understand that it is far too short for cynicism.
sappho, Apr 26 2002

       Seems to be baked now? Link.
brackley, Nov 14 2003

       I liked that deathclock thing. Apparently my Dad should have been dead for at least 16 years. I must tell him when I next see him.
PeterSilly, Nov 14 2003

       Speaking of missing persons, what ever happened to that hilarious DeathNinja? Just laying low because of the government put a hit out, I assume.
jivetalkinrobot, Nov 14 2003

       [mylodon]-great link-Seems like a lot of folks thought of the same idea. They're the zombies clacking around in the bakery basement stealing ideas prolly.
blissmiss, Mar 16 2009


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