Thursday, January 03, 2008

Social media beyond the grave

Personally, I believe that you live, you die, and that's it. But memorials are important for those who outlive you, so a few years ago when it dawned on me that I'd never be asked to appear on Desert Island Discs, I started planning the music for my funeral. My wife says I'm only allowed three tunes (she's clearly planning to outlive me). So far I've got one Elvis Costello (can't decide between Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes and Radio Radio), one White Stripes (probably Fell In Love With A Girl, but possibly Hotel Yorba) and I'm dithering about the third*.

What does funeral planning have to do with social media? I've been playing with LetterMeLater (see the previous post), a service which lets you schedule emails for future delivery (very useful for posting to Blogger), and if you wish, you can share the messages that you send with other users:

I can't complain about the funeral planning aspect, but does anyone else find the voting part a bit creepy? For all my commitment to social media, I'm not going to let anyone else pick the tunes for my funeral :-)

* I know my wife wouldn't like me to have any Hank Williams, and I'm so lonesome I could cry seems, well, too sad for a funeral. If people liked you, they'll want to celebrate your life. If they hated you, they'll be glad you're gone. Either way, funerals are happy occasions, so it looks like I'll have to give in and finish up with Bohemian Rhapsody.

Update: OK, I think I've solved the problem. iPod, pair of speakers, funeral playlist, shuffle. Let the technology decide.


  1. I have to say that your post really made me laugh and has got me music shall I have at my funeral? I have decided I don't want a funeral but rather a massive booze up at the pub and people can play whatever music they like!

  2. I like it! Although if anyone played bohemian rhapsody at a funeral I'd want to join the deceased. Off to think about my three now...

  3. Music choice is simple: Jimi Hendrix doing "All along the Watchtower", and "The End", by the Doors. A copy of Roger Zelazny's "Lord of Light" to be burned with me - and drinks all round. Ashes sprinkled in the garden.