[size=18px]Family Tech Talk[/size]
By Ann Collier, Net Family News

Web News Briefs


7. # 'MyDeathSpace.com'

One wonders if MySpace is happy with this "spin-off," as described by the Staten Island Advance, but it could be seen as another legitimate form of sharing experiences online. Launched last December, MyDeathSpace.com appears to be one of the many mashups that are happening all over this increasingly user-driven Web. It's an obituary social-networking site that "collects the profiles of deceased MySpace users and links them to news stories, obituaries or blogs that detail their lives as well as how they died." On the one hand, it could be viewed as a sick or exploitative use of social-networking (founder Mike Patterson, 25, told the Advance that he gets a lot of hate mail). On the other hand, it makes sense for young people who do so much socializing online also to grieve and create memorials online. A number of students at a local high school recently found comfort in eulogizing a fellow student in MySpace.com, one of their moms told me. The Advance cites the view of one grief therapist that "this kind of 'grief work' can be particularly healing for young people." Founder Patterson gets grateful emails too and told the Advance that one of his goals is educating teens that "life is fragile," "they're not invincible." Later this week, the New York Times ran a big-picture piece on online memorializing.