Dead Men Don’t Blog

If I died today, nobody would be able to log into my blog.

I’ve suddenly realized that is an important problem that could become an urgent one in the blink of an eye.

But wait. It gets worse.

I own HUNDREDS of domain names, and have DOZENS of live, active websites. You can see that this multiplies my problem. Not only can nobody log into my blog, they also can’t log into my other sites.

Obviously, as the subject line of this email intimates, “dead men don’t blog”.

And they also don’t market.

Or Twitter.

Or Facebook.

So I’ve got some work to do, preparing for the inevitable day when my keyboard will go silent.

Why Am I Even Writing About This Today?

Well, I’m not being morbid. And I don’t mean to depress you or weird you out. But I was reading a post over at Dave Winer’s blog, about how he’s maintaining two online archives for relatives who have passed away.

Reading Dave’s article on this subject made me realize…

  1. If I die and want my work to live beyong the next hosting bill, I need to have a post-mortem plan for my blog.
  2. If I die and DON’T want my work to live on, there needs to be a plan for how to get it OFF the web (some of my hosting is paid WAY in advance or is on auto-pay).

Regardless, I Need A Plan. And So Do You.

What about your sites?

Especially if you have a business (and even if you don’t), you need to have a plan.

At the very least, you could create a simple set of instructions and a list of your logins.  My plan, in case you’re interested, includes the following steps:

  1. Create a list of all my domain/blogs/hosting accounts login URL’s and passwords.
  2. Specific instructions about what needs to be done with each site.
  3. Create some “post-Ray” emails that will let any readers or subscribers know what the status of the website is.
  4. Create instructions about what to do with any merhcant or payment systems that are set up for the sites.

That’s just the rough draft of my plan, written on the fly. I’m sure I’ll refine it. It’ll take some time. But it will save someone (probably someone I love) a lot of work and frustration.

It is also good service to my readers and customers.

What about you?

Do you have a “Dead Man Plan” for your websites? Do you have suggestions for something I should add to my plan? If so – add your voice to the discussion below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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15 thoughts on “Dead Men Don’t Blog

  1. Well Ray that is not your usual upbeat get moving kind of blog, but it did make me stop and think. Not about me dying but about how much internet real estate I have out there. If I'm honest the only way I track which domains I own is by checking with my ISP, so my heirs would have no chance, cos they can't even log in there. Some of these were bought 'cos I had a great idea but it went nowhere. Some have never even been used. I wonder how many “dead” domain names there are out there!

    I guess the only way round it is to create a mini business plan for each domain. In it you could list the “assets”, its purpose and how it generates money (keywords, marketing methods, related articles, etc). Now just to find the time to do it all ……

    Eric

    • I know this isn't my usual blog content Eric, but these days I'm committed to being more transparent and sharing exactly what currently has my attention in the moment. I like your idea of mini-plans for each domain. What if you made them one-page plans for each domain.

  2. I had major surgery just two weeks ago and had to deal with this same issue. Luckily, I am in a Mastermind group where the people are very thoughtful, so I wrote out everything and made sure they would receive the information. This would ensure that my business continue for at least one year, giving my family time to sort things out without having to worry about money.
    Ray, this is important to think about, no matter what type of business you have.

  3. Every so often I've gotten in the mode of thinking about this, either when I'm talking to the insurance guy or after a bad pizza (and you know you're going to die in the next 24 hours), I've thought about this and realize along with only a few people would treat my baseball card collection with the respect it deserves only a few people would even have a clue how to do half of the things I do on the Internet, so who to put in charge of that, what to get for them, how to get it to them, what you'd like them to do with it are questions that do come to mind in those instances (then you feel better and forget all about it). Good thoughts. I acted on it, at least a little, by contacting a mortuary guy and see if he has ideas. When I hear back from him, hopefully I'll report back to you.

    Andy Collins

  4. I've thought about this from time to time, when I was either talking to the insurance guy or after eating a bad pizza (and knew I was going to die within 24 hours).

    You get to thinking about who would treat your baseball card collection with the respect it deserves and things like this as most of the people I know wouldn't have a clue how do log in to any of it and what to do with it even if they did. So the who to pass if off to is as important as the what to do with it after they have it.

    I at least taken some action on this as I forwarded your e-mail on to a mortician friend of mine to get his thoughts. If I hear anything hopefully I'll repost.

    Andy Collins

  5. I don't think you were being morbid AT ALL. Death is a certainty for all of us and having a presence in the cloud should be no different with how to handle certain affairs than in “real life”. Great topic.

  6. I turn 60 in two weeks so am hearing you loud and clear. Thanks for taking the time to create a template for this dour but necessary task.

  7. Hi Ray,

    I have been keeping a spreadsheet of logins, hosting, domains, etc. For my reference only. About a year ago, my partner asked how /where/what/why about our online income and it made me realize that my spreadsheet isn't enough. I immediately set out a sheet explaining where the money comes from and where it goes.

    Good job on this post. I'll definitely revisit my notes to see if they are complete enough.

    Best,

    Alex
    http://www.howtomakemoneyfromhomenow.com

  8. Yes this is very important. If you use virtual assistants then a lot of the information shouls be with them.
    The goal for most people withan intenrnet business is 'auto pilot income' so if we need a service like this then we've not set our business up properly.

    It got me thinking because there are lots of tweeks for me to make

  9. Hey Ray,

    Just reading through a big backlog of posts. Coincidently a couple of days ago I have posted about the very same topic; introduced three different services to my readers. Just a type of “here's a link, check it out” type of mention. No affiliate links.

    http://blog.fcon21.biz/276/the-ultimate-backup-

    All of them appear to be real businesses and they charge money for their service. I think you are absolutely right, Ray. Free or even very inexpensively offers might be perceived as not reliable in that particular niche.

    Yours
    John

    P.S.: “Laughter Yoga Home Study Course”, seems like there is almost an infinite supply for potential products.