Toops Scoops: Social Media for the Dead

OK, so I'm being somewhat facetious with the headline. But when this press release popped into my email box this morning, that was my first reaction: announces the release of My Bucketlist, a new social networking application that helps you assemble a list of life goals and complete them with the help of friends and family.

My Bucketlist allows anyone to easily create a wish list of things they'd like to achieve during their lifetime...The bucketlist application relies heavily on social media like Facebook to connect people from all over the world. Features include the ability to invite friends, create events, and share photos and videos. Once a goal is created - it is matched with connections in your network to assist, and also vendors who can offer discounts and group offers to help fulfill that goal. Advertisers are now able to reach groups of potential customers who have expressed an interest in buying.


Ah, and the key to this venture is the last sentence about advertisers -- who are the driving force behind all of the feel-good facade of social media, after all.

Of course, there is an insurance angle to this. Just think about all the high-net-worth baby boomers who will need insurance for exotic global trips, being shot into space, owning a Formula One racecar or gondola or pony before they die. That all needs to be insured, right? What better way to hit up prospects than to connect with them though this app!

On a somewhat related note, there's the question of what happens to one's online identity when one has shuffled off this mortal coil. To wit, once you're dead, who is bequeathed all those LOL-cat videos, witticisms, song lyrics, and brilliant Twitter observations?

It's a serious issue for some. Lawmakers and attorneys in Nebraska and Oregon are considering proposals that would require social networks to let family members access the account of dead relatives. Last year, Oklahoma passed a law dealing with this.

Facebook already has a system to report deaths. When the site learns that a member has died, it puts that person’s account in a memorialized state. But the legislation goes further  practice by making the site contents of email, Facebook, Twitter and other social sharing sites part of a person’s digital estate.

A recent article estimates that more than 30 million Facebook accounts belong to dead people. But the process of deactivating or "memorializing" these accounts takes time -- and in the meantime, it would seem that the accounts would be ripe for some sort of fraudulent activity.

I just find this an interesting gray area of the whole social media trend -- and wonder who will be on the cutting edge of monetizing it.


About the Author
Laura Mazzuca Toops,

Laura Mazzuca Toops,

Laura Mazzuca Toops, National Underwriter Property & Casualty executive managing editor, is responsible for the Agent & Broker channel for Her more than 20 years of property & casualty insurance experience includes associate editor at Business Insurance, Midwest managing editor with Insurance Journal, and freelance work for insurers, brokers and trade associations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She may be reached at


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