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Your Digital Kids

Preserving Your Digital Legacy is Tough Work

Thirty years in the computing business and the next thing you know is that you’ve amassed your own  digital legacy.  Years of life’s work, play and everything in between sitting around in a disk or off in some cloud somewhere, stored as bits and bytes.

As I thought about legacy I started to think about legacy products.

Here’s an obvious one. Legacy Locker is what it says it is, a locker for your digital assets. This is sort of like digital equivalent of an online safety deposit box. You can specify a beneficiary to have access to your digital assets in the event that you die or become incapacitated.

The beneficiaries aren’t permitted any access until they show up with a death certificate or some certificate proving that you can no longer manage your accounts.  This is not a sexy product, but it’s an important one.  And it’s not a bad deal, especially since you’re walked through how to name people, compose legal letters, upload and download. You can store everything from passwords, to access codes to music and photos. The only limiting factor is your pocketbook. There are full featured offerings for  $29.99 per year, or $299.99 for a lifetime subscription. A trial version with limited features is available for free.

Fast Pencil is a legacy of a different entirely color.  The youngsters may be busy living life, but older folks are busy sorting out these blasts from the past and letting their creative juices fly into Act II.  Boomers are the heaviest users of self publishing software; they’ve got lots to say and more time to say it.

Some publishing programs like Blurb (Blurb can create extraordinarily beautiful photographic books. Lulu, another self publishing program prides itself on creating speedy printed books on demand.  A new program I looked at last week,  Fast Pencil  is not dissimilar. It provides templates and typefaces and editing tools to get your printed pages to behave. What it gives you that the others don’t is a social network. Bookwriting no longer needs to be classified as a lonely task,  The social media part is the fun part – if you like collaboration that is

Researching your family history?  Why go it alone. Get them all involved, Comment, Edit . Set up chapters.  Putting together a family cookbook?  A travel book?  It turns out that Fast Pencil is a great way to manage group collaborations.  The site is also building a network of supporting talents whos work is for hire,  Need a graphic artist? Special typography?  Copy Editor, — the entire publishing community is invited to swap gifts. A recently launched addition to the product is called Color Book Creator (which has nothing to do with coloring books)  lets you import photos and illustrations into your book.  Even if only your five BFFs and three relatives buy a book you’ve created a legacy.