Russ Wilding, CEO of subscription historical records service Footnote appeared at TechCrunch50 (an annual technology conference) to launch Footnote Pages, what CEO Russ Wilder described as "Facebook for the deceased."
The product would contain profiles of deceased individuals, populated with the 80 million names from the SSDI. Survivors and friends can find their loved one or start a new page. Then they add information and stories about the person; upload photos; and link profiles of people who went to the same school, worked together, were related or were otherwise associated during life.
Here’s where Footnote’s existing historical records collections come into play: You can search Footnote for records related to the deceased person and attach them to his profile.
Using the example of a friend who’d died in a motorcycle accident, Wilding added to his profile a map with the accident location, uploaded a high school photo, and linked him to another student at the school.
You’ll need a free Footnote membership to create a Footnote Page. To access Footnote’s historical records, you’d need a Footnote subscription ($11.95 per month and $69.95 per year).
Marketing director Justin Schroepfer says Footnote was one of 52 applicants selected from more than 1,000 to present at the TechCrunch50 conference. He and his colleagues had to keep a lid on the news due to an agreement with TechCrunch.
After Wilding’s presentation, TechCrunch50 judges critiqued the idea. One suggested the idea of building an online profile for a deceased person might be disturbing.
Similar memorials are already on other Web sites such as Legacy.com; but Footnote takes it a step further by starting with the SSDI and incorporating historical records.
Here’s what Footnote had to say about Footnote Pages in an announcement:
• Even for an audience that might not be as familiar with social networking, these pages allow multiple users to easily contribute content and insights helping to create a more complete picture of the people we care about.
• Maps, timelines, and photo galleries bring these pages to life and add context.
• Footnote Pages helps associate and link pages to others besides the immediate family; such as friends, prominent figures, etc.
• Footnote pages can be used to create tribute pages for family & friends, memorial pages for ancestors or research pages to gather information.
• Pages can also be created to document and discuss historical events, places and organizations (for example, the Vietnam War, the Assassination of John F. Kennedy or the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.