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What Happens to Your Facebook After You Die?

By: Dan Fletcher

In an Oct. 26 blog post, Max Kelly, Facebook’s head of security, announced the company’s policy of “memorializing” profiles of users who have died, taking them out of the public search results, sealing them from any future log-in attempts and leaving the wall open for family and friends to pay their respects. Though most media reports claimed this was a new Facebook feature, a spokeswoman for the company told TIME that it’s an option the site has had since its early days.

The company decided to publicize the policy because of a backlash caused by a new version of the site’s homepage that was rolled out on Oct. 23, which includes automatically generated “suggestions” of people to “reconnect” with. Within days of the launch, Twitter users and bloggers from across the Web complained that some of these suggestions were for friends who had died. “Would that I could,” complained a user on Twitter before ending her tweet with the hash tag #MassiveFacebookFail.
“We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them, which is why it’s important when someone passes away that their friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialized,” Kelly said in the post. To discourage pranksters, Facebook does require proof before sending a profile down the digital river Styx. Family or friends must fill out a form, providing a link to an obituary or other information confirming a user’s death, before the profile is officially memorialized. Once that is completed, the user will cease showing up in Facebook’s suggestions, and information like status updates won’t show up in Facebook’s news feed, the stream of real-time user updates that is the site’s centerpiece. If relatives prefer not to have the profile stand as an online memorial, Facebook says it will remove the account altogether.
Better publicizing memorialized profiles is an attempt by Facebook to answer lingering privacy concerns. Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart investigated the company in July and issued a report that asked Facebook to explain certain areas of its privacy policy, including policies regarding the profiles of deceased users. In response, the company promised to issue a new privacy policy that better articulates how user information is treated postmortem and offered the commissioner an outline of its memorializing policy, nearly three months before the blog post explained it to users. Spokeswoman Anne-Marie Hayden says the privacy commissioner was “quite pleased” with Facebook’s response to the office’s concerns and says the commissioner will review the detailed version of the site’s new policy, expected in late October.Facebook’s attempt to clearly state its policy is prudent, as other social-networking sites have struggled with the question of users’ deaths. MySpace in particular has had a difficult time with digital rubbernecking — during the site’s heyday, a handful of well-trafficked blogs specialized in matching MySpace profiles directly to obituaries and posting the pairings online for all to see. By sealing profiles to family and friends and removing profiles from search results, Facebook assuages users’ fears that they’ll be fodder for online voyeurs in the event of their untimely demise — hopefully putting the issue to rest.

Top 7 Tips on Generating Traffic to Your Website or Blog

By: Rose DesRochers

Ahh yes, the question that is on everyone’s mind is ‘How do you generate traffic to your website or blog?’ Many first time bloggers assume that you make a few posts, submit your blog to the search engines and traffic will come naturally. It’s not that simple and it takes a little more work than just that.

1. The primary way of promoting any website is by creating valuable content. It is important to have something of value to offer to your readership. Adding quality content to your Web site or blog is the best way to keep visitors returning. Not only will it keep them coming back, but it will encourage them to create links to your website or blog. Make sure that you update your content regularly. Once people realize that you add fresh content regularly, then they will constantly check back to see what is new. The purpose of having a website or blog is to attract regular visitors.

2. You’ve worked really hard on your Blog, but no one is reading it. Read and comment on other blogs, but make sure that you comment on the topic at hand. Don’t ask them to come and visit your blog. Write valuable comments and leave a link to your blog.

3. Technorati currently tracks 35.3 Million weblogs. It is one of the best traffic providers for bloggers. If you don’t already have a Technorati account, you can create one at Once you sign up you’ll be required to claim your blog. Technorati will give you two codes. You’ll need to put one of these in your blog for Technorati to verify that your blog exists. Technorati also offers tagging. When you use the tagging system of Technorati, you’re drawing attention to your keywords. Tags tell the search engines which category your posts are under. Many of Technoriti tagged pages rank high in search engines. Once you’ve added tags to your post be sure to ping it.

4. Use to ping more than 50 directories each time you republish to your blog. What does pinging do? Pinging lets the weblog tracking sites know that your site has just been updated with fresh new content.

5. Write articles and submit them to article directories. Writing and submitting articles is a free and easy way to drive traffic back to your website. Article directories are a huge hype with new ones sprouting up all over. When a webmaster or blogger uses one of your articles it increases your web exposure though backlinks to your blog or website.

6. If you want to drive traffic to your website or blog and keep visitors returning then why not consider giving something of valuable away. Giving items away for free is a great way to increase traffic. Some of the things that you can give away are free downloads, free e-books or a free audio. If you administrate a community, you might suggest that your members donate something to give away as a way of supporting their community. Also holding a contest is a great way to boost traffic.

7. Make a commit to yourself to blog regularly. All it takes is ten minutes everyday to increase your traffic. Ask any SEO expert and they will tell you that search engines love content. However don’t blog for the sake of blogging. Make sure that what you’re blogging about is of interest to your readership.


Rose DesRochers is a published poet and freelance writer. She is the admin of a blog community where bloggers connect.