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Digital Immortals: Preserving Life Beyond Death

#sxsw #Immortals


When you kick the bucket, you'll leave behind a vast amount of digital information: a lifetime's worth of Tweets, emails, blogs, photos, videos and more. They're the product of a creative life well lived.

In fact, this information forms a rich archive of who we are and what we think. But in a world of passing technology, will our digital selves simply fade away as the victim of neglect? Or will they live on in perpetuity like the Great Pyramids to be remembered and celebrated?

Libraries frequently preserve the collections of the significant and famous, but what about the rest of us? Does technology hold the key to widespread digital preservation? Or should we just die and be dead?

As we think about the future of experiencing the past, how should we prepare? What technology will we need? And what will that mean for society? Join our group of archivists, technologists and interaction designers who are going to discuss the challenges and opportunities of a digitally preserved world.



Adam Ostrow SVP Content & Exec Editor Mashable

Adam Ostrow is a new media entrepreneur, consultant, and commentator. As SVP Content & Executive Editor at Mashable, Adam is responsible for the content and business development strategy of one of the most widely read blogs in the world, covering the latest technologies, trends, and individuals that are driving the current evolution of the Web.

Adam is a graduate of The University of Maryland, from which he holds a B.A. in Journalism and was awarded Most Outstanding Senior in the school's prestigious Hinman CEOs program. Adam has been frequently quoted by mainstream media, including mentions in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Times of London, Agence France-Presse, The Globe and Mail, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Newsweek, AdAge, Variety, The Atlantic, U.S. News & World Report, BBC, NPR, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX Business Channel.

Airdrie Miller Blogger/Podcaster/Teacher Talking To Air

Airdrie Miller is a blogger, podcaster, and educator. She lives in Vancouver, BC. She is the widow of Derek K. Miller (

twitter: @airdrie_miller
personal blog:

Bill LeFurgy Digital Initiatives Project Mgr Library of Congress

Bill LeFurgy is Project Manager, Digital Initiatives for the Library of Congress, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. He leads the communications team, which uses the web and social media to engage with professional and public audiences. The team publishes a blog, “The Signal,” and manages the @ndiipp Twitter stream. LeFurgy also oversees a variety of program initiatives, including development of a national approach to stewardship of geospatial data as well as four collaborative projects involving 35 states to preserve state government digital information. A frequent speaker on the topic of digital preservation, he has met with many groups around the world to discuss all aspects of the subject.

In former lives LeFurgy dealt with electronic records at the National Archives and Records Administration and served as Baltimore City Archivist and Records Management Officer. While he has memories of punch cards, monochrome monitors and 30-pound portable computers, he is also an enthusiastic creator and consumer of social media. He has a BA degree in History from McGill University, as well as and MLS and MA in history from the University of Maryland.

Evan Carroll Author & Founder The Digital Beyond

Evan Carroll is an experience designer, researcher and author. A leader in the budding digital death and legacy community, Evan is a blogger and co-founder at The Digital Beyond, a site dedicated to exploring the digital afterlife. He is co-author of the book, Your Digital Afterlife: When Facebook, Flickr and Twitter Are Your Estate, What’s Your Legacy? (New Riders Press, 2010). Evan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Science and has completed additional graduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science. He frequently writes and speaks about topics related to experience design and digital legacy. You can find Evan online at and

Richard Banks Sr Interaction Designer Microsoft Research

Richard Banks is a senior interaction designer working at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. His 15+ years in industry include stints designing and leading teams for Microsoft Office, Windows and MSN.

He is now enjoying the flexibility of design research, working with a bunch of social scientists and developers on issues as diverse as the role of digital photos in the home, the way families REALLY communicate, and how all this digital stuff will change hands when we die. Richard recently published "The future of looking back" which explores issues of digital legacy. He's happy to chat about any of this and plenty more and is at SXSW mainly to see cool stuff.

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