Newsletter/Blog October 23, 2014

To my colleagues, clients, customers and friends,

Keeping great cars in actively good condition for a long time is a tradition and point of pride for us, so when Old Blue, our stalwart station wagon, drove her last and 239,011th mile two weeks ago,  it prompted a sentimental look back at all the years and miles she represented in our family.

It was also an archeological expedition as we cleaned her out! Stashed in a cubbyhole in the back were a bunch of music CDs and one battered and unmarked home-recorded cassette. What was on it? I’ll never know, because I don’t have a tape player anymore and it wouldn’t be all that easy to find one.

Last week a reporter from The New York Times called asking if I thought digital ethical wills were a growing trend.  It’s obvious that people are sharing their thoughts and documenting their lives in all kinds of ways using digital technology, and the ease of doing that is fantastic.

The downside is the cassette problem. If your goal is to leave a personal record that is enduring, today’s best technology may end up in the same trash basket as my old tape.

Did you see the amazing story about the perfectly preserved Thirteenth Century birch bark letters and records recently unearthed from the mud in Russia? Old fashioned words on old fashioned paper will always be accessible, for years to come. My advice:

  • If your ethical will or personal history is in the cloud, or captured on audio or videotape, ALSO print off a transcript* of your words, and date and sign the pages.
  • Make sure your audience knows where to find all the versions of what you have created.

Best,

Susan

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