Legacy of Wisdom and Experience
Below are suggestions on how to create an online archive to preserve your intellectual property (or your legacy of wisdom and experience) for your heirs or future collaborators.
- “Cloud Computing” – By storing documents, photos and/or audio files online, they are preserved in the computing “cloud” (group servers) that exist independently of your hardware, software and physical location. This means that the files you store online are preserved in the “computing cloud” as long as you pay for the online storage space. So – even if your computer crashes or your external hard drive fails or your living quarters are destroyed by flood, fire, etc. – your files, your intellectual property and your legacy are preserved.
- Documents can be stored in an “online archive” simply by sending them to yourself at your online email account. You need to use an email account that stores your files on “cloud computing” group servers, not on your personal hardware. Gmail, for example, uses this approach. MP3 audio files, video files and even photos can be stored online in the same way.
- Photos can be stored in online web albums in a number of different systems including the free Picasa system available from Google. A certain amount of storage is provided free with your gmail account. Additional online storage space can be purchased very inexpensively. For example, 20 GB from Gmail costs about $5 per year.
- Executors and Beneficiaries – You can make legal arrangements (simply by giving written instructions to the executor of your estate) for your executor and/or beneficiaries to access this online information after your death. Give written account information, passwords and any other required access information to your lawyer and/or executor, specifying when and under what circumstances they are permitted to access and use the information.
- Organizing the Information – Joy has taken the following steps to organize her online archive:
- Starting Jan. 1, 2011, she is sending current versions of ongoing key projects (such as a book about the orbs) to herself at her gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The subject line of every email for the online archive contains the prefix OA … such as “OA – Nov 2010 ORB Book Draft.”
- In addition, she has created a label in gmail called “online archive” and is filing all online archive materials with that label.
- She is making hard copies of the emails summarizing the archive documents and sending those copies to her executors and selected beneficiaries.
- She is informing her executors and selected beneficiaries of 2010 emails and documents that contain archival-quality information and were labeled “Insights,” so they will know that this information is available online, as well.
MS Word document Online Archive in 2011 Letters