Last night's episode of Black Mirror set Twitter on fire as a truly engaging and thought provoking episode aired on Channel 4. The 'Be Right Back' story highlighted some of the same themes that we have addressed ahead of launch.
DeadSocial is a tool that will allow us to "live forever on the social web". It will enable us to create a series of messages in accordance with our 'social media will' that are are only distributed to our private social media accounts (initially Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin) on specific dates post death. Messages will support video, images and text.
DeadSocial differs from the software depicted in Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror episode 'Be Right Back in many ways. To start off with DeadSocial doesn't use Artificial Intelligence and DNA to create and predict what a deceased user might say and how they would act. Instead an archive of organic, heartfelt messages can be saved by the living in the form of unreleased videos, images and text. These can later bring comfort for those we leave behind.
A study by Dying Matters found that 88% of GP's agree that if Britons felt more comfortable discussing dying, death and bereavement it would be easier to have our end of life wishes met. They also found out the Precisely 15% of us would like to "live forever".
In Black Mirror's 'Be Right Back' episode the tragic and unexpected end to Ash's life leaves stones unturned and goodbyes untold. DeadSocial allows for a safety net of messages to be created and only sent out once our life ends. This will enable each one of us to address death before it addresses us to help closure occur for those we leave behind. Furthermore, "DeadSocial will also allow for us to extend our relationships virtually even once our physical bodies fail us" (James Norris, CEO DeadSocial)
The possibilities for the use of DeadSocial as a platform for creativity is still largely unknown. Poetry, music, unreleased stories and tales could all be told as a final goodbye or in order to extend our lives and relationships virtually.
DeadSocial will be hosting a special launch party at the social media conference South by South West (SXSWi) on the 8th March. It is free to attend, a number of UK musicians will be performing and it wiil be open to all. However this (free) get together will be a ticket only event. If you are going to be attending SXSW this year and would like to reserve an invitation before the release you can do so by emailing Josh via: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Broadway Barking will be streaming performances of their successful Christmas pantomime ‘Cinderella’ to hospices live across the UK this Christmas for free.
This initiative was devised and is supported by DeadSocial. It is hoped that this project will roll out across the national network of hospices and hospice patient families via the umbrella organisations Together for Short Lives and the UK-wide charity, Help the Hospices.
So far the hospices who have been granted access to the stream from the fairy Godmother (as shown in the photo above) are:
- * Richard House
- * St Josephs
- * Northern Ireland Children Hospice
- * Helen and Douglas House
- * Children’s Hospice South West
- * Claire House
- * Childrens Charity Scotland
Last week I attended the (fully booked) workshop ran by the Royal College of Nursing supported by the NHS and in association with Dying Matters. The day addressed death from a range of different perspectives and discussion was evoked from experiences and current policies. It was a thought provoking and moving day for a multitude of different reasons.
The event was chaired by Simon Chapman (Director of Policy & Parliamentary Affairs, The National Council for Palliative Care) and further insights delivered by Burnell Bussue (RCN Director, London Region), Les Storey, (FRCN, Preferred Priorities for Care National Lead, National End of Life Care), Ruth Crossley (End of Life Care Facilitator, North East London Community Health Services) and Margaret Kendall (Consultant Nurse In Palliative Care / End of Life Care Lead, Warrington and Halton)
One of the key themes addressed was the area of 'communication'. The process and strategy surrounding communication and death is hugely important especially when defining how one wants to die and when information needs to be articulated back to relatives and patients. Experiences shared by the speakers and those attending the workshop were both positive and negative in equal measures.
The example from the workshop that I found most heartwarming focused on an elderly lady called 'Peggy'. Peggy was determined to watch 'Will & Kate's' Royal Wedding in April 2011. As Peggy neared her end of life it was unknown whether or not she would live to see the royal occasion on TV. On the day of the event carers and those around her decorated the room in royal memorabilia and Union Jacks to make the occasion as enjoyable for Peggy as possible. Peggy survived to watch the wedding before passing away a few days later.
(Margaret Kendall Consultant Nurse in Palliative Care)
After a short tea break Margaret Kendall led an 'interactive session' that brought up and addressed the theme of communication around death. "If we do not talk about end of life care it makes it hard to make end of life care a priority in our current healthcare system". Death (aka “the final taboo”) is an area that we all need to address whilst alive to make life easier on us and those around us once we or someone we care about passes away.
I would like to thank the Royal College of Nursing, the NHS and Dying Matters for the session and allowing me to participate in the workshop. It was both hugely informative and moving. My admiration for nurses and healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to caring and treating those as they approach their end of life has always been huge. However I left the workshop with further admiration for such professionals and certain in the knowledge that I would not be mentally strong enough to work as an end of life specialist, nurse, or carer.
Moving story about how social media is changing how we are a society grieve for the deceased. The end of the video concludes with a feature on the benefits of using DeadSocial
Comedian Alexei Sayle confronts attitudes towards terminal illness and society’s last taboo in the short film Last Laugh, produced as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week.
We would finally like to thank Dying Matters for instigating thought and awareness over the course of the week as well as Richard House & The Peace Hospice for your welcoming hospitality.
We are very happy to announce that we attained a top 4 award from The Next Web's prestigious competition 'Startup Rally' in Amsterdam last week. Below is a video of James Norris (founder of DeadSocial) speaking at the event about DeadSocial.
DeadSocial is a UK Startup that allows anyone to create a series of scheduled and secret messages. These messages are then only distributed across the users Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account(s) after he or she dies. In doing so it allows us all to extend our digital legacy using the social web.
DeadSocial is and will remain free for everyone to use after we launch a beta version at The Next Web's Startup Rally (powered by Microsoft Bizspark) later this week. However, we will be rolling out a very special version that integrates into Facebook Pages.
This will allow you to follow your favourite movie stars, musicians and other high profile individuals by engaging with their newly published material long after they have gone.
DeadSocial have been selected as one of the final 19 startups to pitch, present and launch their startup at The Next Web's 'Startup Rally' in Amsterdam later this month.
Visitors to DeadSocial are currently able to create personal profiles and claim their unique username ahead of the event however the Startup Rally will be the first time that the functionality is released and made 'forever free' to the general public. James Norris the founder of DeadSocial will be present and launch DeadSocial live on stage infront of the World's media and industry experts. The event will also be broadcast live online to an audience of thousands.
The competition is divided into two channels - Alpha and Beta. The Alpha channel features 9 new startups (including DeadSocial) launch for the first time, while the Beta channel is all about existing names with big new announcements.
This is a quick blog post to tell the world about how awesome the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) SXSW Mission was for us this year. For those of you who don’t know, UKTI run ‘digital missions’ to different countries to help UK businesses abroad.
DeadSocial were lucky enough to be selected for the UKTI Mission to SXSW in Texas and we cannot speak highly enough of the program and the doors that they opened. Chinwag were the UKTI’s media partner for the mission and they all done a stirling job helping all of the UK businesses on the program feel comfortable in their new Texan surroundings.
The Chinwag tea party was also our favourite party of SXSW (this is a big statement considering the sheer number of parties we experienced whilst at South by South West). Whilst in Texas we demoed at the official SXSW UK demo day in the startup village and at the Tech Cocktail party.
We met loads of nice and supportive people (including investors) and attained some significant media exposure. We highly recommend UKTI oversea programs / Missions and would encourage UK startups to speak to them directly.
Last week James Norris (founder of DeadSocial) was recently interviewed by Katie Moffat a freelance journalist and PR professional at SXSW about the platform. Katie asked a number of different questions ranging from my personal reasons for creating the platform to some of the issues that may surround launching such a product.
DeadSocial has been selected to pitch at the London Web Summit 2012. We are honoured to be one of the startups selected out of a list of 150!
Each startup will be given the opportunity to pitch their company to a panel of five industry experts. The best four startups will go on to present on the Main Stage in the evening when a final panel will pick the winner of the £100,000 prize fund.
The founder of DeadSocial (James Norris) will be competing against a number friends and even a former employer! Wish us luck! More information about the (now sold out) event and startup competition can be found here
The conference will include a number of high quality speakers (some of whom are profiled below)
DeadSocial has been selected to pitch at the Tech Cocktail's 'The Stage on Sixth'. If you are in Austin for the SXSW conference tickets are still available to attend (for free here). Some of the event's attendees can also be seen on Plancast.
Tech Cocktail's SXSW #Startuplife Celebration is presented by .CO showcasing some of the best startups from around the globe.
About Tech Cocktail
Tech Cocktail is a media company that covers the latest tech innovations across the globe. Tech Cocktail has been hosting events and writing about technology start-ups and entrepreneurs across the USA with the focus of helping to amplify the local technology signal since 2006. They have hosted large events in 20 cities which include Chicago, D.C., NY, San Francisco, Boston, Boulder, San Diego, Detroit, Boise, Austin, Barcelona and many more.
Today, we are very happy to announce that we have been selected to demo DeadSocial at the Hilton Hotel in Austin as part of the "Startup Village". We are "one of the 20 companies to represent the UK at SXSW Interactive's UK Demo Day". This is an official SXSW event hosted by UK Trade & Investment and Thomson Reuters" on Sunday.
Details Time: Sunday, 11 March, 2012:
- Demo companies arrive and set-up begins 3:00 pm
- Sneak Peek (Invitation Only reception) begins 3:30 pm
- UK Demo Day opens to all badge holders 6:00 pm
The first half hour of the event will be the Sneak Peek (this is an invitation only reception). This will give us the opportunity to demo DeadSocial to a select audience of capital providers, media, industry contacts, and potential clients.
After the Sneak Peek, the event will be open to all SXSW Interactive badge holders.