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Last week, a number of Indy employees went to New Orleans for a national alternative journalism conference. To the surprise of no one, the programming was heavy on social media: "Scenes from the Social Revolution Conversation," "SEO and SMO on a Shoestring Budget," etc.

Sometime during the weekend, our proudest luddite got converted. For the first time, he could see more positives than negatives to having a Facebook page, a Twitter account, maybe even to finding out more about Tumblr or Google+. And he came to believe that with the way so many of these services work together, he could maintain a decent web presence without complicating his life too much.

Ah, if only the same could be said about his death.

In this week's cover story, Boston Phoenix writer Chris Faraone explores the complexity that comes with knowing that your virtual self will outlive your physical self. Turns out a whole industry in "digital estate planning" is emerging, and urging you to protect your online "legacy" — if you can indeed build a legacy out of eHarmony profiles, Flickr pages and the like.

We're not saying it's the big news of the week. (Hey, we do ask about the debt-ceiling crisis in Street Smarts.) But since there's no turning back the online tide, it's something worth thinking about. If you die famous, the last thing your family will need is Rupert Murdoch's minions hacking into your e-mail.

  • Our proudest luddite finally been convinced he should maintain a decent web presence.

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