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Interview with Sandy from Social Embers

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Social Embers is a blog about death and technology created by Sandy Weatherburn. We all leave a digital footprint as we use technology to communicate more and more. Social Embers brings to light many issues surrounding your digital property when you pass on. She uses her knowledge to provide services for you and your loved ones regarding your digital property and legacy. Digital bereavement will be more and more important as those that have grown up in the digital age start to get older and pass. Sandy was nice enough to answer some questions we have about her blog. You can ask some too in the comments!

1) Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?

My name is Sandy Weatherburn and I am the founder of Social Embers a Community Interest Company based in Dorset UK. I write a blog about death and technology! My blog started originally when I was researching the topic of digital legacy. I was interested to find out what happened to our digital lives after our physical life had ended.

The blog has developed into a leading resource into the topic, which is often not considered by many of us until someone dies. I have used the blog to discuss all aspects of the end of our lives, from live stream funerals to digital autopsy.

2) What is your process for writing a blog post?

I like to find connections with things that are happening in my life and the news. I usually plan a blog post over a week, taking an interesting article or event and looking at it from my own perspective. I may use a photograph if I have taken one myself.

3) What is the funniest thing that has happened in your blog?

The post Death By Emoji was amusing.

4) What is your favorite feature in Typepad?

I have my blog embedded in my Social Embers website. So probably the feature to embed your blog and create a url that is synchronized with the website is probably my favorite.

If you would like to embed your blog you can check out this great FAQ: How To Display Recent Blog Posts On Your Website  

5) What other programs do you use to help you with your blog?

I use a digital newspaper publishing platform Paper.li which allows me to include my own blog posts along with other relevant news stories.

6) What is the most important thing you have learned from blogging?

To be aware that anyone in the world might be reading your blog. I have a lot of comments from the Nairobi Library so my blog is reaching a worldwide audience, which I did not consider when I started it.

7) You have a few minutes, what is your go to tip about blogging?

The Typed platform allows you to create draft posts, so if you have an idea, then make a note of it using the draft feature. It may be just a title, but recording that idea when you are busy, may lead to a very interesting post when you have time to write it.

8) What blogs do you follow?

I follow blogs written by those who have been bereaved. I also read some who are written by those who have terminal illnesses.

I also follow a blog and a vlog which is one of my favorites, The Order Of The Good Death by Caitlin Doughty, who I was delighted to meet this year at a conference called ‘Death and the Maiden’ at Winchester University in the UK.

9) What is one goal for your blog in the next 6 months?

I have recently read a book called ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig, which is about a man overcoming depression and anxiety. This is a quote from his book:

“Goals are the source of misery. An unattained goal causes pain, but actually achieving it brings only a brief satisfaction. In fact, if you really think about it, a life made of goals is going to be disappointing. Yes, it might propel you forward, keep you turning the pages of your own existence, but ultimately it will leave you empty. Because even if you achieve your goals, what then? You may have gained the thing you lacked but with it, what then?"

I believe Matt to be correct in this statement, so I am not setting myself any goals. I write my blog because it gives me pleasure, and helps me to research a topic that I am interested in.

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