The Posterity Project:

a proposal

The Posterity Project: A different kind of virtual memorial. Rather than a place where the living erect monuments to commemorate the dead, it is a place to celebrate the life, where the deceased pay tribute to life and the living through the works from their lives.

The Posterity Project is a living resource of tangible records of the gifts to life from the lives of those who have gone beyond.

The Posterity Project involves families, friends and survivors of the deceased sharing works from the lives of those who have passed. This includes letters, stories, poetry, essays, audio/video clips, music and graphics. It also includes links to targeted frames to incorporate extended features residing on other web sites (and have links to tutorials on how to create WWW sites and supply templates).

Initially, contributions are solicited from postings to key newsgroups and mailing lists and also direct solicitation to individuals who have rights to appropriate material. Out-reach to churches and community organizations including inner city and rural areas will solicit contributions from the widest spectrum of society.

Although the Posterity Project is geared to reflect works from the lives of everyday people, obscure works by popular contemporary figures or little-known works in the public domain by historical figures will be used to generate traffic and provide "filler" in the early stages of the project's launch. Material will also be solicited through traditional news media. There will be a submission form page for contributing online.

Featured works have a brief biography, the work (preceded by an introduction to provide context, if needed) and a link to various interactive features, for instance, a guestbook where visitors could comment on the work and read other visitors comments. Community areas for chat and user polls. Discussion and support groups.

The site would be searchable by names, locality, random selections, and general categories (themes) which would include tributes to love, living, the arts, historical contexts (times), causes, triumph over adversity (i.e. war, illness, oppression, depression, loss, etc.), children, civility (community), spirituality.

Submissions would be open to include as many contributors as possible. The purpose is to celebrate the lives of everyday people whose contributions to life may be largely unknown or otherwise be forgotten. Submissions will be screened by an advisory panel . It is anticipated that the content of the site will be 50 percent to 60 percent literary, i.e. written word and 40 percent to 50 percent multimedia, i.e. audio, video and graphics. It is anticipated that recorded music would be the greatest multimedia contribution.

Contributions will be screened to verify authenticity and legal releases will be obtained to publish the material on the Internet for a minimum period of one year.

The success of this project will be measured in terms of audience size, number of participants and the response of users.

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