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Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor helped you find a job, and helped ease you into middle age. Now he wants to help you build the last web page you'll ever need.Tributes.com is scheduled for a soft launch in June. It aims to provide a central location to house online memorials for those who have passed on. It's starting with $4.3 million in funding, with The Wall Street Journal as a lead investor.Taylor, who retired from Monster.com in 2005, says Monster was intended to take the jobs section of newspaper's classified ads online. So online obituaries seemed like an inevitable next step."I'm extremely bullish about this business -- it's not a question of if it will explode, but when," says Taylor, who spun the business off his baby boomer social networking site Eons.com. "I've watched and built a career on migrating the whole newspaper to the web, and the obituary section is the laggard category."The site comes as the funeral industry is learning to target the public's desire to grieve online for the dearly departed. On social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, online memorials are springing up organically to give friends, family members and strangers a place to mourn, and even small, family-owned funeral homes have begin offering web-based memorials for their customers."Until Tributes, people had to have very specific information -- where their friends died and what funeral home handled the services -- to find out what happened and leave memorials," said John Heald, a funeral director who is working with Tributes.com. "We are building a channel to the funeral industry to build our site with them, so we can be an aggregator for all the obituaries."Tributes plans to sell its service to funeral homes that will then package an online tribute with the other services offered to the bereaved. Obits will stay up indefinitely, while condolences may come down after five to 10 years."We need to learn from MySpace. For example, when a teenager dies there are thousands of condolences," Heald says. "It's a new, important, effective way of grieving."
I'mana be shot out of a cannon when I die!
I can see an alert feature being added in, for friends or family. The site notifies you when someone on your list appears in the obituraries - sounds morbid, I know, but it's convenient for some people. You can lose track of friends, be estranged from family - so how do you find out when they die? With the sheer amount of baby boomers the US has, the site makes a lot of sense.
How many people read the newspaper, versus reading it on the internet? Our information delivery system is changing, so why not this?