The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

Another Craigslist Wannabe founder Jeff Taylor is hoping to wrest control of obituaries and death notices from the newspaper industry, just as he did with employment postings.

By Patricia Sullivan |  April 28, 2008; 4:44 PM ET  | Category:  Obituaries
Previous: Watergate's Enduring Stories | Next: Remembering Texas City


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Taylor's stumbling block is that although people looking for the type of job found on tend to be young and Internet-connected, the same can't be said for most readers and writers of death notices. It's often said that obituaries are written by the old, read by the old, and about the old. The average age of the people listed in today's death notices at the Winnipeg Free Press is just under 82; only one of the deceased was under 50 when she died, but three were over 90.

That means there are a lot of people over 60 writing death notices. The mother of a major Internet tycoon notwithstanding, most people over 60 do not spend much if any time online. Not only would it not occur to them to submit a death notice online, it might not occur to them to read one. Although a younger family member might throw up a Myspace page about the deceased, he's not likely going to pay for the privilege of having Grandma's death commemorated on a commercial website.

This idea may someday take flight, but I don't know if it will work right now. (And if you think the Post has problems with bogus notices getting into the paper, ask yourself how bad it'll be on Monster.)

Obituaries, on the other hand, being works of art, will always find a space in the newspaper.

Posted by: Charlene | May 6, 2008 8:51 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company