Heavens Address; Facebooking the Dead

    InvoCare recently held a training session at W.N.Bull for something called "HeavensAddress" for all conductors.  Basically 'HeavenAddress' is a social media site for deceased and families or friends of the deceased.  HeavensAddress is an independent site, but heavily supported by InvoCare.  So obviously they want their funeral directors to use it and get it rolling.  It is actually not a bad site, or a bad idea, although I still have mixed feelings about it.

    The site allows people to leave messages or tributes for the deceased.  It lets people to still send their condolences from anywhere at any time.  This is mainly for people who could not attend the funeral, or speak to the family directly.  Families and friends are able to upload photos and videos of the service or of anything else they want.  They can stream the service live, over the internet.  This is all great for social networking.  People can actively participate in the service instantly form anywhere in the world.

    Looking at the most visited postings we can see the average age of the deceased, and it is quite surprising.  The average age is only 63.2 for the top ten, and 20.2 for the top five (as of Feb 2012).  It should be noted that in the top ten most visited is one person who is 84 and the oldest I can find on the site.  While we may not find this particularly surprising in and of itself we should look at a larger picture.  The average life expectancy in Australia is 79.3 for men and 83.9 for women (Australian Bureau of Statistics 4102.0, Mar 2011).  Many listings are for those who were not much older than 40 and many are for either infants, children or young adults.  It is clear that the average age of the deceased on HeavensAddress is lower than the life expectancy, significantly so with the five most viewed listings.  As to what this might mean I have no idea, I just find it fascinating that the majority of the deceased on the website are lower than the life expectancy.

    You can search the site by name of the deceased, funeral directors and crematoriums or cemeteries and all listings are accessible to the public.  Overall HeavensAddress is an interesting concept and offers great opportunities to explore the industry.  I am really curious to see how, or if, it will take off and last.  And what this means for the funeral industry.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Never hesitate to ask a question or comment on something, this is an open minded and free space.

If you want to contact me privately do so at: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com