Facebook for dead people: MemoryPool.com


Pity the poor newspaper -- losing not only advertising dollars but also the fat profits they once reaped from selling obituaries to the bereaved. The whole obit business is rapidly going electronic, which also offers the opportunity to include interactive, picture and video content. Now sites like the new memorypool.com are threatening to blow up the profit-making structure of longstanding (in Internet terms, greater than 12 months) memorial sites such as Legacy.com.

I've written before about the cost of an obit in my hometown rag, the Columbus Dispatch; a year ago it charged $5.73 per line per day, $8.21 on Sundays. Count the number of lines in an obit and you'll be surprised at the price tag.

Legacy.com has become the dominant memorial site as it partners with newspapers so they can bundle print obituary/memorial information with online content. It claims to work with 124 of the top 150 newspapers in the country, and draws 14 million readers a month. Legacy.com memorials are free for 14 days, but to keep them live after that point requires buying a sponsorship at $49 for the first year, $19 per year thereafter.