Simon Raybould, the founder of Toronto-based MemorialMatters.com, was inspired to create a memorial website in 2009 when a friends’ father died and she couldn’t find anywhere suitable to tastefully celebrate his life online. It seems only natural that if people are now sharing so much information about their lives online via social networking websites, then they might want to have a digital space where their lives can be celebrated after they are gone.
Memorial Matters allows customers to simply and easily create a personalized URL and page for their deceased loved one. Users can upload photos, videos, eulogies, condolences, music or any other shared memory using custom templates to honour their friends and family.
The site has been carefully and tastefully designed to help in the bereavement process by acting as a ‘virtual scrapbook’ of memories, pictures and stories to create a timeless memorial for future generations to visit.
There are even pages where fans of a deceased celebrity or fallen soldier can pay their respects and light a “virtual candle” to leave on the website as a token of their grief.
Raybould told me that he thinks that online advertising is the wrong way for memorial websites to make money. The revenue model for Memorial Matters is based on a monthly, annual or perpetual subscription fee.
Raybould says that he wants to avoid situations like on Facebook R.I.P. pages, where he “once saw an ad for ink toner cartridges beside a deceased person’s profile.”
There are a number of other websites in this category, such as US-based Legacy.com. However, Memorial Matters is one of the few Canadian destinations to currently compete in this space.
The website, designed by Toronto creative shop GiantStep.ca, is extremely user-friendly so that anyone from ages 8 to 80 can easily create a memorial page. The site also offers a yearly reminder e-mail that is sent a week before the anniversary of a loved one’s passing.
Simon Raybould believes that there is opportunity to eventually morph MemorialMatters.com into an extended genealogy website. Memorial Matters could provide a place to capture detailed stories about deceased loved ones for future generations to discover and learn about their ancestors.
Would you create an online memorial page for a loved one if it was tastefully done? Tell us why or why not?