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Web Memorials

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Chris Vallance | 11:32 UK time, Wednesday, 6 September 2006

The great outpouring of grief for Steve Irwin is still dominating the blogosphere. Blogs can outlive their owners and in process become "virtual shrines" where friends and fans leave condolences. The Washington Post reported on the phenomenon some time ago in this very moving piece which delves into the pyschology:

Viewers use the Web sites to find and comfort one another -- not only to facilitate communication from far-flung or long-lost friends who couldn't attend a funeral, but also to send messages from one dead soldier's wife to another, from one mourning mother to another or among those galvanized to fight a disease."

Now these memorials have a social dimension with the proliferation of sites like Livejournal and Myspace. The macarbre MyDeathSpace puts the MySpace pages of celebrities like Irwin alongside those of less famous people: any number of psychology phd thesis might be written on the result.
Interestingly according to Blogpulse one of the days most popular posts was another memorial; this touching tribute to a musician by a fan

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