Social Media Matters: Tombstones go high-tech with Smart Memorials

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, April 20, 2012
Metro section

Tombstones go high-tech with Smart Memorials

A recent report on CBC Radio Manitoba’s Information Radio program focused on Eden Memorials (, a Winnipeg-based manufacturer and supplier of grave monuments and markers – or good old-fashioned tombstones as they were once known.

QR code on tombstone
Photo courtesy of Mashable

Eden Memorials is the first company in Canada to offer a service called Smart Memorials, which embeds a discreet porcelain tile on the marker containing a QR code that can be scanned into any smartphone. Once the code is scanned, it brings you to a memorial website that pays tribute to the deceased.

If you’re not sure what a QR (‘Quick Response’) code is, Wikipedia describes it ‘as the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.’ So far, the Smart Memorials concept has not caught on like wildfire, but you can be sure that more and more monument companies will be offering this service in the coming years.

Memorial websites may contain photos, write-ups and videos of the deceased loved one.

One Israeli family has taken advantage of installing a QR code on a monument. The family of the late Judith Medan decided they wanted to remember her by adding a QR code to her grave monument in Israel. You can check out her memorial page here:

Elections NB website chock full of info

Elections NBMunicipal elections will be held in New Brunswick on Monday, May 14. Members of district education councils and regional health authorities will also be elected that day.

If you’re wondering which candidates are running in your area, be sure to visit the very informative Elections New Brunswick website. Especially useful is the list of candidates running throughout the province in all races. Click on the ‘List of candidates and plebiscite(s)‘ link in the right-hand corner after you’ve chosen your preferred language.

The site also provides voter information, including details on where to vote and the dates of advance polls, which are becoming more and more popular.

Consumers turn to social media for health advice

PWCAccording to an April 17 report by Lance Whitney published on, ‘a third of consumers polled by PricewaterhouseCoopers now use social-media services to find and share information about medical treatments, doctors and health plans.’ The February poll of 1,060 adults in the U.S. found that one-third of them seek medical information, research and share symptoms, including sharing opinions about a variety of issues, including drugs, health plans, treatments and doctors.

One word of caution, though. Always consult a medical profes­sional and avoid self-diagnosing. While researching medical symptoms and treatments online can be somewhat helpful, websites can usually cause unnecessary panic by discussing worst-case scenarios that are exceptions to the rule and that may cause unnecessary panic for some.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I suggest three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to April 17.

Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here!

Jian Ghomeshi[/caption]

1) Q with Jian Ghomeshi (36,793 subscribers) -If you were one of the hundreds of CBC Radio fans on hand to see Jian Ghomeshi host a live edition of Q on April 13 at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, you’ll most certainly enjoy this companion YouTube channel that hosts archived videos of many of the show’s interviews and musical performances. The channel is very active and is updated regularly. To date, it contains nearly 1,200 videos that have – so far – received more than 42 million views. (Most popular video: ‘Wavin’ Flag’ by K’naan (Official World Cup Theme Song) on QTV – 12,756,199 views.)

2) Bruce Springsteen (20,302 subscribers)- Speaking of Q with Jian Ghomeshi, Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc was a guest on the Moncton live show and announced – to the great pleasure of the hundreds of fans in the audience – that singing superstar Bruce Springsteen would be performing a concert at Magnetic Hill on Sunday, August 26. If you plan on attending the concert, check out Springsteen’s YouTube channel for all his music videos and clips from various concerts. The popular channel contains 61 videos with 76,038,066 views. (Most popular video: Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia – 13,470,232 views.)

3) James Van Praagh (1,158 subscribers) -If you’re a fan of psychics, the supernatural and new age phenomena, famed psychic James Van Praagh will keep you entertained and mesmerized by the many clips of interviews and readings found on his official channel. (Most popular video: James Van Praagh does audience readings from his ‘Beyond’ TV show – 23,971 views.)

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