...would the members of this board find out somehow? As in would a contingent communication get out that you had passed on, either via a friend or explicit declarations you have made beforehand?
Please think about this carefully now, don't just wishfully think people here would find out simply because you would want them to. Knowing someone is dead is very proprietary information, and oftentimes it does not go outside the family's knowledge or an obscure obituary entry.
I was just thinking about this while going through an old thread, and saw G-virus. recalling that I missed his input, I also saw he hasn't been here since Feb 09 and all the messages he has on his profile longing for his return. It hit me that maybe he's dead and somehow the word never got around to this community, which made me think of this question. I'm not suggesting the G-man is dead, but I beg the question: would we even KNOW if he was?
It just kind of makes me wonder about the connections we have with our internet counterparts, and how they are so separate and distinct from the reality of our RL identities. I do not feel there are enough contingencies in place in our world to let people online who might care about you know that you'd kicked the bucket. I'd be willing to bet that upwards around 98% of us (myself included) could pass on and no one here would have the slightest clue.
I don't think this is special to this board, or even foruming in general, but to the depersonalized nature of the net. Back when I played Everquest 16 hours a day, i realized that if i died somehow, no one in my guild or my online friends would ever receive word, because my RL friends and family would have no way to contact them, or realize they even exist. And it's not like the government goes around posting your name and online identities into a database so those poeple know.