In this edition of the Site Spotlight, we interview Anthony Doctolero, Founder of iLasting.com.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got iLasting.com started.
Anthony Doctolero: I created iLasting.com because I wanted to pay tribute to my grandfather who was a special person in my life. Growing up, I was an altar boy for many years so I served many funerals. The priest would always say a quote and to this day it has stayed with me. He said, “You are never truly gone, until someone stops remembering you.” When my grandfather passed away in 2000, our family ran a short obituary in the newspaper. I always felt it was a shame that we couldn’t say more about his life. He was an ordinary man, but led an extraordinary life. He was not a celebrity, but to our family he was the president. When it came time to create a tribute for him, I couldn’t find a site which had all the features I wanted, so I created this service. The site is not about death; it’s about celebrating life.
2. How was your site designed?
We decided early on that the design of our memorial sites would be more like Facebook, and less like MySpace in terms of the level of customization we offer up. We did however allow the creators to choose from different themes. We felt this was the best for the visitors to the sites and also allowed for some personalization. We still get emails from some users who request more customization, but we get even more positive emails from visitors who appreciate the simplicity of our design.
3. What are some of the challenges you face when running your website and business?
One of the biggest challenges we face with our site is striking the right balance between allowing users to personalize their site while maintaining a cohesive look and feel to the site. While we recognize the significance and do encourage personalization, we also don’t want the site as a whole to be filled with glittered text and blinking images. This is because the end user or visitors to the memorials have told us these types of elements make it more difficult to get through the site.
4. What do you enjoy most about running your website?
I enjoy getting feedback emails from memorial creators who have told us the memorial they created really helped them during the grieving process.
5. How do you see the future of the Internet?
I see the Internet continuing to evolve and becoming even more intertwined in our daily lives. Whether it be through desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, or TV’s, it seems the Internet will continue to find new mediums to connect people in new ways.
Thank you Anthony for doing this interview! What you’re doing at iLasting.com is admirable. We wish you continued success!