Yesterday I asked, "Are obituaries obsolete?" My point was not that people don't want to read obituaries. My point was that in this era, we should be building life stories of major figures as online reference material, not waiting until they become death stories. So today we have a perfect example: Sarah Palin gets picked as John McCain's running mate.Sarah who? The Anchorage Daily News would seem to be a good place to look, but its coverage was slow out of the blocks. Finally it had a brief story heavily quoting the New York Times, but there's no life story. Why didn't they have a life story already online? She was heavily rumored as a candidate for weeks. Hey, it's Alaska. What if she were eaten by a bear? Would the ADN be prepared?Wikipedia was ready, of course, with a profile that was edited many hundreds of times over the last few days.Larger newspapers have for years prepared obituaries in advance on public figures. The shift we need is to recognize that these life stories have current value, and that news sites shouldn't be limited to episodic reporting and incremental detail. Build reference pages. Put them online now. Point to them -- and to other Web resources, whenever it makes sense.