More Options for Birthdate Display
Short, concise description of the idea
Currently when a user fills in their birthdate for their userinfo page, they may choose to either display it in full or not display it at all. Provide more options, to accomodate users concerned with privacy, agism, and other needs.
Full description of the idea
At the least, allow an option to display month and date of birth only, but not year. This will allow a user's friends to send birthday greetings on the correct day, but will not provide a complete birthdate to identity thieves and others.
Another useful option could be to have the option of displaying complete birthdate to friends list only, while hiding it from everyone else.
A different approach would be to request the journal owner's real birthdate for demographic purposes, a birthdate that would be stored but always hidden. Then in a different textbox collect "displayed birthdate". The displayed birthdate could be month and date only, or could be a completely different birthdate for a journal owner's role-playing game characters, fictional characters, pets, etc.
(Credit for the idea for this suggestion to LJer tfofurn, who suggested it here: http://news.livejournal.com/92448.html?thread=35292448#t35367200)
- Better, more accurate demographics for LJ and SixApart marketing and development needs.
- Users who do not wish to make their complete birthdate public may still take advantage of LJ's "happy birthday" tracker.
- Pets, RPG characters, and so on would have their birthdays recognized as well, without skewing the demographics data.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- Existing users would have to edit their userinfo pages to take advantage of the new options. Some will never get around to it.
- Some users object to their complete birthdates being stored in a database, and so will never fill in the complete "real birthdate" information even if it is not displayed.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- A new field needs to be added to the userinfo edit form and to the userinfo database: "displayed birthdate".
- For existing users, this field can be automatically populated with what they have in their "birthdate" field if they currently have the "display birthdate" option. It will be left blank if they currently have the "hide birthdate" option.
- Change the description of the current "birthdate" field to make it clear that it refers to the journal *owner's* birthdate, and will not be displayed.
- On the Userinfo page, change the birthdate displayed from the current "user's birthdate" field to the new "displayed birthdate" field. Change the birthday tracker to read from the new "displayed birthdate" field.
- Announce the innovation in LJ News, to the horror of a few and the applause of many.