Author Topic: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?  (Read 4557 times)

Offline Ellemeno

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Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« on: May 08, 2007, 04:25:31 pm »
I'd like to hear pros and cons for this:

Shall we begin announcing our members' birthdays and other celebrations (anniversaries, for example) on the main forum banner?  To see the current banner, click here.

This is not "voting" per se - the number of YESES and NOS is not what will determine the outcome.  But your thoughts can help us make an informed decision, one that hopefully takes into account all the good ideas expressed. 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 10:45:49 am by Ellemeno »

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2007, 05:01:08 pm »


   I think that would be great, if the individuals wanted it,,, i think most people would think it was ok, if they had their age listed,,,if not,,,probably not the age,, just the date
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2007, 05:32:14 pm »
I think posting the person's name and date of the birthday would be nice. Some people may not want their age broadcast to the world, but most people probably wouldn't even have a problem with that.  :D
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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007, 05:57:59 pm »
Sorry if this sounds critical, but I think the wording of the poll is slanted towards a yes answer. (but I still answered no - and here's why)

1- The banner would be focusing too much on this possible right-to-privacy subject. Maybe not all members want this information to be viewed so prominently by casual visitors.

2- Many of our residents are non posters. Do we focus on all residents, or just some. Who gets to decide which ones go on the banner & which ones don't.

3- It would get stale pretty quickly. I like that the banner has become alive with new information added daily. And besides, birthdays are already in smaller print near the bottom of the home page.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2007, 06:52:40 pm »
... What Roland said. ...
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2007, 10:29:54 am »
Thanks for bringing up these points, everyone. 

Would love to hear more thoughts for us all to consider - especially from those who vote NO (assuming that the YES votes are unperturbed by possible problems).  You can help your fellow BetterMostians make a more considered choice by stating your reasons for voting the way you did.


Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2007, 10:47:04 am »
BTW, an important clarification:

This is not "voting" per se - the number of YESES and NOS is not what will determine the outcome.  But your thoughts can help us make an informed decision, one that hopefully takes into account all the good ideas expressed. 

(Original post updated to reflect this.)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2007, 10:47:27 am »
2- Many of our residents are non posters. Do we focus on all residents, or just some. Who gets to decide which ones go on the banner & which ones don't.

Well, some people may have put their birthday on the calendar when they registered, then moved on months and months ago. Do we really want to use the space for greetings to people who haven't been around in ages and may never be back? How are we going to tell the difference? Does anyone really want to spend the time to track this information?
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Offline Fran

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2007, 11:30:54 am »
Well, some people may have put their birthday on the calendar when they registered, then moved on months and months ago. Do we really want to use the space for greetings to people who haven't been around in ages and may never be back? How are we going to tell the difference? Does anyone really want to spend the time to track this information?

In my opinion, Jeff said it best.  And, as Roland pointed out, birthdays do appear farther down on the home page.  I think the banner should focus on stuff other than birthdays.  Of course, Phillip's and John's b-days and anniversary would be exceptions.  :)

One question:  Do most of the residents know that birthdays, etc., appear on the calendar?  Maybe the calendar needs to be promoted more.




Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 12:03:54 pm »
OK I'm gonna say this and I may say it badly so please forgive me. 

Bettermost is a closed community, Oh anyone can join but because so many of the active participants have a shared history it is harder for a new comer to make a mark, to break in,  unless they have an poignant or unusual story to share or they are just brassy and jump in with both feet like I did.  It's kind of reminds me of high school that way.  Completed with the cliques, the behind the scenes drama and the gossip.  You have the admins who are those really smart, cool and well known kids who ran for class president.  You have the old time posters who everyone knows and fall into their various categories from geeks, socs, know-it-all's, class clowns, cheerleaders, etc... including those who feel very left out of all the fun and have no idea how to join in and that is why their post counts are low and eventually they drift away.

Most people who fill out that little form when they join do not realize that their birthday is going to end up on the calendar.  I certainly did not and I wasn't asked if I wanted it there.  There are cultures and religions that do not celebrate the day of one's birth.  Do you want to run the risk of offending someone who has different cultural or social beliefs than your own?

Who decides?  Right now I see "Happy Birthday" messages everywhere for the regulars, usually started by their friends or admirers....but if it becomes a "banner" event then you must recognized everyone or no one and either way you run the risk of offering offense or of hurting feelings.  I just see it as a slippery slope fraught with more peril than pleasure and think it would be a mistake.

The limited space on the banner is better utilized as it is being used now, for forum news, current events, and focusing attention on outstanding threads and poster achievements (with member permission)
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2007, 08:47:42 pm »
I never thought about it like that, Dottie. There are some cultures who don't celebrate birthdays, and we have members from many different places. It would be terrible if we accidently offended someone.

There are many pros and cons to this. It will be interesting to read other people's viewpoints. At first I thought it would be a very good idea. Now I'm not so sure.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2007, 09:50:31 pm »
And then there are some folks who have just reached a point in their personal stories where they prefer not to have a big public fuss made about the anniversary of their birth.  :-\
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2007, 11:43:39 pm »
And then there are some folks who have just reached a point in their personal stories where they prefer not to have a big public fuss made about the anniversary of their birth.  :-\

That's true too, Jeff!  :)
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2007, 11:58:16 pm »
I voted 'No' because I think it might highlight a disparity between more active users and those who poke in occasionally or usually browse as guests.  I do like the idea of showcasing the calendar in some way - maybe the banner every so often? - and soliciting input from folks for items to add to the calendar.

Whenever I see a thread about an event with a date that is not on the calendar, I add it.  But I wonder if everyone realizes that any event can be linked to the calendar?  We need to make sure everyone knows to look there for birthdays other events of interest.  Folks who go straight to 'Show new replies...' never see the calendar!

In fact, someone mentioned to me the other day that they didn't realize about the Full Moon Chat (or maybe it was the 24th chat?)  Anyhow, we need to make sure these regular events get a lot of exposure.

-Lynne

P.S.  And the cultural argument is a good one too...For Greeks, they make a bigger celebration of their Saints Day than their birthday.
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Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2007, 02:39:24 am »
Something I felt a little funny about, and feel compelled to share. because it's buggin me , is the wording of the Yes and No options in the poll...

When I voted NO in no way was I saying "Not on yer effin' life."   :-\ That phrase to me has a negative feel, to me it imply's  some anger and unreasonableness and my  concerns, convictions and objections are well thought out, I am not angry and no offense is intended to those who disagree with me and none is taken in this I just though that you should know how it made me feel and other's maybe put off from voting because of it.  It's much simpler and much more straight forward to just chose "yes" and "no"..."yea" and "nay" ... "aye" and "non"...no emotion implied just ascent or descent.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 02:46:44 am by dot-matrix »
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2007, 02:51:40 am »
Something I felt a little funny about, and feel compelled to share. because it's buggin me , is the wording of the Yes and No options in the poll...

When I voted NO in no way was I saying "Not on yer effin' life."  :/ That phrase to me has a negative feel, to me it imply's  some anger and unreasonableness and my  concerns, convictions and objections are well thought out, I am not angry and no offense is intended to those who disagree with me.

Dottie - I see your point, but I don't interpret it as unreasonable, myself.  I absolutely don't think that any concerns, etc...are considered offensive.  I voted NO myself.  But to me 'Not on your effin life...' doesn't mean I wouldn't support it if we go that way - just that I'm inclined to be opposed.  (Note this is not like a truly scientific poll where the language is as neutral as humanly possible!)

I think Clarissa was just trying to use BBM-colloquial language to express the polar opposite of opinions, and she offered room in between (Other) to expound if you didn't feel strongly one way or another.  I don't think it was meant to offend - just to incorporate BBM into a regular business type of question.

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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2007, 05:23:50 am »
I think Clarissa was just trying to use BBM-colloquial language to express the polar opposite of opinions,

Yup, the first option is a quote from Alma, when she wants to go to the church social. So for me the wording is fine.


I voted no.
We have 932 members to this moment. That makes almost three birthdays every single day. If we'd announce each birthday, it would get stale soon (like Roland already said). But announcing only the b-days of the more active members? - Don't look right to me.

As for the privacy concerns: nobody has to share his b-day on the registration form. It's a voluntary information. And I think any mod would be happy to help if someone doesn't want his b-day to be announced on the calendar (on the banner if the decision goes for it).

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2007, 05:29:37 am »
I think Clarissa was just trying to use BBM-colloquial language to express the polar opposite of opinions, and she offered room in between (Other) to expound if you didn't feel strongly one way or another.  I don't think it was meant to offend - just to incorporate BBM into a regular business type of question.

Sincerely,
Lynne


Yes, that's it exactly.  Just BBM-ing it up.  But you have a good point, Dottie.  I'll go adjust the wording.

The points being made by everyone are very interesting.  It's amazing how much richer the thought process is when multiple viewpoints are expressed.


Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2007, 06:01:12 am »
Thank you Elle - strange that it took dottie and Lynne (and Pent) to discuss what I brought up on the first day of the posting (3 days ago) before action was taken:

Sorry if this sounds critical, but I think the wording of the poll is slanted towards a yes answer.

In spita this, the vote that was 5 -1 (in favour) when I put my vote up, has now turned to 10-9 (against) with an advisory that this is just a discussion, not a binding decision.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 07:43:48 am by Sheriff Roland »
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2007, 11:11:35 am »
Thank you Elle - strange that it took dottie and Lynne (and Pent) to discuss what I brought up on the first day of the posting (3 days ago) before action was taken:


If you were saying the same thing Dottie was, or what Lynne was, or what Chrissi was, I missed that, Roland.  I just went and reread your posts, and still can't see that. 

Do you mean where you wrote:

Quote
Sorry if this sounds critical, but I think the wording of the poll is slanted towards a yes answer. (but I still answered no - and here's why)

I didn't understand what the first part of that referred to, but it seemed like people could still easily vote no if that was their preference, like you did.

I actually thought you meant that by using the word "honor" in my question, it looked like I was implying that not posting birthdays in the banner would appear dishonoring, so my wording was swaying people to vote yes, just to show they honor people.  I didn't think that would be an issue, so left it as is.

All this to explain that I did consider what I thought were saying.  Just like I consider what Dottie and Lynne and Chrissi and everyone else in the thread have been saying.  You just weren't specific and I misunderstood.

If I still don't understand - please explain further. 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 11:20:46 am by Ellemeno »

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2007, 11:17:45 am »
I changed my vote.  My initial reaction...was just that...a reaction, but I see no harm in simple B-Day wishes in the banner. 

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2007, 11:19:23 am »
I changed my vote.  My initial reaction...was just that...a reaction, but I see no harm in simple B-Day wishes in the banner. 

And now, for the moment, the preferences are 11 YES, 11 NO.  :) 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2007, 11:48:25 am »
And now, for the moment, the preferences are 11 YES, 11 NO.  :) 

I would urge whoever is going to make this decision to give careful consideration to Chrissi's post on the numbers. If you're going to post a birthday wish for every member, it looks like it might quickly become overwhelming.
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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2007, 11:50:17 am »
I would urge whoever is going to make this decision to give careful consideration to Chrissi's post on the numbers. If you're going to post a birthday wish for every member, it looks like it might quickly become overwhelming.

Well it could always be arranged as  side banner...like the ads...just a list that get's updated daily or weekly even.

Offline Vermont Sunset

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2007, 11:59:04 am »
Why can't you simply add a question on the registration form as to whether or not the new member wants their birthday acknowledged?
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2007, 12:13:08 pm »
Well it could always be arranged as  side banner...like the ads...just a list that get's updated daily or weekly even.

Sounds like not a bad idea to me, but my impression is, this isn't what's being proposed, that the idea is to put on the birthday notice on the banner across the top of the page.

What about just moving the calendar information from the bottom of the page to the top of the page?
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2007, 03:42:40 pm »
I voted "no" after reading through the whole thread, because all the reasons everybody mentioned were enough to convince me. And I wondered, how much difference would it make to me to see my name up there if it were MY birthday? Not that much.

Now, I don't want to open a whole new can o' beans, but the concerns that Dottie and others expressed makes me wonder about something else.  What about the "happy birthday" threads? How do we determine who gets those and who doesn't? I'm not suggesting discontinuing them, because they're nice and I think people appreciate that. And Elle and others who have started those threads have been very good about doing it. But are there BetterMostians who are a little less active, yet still somewhat active, being overlooked?  ??? I'm not raising this as a criticism of the process -- just wondering.



Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2007, 12:01:04 am »

Now, I don't want to open a whole new can o' beans



 :laugh: :laugh:

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2007, 12:02:13 am »
And we're at 14 YES, 14 NO.  :)

Keep those thoughts comin', y'all.  :)


Offline Meryl

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2007, 01:13:36 am »
I initially thought it would be overkill to have the birthdays on the banner, but if they're in smallish print and just acknowledged as "Today's birthdays" or something simple like that at the bottom of the banner, I think it's harmless and lends a kind of family feel to the index page. 

Anyone who doesn't wish to be acknowledged can leave the birthday line blank in their Profile.  The birthdays shouldn't be hard to track, since the software automatically puts them onto the calendar, right?  It shouldn't matter whether the poster is active or not.  If they provide their birthdate, then they get listed.  (I agree that it would be good to mention that it will go on the calendar if they list it.)

In regard to what Katherine brought up, I think it's nice when friends spontaneously start birthday threads for each other.  Sometimes it's a tough call on whether a poster is known by enough people to get a nice response, but if someone feels the urge to acknowledge that person's birthday, then that's the best indication.  I don't imagine that folks who post only rarely would be expecting their own thread and feel hurt if they didn't get one. 
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Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2007, 11:15:04 am »


           Who would have thought that something as seemingly simple as happy birthday could stir up so
much controversy.  I Say it would be nice.  However in order to leave some of the problems off.  Such as
the people are no longer around, or they dont wish to have their birthday placed up on the banner...Possibly someone could update the list by asking each person on the day or two before hand if they would like to be wished happy birthday officially.  That would be pretty simple...then others could contribute to a thread of happy birthday...Just put it up as a tag at the end or on the side, or wherever you wished to put it.



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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2007, 10:47:32 pm »
Thank you, everyone, for ALL the thoughts you've shared.  No changes will take place right now, while we let it percolate for at least a few days.  Still open for thoughts...

Offline Kerry

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Re: Shall we honor birthdays on the main forum banner?
« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2007, 02:28:57 am »

I voted on the fence. Looks like I'm the only one. Story of my life!  ::)

I didn't want to vote in the negative outright, because I don't agree with the wording of the "Not on your effing life" option. That wording implies that I'm being precious about revealing my true age. I have no such qualms about doing so. 

However, having said that, I agree with the others who have observed that we are already acknowledging birthdays at the foot of the homepage.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if we are already doing it, why do we have to do it twice?    ???
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