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Dead or Alive?

Following is the text of a visitor comment received by the site:

"The Profiles are too short. At least have enough courtesy and respect for these fine actors and other celebrities by giving them a complete biography with some details and highlights of there life."

As stated before on the site and as described on this page, the site is not a biography site and was never conceived or intended to be so. Neither is it an obituary site. It is simply a reference work for tracking the status of famous people. When initially designed, the site had no biographical detail whatsoever, just a list of names and statuses. The limited biographical detail was only added later for the sake of clarity, to help one confirm in one's mind that the correct person had been located in the list. That is its only function.

Here is a similar comment received several years ago: "You should add more information to each person's biography. Most times you just have one or two sentences about the person... information that everyone knows. Tell me something about the person that I don't know."

That is in fact the whole point, to include information that everyone knows. Again, the info is only there to jog one's memory to confirm that the right name has been found. Putting in information that no one knows doesn't help in that regard. On the other hand, what the site does tell you that you might not know is whether the person is dead or alive.

If you are looking for biographical information, there are plenty of biographical resources available on the Internet. The Dead or Alive? Related Links page is always a good first start. Wikipedia encyclopedia is a very helpful (and free) general resource for finding information on people. Biography.com is a very popular, highly regarded site. In addition, Google provides a bonanza of information, as a rule, on anyone more than passingly famous.

In terms of "courtesy and respect" each visitor can make up his own mind whether the site accomplishes that feat. As stated above, the site is a reference work containing factual information and is not intended, in the strictest sense, to "honor" anyone. Keep in mind that murderers, other criminals, and reprobates of all kinds are included along with the more upstanding citizens of the world. Although, in a certain sense, the acknowledgment of someone's existence is a form of honor, the only direct goal of the site is to track famous people and provide factual information about them - and particularly about their current status.

The site is certainly not designed or intended to be morbid for its own sake or disrespectful, although there are other sites on the web that do seem to have that as their goal. You also won't find any links to dead pools on the Dead or Alive? site, for instance. With the exception of a few murderous dictators and other assorted thugs, the editor of the site takes no pleasure in switching anyone from the Alive category to the Dead category. It's a sad day for the family and for anyone that cared about them when a person passes on.

As always, if you like the site, feel free to visit. If you don't care for it, it's easy enough to move on. Either way, the site is available as an information resource for those that are looking for information.

>> For an interesting example of both points of view, check out this thread (see link below) from November 2003 that took place on a message board located on the wrestlingclassics.com website. Notice the negative comments from Stephen Dame and another poster starting with the third post. But notice also the seventh post down, from a user named BeachBum. He discovered some news that he hadn't heard any other way and in that instant the site fulfilled its purpose. -- Link: Wrestling Classics discussion regarding Jonathan Brandis. (Beware of the pop-ups, though, if you decide to visit.) 
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