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  Search Dead or Alive? Search Suggest a name to add to the site New Name Submit a comment to the site Comment Find out how the site works Instructions Find out if famous people are Dead or Alive? Home  

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FAQ

1. What is the purpose of the site?
2. Isn't this an obituary site?
3. If it's not an obituary site, what is it?
4. Why are the biographies so short?
5. Why doesn't the site have pictures?
6. How often is the site updated?
7. Do you track people who are not famous?
8. How do you decide who to include?
9. The site also seems to favor American people. Why is that?
10. I submitted a name but never saw it show up in your list. Why?
11. Couldn't you come up with more questions than this?

1. What is the purpose of the site?

It's a place to find out if a famous person is dead or alive. The site includes other information, but that's the sole purpose of the site.

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2. Isn't this an obituary site?

No, it's not. An obituary is a report on the (generally recent) death of some person and usually includes a synopsis of their life, details of their passing, information about their survivors, news on funeral arrangements, etc. That's not the purpose of the Dead or Alive? site.

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3. If it's not an obituary site, what is it?

The Dead or Alive? site is a long-term reference work tracking the vital status of famous people and therefore includes living people as well as dead people. In fact, the living people outnumber the dead people.

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4. Why are the biographies so short?

Because they are not biographies and are not intended to be. The sole purpose of the Info section on each person's page is to list one or two things that the person is most recognized for and why you might be familiar with their name. It's only meant as a memory jogger, especially in light of the fact that the site doesn't feature photographs.

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5. Why doesn't the site have pictures?

Due to a number of reasons, including legal issues (copyright law), technical considerations, and time factors, the site does not currently feature photographs. It is a long-term goal of the site to include photos but it's impossible to say when that might be possible.

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6. How often is the site updated?

The site is reviewed, and updated as needed, every day. To see the date a particular person's record was last reviewed or modified, look in in the upper right corner of their page. When the status of someone listed on the site changes from Alive to Dead their record is generally updated within a couple of hours, and frequently within a matter of minutes. The longest delay in semi-recent memory between the announcement of someone's death and its posting to the site was 8 hours, in the case of Mr. Rogers death on Feb. 27, 2003.

In some instances, when someone famous dies, the news is withheld from the public by their family for a number of days, or occasionally even weeks (Mercedes McCambridge was one such example). In that event, the information is posted as soon as possible after the news is made available to the public.

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7. Do you track people who are not famous?

No, the site only deals with famous people.

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8. How do you decide who to include?

There are some
basic age and date criteria the site uses as a starting point. Beyond that, things become more subjective, but the goal is to include people that are as widely known as possible. The greater the name recognition a person has among ordinary people, the more likely he or she is to be included. The site isn't concerned with "important" people, only "famous" people, and those two things aren't necessarily identical. Plenty of important people are virtually unknown to the general public and plenty of famous people haven't made any particularly noteworthy contributions to society. The site favors famous people over important people.

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9. The site also seems to favor American people. Why is that?

The site was created and operates in the U.S. and is run by an administrator with expertise in people famous in the U.S. Its stated goal is to track people known in this country. The administrator has no expertise as to who is famous (and exactly how famous they are) in Great Britain, Australia, France or other countries. A website appropriate to those countries would need to be run by someone with expertise in those countries. Get in touch if you want to run a similar site where you live and want to share ideas.

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10. I submitted a name but never saw it show up in your list. Why?

There are multiple possible reasons for that. The first is that the name might very well still be in the pending file of name submissions. The site receives hundreds of suggestions a month for names to include but due to various reasons only adds about 50 new names per month. Sometimes names are only added months after they are submitted so it might just be a matter of time.

Another reason a name might not be included is that it doesn't fit the
basic age and date criteria of the site. Those suggestions are automatically excluded no matter how famous the person is. Another reason a suggestion might not have been included is that the person's name was misspelled and they are already included on the site under the correct spelling.

Another possible reason is that the person is not judged famous enough to be included. There are tens of thousands of people that have done something that was in the public eye in some way. The goal of the Dead or Alive? site is to list the most famous among them. The site has no pretensions of being comprehensive in any one particular area. If you are looking for obscure movie actors, or writers, or sports figures, or everyone who ever played with a certain band, this website is not for you. Check the Related Links page for more help. It lists web sites that specialize in comprehensive coverage of various fields of endeavor that might very well include the person you are looking for.

Finally, remember that all name submissions to the site are treated as suggestions. There is no guarantee, implicit or explicit, that any particular name will be added to the site.

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11. Couldn't you come up with more questions than this?

No. ....but more will likely be added later.




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