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Dead or Alive?
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?

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 is the reason it exists.

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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. There are thousands of living people listed.

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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. In the past, that occurred everyday, all day long. In recent years the webmaster has had other time demands that made that difficult. The goal with the newly migrated-site is to return to more timely updates.


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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?


Over the past number of years only a handful of names have been added, due to other priorities and demands on the webmaster's time. The backlog in the name suggestion file is now over 60,000 names. Many of those are duplicates, of course. The intention is to wake the site back up a bit and start adding more names again. The focus will be on very famous people who have gone past the 50-year-old mark in the last 10 years.

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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