Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

So I updated my birthday script. It sends me mail when it's someone's birthday and creates a daily birthday roll for my side bar. I've added a field for nicknames and url's. If you already entered your birthday, but would like to add a nickname and/or a url, please fill out the form again. I'll merge the data properly. Also, if you would not like to show up in my birthdayroll, please select "no" for "show up on birthdayroll".


For all I know you have already made this a part of your birthday script, but have you thought of making an rss feed for that days birthday people? Update it once a day, let us all know when its people's birthday. It's like one step better than your birthday roll (it sounds like some type of sushi). Just an idea.

Do you think it's OK for me to assume that all of the people who have already entered their data are "opt-in" for the birthdayroll?

You needn't assume, in this case. That's a roger.

Grant. That's interesting. I guess I'm just wondering about the privacy issues. I should probably send an email to all of the people who have already signed up about how they would like the data to be used or not used... but then I might be considered a spammer. Oh no! Am I getting myself into another mess here?

I wouldn't assume that, but that's just me. I would have no problem with it, but I don't think everybody would feel the same way as I do. Maybe just add another check box and have the default to be off for the RSS. At least that's what I think. Since you have said, "Data collected here will only be used by Joi Ito to track the birthdays of his friends." I think you need people to explicitly tell you that you can add them to an RSS feed. At least it seems like the safest course of action.

Or just a public/private switch. I don't mind my birthdate being published but I do mind the year. Some people might be okay with that. Just give some new options since you initially said that the info wasn't going to be public. This does give me some ideas... Hmmm.

Yeah. I don't think I would syndicate people birthday's on RSS unless they wanted me to.

No my big question is, if I'm going to expand the features, should I use email to communicate with people who have already added stuff to ask them questions and parse email replies, or set up a user/pass login/edit thing. Both seem intrusive and too much just to deal with your birthday. Maybe I'll just ask the question to new entries and allow people to enter their info again if they want to be syndicated and undupe old entries.

I'm assuming for now that no one is going to enter fake data... This stuff is really complicated when you try to make it robust. ;-)

Welcome to my world :-} If itt was me I'd just drop a polite email with a user/pass and let them do the rest. Or since it's just a trifle wipe the DB and start from scratch with an apology and a smile. You're still learning and I'm sure everyone won't mind.

DATE: 05/13/2003 05:02:06 AM
And that make for a reallu good "real life" user case !