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One side effect of the Google+ shutdown I just noticed is that I no longer have birthdays in my calendar for contacts I had there. It'd be cool if we had the option to add birthdays or significant dates to Mastodon profiles, with the ability to share that info. Is this the point where someone tells me this is a terrible idea, even on an opt-in basis, for some awful reason I haven't considered?

My memory for dates is bad and I'd like to see this info again.

@mike On an opt-in basis for sharing and consuming, it seems like a nice thing to share!

@shlee that looks interesting but seems to require me to know the information in the first place. I'd like people to be able to flag what's important to them and let me pick it up from a profile, I guess.

@mike I guess if people really want to share their birthdays in their profiles they could ...
But I've always found the flurry of "happy birthday" messages from people who only did it because some website is driving fake engagement by encouraging them to be annoying rather than affirming ... and quite frankly I absolutely don't care about celebrating the number of times I've made complete orbits around the sun anyway ...

@yojimbo @mike

Yojimbo: on the other hand, there is a particular kind of sadness you can only get when you get one birthday message each year, and it's from Hongfire.

@yojimbo I guess that's just the case for it being opt-in, and I don't see why it should even be forced to just be "birthday" anyway.

I like seeing these things come up. I don't want forced "hey say something to this person now" notifications by a long shot, but a mention on a profile or maybe a tiny anniversary icon on the actual day would be nice.

The inevitable people with scripts to set the date to "today" every day are the only issue I can think of.

@mike So, more profile metadata with actual field types, defined as date/time for your use case ...

@yojimbo pretty much, yeah. I would like people to be able to inform me about important milestones.

@mike You'd need to be very careful to have that information shown *only* to the person who decides to record it.

Recording personal information of others (e.g. their birthdate), and putting them on the internet in a complex service, has so many failure modes that I think the sensible default is “no fucking way”.

@bignose I think yes, "nothing" is absolutely the correct default. Also, if it's to be treated as an anniversary date, skip recording the year, it's irrelevant. Don't even need a field for it and hide it like some places do. I don't think this poses much risk if it's completely optional.

@mike @bignose
I think a better solution might be a stand-alone service which allows Fediverse (or any kind of additional profile) sign-in.
One where you can fill in relevant dates, and your contacts can request access to any of them and you'd have to grant or reject the requests, and can revoke individual access at all times.

I liked G+'s birthday notification in general, but I hated how it did it for *all* my contacts.

Agreed @FiXato, I think what @mike wants isn't best stored in the Fediverse.

Instead, this need is better served with a private database of contacts that is only accessible to local user, that is easily *linked* to other clients to use (for example) that contact's Fediverse address without any access to their birthdate.

@bignose @FiXato except nobody's going to sign up for yet another account to do that. It's best as an add on for an existing profile that you already have, I think, given how minor it is.

@mike @bignose well, nothing is stopping you from adding your (public) dates in #iso8601 format to your profile.
Then all you'd need is a client or script that searches all your contacts profiles for those dates and create an #ical or similar file out of it to import in your preferred calendar app.

Part of why #GPlus's worked so well though, was that it integrated with your Google Contacts (whether you wanted it or not.)

@mike @FiXato well, this is why existing contact databases that expose an LDAP or CardDAV interface are the good-enough solution. Encourage people to use providers that do what they want *and* expose standard protocol APIs.

@mike @bignose
Perhaps even add relation-based dates that differ per contact.
Though at that point you basically have an event scheduler, since things like birthdays are basically just recurring events anyway.

Wasn't there a #FOSS / #fediverse -based alternative for Facebook events being developed atm?

@mike Personally I'm super happy that the only humans wishing me happy birthday now are the ones who made the effort to keep track of it.

@mike Is this just a random thought you are having? Today? 14th August? No particular trigger? 🎈🎁

@uxintro it's because today Google showed a "Happy Birthday" item in my calendar, which made me realise that there were no other birthdays in it besides mine. All gone. I would have exported the dates if I'd made the connection, but it really didn't occur to me where it came from until it was too late.

@mike strange, I've still got a birthday calendar in my Google calendars, and yours is in it.
Maybe it's not completely dead yet?

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