(TL;DR; further down)
Issues with Changing or Removing
In response to Oleksandr R. - "since users have not asked for this text, taking it away is not a problem".
Users have not asked for most functionality we have on the sites, but that doesn't mean it can just be removed without problems or users being unhappy about it.
It's Stack who own the sites not the users, so can do anything it wants, whether users asked for something or not it can be removed.
Sure they can do it, but as far as I've seen Stack try to keep it's users happy!
So just because users did not originally ask for the default text doesn't mean it can be removed without it being a problem.
Changing or removing the current default text is literally changing what is displayed in user profiles.
Some users might be aware this current default text is there ("air of mystery" etc) and are happy with it, and actively chosen not to edit in their own text.
So removing that means you are quite possibly altering profiles for users who would not want it changing.
Removing the default text changes their profile, whereas my idea changes "nothing at all" in terms of what is currently displayed in profiles. The change would be seamless, unnoticed, and my idea actually provides more choice to manage.
---------------- TL;DR; ----------------
Instead of changing or removing the current default text ("air of mystery" etc), just add it into their profile so it's editable - as if they'd previously edited and put it there themselves.
This allows the default text to be editable in their profile, users can see their profile shows this where before couldn't, and they can make their profile blank where previously they could not.
Just add the default text.
If user has no text saved in their profile then add the default text in.
(default text is not currently saved in profiles, it's just shown by a script when someone views it).
NOTE: Their previously having no profile data would have shown this default text publicly to other users within their profile anyway.
So we're not adding anything new other than it now being stored/saved in their profile.
My idea provides the following improvements and new profile control:
- No changes to what is shown in their profile
- Can now alter this default text to their liking
- Remove default text completely and leave profile blank
- Remove default text and add their own text
Currently users viewing their profile do not see the current default text, and may presume it is empty, so leave it as that's how they want it.
The suggested change would make the text visible to them when viewing their own profile, so they can see and edit their actual profile text even if it is the site's default texts.
This suits anyone who wants the default text, and those who do not.