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These are some of the things that I had been working on, but have now decided that actually I'm not interested in writing the whole thing. Therefore, I'm putting them out here as an exercise in both decluttering (getting my draft file down to something reasonable) and procrastination (not writing what I should be writing), and getting things out of my brain so other things can go in. I am putting them out in public because I am not Denys Nye, and because apparently other people do like to see what goes on in my head.

There are sure to be more later.



LJ and the Walled Garden Effect

LiveJournal is in essence a closed community. A walled garden. This is less from the outside than from the inside -- many journals have anonymous commenting enabled, and any foo can have an OpenID, though the process of setting this up is perhaps under-documented. But LiveJournal users who are on the site are reluctant to go and interact other places. If someone leaves LJ and sets up a blog elsewhere, it's like moving halfway across the country.

Even after the advent of tabbed browsing, there is still a reluctance to leave your friends page, a reluctance to be sent to other sites where you may have to register a new thingimubobber to interact.

LJ is fucking huge. LJ has people and communities all over the place, and odds are if you run into someone in a comm, you'll be able to follow them back to their journal and see a bit of who they are and what they're about. You are able to interact with [active users] people, in theory, on any given day. You need one login for this. One.

This reduces the barrier to interaction on-site. Woo. Huge difference. You can go into somewhere completely unfamiliar, get to know people, interact, without ever leaving LJ's domain.

[how many people has facebook got?]

Both Facebook and MySpace are more social networking, so it's the people you know and so forth, personal relationships largely based on pre-existing personal relationships. LJ has content relationships.

With the rise of OpenID and other similar federated identity services, it is becoming less the case that certain people will stay walled up on LJ.




An Observation on Developing Live Things (DW vs. LJ)

Comparing the changes Dreamwidth is able to make to the changes LiveJournal is able to make may well be apples and oranges, as their development situations are very different.

If you have never ever tried to make further developments to a database that has been populated with data, you are missing out on a _real_ _treat_. Every would-be designer of a database-based application really ought to try it sometime.



r69 revisited (this was in between when the outrage started and when the ability to easily crosslink locked stuff went away; this is no longer current at all, and is included as a historical curiosity about my thoughts at the time)

I was enthusiastic about much of it at first, but the weird bugginess with the pingbacks was a real bummer, the thing where connecting with Facebook puts your Facebook name on your profile may have been an unwelcome surprise for some people, and then the cross-site sharing optionally including your comments on other people's locked entries. Happily, the tab order that was causing people to lose their comments and tick boxes they didn't mean to tick was fixed pretty quickly. (At least for me. I've also heard that it's not quite right for some keyboard users, but I haven't searched out details.)

(original cut text="I'm not yelling here, but I know stuff on this has been all over people's various friends pages, so I'll make it easy to skip. tl;dr: should match up with Share This behavior, not everyone is a tech guru like me.") I had a little think about that, after reading other people's reactions. All the screaming aside, it would have been nice to have that consistent with the 'Share This' behavior. There's no 'Share This' on locked entries. It makes no sense to have the Facebook/Twitter integration not match up with Share This. I imagine that the original Share This integration discussion went something like: "Let's have it on all the entries, and ..." "Wait, even the locked ones?" "Well, all they'd see is the 403 page, so what's the harm if someone did?" "Why make it easy if they're just going to run into a wall? They can copy and paste if they want to share a locked entry that badly." "Fair enough."

I'm satisfied that my own use of the Twitter sharing is no more invasive or problematic than my keeping the copies of my own comment notifications in my email box, because I am not going to blast it indiscriminately all over, and I am not going to share any locked information in public. I am even satisfied that anyone I've seen fit to add as a friend is likely to be wise enough to make smart and informed privacy choices, including being discreet about when and where to discuss things that have come up in my locked entries. (Say, if I've made the oversight of leaving Ryan off a filter that JD is on, I shan't be upset if something I've said winds up making its way to Ryan, unless it was a birthday conspiracy or something, in which case JD should really know better ;). But if a link to the entry where I said it winds up in public on Twitter, I'd have reason to make with the smackity.)

I am, however, a bit cynical about the average user. It keeps getting pointed out to me that as a passionate power user with general LJ skills like unto a demigod, that I am far more aware of how to wield LJ as a precision tool, and the ins and outs of the system. I keep an eye on the information sourced aimed at the technical support team, even though I am currently inactive on the support boards. This level of skill and knowledge is normal amongst my past-and-present LJ Support-affiliated social group, but even in the programmer/general IT geek social crowd outside of LJ Support-affiliated circles, the Support level of competence with the service is just about peak for anyone using LJ. Therefore, just because I can use this feature in a way that gets nobody hurt, does not mean that the greater userbase shares my level of competence; thus, just because it is a good thing for me does not necessarily imply that it is a good thing for the whole userbase. Thus, my opinion of the ability to quickly tweet comments from locked entries has dropped rapidly.

I still like pingbacks; I still think the basic ability to crosslink between services can be easily used for good as well as used dickishly. I love the fact that OpenID users can step up to full accounts if they want to. Love, love, love.

I can see why there's yelling. I have wound up with a certain amount of emotional distance, so I'm neither on the front lines actively yelling, nor am I getting torn to shreds by all the yelling. I am not fond of the way that incorrect information is getting bounced around with the yelling. Anyone who gets a link to a locked entry is only going to see the bit of information that was included with the link; the information of course has the potential to be bad enough, but the full entry is not going to be visible. Visitors will instead see the LOL PRIVACY goat. (If he were making any other sort of face besides winking and sticking out his tongue, I would be so much less inclined to goat macro him.)

I can actually think of a benign application for shipping your own locked stuff to Facebook: with the advent of Facebook Connect on LiveJournal, if you actively want your Facebook friends to come join you on LiveJournal, you don't want to use Facebook's assy Notes system to mirror your journal, and you're fine with your Facebook friends seeing your LJ content, you can send them the link, they can sign in, and then you can add them as friends, just like you'd add your OpenID friends from other sites who want to comment to your stuff and engage in the LJ-side discussion. But this is an application for a person who either maintains the same identity across sites, or does not mind their Facebook friends coming into their LiveJournal space and knowing their LiveJournal identity. This also seems like a better idea for people whose use of Facebook is limited to personal friends, rather than people who use Facebook to collect everyone they've met in person and don't actually dislike (including the people you never spoke to in high school and your boss).

Mostly quoted, slightly paraphrased, from a reply to [personal profile] matgb:
Deliberately linking to public content of interest to your Twitter followers, where your Twitter followers would be a welcome addition to the discussion, is one thing. No matter whether it's done via copying and pasting, or through a tickybox tool.

Linking all of your Twitter followers to about fifteen different stops on the miles-long bikeshed discussion in LJ Suggestions, because the default is checked, would of course be stunningly thoughtless to your Twitter followers, because they may even care negative amounts about it.

Linking all of your Twitter followers to a comment where you've been telling someone "You're wrong on the internet!" is essentially an invitation to a dogpile. In some cases this is very similar to an unwelcome inclusion in a Metafandom roundup.

Facebook ... is very different than Twitter, and I grok the concern about any link to it, and may be able to articulate it more plainly than many people. Facebook has of course the expectation of legal names. Ordinarily I would use you and me as examples of how this could play out, but that would not work so well in this case. You are perhaps not the best person to use as the active party in this example, because you have a higher public profile under your legal name than many people have, and so far as I know, you do not maintain a pseudonym. I've a fairly high public profile under my internet pseudonym, due to my LJ Suggestions, DW Antispam, and general Writing Things on the Internet activities, but I don't connect my legal name with my internet name. Since I'm high-profile, it is relatively common for complete strangers who wouldn't be expected to know me in person or by my legal name to wind up commenting on a high-profile entry.

So using bots as examples, let's say that Anna is commenting on her friend Bit's public LJ entry. Anna has connected her LJ comments to Facebook. Anna says, "Nice fic! Are we still on for lunch tomorrow?" This would ordinarily be so much noise. But.

Anna's comment arrives in Anna's Facebook account, where Anna's Facebook friend Charlotte is reading. "Are we still on for lunch tomorrow" catches Charlotte's attention; she clicks through, and reads the fic, the comments, and goes home to the journal and the profile. Because while the name "Bit" means nothing to her, Charlotte knows that Anna often has lunch with Anna's close friend Figment. Charlotte looks at Bit's profile and journal, and doesn't find any names or any location more specific than country-level, or even any userpics that look like the journal owner, but does catch a mention of "taking the kids to school", and "my husband's birthday" upcoming. Figment has more than one kid, school-aged, enrolled in school, is married, to a man, whose birthday is in a date range that it could have been "upcoming" at the time that entry was made. Then Charlotte sees a passing reference to a banana allergy. None of these things, kids, husband, banana allergy, are things that would have brought Bit's journal up on a Google search for Figment, but Figment has a banana allergy, and the compilation of circumstantial data, plus the personal connection between Anna and Bit, and Anna and Figment, is enough to convince Charlotte that Figment is Bit.


I have a mix of people as LJ friends -- some people who I met face-to-face first and then we found out that we both had LJs and enthusiastically added each other (it was great to reconnect with some of the people I knew fifteen years ago; I've missed them), and then people I met on the internet and added them (at first) because they were interesting to read and I thought they weren't likely to talk out of school about something they read in a locked entry, and then even later yet, people who I met on the internet, formed bonds with by chatting back and forth, and then added because we'd formed an actual friendship. (And now I'm back to feeling comfortable adding some of the interesting-to-read-and-likely-trustworthy people again.) And some of the people I've met online, we've gotten to know each other well enough to exchange further contact information, like direct e-mail addresses, and even phone numbers, mailing addresses, and *gasp* names.

diagram showing two overlapping groups. Facebook: old teachers (hey, that hot teacher&apos;s single now), co-workers, ex-co-workers, that dude from the NoH8 rally, people I didn&apos;t loathe in high school, Shawn (that idiot), family, my cousin&apos;s scarily conservative Christian wife. Both: DW and LJ volunteers <3, my ~*awesome*~ cousin, a few precious others, fish. LJ: exes I can&apos;t defriend, fans, communities, my priestess-confessor, friends of LJ friends, people who talk about sex, artists, writers, ex-co-worker friends, more fish, exes I still talk to, people from old email lists, official LJ comms, unofficial fun comms.


Some links that are generally decent:
[personal profile] helens78 has got a big crowd testing various pingback scenarios, although contents of the codebase may have settled in shipment since the first round of tests. http://helens78.dreamwidth.org/860769.html
blamebrampton muses on the underlying social assumptions behind the feature: http://blamebrampton.livejournal.com/174478.html
dawna has examples of an entry linked on Facebook, a comment linked on Facebook, and on Twitter, as well as commentary: http://dawna.livejournal.com/1492828.html
hughcasey has another example of how a comment to a locked post shared on Facebook looks: http://hughcasey.livejournal.com/1309176.html
siderea points out that associating with people in dangerous professions is a risk: http://siderea.livejournal.com/795506.html
[personal profile] zvi has a roundup that includes a lot of the better unhappy links, and has info on moving to Dreamwidth for those who have decided that this is for them: http://zvi.dreamwidth.org/637906.html
cleolinda looks dubiously at the globalization and comes to conclusions: http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/902653.html


I plan to continue with instructions on how to do things, and information about how things actually are (as opposed to inaccurate information when yelling). So depending on the context and the reader, I may wind up looking like shrill angry LJ-detractor in one place, and smug drinker of corporate koolaid in another.



(Facebook, privacy) An inch is not a mile.

Modern privacy is an incredibly nuanced, granular discussion, and I have been ready for (and already participating in) the "more nuanced discussion of privacy" that scoblizer wants, since mastering LiveJournal's custom friends groups. http://icio.us/dltspm

I live in a very self-observant, self-conscious world, where I review almost every aspect of my life for its suitability for broadcast.


I only want to see stuff from my Facebook friends if I authorize it on any given website. Even if CNN never receives information about my Facebook friends, I still don't want it to appear as if it does. Want to show me what my friends are sharing on CNN? ASK ME FIRST. I MIGHT SAY YES. Since you didn't ask, I'm disabling it in any way I can think of: on here, on Facebook, and through script-blocking and ad-blocking software, and will likely never trust you with personal information again.

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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