Change "minimum security level" to "default security level"
Short, concise description of the idea
Change the current setting that controls the minimum security level for new posts to control the default security level for new posts instead.
Full description of the idea
Livejournal currently has a "minimum security level" journal option that controls the minimum security level that can be applied to new (future) journal entries. This setting, while useful, suffers from at least three flaws:
When a user posts to a journal that has a minimum security level other than "public", the new entry will be posted with the specified minimum security level even though the post's security level is listed as "Everyone (public)" on the update form - this is counterintuitive and confusing. (Note that this issue has already been raised in a previous suggestion.)
Making posts with a lower security level than the specified minimum is unnecessarily complicated: currently, users wishing to make a public post (if their minimum security level is "friends" or "private") or a friends-only or custom-filtered post (if their minimum security level is "private") have to create the new journal with their minimum security level first, then go back and edit the new entry to update the security level. This is unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming and also creates extra web server and database load for Livejournal.
Despite what the setting is called, it does not actually control the minimum security level for future posts: as described above, it is possible to go back and edit a new post to change its security level to one lower than the specified minimum. This probably is mostly a cosmetic issue, but it has to potential to confuse users, especially given statements such as "You can also set a minimum security level for all future entries in your journal" in the FAQ (emphasis mine).
So, to sum it up, the "minimum security level" setting is counter-intuitive, unnecessarily complicated and confusing. Therefore, the "minimum security level" setting should be replaced by a "default security level" setting that automatically selects the specified security level as a default in the "update journal" form.
As an added benefit, this would also make it easier to possibly expand the functionality of the setting in the future to allow custom friends groups (already present in the relevant drop-down box in the "update journal" form) to be specified as the default security level.An ordered list of benefits
- Less confusion: when a user posts an entry as "everyone (public)", it actually will be public, rather than having the journal's minimum security level (which may not be "public").
- More confidence: when a user posts an entry that is not supposed to be public, they will be able to verify this on the "update journal" form right away (currently, it is not possible to tell from the "update journal" form alone whether an entry marked as "everyone (public)" will actually be public or not).
- Less complicated: a user who wishes to make a post with a lower security level than their specified minimum security level will not have to jump through any extra hoops in order to do so and cause any unnecessary extra load for Livejournal; instead, they will be able to select the desired security level on their "update journal" form right away.
- Less confusion, part 2: a user reading the FAQ will understand that the default security level is only a default, not - as a cursory glance of the current FAQ entry might lead one to believe - a mandatory minimum that always applies to all future posts without exception.
- A user who currently relies on posts marked as "everyone (public)" not actually being public due to their specified minimum security level might be confused if posts marked as such would be public again after all now. However, if the default security level was automatically selected in the relevant drop-down box, this would require the user in question to actively change the new post's security level away from "private" or "friends" to "everyone (public)".