Ai (februaryfour) wrote in suggestions,

Cross-site Friends List

Cross-site Friends List

Short, concise description of the idea
Friends list that can read friends-locked entries posted on LJ-clones and other passworded places.

Full description of the idea
Because I keep getting poked to post this, I shall!

While I can read my friends' Dreamwidth journals (and Insanejournals, and other journals) by adding their RSS feed to my friends list (after someone with a paid account has made the RSS account), I can't read friends-locked entries. To read f-locked entries from other sites ie. Dreamwidth, I have to actually log in to the other site.

I suggest that LJ support authenticated RSS feeds. This way, f-locked entries will still show up on my f-list, but will only show if I am logged in and authenticated on LJ. FYI DW is not using RSS to do this. I'm sorry to say the technical details are over my head at this point. T_T I'm suggesting an authenticated RSS feed simply because that's the only way I can personally see this being implemented, but please, anyone who knows web technology better, feel free to chime in with better ideas! ♥

Finally, in case I am unclear (as I frequently am), I hate to point to someone else's post to explain this idea, but any attempt of my own to do so would just say the exact same thing in so many words, so here is a blockquote from the News journal of DW itself on cross-site reading:

Downloaded entries are only viewable to the person who is using the cross-site reading feature.

That's the rule, and it is pretty simple. We will not show entries to anybody except the person who we downloaded them for. Even if it's a public entry; you will never be able to see it on the site unless you are logged in to the account that has cross-site reading turned on and subscribes to that account on the remote site.

Further, we will not allow any interaction with the entry on Dreamwidth. They can be viewed, but that's about it -- you can't add them to memories, bookmark, comment on, edit, or anything. It's a read-only view.

The above was taken from: and there are more technical details there that I didn't post because they weren't RSS-related.

[ETA September 14: Because there is an entire moderator-screened comment thread on the matter, I thought I should clarify: I'm not suggesting LJ become DW. I just thought, "Wow, that's a cool feature, can we get that too?" There is a sad dearth of authenticated RSS feed readers on the internet, and I thought LJ could try to get a piece of that market.]

An ordered list of benefits
  • Retention of LJ userbase (some of us are seriously considering leaving LJ for DW because DW is in the process of implementing cross-site f-list).
  • Web-based authenticated RSS readers are pretty much impossible to find on the Internet. LJ would be one of the VERY FEW places this would be available. It's possible a whole new paying userbase could emerge from this.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • I assume there will be difficulty in separating auth-required content from non-auth-required content. As in, users who are not me should still be able to see public posts on my f-list, but cannot see the authenticated posts. I'm afraid I don't know how this would be gotten around. Completely private RSS feeds that don't show up at all when not displaying to the logged-in LJ account holder? (I'm all right with that...)
  • Server load. Apparently this is non-trivial, or so I read on DW's weekly updates. DW is limiting their implementation to refresh once every 30 minutes for paid users (of course). Again, I'm afraid I don't know the programming needed for this. Could this be an extra add-on (like userpics or extra storage)? I'd gladly pay more for it, myself. I'm also happy with twice-daily or even daily refreshes, if that's what it takes. (As long as the entries don't get hidden through what I shall call the "backdating effect"...)
Tags: entry viewing, external services, external services: other sites, friends page, privacy, syndication, § no status
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