May 20th, 2003

  • jc

Useful Additions to LJ's Portal Page

Useful Additions to LJ's Portal Page

Short, concise description of the idea
Aggregate incoming private messages, "add me" requests and comment notifications into sections of LJ's Portal page

Full description of the idea
This suggestion is a collection of a couple of ideas. About a year and a half ago lucretio proposed a private messaging system for LJ, ideal for contacting LJ users with no other contact information. This feature has apparently already been developed behind the scenes; I would like to propose that this system be implemented as part of LJ's Portal. The second part of this suggestion focuses on friends-only journals. The normal method of getting onto such a user's friends list would be to comment on a single public journal entry: if however there existed a mechanism to send that user a generic "add me" request with optional reason (à la ICQ), requests could be displayed on the one page separate from comment notificiations. Responses would be relayed back to the user by e-mail and/or through the Portal. LJ Friend-oholics would benefit from a Portal module that contained a simple list of recent friends entries, with date/time posted, username and short subject in a format similar to LJ's resurrected Latest Posts feature. Finally, for those who don't like receiving dozens of LJ comment notification e-mails, these notifications would also be a useful addition to the Portal.

An ordered list of benefits

  • A greatly enhanced Portal page, offering users a central source of latest events besides new Friends entries
  • A way to communicate directly with those LJ users who have no other outside contact information
  • A summary of new comments, accessible even if one's e-mail account is not
  • Reduced load on the usericon servers if Friend-oholics reload the Portal page instead of their Friends page
  • Basic statistics generated by the portal could be incorporated into clients and the LJ Toolbar
  • I notice my is tagged as a "system account", making a perfect location if this username has already been reserved by LJ
  • An ordered list of problems/issues involved

  • Implementation would, in my mind, be a very slow process and therefore a low priority
  • Abuse of the messaging system, which might be prevented by a per-user black list
  • Storing and retaining comment notifications locally could lead to a logistical database nightmare
  • As mentioned in the comments of lucretio's original suggestion, some users rarely visit the home page or login page so the enhanced portal would require some promotion to get people using it
  • An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation

  • Create new portal modules for comment notifications, private messages and "add me" requests
  • Develop systems to store comment notifications, process "add me" requests and responses and pass on private messages
  • Discuss! :)