Short, concise description of the idea
Users/communities should be able to make formal affiliation requests
Full description of the idea
Just as a person can request to be a friend of another user, a person should be able to formally requestion affiliation with another user or community. For users, there would be an official list of "friends," "communities," and "affiliates" in their user info. For communities, there would be an official list of "members," "watched by," and "affiliates" in the user info. Users would be able to choose when they wanted to make a request to affiliate if they wanted to do so with their personal journal or a community they were the moderator of (similar to the "work as user" drop down list).
I'm going to try to explain the difference between affiliation and member, here. As it is right now, communities cannot "friend" other communities. There is no way to tie one community to another, except unofficial plugging. Most communities have "affiliates." These are other communities that are similar to them, or that they support and want to help gain recognition for. Most communities have "affiliation request" posts, where users can ask, "Do you want to affiliate with my community, xcommunity?" And the person will respond, "Sure!" Then they add each other to the user info, and members in one community then find out about that other community (along with a list of others) that way.
Having an official "affiliation requets," similar to "friend requets" but for communities, would help eliminate the need for the sort of back-and-forth that users struggle with in managing their communities and their affiliation lists. If you're still unclear about the difference between affiliate and member, you can just look at the user info for really any community, and I can guarantee there is a list of "affiliate" communities.
- Official affiliation would be more efficient.
- Wider affiliation will facilitate more users finding more communities, thus LiveJournal will grow and flourish.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- I can see none, but feel free to post comments.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- Next to the "Add user as friend" button, there could be a "Request to affiliate" button for communities.