The ability of making your chat name friends-only
Short, concise description of the idea
I think we should be able to choose whether or not we would like our chat names viewed to people who are not on our friends list or not. This would help people who do not like receiving random IMs from people they do not know.
Full description of the idea
When I first signed up with my LJ, I was very excited to start chatting with my newfound friends via AIM. To make this easier, I posted my AIM name up in my profile. This worked perfectly for some time. Anyone who wanted to talk to me outside of LJ would be able to go there and grab my name and IM me from there.
I had no problem with this at all, until a person added me to their friends list. I read through his journal and was very scared to add him since he seemed to get very attached and sometimes obsessive about online girls. So, problem solved, he wasn't on my list, no biggie right? Wrong. The next day he IMs me. I am immediately freaked out since I had decided not to add him for a reason. He didn't feel that me not adding him was reason for him not to IM me. So I had to restructure my list and restrict it to only the users on my list being able to see me. I also removed my AIM name from my profile to keep events like these from happening again
I have since begun to miss my friends being able to easily look up my name. I now have to go out of my way to give them my name, get theirs, add them to my list so they can see me, and THEN chat.
I think that it would be very beneficial for a lot of people if we were able to restrict the viewability of our chat names (not just AIM, but Yahoo and MSN, and any others there might be) to friends only. Of course this would only be an option, but I think it is a very valuable one. There are many people who value their privacy, and do not appreciate random people IMing them out of the blue.
An ordered list of benefits
-protect the privacy of users
-allow people to chat with their friends, but not give their chat name to the entire world
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
I really can't think of any.. Some people might say that it might not be necessary. But that is a personal preference. As with most utilities, some will use it, and some won't. I think the people who would use it (myself included) would be incredibly grateful for it.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
This could be a problem to program, although I am pretty sure that the code already exists with the posting utility. It just might take some tinkering to move it over