User-definable mailing lists for sending journal entries to non-lj users
Short, concise description of the idea
A user would be able to enter a list of email addresses, and then when the user posts a journal entry, that entry would be sent as email. The idea is that friends and family who are not on lj would be able to get some sense of what's up in the user's life.
Full description of the idea
I'm imagining that the mailing list would essentially be a moderated list where only the lj user could add new members and only the lj user could post to the list, when a new journal entry is made.
A more advanced feature would be to have these mailing lists correspond with different groups of friends and different security levels.
An ordered list of benefits
Users would be able to use lj as a more central communication platform and save time writing emails.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
Volume - I imagine there would be tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of lists with one or more messages per day to each list.
Bounce management - There would have to be software for users to manage the list to identify bouncing addresses and take steps, plus software for administrators to deal with the bigger problems. Another aspect of this is list management.
Spam blocking - If any account is able to send arbitrary emails to arbitrary people, lj could then be used to send spam. There would have to be some limits based on authentication, account status, etc. and maybe some automated spam detection.
Archives/resends - I can foresee some email receivers accidentally deleting a post and wanting it re-sent.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
The data model should probably be designed for the more complex case of one user having multiple lists, tied to groups of friends & security levels.
Either the Edit Friends screen would be modified or a new screen created to manage the list of email addresses.
The Edit Custom Friends Groups screen would be modified or a new screen created to manage the association of email addresses to groups and security levels.
The Update Journal page user interface might not change at all, but behind the scenes some work would have to be done to support the mailing list.
The Edit Journal Entries page may also have to change, if it's determined that edited entries will be resent to the mailing list. (Maybe this is automatic, maybe not at all, maybe the user has a choice).