Enhanced, Personal Virtual Gifts
Short, concise description of the idea
Ability to gift someone with a hatching image (giftbox?) that once the holiday or birthday arrives, the present opens. (Details below).
Full description of the idea
I think you had a good idea with the virtual presents. You can build on it, though, and I think it would make users very happy and help fund LJ, to boot.
Have a variety of features under Virtual Gifts. Keep what you have now, but add things like mood sets, timely paid accounts (etc), icon sets, and even styles (with a tested example to show the giftee what it WILL look like). For holidays, it could even have a game like Snowball Fight, where users can purchase a handful of snowballs to throw at their friends (splut!). Or for Christmastime, have the presents show up under a tree. July 4th could have firecrackers. You get the idea.
- * Personalized gift ideas, rather than pre-manufactured bouquets.
- * Facilitates mood set sharing, which isn't a feature anyway... It'd be nice to gift a mood set, ready to go, where all the friend would have to do is add it to their list of choices under Modify Journal. Same with icon donations.
- * Encourages friends to enhance their livejournal experience and interaction with each other through something lasting. I know a big downer from users was the two-week fade-out on gifts. Keep that for things like flowers, but candy should be allowed to be "eaten" instead. Gifts should be allowed to be "opened" once the day arrives.
- * Enhanced virtual gifts should be enjoyable and useful, with more interest the more personal the gift can be.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- Where the gifts reside during delivery/prior to the friend's acceptance.
- Levels of permissions depending on gifts.
- Expiration of gift while time passes with no acceptance of gift.
- Possible bandwidth issues.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- Gifted mood sets and icons should be held within the user's scrapbook until their friend allows the gift to be accepted, not just opened. Some people may not want to change out their mood sets right away, or at all (eep).
- Permissions should be taken into account for anything and everything Virtual Gift. In such cases as snowball fights, perhaps a shout-out could go to LJ in general with a setting in permissions to participate in the snowball fight.
- There should be a count-down day once the gift has been opened or once the holiday/birthday/delivery date has expired, such that a message is sent to the user that the friend has yet to accept the gift, and it would be automatically sent back. This would hopefully alieviate bandwidth issues that may arise.
- Another way to make sure the bandwidth isn't so much an issue is to have a set "giftbox" or "wrapping" icon provided by LJ to act as the "egg" which should hatch. Users may want to have their own 50x50 image to show once the gift has been opened (and prior to acceptance).