Replace friending and friend groups with user tags
Short, concise description of the idea
Tag LJ users the way you do posts; use those tags for filtering posts and your friends page.
Full description of the idea
We all know that tagging posts is awesome. Why not apply that awesomeness to LJ users?
Let's say I have a trusted friend on LJ who's a journalist in Boston. I would tag her "writer" and "publishing" and "Boston" and "connections". Those tags would work like friend groups: I can use them to filter my friends page, or use them on posts to determine who can see those posts. Like post tags and unlike friend groups, those tags would be easy to update as need be, you could have hundreds of them, they would be autocompleted, and you could manage them via a fully featured management system like the current post tag manager.
- Faster to update than friend groups.
- Simpler than friend groups.
- More flexible than friend groups.
- Modifications to post tagging, like allowing searches for multiple tags concurrently using boolean operators, could easily be applied to friend tagging as well.
- Very familiar to anyone who's ever used a tag system.
- Would replace the overly simplistic and badly named "friend/not friend" system with nuanced flexibility and neutral terminology.
- Would replace the clunky friend group system with something simple and quick.
- You can use it as much or as little as you want.
- Probably complex to implement, though it would be easy enough to turn current friend groups into tags.
- There's potential for drama, but no more so than in the current system.
- Would need to determine privacy settings: Can people see the tags you apply to them? Can people see the tags that have been applied to you by other people? Can people see a full list of your tags?