Standardize Official Community Visibility And Naming
Short, concise description of the idea
Rename all official LiveJournal communities to comply with an "lj_"-prefixed username to standardize official community names for consistency and clarity. Additionally, official communities that are no longer used and are considered defunct should be included in this change as well as clearly marked with defunct status (or deleted entirely). Lastly, all official communities should be listed publicly.
Full description of the idea
Let's start with naming conventions. At some point LiveJournal reserved usernames beginning with the string "lj_" (any names beginning with the three-character string: l, followed by j, followed by underscore). Part of this reasoning was to make it easier to distinguish between official communities (those run by LJ staff) and unofficial communities (those run by LJ users).
My proposal is that all official communities be re-named to start with the reserved prefix. Additionally, all official communities created in the future should comply with this naming convention. Currently, FAQ (125) lists the official communities.
Now, while the official list shows more communities that comply with this naming rule than that do not, I believe that this does not accurately reflect the memberships. That is, while official communities such as lj_abuse and lj_style may comply with the prefixed naming scheme, these journals are either restricted access or watched by a smaller audience (or perhaps a better way to phrase this would be that they are specialized/niche markets in the overall LJ membership) than general communities such as news or lj_feedback.
This will provide clarity, particularly for newer members of LJ, in recognizing those communities that are official communities from those that may have been created by users but are designed in-part to mirror existing official communities (such as permmembers or the_lj_herald) or cover areas in which there are no well-known or active official communities (such as scrapbook_users). Additionally, this will provide a consistency in official community naming that will make it easier for any user -- old or new -- to recognize official communities, particularly in the case where the name alone does not indicate that the community is LJ-specific (news, lj_feedback, suggestions, changelog, etc.).
Secondly, all official LJ communities or journals should be listed publicly. For instance, frank, theljstaff, and lj_labs are official journals, but are not listed in the official list (as with a number of other "official" journals). To clarify, I do not think LJ staff members should be required to publicly list their personal journals -- my intent is that any journal or community used by one or multiple staff members for the purpose of being a dissemination platform, communication (one- or two-way), or for other official purposes should be required to be listed publicly. Even if they are not open to the public (lj_abuse is an example of one that is listed publicly, but not open to the public; perhaps non-public official journals should have a separate category on the official listing).
Lastly, I would like to see all past official journals that're no longer used be re-named for consistency and very clearly marked as defunct (either in their user profile or through a new prefix -- "ljx_"). These journals should be listed publicly as well, for historical purposes (or optionally deleted, though I'd prefer they remain for historical purposes).
- Consistency in official community naming.
- Clarity, for new and old users, on which journals are officially maintained. While user-created communities are thorough about disclaiming any official LJ status, this doesn't mean a member will full understand or realize that when reading disclaimer -- asuming they even read such disclaimer. A consistent naming approach will resolve this confusion.
- Better public visibility and awareness of official communities.
- This will help usability slightly, particularly for newer members.
- Increased transparency of official changes or discussion (equals slightly better user relations, if promoted correctly, considering the social nature of LJ).
- A better approach to organization, for both active and historical purposes.
- Someone will have to put together a comprehensive list of communities, organize it, publish it, and periodically update it; staff may consider this an unimportant or low priority.
- Users returning from an absence may not initially be aware of the change, or there may be concerns that a good name like "news" or "suggestions" will become available and could create confusion or issues if someone snags it; in this case, the old names may simply be kept from public availability and re-direct to the renamed community (example: news redirects to lj_news automatically).
- Those journals that may have deeper or atypical integration into LJ code will result in minor code changes being made.
- It's summer, and spring cleaning isn't always fun. But I believe I addressed major concerns. If something comes to mind that members of this community feel I missed or neglected, please let me know in comments and I can address specific concerns.