Explain me what is justice, what is right? (lady_angelina) wrote in suggestions,
Explain me what is justice, what is right?

Access for Authorized Users to Customize Your Personal Journal's Style

Access for Authorized Users to Customize Your Personal Journal's Style

Short, concise description of the idea
I would like to have the ability to grant access to other users of my choice to customize my personal journal's style.

Full description of the idea
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an uncreative, graphically talentless wonder. ;) As such, I often have no clue as to how to go about customizing my journal's appearance, and it usually looks craptacular and boring much of the time. A couple of years ago, a friend offered to customize it for me, but the only way she could do it directly would be to use my password, which I am always loath to give out to anyone.

The idea to have a way to grant access to other users (without divulging your password) didn't dawn on me until I saw this entry http://community.livejournal.com/feedback/14276.html in the feedback community, which proposes the possibility of selectively allowing non-maintainers to customize the style of the community. Something like that would be equally applicable for personal journals, IMHO, and I am surprised that it hasn't been suggested much sooner.

Basically, the owner of a journal would be able to choose who they want to customize their journal, without having access to any of their journal's other settings. The authorized person would be able to select layouts, customize themes, perform advanced customizations, and code CSS on the behalf of the journal's owner. Certain restrictions of these permissions could be agreed upon by the developers as they see fit (for instance, the authorized user may not be able to select titles and subtitles, and so on).

As far as implementation goes, it could be similar to the tagging system, which allows you to grant certain tagging permissions to selected custom friends groups. Or members of a specially-named custom friends group (say, "Allow Customizations" or something similar) would be automatically able to do it. A method that might be more flexible for the user (but might create far more headaches for the developers) would be to have a field in the Choose Journal Style page http://www.livejournal.com/customize/ that allows the journal's owner to name any registered user he/she would like to be able to change the journal's style. Other possibilities probably exist, but those are the three that come to mind.

Because of the trouble this could potentially pose, both for developers and for users, I think that this should strictly be a Paid or Permanent Account benefit. It would make more sense, anyway, because holders of other account levels don't have nearly as much access or flexibility with respect to available styles.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Users who want to customize their journals but don't know how to go about it will be able to let someone else do it for them without compromising their journals' passwords.
  • If users without Paid or Permanent Accounts are eligible to be listed as authorized to customize the owner's journal, this may give them the opportunity for some hands-on practice with advanced customizations, without actually being able to apply them to their own journals. (Of course, they would need a Paid or Permanent user to list them first before they could do that.)
  • Possibly better utilization of the myriad of potential styles to be applied to journals.
  • The Blinkie Ponie Armie will either love me or slaughter for me for coming up with this. XD
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • As always, the time and trouble needed to code and implement this.
  • Possible security and abuse concerns, even if the authorized person doesn't have access to any of the journal's other settings. It will be up to the user to make sure that the authorized person is trustworthy enough not to customize their journal in a manner that is harmful or in violation of LiveJournal's TOS.
  • If custom friends groups are involved, the user will have to go through the trouble of creating and/or maintaining them.
  • Only registered users and/or users on the journal owner's Friends list (if custom friends groups are involved) will be able to be listed as users authorized to customize the owner's journal. There wouldn't be any secure way to allow non-LiveJournal users to do it.
  • If an authorized user does not have their own Paid or Permanent Account, this will not give them any more customization options for their own journal; they can only apply the advanced customizations to the journal of the owner who has authorized them.
  • Um, I'm sure there were some others that I am not thinking of right now. I'll either add them if I think of them later, or you guys will come up with them. ;)
Tags: custom friends groups, security, styles, styles: selection/customization interfac, § no status
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