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Tue, Jul. 26th, 2005, 11:02 pm
Taco of Accurate Observations and three LJ ideas.

Lately, I've been using a larger-than-average amount of my energy on ol' Livejournal. My recent entries reflect that: I've been re-working my user-info page, toying around with HTML, my crazy adventure with mood icons the other night, and I spend a lot of my work hours thinking, "Hmm, what thoughts should I share with the LJ community next?" Unfortunately, I forget most of those ideas before I get home. Maybe the shower does it; I don't know – Livejournal only gets to see about one tenth of the things I come up with. "Maybe," I thought while eating a taco, "I just want to have a good journal." It must have been the Taco of Accurate Observations: that seems to be the case.

Let's take the train of thought in a new direction, shall we?

All of this energy toward Livejournal gave me some sharp ideas about functionality the LJ team could add. First, and most important, time stamps. On the "update your journal" page, you can do something spiffy with the date/time variables: you can set them to almost anywhere you want! Bury them in the past, put them a few hours into the future, or even decades into the future! This means that you can control when things end up on zany friends pages. (I know this is common knowledge for most reading this, but it was necessary to state for everyone else.) Those future-dated entries still show on your main page, though! This means a two things to me: we can display those pointless "this journal is friends-only so GO AWAY!" posts (put that in your userinfo, dorks.) and those equally pointless "things you should know about this journal before you rub your filthy peon eyes all over it [and other prissy condescending-type stuff]" (those kinds of things are prime userinfo candidates.) at the tops of our main journals, and we can control when stuff appears on friends pages Keenspace-style. Problem is that the former sort of interferes with the latter: if one of your readers or a random person drops in on your main page, they'll see the future-dated entries, thus defeating the attempt to control what users see. I think it would be nice if I could stock my Livejournal with a week's worth of entries that would slowly reveal themselves when I want, kind of like Keenspace's comic system. I'd really like this kind of thing.

UPDATE: OH, no it does not control when it ends up on friends-pages! I was completely and totally wrong there! Wow, I'm sorry people: I had this one set to 8:00AM tomorrow when I realized that it just remains the top entry on the page until that time rolls around, instead. However, this makes my case that much stronger: it would be nice to have some way to have our entries "post themselves automatically" at a specified time.

Livejournal users are always discussing and linking to each others' posts. We link to each other using a special type of link, right? With the little dude and the this-is-a-livejournal-user formated text? I think it would be spiffy if we had something like that for links to Livejournal posts and comments. They would automatically "follow" a user if the journal changed user-name or if the user drastically changed the post. I don't know what it would look like, or what other information it could provide, but I still think that it's the start of a good idea.

While we're discussing those little androgynous user images in lj-user links, did you ever see what people did with CSS overrides? Apparently, you can force a different image instead of the little dude. There's a ton of furry and monster ones, but there's also things like the handlebar mustache guy that kinkyturtle uses. Anyhow, this inspired me: what if paid and permanent users could have Livejournal use another little image of their choice, just as custom mood themes are handled? Then, anywhere that people link to them, LJ would use their little image instead of the default guy! That would be awesome.

Okay, I lied – there's a fourth thing: I'd also like it if they fixed the update console so we didn't have to remember all of our tags. We don't have to remember all of our icon keywords (we get a drop-down menu), so why do we have to manually type in our tags from memory?

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2005 07:15 am (UTC)
quietgladness

Sam, you are a completely awesome person.

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2005 07:23 am (UTC)
masstreble: I'm on an adventure!

Thank you! I'm trying to awesome up the world. If I do that by putting words in it, then that's good. (I couldn't find the jam. :x )

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2005 07:46 am (UTC)
quietgladness: Re: I'm on an adventure!

It's good to know there are other optimists out there!

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2005 06:36 am (UTC)
masstreble: Re: I'm on an adventure!

Oh, absolutely. They just learn to be quiet on the Internet instead of LOUD like me. :]

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2005 10:49 am (UTC)
ghostangel

"this journal is friends-only so GO AWAY!" posts (put that in your userinfo, dorks.)

Proud to be a dork! (actually, the reason I've got mine like that is a stalker filter. I had an irl stalker that found my journal, and a slew of online stalkers, thus the strict lockdown)

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2005 06:28 am (UTC)
masstreble

Oh, I have nothing against having a friends-only journal: don't get me wrong! I just think those kinds of matters are best placed in one's userinfo.

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC)
alfador_fox

I'm probably going to keep my journal open and public right up until the point where I get burned by some stalkeresque type person. Or employers, which amounts to the same thing.

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2005 06:32 am (UTC)
masstreble

I think an employer that hunts around for private web activity of their employees has some serious control issues. However, I'm perfectly aware many do it -- it's how a lot of bloggers got involved in ridiculous legal trouble. (Mostly nastygram bullying from the corporations; no actual crimes involved.)

I don't think you'll have that kind of trouble, though.

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC)
alfador_fox

Oh, okay.

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
makzu

Darn it, now I want a taco. CURSE YOU SAAAAAAAAMMM

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC)
masstreble

Curse of the Sam! Night of the Living Sam! Passion of the Sam! Bride of Sam! Child of Sam! Sam's Revenge! That One Funny Anectdote About the Time We Ran Into Sam On the Subway!
(Deleted comment)

Thu, Jul. 28th, 2005 06:35 am (UTC)
masstreble

Well, okay, but only because you asked.