i am, like, the resident dystopian

This was going to be a reply here but it kind of spiralled out of control. So…

Expect username suspension to be a major source of user irritation as the namespace fills up. People wanting their deleted usernames back. People wanting someone else’s deleted username and failing to see why they can’t have it. A lot of spur-of-the-moment deletion goes on with any service that offers free accounts and encourages people to write about their personal lives. Ask livejournal. In fact, ask any free hosted blogging system.

Livejournal, of course, is on a far bigger scale than this place, sees a lot more posting and a lot more account deletion. (I don’t think, by the way, that you can count on keeping the schoolgirls out forever. They like shiny new things as much as everyone else, and are undeterred by rubbishy template systems.) Their 30-day grace period before final deletion is mainly for the sake of their servers, but handily also serves as… well, a 30-day grace period. Because sometimes people do stupid things that they regret.

In the lofty world of wordpress.org this maybe didn’t happen so much. Or if it did, you could just reload from a backup. WordPress.com is a land without backup. Here, deletion is forever. My guess is that we’re too used to having Recycle Bins on our desktop to nod quietly and accept that.

My subsidiary point is this. Running a free hosted blogging system is a whole different ballgame to coding one for the use for other people. You thought the wordpress community were unreasonable in the level of accountability they demanded? You ain’t seen nothing, compared to the personal stake people are going to feel they have when their beloved blog is actually on your server. Or when a wordpress.com blogger behaves unacceptably towards them. Or when we start seeing the splogs. Expect even more stupid forum questions, now the dot commers have a place they’re allowed to ask them.

If you want a community, somebody’s going to have to manage it. Is that going to leave time for coding?

1 Comment »

  1. ray said

    Which is why I like to have my blog on a trusted, backed up server. Having it in a central place seems like asking for trouble. Not that I am making accusations, but all it needs is for someone to feel malicious and all those blogs are gone for good.

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