surf your friends in the privacy of your own dashboard

Announcing the Friend Surfer.

bit like an LJ friends page. but private. and with feeds..

It’s not finished yet, of course; a system where you subscribe to usernames isn’t a great solution when you can have multiple blogs under one username and there isn’t any indication on secondary blogs of what username they’re under. Nor have they integrated the flist with the blogroll yet. And I still don’t know what’s up with the ghastly 1990s terminology.Have you ever felt any desire to surf your friends? It sounds like it might be painful for them. But yeah, another move in an LJ-ward direction which should comfort those who have fled the original.

13 Comments »

  1. adam said

    there are some bizarre privacy concerns as well (i mean privacy in the fuzzy sense you have in your own bathroom, not the on/off switch as defined in the options panel). the first thing i noticed (after noticing the bizarre strings of blogs registered by mark/podz, andy, and matt, is that both andy and matt unregistered their main blogs from their usernames (naturally i did the same with my own psuedo-private blog). i really hate having to use two browsers to stay logged in as two users to the same service. but then, most lj-fleeers will already be comfortable with that.

    and yes. friendsurfing is the worst terminology since, oh, i don’t know, bloglebrity?

  2. adam said

    i really wish there was an edit comment feature. besides adding the missing closed-parenthesis, i meant to say that matt and andy did so after the service was launched, meaning they recognized the weirdness of it by looking at their friend surfer.

  3. engtech said

    So if someone subscribes to my friend name, they’ll get posts from every blog I “own” even ones I don’t mean to publicize?

  4. adam said

    yep. i see 5 blogs next to your name.
    (8 next to andy, 5 next to podz, 4 next to matt, etc.)

  5. timethief said

    Ahhhh fluff! I have one blog I would like to keep to myself. WTF can I do to achieve that, please?

    And adam what do you mean about unregistering blogs from your username? How does one get two usernames? I was told we could only have one.

    Have you read the forum thread on this? http://wordpress.com/forums/topic.php?id=5444&replies=5#post-35274

  6. adam said

    as i mentioned above, the devs all have multiple usernames. i know you have at least two already (creepy stalker!)

    and i think automattic likes the idea of there being as many users as possible, so they’re probably more than happy that this situation now requires a multiplicity of personalities.
    i responded to the thread with detailed instructions.

  7. engtech said

    I sent feedback about this.

  8. engtech said

    They fixed the privacy issues: http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/11/21/the-friend-surfer-with-knobs-on

  9. timethief said

    @adam & engtech

    Yup, I sent an instant feedback in too, I did. Luckily I hadn’t yet uploaded my personal nude photo gallery to the private blog in question for narcissistic viewing but sheesh! that was too close for comfort *lol*

    Creepy stalker, eh? What a kewl handle for a girl, adam. Not as kewl as wank but in the running, for sure, for sure.😉

  10. I think I always took it for granted that any blog I started on this username was going to end up traceable back to me somehow, but I know not everyone shares my level of paranoia🙂

    Still don’t understand why it wasn’t blog-based rather than username-based in the first place. I think they were more focused on getting the code to work than worrying about any social or privacy implications the feature might have. This level of naivety doesn’t bode well. I personally still wouldn’t be comfortable hosting a private or semi-private blog here. Even with screenshots, I had a devil of a job convincing Mark that the ‘this blog is protected’ screen was broken. A cross-browser screwup like that shouldn’t really have slipped through in the first place, and it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

  11. adam said

    slightly OT, i find it odd that lj’s friends page is public. do you ever browse other people’s friends pages? isn’t that a bit creepy?

  12. Alan said

    It’s (one of) lj’s way of helping people get exposure. Though not many people actually browse other people’s friends pages, so it’s not very effective.

  13. Browsing other people’s friends pages isn’t done much because a) people are only interested in their own friends pages, b) people tend to cluster on LJ so most of your friends’ friends pages will feature the same journals as your own and c) a good proportion of the entries will be friends-locked, making the whole exercise slightly pointless.

    There are various third-party widgets which can tell you who, based on your friend clusters, you should have friended and haven’t. These are generally people you defriended three years ago because they don’t post anymore.

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