Only days after the whole Facebook “face-lift” controversy, Livejournal introduces a similar feature
By now, most of you have already heard about the Facebook controversy, the one where Facebook released all these news feeds that caused several privacy concerns. Well, so soon after Facebook enraged thousands of users, Livejournal is taking a similar step. They’re beta-testing a notification system with their paid users that allows you to click an icon that looks like a thumb-tack and lets you receive update messages whenever someone does something new on livejournal. They explain it thusly:
The new system works like this:
1. See something you want to track. (post, thread, journal, etc…)
2. Click this guy: Track this
3. Choose how you want to get notified:
* Message Center (always enabled)
* IM (future)
* …–… (future)
* For total dorks: web service ping to arbitrary URL (future)
4. Enjoy. Cancel or change notifications any time.
They’re being a little cautious in their wording, obviously because of the Facebook thing:
Doesn’t this let people stalk me?
It would’ve been really easy for us to build a system to enable stalking but we took a lot of effort to remove all potentially creepy features out of it:
* You can’t track things you can’t see, of course. (private, friends-only, etc)
* Even though it’s public, you can’t track “all comments anywhere by user bob”. Because that’s a little weird. Maybe bob wants that, but for now we’re focusing on things you can already add to your friends page, get RSS for, etc..
This strikes me as very similar to Mark’s argument that nothing is available that wasn’t already public, which really wasn’t the point of the whole controversy. Still, I haven’t been able to test it yet through my livejournal since I’m not a paid user, so I’ll try to keep track of what others are saying about it.