Monument (marnanel) wrote in marnanel_joule,

[consultation] Inversion

There's something a number of people were asking about which won't be in this week's release, but I wanted to raise the topic and get some discussion going.

Currently or soon Joule will be able to read:
  • lj, LiveJournal: for personal journals: the people who have you friended
  • lj, LiveJournal: for communities: the people watching that community
  • de, delicious: the people who have you listed
  • dw, Dreamwidth: the people whose reading list you are on (? whatever it will be, when DW is enabled)
  • tw, Twitter: the people reading an account (your "followers")
  • id, Identica: the people reading an account
Many people have asked for something I'm calling "inversion", which I'm going to represent with an "i" prefixed to the site code:
  • ilj, LiveJournal: for personal journals: your friends
  • ilj, LiveJournal: for communities: the members of the community
  • ide, delicious: the people you list
  • idw, Dreamwidth: the people you are reading
  • itw, Twitter: the people you are reading
  • iid, Identica: the people you are reading
Firstly, should we do this at all, or is it overly intrusive? (It's all public information, so we can, but should we?)

Secondly, how should we do it? (Feel free to skip this bit; it's just technical discussion.) The obvious way would be to register these as new kinds of sites: perhaps just reverse the code so tw was Twitter followers and wt was Twitter friends. But that wouldn't work because LJ sends the lj and ilj data together, so we'd end up polling twice a day, which is more than we're allowed to do. Instead I'd like to consider inverted data as a new kind of data for the existing sites, which is why I'm adding the i prefix. However, we'd still have to poll non-LJ sites twice, and it could be prohibitively slow to do this in one go for people like Stephen Fry on Twitter who have tens of thousands of friends and fans/followers. So maybe we just count a pull from LJ as a pull for both lj and ilj, but do the other sites separately. But then what if someone doesn't care about ilj, and we store all that information anyway? Maybe we should just store it if they've previously looked up their ilj information?

Thirdly, what would the user interface look like? We could keep the current drop list and add "LJ friends", "LJ fans", "DW friends", "DW fans" and so on, or add an extra drop list where you chose "fans" or "friends", or maybe have a link on the fan history which took you to the friend history... I'm not at all sure.
Tags: consultation
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