People are getting pissed at SixApart for their stupid modifications to LiveJournal, apparently in the name of cracking down on child porn. (They're doing it wrong.) The problem is that people want to move away from LJ to a decentralized system (such as the way email and web hosting works), but blogging software does not yet generally support locked posts. (Locked posts are blog entries that only selected friends have permission to read.) I'm thinking that OpenID could help with this situation.
Sorry for the disjointed, skimpy post: I just want to get these ideas out there for discussion.
Replace "username" with "OpenID identity" and "account" with "website". Now a reader can login on a blog using their identity (perhaps the URL of their own blog), which will unlock the appropriate posts. The blogging software can provide an interface to manage friend groups and permissions.
We can export other features from the LJ platform:
- "Friending" someone could be implemented using a trackback-like mechanism.
- User icons, styles, and other LJ features are no longer artificially restricted. Any blogging platform could implement this.
- To keep up with your friends, you would use an RSS reader. Perhaps after logging in with OpenID, you would be given a special, secret RSS URL that would include the locked entries.
- Communities would be sites that accept contributers: Multi-user blogging sites, basically.
Making it easy for users
You could even make a hosting company (in the vein of wordpress.com) so that users would not have to install the blogging platform themselves.
What LJ features have I not covered?