How about making the membership information opt-in open source October 4, 2001 7:33 PM   Subscribe

How about making the membership information opt-in open source. Anyone who wanted could download the membership information in a variety of formats. Users who checked a box in their profile could then use their username on any other site that wanted to use it.
posted by chaz to Feature Requests at 7:33 PM (6 comments total)

In other words, export not the content, but the users. People with newsblogs could instantly gain more users, specialty discussion member side-projects would have easily reconixable participants. The massive MeFi audience would be splintered, but those who truly value the unique mix and vibe of MeFi would stay at the main site.
posted by chaz at 7:35 PM on October 4, 2001

It would be useless to do that unless I was told about every site which took my account information (and password?) -- and I don't want to get told, since that amounts to a license to spam.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:02 PM on October 4, 2001

This would be a pretty nifty way to create a big-ass MetaFilter network, which a shared user database.

But there'd have to be a standard way to gain access to the user list with certain criteria be met. Once Matt starts opening up our user information, opt-in or not, there will have to be certain guarantees provided.

There will also likely have to be larger repercutions than just cutting off access to the data. Like, legal repercutions (I am so not spelling that properly) if information is sold and stuff.

While Matt wouldn't necessarily have to consult with a lawyer to draw up a contract and pursue any kind of class-action, it would probably be something that would require time and money to look into.

This is not saying it's a bad idea, just that it's a lot of work from an administrative stand point.

From a technical standpoint, Matt would have to create hooks for remote sites to get at the data. This probably exists to some degree since our MeFi info works on MetaTalk and the5k and (eventually) Ticketstubs, they all reside on the same server and therefore are much easier to open up.

And then bandwidth, additional processing, and just general hardware usage becomes a consideration. God, I'm being such a downer for something that I think is a really good idea, I'm sorry. Available resources already seem to be a little tight, and if this gets used a lot, usage would explode.

Again, I'm sorry for being a downer, I think it's a phenominal way to start moving, but it's probably going to be quite a while before such a thing is really feasible.

Or, often seems to be the case when I make assumptions, Matt's already figured everything out and is just waiting for a good site with which to use it. :-)
posted by cCranium at 9:09 PM on October 4, 2001

I don't want to get told, since that amounts to a license to spam.

It could be presented as easily as a list of checkboxes on your user profile. You select and save the sites that you want to allow access to.

If you don't want to be bothered to, you probably wouldn't have to worry about it because in an opt-in scenario you wouldn't need to be emailed.
posted by cCranium at 9:10 PM on October 4, 2001

Maybe Microsoft would be interested in hosting a service like this. You could sign up and it would authenticate you for all kinds of web-based services, and they could centralize billing and record-keeping. They could give it some kind of fancy name, like... "Visa." Get it? Cause it gives you permission to go places. Or "Passcard," or something.
posted by rodii at 8:14 AM on October 5, 2001

posted by nedrichards at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2001

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