Proglomena to a method of ranked privacy…

08/29/2001

Proglomena to a method of ranked privacy on Greymatter weblogs:

  1. Define several user accounts for use on your greymatter weblog. Name each one according to a number or name representing a level of privacy that each post might have: eg. High, Medium, Low, General.
  2. Wrap each post in the template with a span or div attribute – the name of the attribute corresponding to the {{author}} attribute (normally used in the ‘this post written by {{author}})’ sections at the bottom of posts.
  3. Produce several stylesheets for the site. Each is identical except that each stylesheet can declare different classes ‘display: none;’.
  4. Using javascript to place a cookie on the site, you can then automatically assign the lowest level of ‘clearance’ to the site – all the posts will be in the code, but only the ‘General’ ones will be displayed on the page.
  5. Other pages, password protected in some way (.htaccess files for example) can place cookies which call different style-sheets, thus showing ‘Low’ or ‘Medium’ sensitivity posts as well.
  6. Or more interestingly, you could place a cookie on first arrival, a second cookie on second visit, a third on the next, and rank up the person’s clearance each time – thus giving them an incremental ‘trust’ rating. Other techniques for an automatic incrementalisation of ‘clearance’ could include an automatic placing of cookies built into the code in certain kinds of posts or internal pages. Only when you have seen a certain number of internal pages would you get access to the next level of content.
  7. Certain posts could be ONLY visible to the person who created the site.

Reasons for doing this? It keeps frivolous posting and personal revelation away from casual visitors and potential employers. Only those with whom you had built up a relationship of trust would be able to receive access to your stranger thoughts.