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Moblog is about sharing, communicating, playing with new gadgets, and above all having fun!
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This is one of three moderator-only moblogs, set up by the moderators for all mobloggers.

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A bug fix!

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For some time, an error in code has been allowing posts from private blogs to be highlighted. This caused two problems. The owners of the blogs were understandably upset as their privacy was not being respected and other users who clicked on the thumbnail to see the post were frustrated and annoyed because the post would not open, due to privacy settings.

We're happy to announce this issue has now been resolved and highlight options have been removed from anyone with privacy settings. This is a short term fix for an ongoing issue and we are striving to devise a strategy to provide mobloggers with more sophisticated privacy options in future development of the site.

We'd appreciate any suggestions you might have with regards to blog privacy and encourage you to post them in the comments.

Thanks to Essitam for the excellent image.
8th Sep 2009, 13:35   | tags:,

Viv says:

The copy for this post was something of a joint effort, starting with Bronxelf, then JC and finally Beth and I.

I used tags to find Essitam's picture - but then also searched through the group blog 'signs' - some good stuff there. Made me think I must make more effort with tags and groups!

8th Sep 2009, 13:43

jc1000000 says:

AmericanFriend... really? I didnt know that happened... if you find an example that would be very useful but will investigate.

8th Sep 2009, 14:18

I can understandf people wanting a blog to be private for a raft of reasons. In my opinion though once private their photos should not be highlighteable.

Probably better though to receive the thoughts of those with private blogs.

8th Sep 2009, 14:45

swamprose says:

congratulations. one bug squashed and fixed. thanks.

8th Sep 2009, 14:55

beth says:

A fix a fix a fix! And here's to many more.. but one step at a time.

8th Sep 2009, 15:02

Tori says:

Glad for the fix, and this photo is gorgeous.

8th Sep 2009, 15:33

MandyP says:

Just a quick reminder - while it's great to mention site fixes here, there's a much better chance of these suggestions being added to a Moblog "To Do" list if you post them in the forum:

Remember, you have to register separately for the forum.

8th Sep 2009, 16:27

Twiglet says:

Also jc, it's a bit annoying when someone with a private moblog adds one of my posts to their favourites when I can't even LOOK at their stuff. Or comments when I can't comment back. The former hasn't actually happened to me yet but it has certainly happened to my colleague.

8th Sep 2009, 16:33

jc1000000 says:

Twiglet - that is interesting. Will chase that up too.

AmericanFriend - thanks for adding your comment here about highlights.

Both/all - one good thing about the way we designed the site is that we can apply settings at global level - so the kinds of bugs you've pointed out, are ones we couldnt have predicted, but actually easily solved.

8th Sep 2009, 16:58

Caine says:

AF, about the 'exfriend' thing - I've had friends who have gone private with a blog, they usually have to re-friend people and then everything is okay. This doesn't always happen though, which means there's more code to investigate. I know when Mandy went private, everything stayed exactly the same. Hmmmmm.

8th Sep 2009, 17:46

Viv says:

actually Mandy - we asked for comments here specifically as it is a focal point for this discussion.

as for the ex friend if they hadn't befriended you but you had befriended them I can see this would happen and should think it's a simple fix iif it goes blank then surely it can as easily disappear.

8th Sep 2009, 18:28

MandyP says:

I suppose I missed that. It looks like the option to de-friend has disappeared from my user profile - is that universal?

8th Sep 2009, 19:18

Caine says:

Mandy, that disappeared with the upgrade, I asked about in the forum. 540air told me to de-friend now, you have to go to the person's moblog, and click 'remove from friends'.

8th Sep 2009, 19:25

MandyP says:

That's rather difficult when the person you're trying to de-friend has gone private, no?

8th Sep 2009, 19:26

Caine says:

Yes, it is. I don't know why the +/- disappeared after the upgrade. It might have been a mistake rather than deliberate. Obviously, this is yet another bug which needs fixing.

8th Sep 2009, 19:30

bronxelf says:

My take on this is fairly well known but I'll put it out here in public.

Even if the current privacy settings on Moblog worked *perfectly* as they are right now, IMO, they are completely inadequate, and I've thought that since day one.

Unfortunately, what I'd like to see happen is a very long term fix and won't even be thought about soon. However, just to mention it here so it's out in "public" (though my thoughts on this have always been public), I would like a more flexible style of privacy filtering, similar to that at LJ, where custom filters could be implemented and used on a post by post basis.

Again, I realize this is a *massive* dev undertaking and therefore not on the table right now- but I felt it important to get out there.

8th Sep 2009, 22:58

Viv says:

BTW - Think A.F. has a good point about highlights for pictures posted to group blogs not going on your HL list. Something that needs to go into the long term planning for HL's

8th Sep 2009, 23:35

swamprose says:

It really bugged me that private blogs got highlighted and if I was not their friend, I had to only guess what was going on. I really am pleased that now anyone clicking on a highlight can see what it is about and read the comments. It is inclusive, instead of being exclusive--and I feel the need to reiterate this point because it is lost in all the commenting about remaining problems. We solved one problem. Can we move discussion to the forums and just take a minute to say, yeah, it's better now? high five us!

9th Sep 2009, 00:59

Caine says:

Tori has a couple of questions about this fix on the forum:;=6367

and she has a suggestion regarding highlights here:;=6375

9th Sep 2009, 01:18

bronxelf says:

In response to Tori's questions:

1. It is my understanding that if any privacy features are in place, the blog will not be highlightable. This applies to both manual and auto highlights.

2. I agree with this suggestion, as it avoids confusion.

9th Sep 2009, 02:25

Caine says:

I didn't know the answer to either of Tori's questions; I'm pleased to know the auto highlight feature will not work on private blogs.

As to the 2nd question, I think it's a good idea too.

9th Sep 2009, 02:35

bronxelf says:

If I'm wrong on that, JC or mat can correct but I am fairly certain that's the case on the first part. Enough to say it here, anyway.

9th Sep 2009, 02:37

swamprose says:

hello. are we talking on the forum or here?

9th Sep 2009, 02:45

Caine says:

Both. We were (and are) talking on the forum, but Viv prefers to talk here.

9th Sep 2009, 02:48

bronxelf says:

I replied to this here, in the forum and in IM to Tori directly. All bases covered.

(The forum discussion seems to have drifted off into bacon.)

9th Sep 2009, 02:49

Caine says:

It's never inappropriate to discuss bacon. ;D

9th Sep 2009, 03:01

jc1000000 says:

Mandy - gosh, i didnt think of that situation where you cant see a private blog... and so cant remove from friends. However - you should be able to see most of their sidebar information - is that not the case?

9th Sep 2009, 11:23

Viv says:

Swamprose- this was from JC's original draft and is part of the above post.

We'd appreciate any suggestions you might have with regards to blog privacy and encourage you to post them in the comments.

9th Sep 2009, 13:34

Viv says:

Twiglet said
"Also jc, it's a bit annoying when someone with a private moblog adds one of my posts to their favourites when I can't even LOOK at their stuff. Or comments when I can't comment back."

If your post has no privacy settings that is your choice, people who do not have blogs can comment. Someone who has a private blog can use the site as any other user - as to adding a picture to their favourites - it's a compliment, might add to that user getting a HL - If something annoys 'you' it is not always worth making ripples - perhaps a comment on 'your' blog if 'you' feel that strongly, but I don't see it as an issue

9th Sep 2009, 23:12

bronxelf says:

Twiglet- That's not a bug. It's actually the way the system is designed to work. If you have a public moblog, that's your call- you've decided that anyone who chooses to can see it and comment on it. But it's not designed to be a tit-for-tat system. It's supposed to work on individual preference, so if someone would rather a different privacy setting, that in turn is *their* call.

It's no different than privacy settings on any place I can think of, really- they're not automatically reciprocal, and for good reason, security-wise.

9th Sep 2009, 23:42

Viv says:

never looked at things in so much detail before, but it would seem logical that a comment on a private site shouldn't be listed in latest, but they are...

9th Sep 2009, 23:57

bronxelf says:

I have always found that strange, myself. Because all it does is draw attention to the post by people who can't see it anyway.

9th Sep 2009, 23:58

Caine says:

Actually, for the privacy to function correctly, not only should comments not be listed on latest, but the thumbnail image from a private blog shouldn't land on the latest page to begin with.

AF, we're addressing the inability to de-friend and privacy right now. This will most likely not be a quick fix, but it's a problem which isn't being ignored. You used to be able to friend/de-friend from your user profile. That disappeared in the upgrade.

10th Sep 2009, 00:48

Caine says:

This isn't a fix, but if a white box was annoying me no end, I'd adblock it. At least that way you wouldn't see it anymore. :)

eta: Yeah, I know. There are a ton of bugs people haven't been aware of - the list is growing. I'm not happy with the de-friending business, and neither is anyone else that I know of.

10th Sep 2009, 00:57

Caine says:

Adblock? It's an extension for Firefox. You can use it to block anything you find annoying. Do you use Firefox?

10th Sep 2009, 01:00

Caine says:

IE sucks. ;D Once you have Firefox, you can find add ons here:

10th Sep 2009, 01:05

Caine says:

Hahahahaha! Thanks. :)

10th Sep 2009, 01:07

Caine says:

You'll have fun, there's a lot of flexibility in Firefox. The list of extensions and add ons is enormous, and you get lots of custom skins for it too.

10th Sep 2009, 01:16

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