Public Posts that Expire
I think that having a feature that allows your public posts to expire would be very beneficial for Diaspora.
I've loved the concept of aspects as soon as I heard about them. But after using them for awhile, I became aware that they only took care of part of the problem. Posting publicly is problematic, because the whole internet can see it, and it's stored indefinitely. The way I see it, you have two options:
- Use your real name, and never post anything controversial in public. (BO-RING)
- Use a pseudonym, and post whatever you want. (But your friends can't find you...and if they're doing the same thing, you might not be able to find them. This, as I see it, negates one of the huge benefits of using a social network in the first place: finding people you know, but have lost contact with.)
Lately, I've been doing a little reading about Snapchat. I think that "spoilage" is a very interesting concept. Basically, it's the concept of having posts that "spoil" and are deleted after a certain period of time. I think that having this as an option for Diaspora's public posts could accomplish a couple of things:
*It would prevent the likelihood that a controversial post would come back to haunt you in (for example) a job interview. Of course, you could have settings for a post to expire never, or archive favorite posts so that only you could read them, or to turn off the feature entirely.
*By making posts temporary, you can allow users to do things they couldn't do before: like save images on your server. The disk space problem becomes much less of a big deal when the image will get deleted after a period of time (look at 4chan, for example).