Feature Added: Blacklists

Greetings everybody,

We have decided to release a new feature to all of our Gold Members today!

This is a feature we presented on February 12, 2009 as an upcoming new feature of ChristianBlog.Com!

Blacklist:

The feature is "Blacklisting", which as defined by Wikipedia as:

wikipedia:
A blacklist (or black list) is a list or register of persons who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition.

Here at ChristianBlog.Com the blacklist will make it so that people that you choose to blacklist will have not any of their published content displayed on the ChristianBlog.Com home page.

In other words: When you add somebody to your blacklist any blog, prayer request, praise report, gallery entry, etcetera will never show up (for you) on the home page ChristianBlog.Com - once you have logged into ChristianBlog.Com.

An Example:

Let us say for example: I had gotten to a place where I so loathed the member greybear that I just had no desire to every see anything he had to say.

(personal note: greybear happens to be my longest and closest friend here at ChristianBlog.Com, so please do not think I loath him... I just needed somebody to use as an example and knew he would understand)

(personal note #2: in three years of running/owning ChristianBlog.Com I have never once loathed somebody nor had a desire to place anybody in a blacklist... and hopefully none of you do either, but I do realize the situation might arise and thus I created this feature for that exact situation.)

So, what I would do is go into my Blacklist Management page, and add greybear to my blacklist.

From then on anytime I visit my home page of ChristianBlog.Com NOTHING posted by Greybear would ever be displayed to me.

Everybody else would continue to see everything greybear posted (unless they too - gasp - added greybear to their blacklist).

Privacy:

Blacklists are 100-percent private!

Anybody that you might add to your blacklist will have NO IDEA that you have added them to your blacklist.

Preview:

Here is a basic screenshot of what the interface looks like:

As you can see it is about as simple and as basic as is necessary.

Implementation:

At this time the Blacklist feature is available only to Gold Members.

As is typical of new features ChristianBlog.Com releases new features to the community in this order: Gold Members -> Premier Members - Free Members

We do so for two reasons: (1) To provide those who support ChristianBlog.Com the most to have "first chance" to try out new features! Our way of saying 'thank you' to them. (2) Because our group of Gold Members is rather small - and when rolling out new features it is better to just have a few people try it out and make sure it is working, rather than tens of thousand of people trying it out and discovering something major is wrong/bad.

After we hear back from our Gold Members that it is working as expected (does not have any major bugs and such) we will roll it out for our Premier Members.

At this time I have no plans to roll this feature out to those who are not Gold or Premier Members. I very much consider this one of the "exclusive" features of ChristianBlog.Com that justifies being a supporting members of ChristianBlog.Com in order to have access too.

Blacklist Access:

For those who are Gold Members you can now access the new Blacklist feature within your "Friends/Contacts" section of the website (top navigation).

Therein will be a new link/option entitled "Blacklist". Simply click that link to manage your blacklist!

Near Future:

Once we get this featured rolled out to the Premier Members and we hear back from them that it is working without problems, I will begin to put into place the blacklist throughout the rest of the website.

Right now the blacklist works only on the (logged in) "home page" of ChristianBlog.Com, but in the future it will be in place throughout most of the website.

The only thing I have not 100% decided upon yet is whether to blacklist "Blog Comments".

The thing that makes me hemhaw about not blacklisting Blog Comments is that it could ('probably will' more than 'theoretically will') cause a disruption in the "flow" of how a blog and it's comments read.

It could make it rather difficult to read through a long blog if half a dozen or more of the blog comments are not being displayed because you choose to blacklist a bunch of people who were writing in the given blog. (make sense?)

So, I'm still unsure of whether to do that or not, so for those of you with access to it, and who give it a try, please share your thoughts. The feedback I get from all of you who comment on this will probably play a significant role in whether it does get implemented or not.

In Closing:

A couple years ago greybear and I were talking about the future of ChristianBlog.Com and I mentioned a few things to him about features that I would never add to ChristianBlog.Com - including things such as: the ability to customize the design, audio/videos that automatically started, blogs ratings, and so on. One of the things I mentioned did happen to be a 'blacklist' - and the reason I included the blacklist in the feature was because I thought the day would never come when two people would get so totally upset at each other that they would be so.... well... mad... that they would just refuse to work things out. Of course I was naive and I tend to see things with rose colored glasses, so it was just one of those things I could never see me adding to ChristianBlog.Com.

That said, I am now publicly apologizing to greybear for going back on my word about never adding a blacklist here at ChristianBlog.Com. As you well know GreyBear, times have changed, laws have changed, and ChristianBlog.Com is not immune for the types of things we hear all to often happen at websites like myspace, facebook and so forth. Thankfully it has never happened, and by the grace of God it never will. But I think we both knew the day would come when ChristianBlog.Com would begin to have to put features into place to protect people from other people - or people from themselves lol. So, I do apologize brother for me going back on my word about this.

To the global ChristianBlog.Com Community... it would be my sincere hope that none of you would ever find the need to use a blacklist. That said, I do understand that people do not always see eye-to-eye. I do understand that somebody within the family of Christ have such totally opposite beliefs that something like a blacklist is necessary to help you from being at odds with each other. It is in these situations that I would hope this blacklist would be used. Not out of spite or anger, but out of a need to guard yourself from feeling or having anger or hated towards a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

Thank you,
John B. Abela
Founder/Owner, ChristianBlog.Com