This touches on some privacy concerns, as well.
Some tracking services (I might be wrong, it might be all of them) have separate privacy levels as: private / public / friends-only. So far, I’ve treated “friends-only” as “private”, because there’s no such thing as friends in CityStrides (which sounds much darker than I intended it to sound ).
I would need to figure out how to migrate all that along, without surprising anyone.
Another decision is whether this is a “friend” or “follow” kind of situation. If it’s just “follow”, then it would probably hinge on whether the ‘followee’ had a public account. If it’s a “friend” thing, then there would need to be approval on both ends - then the public/private aspect might not need to be worried about … or … there would need to be a way to be ‘friends’ without sharing certain info. So many edge cases.
And finally, one aspect of CityStrides that has been particularly painful is the entire public/private setup. There are so many people that don’t understand that their activities are public within their run tracking service, and then freak out when their stuff is public here. It’s so much more visible here than it is in the other sites, that it’s very jarring for them. I have keyboard shortcuts for template emails explaining all of this, I have to write it out so much!
This trouble has made me consider, recently, the idea of CityStrides being a private-by-default site. I’ve thought about flipping the switch so everyone is private and only visible to themselves unless they become some level of contributor in order to enable the ‘public’ feature.
There’s a piece of me that hates this idea. I really want this to be a free site that people can optionally contribute to for some particular features – including ‘public’ in that list feels a little heavy-handed, and it is a change that would affect existing users (something else I’ve been trying to avoid) … I’d rather make new features available under paid access than change existing features to paid.
I suppose part of this is also me trying to think of more ways to increase monthly contributors. I’d love to at least break even on the operating costs behind CityStrides.