This thread is, in essence, a response to Rob_E's latest website changes. His notification thread can be read here. I'd like to preface this post by stating that I understand: The current additions may only be temporary. There may be more additions to come. Any changes may be reversed. Currently removed features may return. My issue, worry - call it what you will - I have is not regarding any specific changes to this website, but rather the direction certain changes may carry LPSG. (On a personal note, so far there are some changes that I enjoy, and some that I do not.) For those who aren't necessarily internet savvy, 'Web 2.0' (link to Wikipedia article) in layman's terms, is basically a platform on which many sites, businesses, and the like are basing themselves and utilising the unique information sharing and interactive features of the internet. Websites like craigslist, wikipedia, myspace, ebay, youtube, etc. My concern as that LPSG could become to similar to such networking sites as myspace and facebook, with the introduction of blogs, social groups, 'visitor messages', friends lists, the ability to change colours schemes & borders of our profiles, and possibly other features I may not have seen yet. (I understand that blogs were actually here way before I became a member, so that may be a conflicted issue. Friends lists were always present, but as a marker for letting a member know when another member was online, rather than something that was publicly viewable and showing on your profile.) The main reason for my concern over these changes is the anonymity inherent to this site, and the consequent redundancy of such features. To me, there are generally three types of members on LPSG: Firstly, members whom are not, for whatever reason, particularly concerned about their privacy and the use of this website. They may choose to make their name, contact details such as email or instant messenger usernames, don't conceal their use of other sites such as myspace, facebook, weblogs, other forums. Secondly, and probably what the majority of members fall into, is those who are strategic in who they do and don't give personal details to, and what they do and don't reveal on the main message boards. Members who will post about personal experiences, upload photographs to the gallery, but only give out real names, emails and such after becoming friends with another member. Finally, members who wish to remain completely anonymous. Those who do not upload pictures, reveal names, location age or even gender in some cases. People who use the site to get precisely what they want from it and no more. Also integral to this group, would be members who, for occupational or religious reasons, cannot safely reveal much about themselves. I'd be confident is saying that >90% of active LPSG members fit into one of these three membership definitions. So why are these communal/networking features redundant to LPSG? Members of the first group most likely already have a profile on a networking site which, quite frankly, will do a much better 'job' at it than LPSG, because that's precisely what those sites are dedicated to, and created for. Their lack of withholding information about themselves supersedes the need for networking groups, social groups and friend circles. Members of the second group will most likely not make any, or very limited, use of these features. Revealing personal details only to those whom they trust, means that public details, records, interests, groups etc. will not appeal to them. The ones whom they would socialise and connect with would already have other means of personal contact. The ones who don't have those means don't have them due to the deliberate omissions of said member would still not be given such means and so nothing would be changed in that regard. Members of the third group will most likely continue to stay anonymous. Unless someone is looking for new peers, they likely won't accept any. These members simply won't use these features and, as a byproduct, will no longer be able to enjoy all avenues that this site has to offer - due to redundant additional avenues, not specific, deliberate interests. In all cases, I simply don't see the purpose or benefit of changing fundamental features of LPSG to pander to audience of which the majority demographic is not even old enough to legally use this website. The simple commentary of 'if you don't like it, don't use it' could be offered, but if the vast projected majority won't use most of these features then the inclusion of them is what should be halted, not any given person's use of this website. Moreover, increased bandwidth usage, increased server load and slower response times (something which LPSG has had huge problems with in the past) caused by largely unused sections of LPSG may actually be detrimental to the segments of the site which are popular, important and often used. There are numerous, better, dedicated websites for finding hook-ups ad relationships. There are numerous, better, dedicated websites for social networking. There are numerous, better, dedicated websites for blogging and information sharing. As far as I know, there is really only one LPSG and I, among many others, would like it to stay that way. Conformation of LPSG is something that is not only completely unnecessary, but (it seems to me) largely unwanted. I'm interested in the thoughts and opinions of others on this matter, both old and new members alike. Is this potential direction for LPSG to take a good or bad thing? What are the possible benefits/drawbacks? Is there anything I have overlooked or not thought about in my own opinion? Post away. EDIT: I have just seen this post a few minutes ago from Rob_E in the aforementioned thread. Are my fears confirmed?