I'm not widely known for writing documentation for the various bits'n'bobs I've written, so don't be surprised if this lot makes absolutely no sense at all. This was mostly written for the LJ prototype version, but the general gist applies to any other versions too.
Firstly, whilst most people will have heard of this via Live Journal, there isn't a compulsion to use LJ usernames. The only requirement for a username is that it's something other people will know you by. It could even be an email address, but it will be listed publically to anyone who has an account. In principle it was aimed at folk who are in some ways connected to IFIS (RHUL Sci-Fi & Fantasy Society), but mentioning it on LJ soon spread it far beyond that boundary.
Secondly, this is designed to be an anonymous love map and originally intended for a small social group I belong to. So don't expect to gain vast understanding about the relationships around you or be surprised if it suddenly vanishes cos it's got too busy.
On the graph each black
square circle represents a person. Inbetween each of
these squares circles are a number of lines - each of which represents a link.
There are (at time of writing) just 4 types of links.
- This appears as a green line on the graph. It doesn't mean that given the chance you'd jump the person - it's just that you find them attractive or would like to date them. Something along those lines.
- Is with
- Fairly obvious - you're in some kind of relationship whether it be that you're married, dating or whatever. These links appear as red on the graph.
- Was with
- Again fairly obvious - you were at some point in the past with this person in some fashion. This kind of link appears as a lovely cheerful black colour
- Has done stuff with
- These links are purple and are for people that you've done something with - kissing/screwing/whatever - but are not or have not been in a relationship with them.
Most of the links are mutually exclusive - or at least you don't really need to put them all down. It's fairly obvious that if you're with someone or have been with them, that you've done stuff with them. You also don't need to say you want to be with someone.
The links don't have any indication which direction they are going in - this is intentional. Where it's obvious that the link is mutual (ie two people are together) it will only draw one line. The exception is when the links are "Fancies" which it draws seperately.
The graph doesn't update automatically
This is due to how the data is stored. To prevent anyone from being able to look at the data and work out who is doing what with who, the data is encrypted in such a way that it requires the cooperation of both people involved in the link.
When you add (or remove) a link, it temporarily stores the link with your end encrypted, but the other end not. When the other person logs in, it encrypts their end too.
This means that when you see a new link/person appear on the graph, you've no idea whether this is the person you've recently added or someone entirely different.