Rohit's Realm

// / archive / 2006 / 01 / 05 / introducing-purity-control

January 05, 2006

Introducing Purity Control

As I mentioned in late November 2005, I've been working on a system to manage user accounts, restrict access to certain sections of my website, and integrate with various pieces of external software such as my gallery. Well, I've finished enough of it now that I can roll it out for beta testing and will thus be moving forward with restricting access to my gallery. Before I explain how you can gain access, I would like to discuss some of my reasons for no longer maintaining my Gallery as a publically available entity.

To understand my reasoning for making my Gallery private, you have to understand the context under which I initially started posting pictures on my web site to begin with. As I have said before, started out as an experiment -- it was simply the endeavor of a brand new college student interested in web development. When I started adding pictures to the site (I actually wrote my first gallery in PHP), the site used to get virtually no hits; it had no Google presence and the only way people knew to access it was by clicking on a link in my AIM profile. Obviously, things have changed since then -- now gets thousands of hits a month and is indexed heavily in Internet search engines (mostly for my writings, though). In short, it is no longer the experimental site it once was and accordingly, I can no longer maintain it as if it was.

With a high population of random visitors routinely visiting the site, privacy now becomes a major issue. I have no qualms about sharing pictures and thoughts with people I know and who know me, but do I really want random people to be able to see every single photo I would like my friends to see? Probably not. Do I really want to have to delete comment spam about poker and porn each week? Not exactly. Do I really want an employer fifteen years from now to Google me and find a picture of me with a faux hawk wearing eye shadow? Not at all. And because of those very reasons, I can no longer veritably justify keeping my web site entirely public, especially my Gallery.

At the same time, it's an inconvenience for people I do know to register and create yet another account, just for my site; indubitably I will lose viewership by restricting access. It's a major dilemma and it took me quite a while to make my decision, but ultimately, as I posted on Jack's site when he confronted the exact same dilemma, those who want to see my photos, comment on my blogs, or read my restricted blog entries won't be bothered by a few extra clicks to register; those who are too lazy or insouciant to be bothered to register probably don't deserve access to that content in the first place.

Now, onto the fun stuff -- gaining access to restricted content! To save you all some trouble, I spent the last few months working on a system that would allow you to create just one login/password to access everything on my web site. This is what you need to do:

  1. Request a Purity Control account. You might get a message about a SSL certificate if you click on that link -- just accept it. Create a login (i.e., 'rohit') and provide a valid e-mail address (don't worry -- I won't publish it anywhere so assholes won't spam you).
  2. After requesting an account, you will be e-mailed a randomly generated password and a link to follow. Go to that link, fill in your real name (and URL if you have one), and enter both the random password and your new password.
  3. I will receive an e-mail when you finish registering, and will approve (or deny) your account and e-mail you, after which you will have access to restricted content.

There are two caveats: first, this software is very new, so bugs are inevitable. If you run across anything that's broken, please please please let me know! Second, as an incentive to register, I will be making my Gallery entirely private this Sunday (2006-01-08), so without a login/password, you won't be able to see anything at all!

In any case, I apologize in advance for the hassle of registering, but that's the way it's going to be. I can't force you to register, but I would highly encourage you to do so -- if you need any more incentive, I just posted pictures from Winter Break and New Year's Eve, and you can't see them at all without an account ;) Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


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