Top Right: How do I become Invisible? Busy? What's all this about felines?
Normally, when you log in, your name will appear listed in to top bar. The advantage of this is that people are likely to strike up conversations with you. The disadvantage of this is that people are likely to strike up conversations with you!
Naturally, everyone wants to be talked to, and there is a lot to gain from the serendipity of chatting to people at random. But the problems with real-time conversations, especially if your category is outnumbered, is that there is a lot of pressure. Some people receive more messages than they can respond to, and are prevented from writing fewer, longer messages to the people in whom they are most interested, or having the time to search the profiles properly. Essentially, it turns the site from 'E-mail-like' to 'Instant Messaging'. As a result, we decided to make this customisable for each user: you can change the settings from the 'visibility' option in the left-hand menu. There was a lengthy discussion about this, which you can read more about here.
Why are we talking about Cats? Well, we needed a name to describe people who are present, but move around silently and unobserved. This is a perfect description of a feline! We did consider "ghosts", but they aren't as cute. And, apologies to dogs, but wonderful though dogs are, subtlety is not their strong point.
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