My livejournal friends list = my trusted people list.
It is not the same as the list of livejournal users I know in real life (which is significantly longer).
It is also not the same as my list of watched journals. I don't read all of the journals on my friends list (by a long way), and I regularly read the journals of several people that I don't feel I know well enough to add to my trusted people list. I've been waiting for lj to separate out "trusted people" and "watched journals" since forever. They never seem to get round to it.
Anyone is welcome to read my journal and/or add me as a friend. I will only add you in return if I know you well enough to trust with my secrets.
Privacy of friends-locked entries:
I make friends-locked posts, including custom filters. These posts are locked for varying reasons. I don't want to find anyone second-guessing the reasons why I have locked a post.
I believe that partners are not an extension of your self, they are whole people by themselves. (That is why I hate the expression "other half" - I am NOT half a person without my partner there). If I make a friends-locked post and your partner/s is/are not on my list, I expect you to not discuss the post with them. There are three exceptions to this:
1. Discussing the general details of my post without specifics. In other words, you tell them that one of your lj friends said (whatever) without identifying me to them.
2. if the partner is someone I don't know and am unlikely to meet, you can tell them that I'm having a bad time.
3. the handful of friends who have blanket permission to tell their partners what I write. At the moment these are nitoda, a_musing_amazon & D; skibbley & E; rmjwell / epi_lj & RA. Also Ian Hagemann would be on my friends list if he used livejournal, so feel free to treat him as able to see ordinary friends-locked posts.
Apart from these exceptions, anyone who tells their partner or other friends something PRIVATE that I've written on lj will find themselves getting dropped from my friends list pretty damn sharpish.
As some people don't like to "keep secrets from" their partner/s, on livejournal, I try to give people the choice. If I post something that is highly sensitive or to a custom group, I try to remember to TELL people, by using an lj-cut tag that says something like "don't click on this unless you can keep it confidential", or with a [filter] tag in the subject line.
One way to clarify whether it's ok to discuss a post with your partner or other friend is to ask them whether they can see postid "whatever.html", or a post from me entitled "whatever" . If they can, you can talk about it. If they can't, then don't.
 This sounds rather weird, but it's the only convenient way I can think of to use the power of livejournal to check whether a post is visible to your partner when they're logged in as themselves. And it's not as if postids contain any identifying information.
If a post of mine is public, it's public for a reason.
Public posts may be freely linked to. I would prefer it if you didn't drop them into places where people might come rushing into my journal to slag me off (lj_drama, and the like), but I can't enforce that. I trust your goodwill. You don't have to tell me that you're linking to a post of mine, but if you particularly appreciate something I've written, I'd like to know.
Note that sometimes I make intensely personal posts public for a reason - especially if I'm talking about depression, or another medical problem. I like to talk openly about these things wherever possible so that other people experiencing problems can find my posts, and know they're not alone. The point about not dropping the links into hostile territory becomes doubly important.
Last edited: 2008-02-08.