Just started showing others my wish list this year and with my husband it's the only way to go!! Thinking next year/birthday I'll toss the list to the parents also - my mom frets about presents - she hates giving money. Otherwise I always kept my list private and just used it to remember things I wanted but wasn't getting around to purchasing at the time.
I'm still personally struggling with the thought of actually putting all of the things I want on a list, and showing it to my PARENTS. The only reason I managed to send them any kind of list at all in the first place is that I know that whether or not I ask for things, they will purchase Christmas gifts for me anyway.
I think its fine and dandy, its not like anyone is forced to go look at it, but if someone would really like to support or express their admiration, then its nice to have a selection of items and and ideas that the person would actually like. I did in my own journal, along with folk that I would love to see supported with commissions.