Monday, 1 August 2011

Pseudonyms update

+Bradley Horowitz talks about the whole pseudonym thing.
Still can't get past the thing that Google does not want google+ to be the sort of place where people are anonymous or known by silly names. Like it detracts from the tone of the place I guess.

I can see how having people called "God" about can do that. However, not all pseudonyms are silly. Obvious pseudonyms are better (more honest) than plausible ones - which is what the policy basically asks for.

By restricting to real names, Google+ could never become a force for social and political change as we have seen with facebook for fear that some extremest opponent may track you down. Could never become a place for robust mature conversation. Just the sort of polite non-discussions you get at office parties or political fundraisers. Is that really the idea?

I maintain that the no-fake-names policy will keep good people away while doing nothing to discourage the bad ones.

Since other fields can be used to store and display aliases - why not do it the other way around: allow the profile name to be anything non-silly, and put the real names in other fields?

This could even be expanded to allow different identities in different circles - eg. someone could be Benny to family, Benjamin to "business colleagues", and Mr Hill to "current students". (And Honey-buns to lovers.)

Wouldn't you love this?

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