I’m a real big supporter of anonymity. I don’t like the idea of fear being a reason for someone to not speak the truth. It’s also an unfair standard. An ex-muslim can’t be public about being an atheist under his real name without risking his life, while I, a white privileged male of roman catholic upbringing can profess it safely. Our Muslim friend is worried about his life. I’m worried bout if one of my Grandmas will cry. It is a privilege for me to be able to safely identify my self publicly. As such, I have a lot of sympathy for my friends who are way less comfortable with their identity. I wanna be able to socially network with them! But then Eric Schmidt said Google+ was designed primarily as a “Identity Service”. What the hell! What does any non-celebrity need an Identity Service for? On the other hand, how would Google benefit from an identity service? A lot of ways. I was also initially miffed that I couldn’t use the name “Michael ‘Kayin’ O’Reilly”. It’s my facebook name (No, don’t bother adding me, it’s fo’ private. I’m @kayinnasaki on twitter if you want to interact with me). A lot of people don’t know my name is “Michael O’Reilly” and these people are still my friends. On facebook I try and make things easy on people (don’t help that my dad is also Michael O’Reilly and we’re both fat, bearded, balding men with similar faces). So I said “Fuck it”. I don’t use this service a lot, I’m just going to delete it. I figure if the services policies are offensive to me, and if I’m not using it, I shouldn’t support it. No “fight the power” here. If Google+ becomes the be all and end all of social networking, I’d go back out of necessity, but until then? I have no reason to support the damn thing. When I deleted it, Google asked me why. I doubt it’ll be read, just scanned for keywords…. so I decided to post my letter here so my time wouldn’t be wasted.
You’re naming rules. Pure and simple. No normal human needs an “identity service”. If thats what your service actually is, then it is a service for you, google, and not for the users.
I’m generally free with my information, but I can’t use the same information that I use everywhere, from from facebook to my wikipedia entry ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_wanna_be_the_guy )? It all says the same thing —
MICHAEL “KAYIN” O’REILLY
Sometimes it says “Mike”, but whatever. You guys have no say in how I identify my self and the fact I have to try and prove it to you is insulting. I don’t even have much to protect. I want to share MORE of my identity. If I could actively display the “Nickname” Field, maybe we’d have something. While my name is freely available on the internet, most people DO NOT know me by it. These are people I would like to find me, and you’re hurting their efforts.
It goes farther than that — this disgusts me because of other people. None of my friends who have REASONS to hide their identity would be able to use this service. As such, I have an active desire for Google+ to fail. If Google+ becomes to premiere social networking service, they will be left out. As shitty as it is, I’d rather just use facebook with it’s loose identity policies, lest my I be split between two difference services to handle just a small group of friends. How is this a service for me again? I’m not going to give you my personal information unless you give me something meaningful in return.
So what can you do? Get rid of the identity requirement. Even if people have to be second class citizens in an unidentified state, LET THEM DO IT, because I want to be able to interact with them. If I can’t, then your service is inferior to any other service I use right now. Also let me display my name the way I want to the people who want to see it that way and let me do the opposite. I know many people by their handles and not their real name, If I could see everyone’s nickname in their name field, I’d actually have less of a hard time identifying them.
This highly disappoints me, because facebook has it’s own problems, and google+ seemed like a decent twitter alternative, where I could actually SAY a lot more.