Well, yes, they did. Apparently, the nick-name I’ve been online with for 12 years doesn’t cut it. No matter I put it in pee-goes – “ ”, that is – with my full private name cosily wrapper around it. No matter I’ve been a beta tester with Google Mail in the past, with the exact same name, and have been invited to beta-test Google+ with my nick, too.
No matter hardly anybody who’s heard of me via Facebook, Twitter, various blog comments, too many forums to count, my very own web site, my publications both in print and on the wobble will ever find me without that nick-name in quotes. Possibly neither of my co-workers of the past 10 years. Or, at least, recognise me immediately, thus perhaps adding me without a second thought. Thus adding to Google’s pool of relevant information, rather than irrelevant spam.
I’m told the real-name policy is meant to reduce spam risks. I love the irony.
So I can only assume Google+ is not about being social, at least not on the web. Google apparently wants to know everything about your meat, not what you’re known for on the wobble. Using many of Google’s offerings from day one (sometimes, day -42)? Having paid for software with this very Google account, using Google Checkout? No matter, we don’t want the full picture, we just want to nail your ass in real-life.
But hey, great. I was into the Google deal, was prepared to share my personal info for great services in exchange. Nothing comes for free, and I accepted to have Google know shitloads about me in exchange for what they had to offer. If they don’t want the data pertinent to my actual life, I guess I’m off scott-free. They now have a Google+ profile no longer directly linked to anything relevant I did online, published or shared online, not even a nick-name that has been properly registered for real-world use. Make that two nick-names. That’s two levels of profiling they’ve just dropped because the spelling looked funny to them. Two levels of relevant metainformation they could have sold to companies, or used in-house.
Or, at least, they just ruined any incentive for me to use their product, thus
providing paying for with more information. After all, it used to be quid pro quo, no? My info for using your services. Having a social service that still wants to know everything about me (they asked for a scan of my ID, plus cell phone number) while making it impossible for acquaintances to hook up with me … Well.
The deal’s slightly off when a company that makes money off online profiles bans online personas.