So it was reported recently that web search behemoth Google has reversed itself on it’s policy of requiring “wallet names” and face photos on all Plus accounts. Color me not surprised. I’ve previously written numerous times about my dislike for Plus. And while I didn’t blog about it, I’m pretty sure that I did publicize on Facebook when I summarily quit Google Plus, in solidarity with some friends from Second Life whose avatar accounts on G+ were summarily removed by Google a few months back.
From my own long years of experience in blogs, forums and other online communities I know that while credibility and being able to believe in the people you deal with online are very important, I also know that knowing their real name, date of birth and street address are not real big factors in figuring out whom is trustworthy online. My friend Non Pop Squidoo for example is a great source for info about a certain kind of music and sometimes makes great contributions to discussions. That I don’t know her “wallet name” is totally irrelevant to that. As it happens after many years I do know cardiogirl‘s real name. But I don’t even remember it offhand as I write this post– our has been a blogged based relationship– we see each other on blogs and don’t really connect much on Facebook or other sites.
Google has a long history of making products that are great technically but often suck socially. My friends who are rah rah rah’ing about G+ these last six months or so are not still using Google Buzz or any of the big G’s other failed social apps. And it is possible that G+ will grow to a point of becoming so ubiquitous as that even curmudgeons like me will be forced to use it. In my considered opinion, that day remains far in the future.