Google–Progress on + (Still a LONG way from consumer-friendly)

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.

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11 comments on “Google–Progress on + (Still a LONG way from consumer-friendly)

  1. I’ve gotta agree. I have the account, use it minimally, which means I use it only for an EAV mission – maybe. To me, it’s clunky and looks like a mess. I don’t care so much what name appears on someone’s legal ID as I do what they have to contribute. I think removing that level of anonymity only produces a ground for canned PC responses to everything because why take a chance of ticking someone off when Google makes it so easy for them to find you almost literally everywhere you are on and off the web? This is another one of those things I’m just waiting to see how they screw it up. Nice post, it strikes a chord with me.

  2. ” 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.”

    You nailed it, Alan. I understand their concerns about spammers but even some cheap one-dollar an hour operatives from a neighboring Asian country that I wouldn’t name know how to game the system and use western-sounding names. You just have to trust your instincts and it’s not like these people aren’t obvious enough — they might as well have their foreheads branded with the word ‘spammer’ with the tons of trash they’re trying to push on people. Now the big G has thrown caution out of the window, let’s see what happens next.

    • well, honestly Emmanuel, I don’t believe that Google has in fact “thrown caution out the window”. As they began integrating businesses into the service they have realized that their policy was unworkable. But I don’t believe they are in any way convinced they were wrong about the “wallet name policy”. But as I’ve said, I’m a curmudgeon and I don’t believe that G+ will ultimately be any more successful than Buzz was.

  3. I like the notion of knowing who one is connecting with on G+ and wish it were the case on other channels. I realise it’s easy for people to concoct fictitious personas complete with fake photos, etc., and several times encounters with people like that have been very negative experiences, especially as relationships attempted to migrate from Twitter to Facebook.

    G+ is my least-used SM network right now, but I feel it has the greatest potential.

    Some friends from Twitter abandoned it completely for G+, so now it’s the only place I see them 😦

    Thanks for the mission. Best of luck!

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