Not my community: thoughts on google+

I was excited about google+ while google’s previous forays into social media where unsuccessful to say the least, hey google+ had been worked on for a long time, and some early adopters where raving about it’s smoothness, and as an old live journal user I was happy to see another program doing what lj called friend groups and google is calling circles, allowing users to post things that there workmates don’t see, or organizing a surprise party for their girlfriend while keeping it a surprise. Having played a little with the tech, I like google+ the problem is that google+ doesn’t like me.

Then there was the gender must be public stuff, not good but I chalked it up to learning experiences, hey that is what beta testing is for right?

There was the legal name requirement, but hey Cheshire bitten has had a Facebook for years, to spite it not, and I am sure this is a shock to all of you, being the name on my drivers licences.

Then there was Skud, a friend of mine who hasn’t been having a good run lately. I’m sure Skud has a legal name, but I cant think of anyone outside of work pseudonyms who is more widely know by a non legal name.

If she can’t get her name recognized, what hope do I have? I currently have a google+ account sitting unused because its linked to my legal name, and I cant be out as a mentally ill, kinky feminist genderqueer under my real name, because I need a job, and those are not things I am willing to link to my name.

Google+ is a community, all social networks are, but its not a community that wants me, because it makes me and my friends unsafe. so google is making a community for those who don’t have anything to fear, those who have no hobbies or identities which would make it hard to for them to work or live and whose legal identities totally line up with their legal ones, that is pretty much everyone I know so even if I decide to link my social presence to my real name, who the hell would I talk to?
Google can make the decision that they don’t need my eyeballs, but I wonder if they know they are making this decision or if they assume I can and will go by my legal name.

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2 Responses to Not my community: thoughts on google+

  1. David Gerard says:

    By multiple reports from staff and ex-staff, the pseudonym question has been debated internally at Google to a sufficient extent that we can actually say with reasonable certainty:

    They do know, and they really really don’t care. Actual quote: “Look, the product is what it is.”

    You are just not a profitable demographic.

  2. myfreeweb says:

    Yeah, it’s stupid, but Google wants you to share your kinky feminist stuff with a circle of feminists and your boss won’t see it.

    Sounds great? Not from Google. They suck at keeping things private.

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