Usually I am not one to ask for much when it comes to someone else’s system, but I am seeing in my friends dialog that there is a need for pages. Huddles are good, but if you have ever taught on line for even so much as three seconds, you know how hard it is to coordinate a group of people across multiple time zones. Pages are a way to share cool stuff with a limited number of people in a place that will not show up on your friend stream. Just about every social system has it, and if Google Plus is going to appeal to the don’t want it in my friend stream but do want to talk about it needs to start coming up with pages yesterday.
With all the things we share, there are some things that we want to share with a very select audience with minimal chances of being caught out on it. Some of my pictures are awesome, but not PG, and while I do post those kinds of pictures in other places, it would be cool to post them on a page to highlight that I do certain kinds of work that might not be fit for my friend stream. Seriously, I don’t want to see adult pictures in my friend stream, and I doubt that many people want to either because we use these systems at work.
Then there is the whole identity issue, if you look at places like FetLife (very much so not safe for work if you go there), and even some of the more interesting places on Facebook that crop up now and then, many people assume an identity. No one wants to know that the K-12 teacher that has your kids in class is a closet BDSM fan, talk about losing your job overnight. The reality is that people do want to share aspects of their lives, and sometimes you really want to do that under a pseudonym.
Pages and pseudonyms are very important not just to keeping something’s out of the public eye, but allow you to interact with a select and carefully screened group of people who share a particular interest. I love a lot of stuff about Google Plus, but to seriously start taking some of the issues of anonymity and carefully shared/curated circles so that people can share some of the more interesting aspects of their lives with people who share those desires.
That was one of the many things that made FriendFeed so simply awesome before it was sucked into Facebook. The idea of private asynchronous spaces for people to share the things they really wanted to share. We had many TMI (Too Much Information) zones that were really interesting to interact with. A place to bitch about management, the things we did like that are not fit for public consumption, or things we do not want generally associated with our true names.
For Google Plus to offer both pages, aliases/pseudonyms would go a long way to furthering the adoption of what we do want to share in a way that we can afford to share it asynchronously.
Sometimes, a little alias and asynchronous sharing can go a long way to building and supporting communities that might not be 100% in line with the pap that can be our public personalities. There are a lot of people asking for this, if possible, we need to step this up and get this enhancement on board.
- “On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+” (excellent Nym Wars rant) (boingboing.net)
- 5 Reasons Google+’s Name Policy Fails (informationweek.com)
- Three simple steps to setting Google+ straight (zdnet.com)
- Why I’m not on Google Plus (antipope.org)
- How Google could dig itself out of the Google+ real-name hole (gigaom.com)
- Google+ now verifying accounts of the famous (digitaltrends.com)
- Your Social Network Identity: Real vs Pseudonym (trak.in)
- Google+ no friendlier to role-players than Facebook (preternaturalpost.com)
(Cross-posted @ Techwag)