Google+ was always going to have an uphill struggle with me. I dropped Wave pretty much right after trying it out, I barely ever used or looked at Buzz beyond re-buzzing a blog post or two and when it comes to Facebook, well not only do I not facebook but I simply do not ‘get’ facebook. So when Google announced they would be opening G+ for beta you would not place me at the front of the queue for an invite, would you? Wrong! I was actually quite excited by the idea of Google+; partly because it sounded interesting and partly because I’m a Google kind of chap (not for me an Apple products and I’ve long since moved over to Google Docs for my writing and blogging). So I got in as HeadBurro Antfarm, populated it and quickly found that I wasn’t using it – it was just another facebook to me – just another “I don’t get it” thing so I deleted the phone app and haven’t looked at in months.
Until about two weeks ago I decided I should give it another go. I think I read about ir being out of Beta, maybe that tickled my fancy or something but whatever it was I turned back to the phone app and found it wouldn’t work. How odd. I went to the PC and there I found my account had been suspended due to name violation. Of course I’d read about the hoohah in Beta but quickly lost interest as G+ became irrelevant to me. It would appear the issue had not been resolved and now I had fallen victim to Google’s odd Big Brother-esque ruling. At first I wasn’t fussed. Big deal, thunk I, I don’t use it and probably never will. But then I noticed that they had suspended my profile too. That’s when I got riled.
I put in an appeal and in a week or so got a reply stating the G-men had looked at my case and found I was indeed guilty of being HeadBurro Antfarm, a name my mother had not given me when first I popped into the world, therefore they would not reverse their decision. I was welcome, they told me, to put my real name in the main name section and relegate HeadBurro Antfarm to the nicknames section meaning that both would be searchable. Now , none of you – NONE – know me by my real name. Well, maybe 3 or 4 of the TSMGO crowd do, but outside that NONE of you and no one who reads this blog* knows my real name so searching for my real name would be meaningless. And the thought that some of you could find my real name when searching for my actual name (I consider my actual name to be HeadBurro Antfarm, just not my real, birth name) makes my lower back all sweaty. I think it’s fear. I mean, I’m sure you are all a lovely bunch, it’s just I’m not going to put that to the test anytime soon, m’kay.
Now, I’m an easy going kind of guy so thought “Well, if I have to I have to. No biggie. Just as long as I can protect my real name, what harm is there? After all, Google know full well who I am, where I live and what my credit card number is as I’ve bought storage from them. I’ll do it as long as they let me ‘private’ my real name.” So I replied and asked if that would be an option.
It’s taken a few days for the reply to come through and it seems I can’t. I can not hide my real name if I fill in the profile as they want. But they did provide me with a workaround should I wish to use it.
I could (wait for it, it’s a doozie) put my real first name & just my last name initial in the name field. Brilliant! Genius! Now instead of being a unique HeadBurro Antfarm (a name I have held online for 5 years now) I can be just one of millions of “David B”s in the world. That, dear readers, is the thinking that got the Apollo 13 crew back to Earth, that is! That’s the kind of idea that makes the Dragon’s Den Dragons wet their pants with excitement! That’s the kind of clear, brilliant solution I’m used to expecting from an amazing organisation like Google.
Oh no, wait. No it isn’t.
It’s fucking daft is what it is.
So I won’t be using Google+, although I suspect they couldn’t care less if I do or don’t. On top of that I’ll be deleting my Google Profiles. All of them. I mean, what is the fucking point? I use Gmail, the calender, the RSS reader & Docs. I don’t share or like or +1, I just use these things for what I need. I blog with WordPress & keep my photos on Flickr. I imagine from Google’s point of view I’m a nothing to them.
* I don’t count my missus. she never reads this drivel.