In all fairness I was offered the option to use my real name, as in the name I use in real life. 85 nice folks had added me to their “circles” and I will miss them.
Here’s my farewell post:
Well, Google has informed me I have to use a real name. The policy is not for me, so goodbye friends. I have enjoyed your company for awhile.
Here’s what Google+ wrote to Astro Gremlin:
After reviewing your profile, we determined that the name you entered doesn’t comply with our Names Policy. Please edit the name on your profile and submit an appeal or additional information, if you have not done so already.
The Names Policy requires that you use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life in your profile. Nicknames, maiden names, and so on, should be entered in the Other Names section of the profile. Profiles are currently limited to individuals; we will be launching a profile for businesses and other entities later this year.
If you do not edit your name to comply with the Names Policy by August 20, 2011, your profile will be suspended: you will not be able to make full use of Google services that require an active profile, such as Google+, Buzz, Reader and Picasa. This will not prevent you from using other Google services, like Gmail.
We understand that Google+ and it’s Names Policy may not be for everyone at this time. We would hate to see you go, but if you choose to leave, make a copy of your Google+ data first. Then, click here to leave Google+.
Unfortunately, not all of us are able to participate publicly as our real-world selves. My over-the-top nom de plume and cartoon avatar telegraph pretty clearly that I’m not trying to impersonate a real person. When my on-line buddy Harrison Li asked in blog comments here why I use a cartoon space alien picture, my reply sums up my situation:
“Harrison, this is a real picture of me! Seriously, it’s nothing sinister but I try to keep separate my real life, where I have professional visibility and obligations, and my web life, where I share my most real feelings. When Astro Gremlin says he likes you, it comes from the heart!”
I think Google+ is great and wish there were a way for them to check that I’m not up to anything sinister and merely want to keep my real professional persona private. But if my leaving is required to improve the Google+ experiment then I do so with sad enthusiasm. I’m still experimenting with my blog and understand that some experiments, such as allowing unmoderated comments by humans, can be overrun by human spammers. Sigh.
So my sincere best to the Google+ team and their efforts to make something new and good. Let the experimentation continue! AstroGremlin, for now, my means of online existence, will continue to write his reviews, ideas, and articles intended to be helpful.
If you are using Google+ make sure to use a real name! Check out my (somewhat dated and now funny looking) article on how to add a Google + button.