* It's silly to force users to have separate accounts for
Google services because most users would prefer to have
Gmail, Docs/Drive, YouTube, Calendar, and so on under the
* Users who want to have separate public identities will
create pseudonymous "Pages" for each of their identities.
These pages will still be owned by the same account, so
the user only has to log in once.
* Users who are strongly opposed to a unified Google account
are a sufficiently small population that it is acceptable
to inconvenience them if doing so improves the experience
of every other user.
Now the term "Google+" has become so strongly connected with the Google+ social network (and its infamous names policy) that any attempt to expand the Google+ account system is met with fear and outrage. I don't think upper management expected this or understands why the community reacted thus, just as they didn't expect or understand why requiring a Firstname Lastname format on the Internet was problematic.
I don't believe Google+ management is malicious, but they do seem woefully unaware of how internet-native communities behave.
Doing so where the user had clearly indicated they didn't wish that to happen was even worse.
Forcing users to not be able to independently toggle whether or not services were enabled for an account is another. I neither want my pseudonymous G+ account ("Edward Morbius") nor my personal Gmail account(s) (unspecified) to have any association with YouTube. I simply cannot independently disable the latter, and my data leaks across the services.
I've consequently been experimenting with setting up hostfile blocks of various Google services. I'm in a weaning-off phase right now (I'm trying to unwind my Google presence rather than just nuke it entirely in one go), and I can assure you it's painful. A proxy front-end to YouTube would be helpful. I already have been making extensive use of youtube-dl largely because the UX sucks vastly less than running YouTube through a browser (and in some related side commentary I've seen references that other folks offering streaming vs. downloaded video saw 4x the downloads than streams, for, I suspect, similar reasons).
So, the fact is that Google outed me (fortunately, a pseudonymous profile), despite my clearly indicating repeatedly "no" (and documenting some of those "no's" in earlier G+ posts. I'd even brought this up on a post of Yonatan Zunger's, and, despite his really well-inentioned "Edward Morbius Hrm? If you want to keep the names separate, why not simply click on that option?" response (and I've really got no reasons to doubt his sincerity), 1) the option isn't presented, 2) the workflow I'd think I'd go through doesn't accomplish what I'd expect, and 3) I've reached the stage of a) having lost my trust in the company to respect my privacy wishes and settings in future and b) not wanting to continue jumping through hoops to fix what they broke in the first place.
I don't know what the hell's going on with Google's management team, but something's badly broken. And I do agree with you that they utterly fail to understand the social aspects of communities.
> I neither want my pseudonymous G+ account ("Edward Morbius") nor my personal Gmail account(s) (unspecified) to have any association with YouTube.
I disagree: in principle, making services and identities orthogonal is clearly the right thing to do. Having (for example) three different, unlinked identities, any of which can use or not use GMail, G+ or YouTube at the user's discretion, is clearly preferable to having a YouTube account, a G+ account, and a GMail account. If pseudonymous identity A doesn't want to use YouTube, then "don't do that, then". If the user later decides that identity A should post a video to YouTube after all, he/she can just do so. Under the old system, that would require the user to either give away the connection between (say) the G+ account and the YouTube account, or to create a fourth account - a second YouTube account - for identity A to use on YouTube.
The problem is that in practise Google is making a bags of the transition to the new model (or what they're telling jmillikin the new model is) - whether through incompetence, or not caring enough, or because they're duplicitous in claiming that they really want to support multiple (externally-facing) identities per Google user.
If they wanted to offer the option of merging existing accounts for which there was an underlying connection, that would also be fine. Though I'd really prefer they not do it with interstitials.
Merging identities in express violation of stated intent, or simply not offering the option to decline, is simply wrong, and will inevitably turn into a major PR disaster, as this is.
I use Firefox for the rest of my browsing, signed out of these services, and Chrome for webdev.
The main problem I have with it is that it lags behind Chrome (currently two versions).
Since I only browse safe sites, I'm not too worried (almost only Gmail, I barely use the other two).
I'd been remaining logged into Google pseudonymously much of the time in an incognito Chrome session. I'd occasionally hop onto my other Google accounts in another Chrome session, though by preference I'd stay logged out.
Among the other benefits: simply not having to put up with the blasted Notifications icon every time I'm on a Google property.
In hindsight what I really meant to ask was this:
Why is Google Plus (the social network) worth burning every other Google service and product to the ground in an attempt to drive adoption? Is Google really that scared of Facebook?
The fact that this post turned into a YouTube complaint fest highlights the bad decisions being made, but I am more interested in the big picture.
I think this is a massive exaggeration. The people who don't care about linking their accounts (like me) aren't filling up the front page of HN with "The google plus thing is fine I guess" stories. I don't care if they ask for my phone number, I've got an Android phone so the data is all already there, and I like the security of having it text me to check it's actually me signing in from some new computer.
I genuinely find the level of complaints embarrassing. I've seen someone call being asked to create a G+ account "sickening". Sickening. What an astonishing first world problem, that one of the worst things happening to them is being asked to sign up for a free account with a company you already have a free account with. The horror!
Also, you can search without logging in, and sign up for as many different email accounts as you want. Are you honestly saying that google asking you to make a G+ account is a serious problem for activists?
No picture, no name, no link to me. And this is from after linking the accounts and then unlinking them (which took under a minute to do and was pretty easy to find).
I also found no way to create a pseudonymous page for my Youtube Account.
And I've found no way to delete my Youtube account.
After searching and looking around in the user forums for some time I've gave up.
For me this link appears under the general account settings on youtube:
This is what my account settings page looks like:
I changed from my real name to somenamefortestingpurposes, and seem to be able to change this to anything else. I've also tested posting comments with this, and they don't appear with my real name.
I also have the option of deleting my "channel" which I think is pretty much the same as deleting my youtube presence.
What works for Youtube is to create another channel and use that channel and the created page to post comments via pseudonym. I can switch between my original Google Account and the newly created channel. I don't have an option for my primary account through. For this does not matter but if you had personal data in your old Youtube account there is no easy way to hide this information without loosing Google+ as far I understood that problem now.
I linked the Channel to my Google+ accounts a few weeks ago.
(and let me ask in advance not to give me that "she may have accidentally clicked some button on one of those popups and given permission" crap. That's like seeing the vampire's fangs in someone's neck and saying "But you invited him over for dinner!")
I actually have two Google accounts, my "real" one and the one I use to joke around on video game clips on YouTube. When Google strongarmed the second one into g+, I knew that even if I decided I wanted g+ for some reason, I would never, ever, ever want a g+ page on that YouTube account.
So imagine my surprise when I received an email beginning:
"This email was sent to you because you indicated that you'd like to receive Google+ Pages performance suggestions and updates"
Go to Hell, Google. I asked for no such thing, and if you somehow tricked me into accidentally not opting out of any such thing, you can still go to Hell. So if anyone says g+ tricked them into something, I'm going to believe them barring hard evidence to the contrary.
Persisting when someone says "no" is at best, disrespect, at worst abuse and, in the right contexts, rape.
Oh, did I mention I'd organized an ad-hoc anti-harassment policy discussion on G+ at the suggestion of Yonatan Zunger? Irony, it's got an enduring entertainment value.
Oddly enough, I was fine with a G+ account, in fact, that's pretty much the only part of Google I'd been using any more. The YouTube account was just to access videos, and I'd pretty much gotten used to purging its history regularly.
The actual harm to me? Pretty little. Both accounts were pseudonymous. For other people, not nearly so little.
And the message on Google's respect for its users and trustworthiness? Loud and clear: nil and nil.
I'm not sure I can continue to debate the problems of linking multiple google products together when a comparison is rape. Instead I'm simply going to repeat my original statement
> I genuinely find the level of complaints embarrassing.
Not to mention the irony of being offended by the mere use of the word "rape" (to correctly describe the feeling of being continuously probed after repeteadly saying "no", without trying to offend anyone), while in the same time you find it acceptable to comment on his mental state ("crazy idiot", "deranged" etc), as if mental health issues are funny.
Is that what you consider responsible behavior?
Or were you just conditioned to think people using the "r" word are to be prosecuted, however innocent and justified their use?
The fact that both things are tied so closely together is what's causing all the problems.
Personally it seems like they could have just stuck with the concept of a Google Account, which I think still exists anyway. Use that thing for single-sign-on and let people link GMail, YT, AdWords, G+ accounts to it.
They are essentially attempting to "rebrand" their identity system with G+ at the core. But what we are seeing is that there is major friction and unintended consequences when you attempt this kind of shift and have so many users with tons of different use-cases across different individual identity systems.
I don't envy their position, although I do think this was probably mostly avoidable, or at least a lot of the problems (especially with YT) should have been foreseeable, and so they really only have themselves to blame.
I don't understand how this wasn't the case before Google+. I've had my Google account for years and it always worked on all the Google services I've seen. I've never had to use a separate account for anything.
Most people didn't have a "Google account". They had a GMail account. If they had Blogger or YouTube accounts, they usually had them before Gmail.
It was bad enough when Google started shoving those accounts into one and tacking services on people didn't ask for without politely asking them to sign-up. But now they are forcing people into an entirely new service that has the explicit purpose to expose them and to annihilate their privacy.
I wouldn't mind the principle of one single account for all Google services in principle, if a) I can have multiple accounts, b) such an account can be know as "honeybooboo666", and doesn't need my real name or phone number, and c) that account does not to automatically sign me in to services I didn't sign up for and I don't want to use on that account.
The latter is especially important so that anything "honeybooboo666" does on YouTube isn't accidentally registered under my other accounts of MyJob@BigCorp and MyRealName@Family
That's why people have separate accounts. honeybooboo666, MyJob@BigCorp and bowlofpetunias are very different entities, and trying to "out" them all as "MyRealName who works at BigCorp" is just not on.
Rewrite history much?
Every platform Google ever acquired had it's own login, and Google didn't have a login for a loooong time.
But all of that is besides the point. This is not about SSO, this is about an SSO fully integrated with a service geared at destroying anonymity and privacy.
I wouldn't mind a single Google login if that was what it was: a login, a username and password. Google+ is so, so much more.
So: I'm sorry. I did mess this one up. I don't think, however, that my mistake was actually important from the perspective of the article. I've been using some of the services people are saying had third party login support now for many many years, and unlike YouTube I do not remember ever seeing any kind of disconnection between account models used on each. Maybe they were just integrated faster, or maybe its because I had a YouTube account that was ancient and had options that others long since did not.
But either way: it doesn't seem like SSO is an argument for Google+. Google already had single sign on, and to the extent to which it ever had separate login systems that it maintained for its acquisitions they were all rapidly merged. Maybe even in the case of YouTube (which I still feel was different, give that as recently as a year ago I remember still having the ability to manipulate my underlying YouTube account).
Forcing the account to use G+ does make it get forced to use the underlying picture and name from the other account. I can see that as being vaguely interesting. But that goes beyond a "unified login/account system".
Wait, there's already Google account - a unified login. Is it not?
> though "Pages" continues to be a confusing and unclear term
Pages were meant to be confusing because you discourage multiple identities. Most people have no idea they even exist.
> I don't believe Google+ management is malicious, but they do seem woefully unaware of how internet-native communities behave.
I'd be glad to attribute it to stupidity, as well, but it's one big assumption to consider the whole upper management at Google+ (one of the crown jewels) "woefully" incompetent at the very subject they were put to manage.
If you are complaining about the fact that this phrasing suggests that jmilikin does not agree with management's stated reasoning then again I don't understand where you are coming from. I have seen some startups where every employee always agreed with all corporate decisions, but those were single-person startups that had not yet made their first hire. Disagreement is normal. Handling disagreement well is a sign of maturity. Being open about the reasons for the disagreement while still going along with it (and avoiding personal criticism) is a sign of maturity.
If anything, this reply reassures me. I think that the insistence on the use of "real names" with G+ and the use of G+ with all their offerings (even in the face of vocal and well-reasoned opposition by their userbase) is a sign that Google may have lost it. Hearing the reasons is (slightly) reassuring. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding which will eventually be corrected, rather than a conscious intention to screw over their users.
What would you have written?
(I must admit I did shake my head at that and think "even at _Google_?")
It's just a far cry from "do no evil", and the tone is wholly different than what I heard from early G employees, back in what I respectfully have to consider their heyday.
After a while, the question of motivation is a red herring. The problem is the actions, and they've been told enough times that if they claim now how to understand then they're just stupid. They're not stupid, they're contemptuous - that's different.
Interconnecting all offerings of such a huge diversified enterprise is bound to create conflicts of interest. It doesn't work. IBM almost went bankrupt over it. It leads to idiotic decisions like killing Google Reader instead committing to serving a long tail of diverse communities.
Reader was even more significant than that: had they actually been trying to make Google+ a desirable service, first-class integration with Reader would have brought a large, very active core of G+ users to launch the new service.
Instead, they shipped something which had obviously had almost no effort attempted — I'd say they had an intern do it except that most interns take more pride in their work — with things like mobile support being completely broken for at least a year, flaky desktop support and forcing a disruptive unidirectional model where you could share to Google+ but not see what other people were sharing, comments, etc. which had been the core of the Reader experience. Forget fancy things like clustering shares of the same URL, simply appending a "#googlereader" hashtag would have made the experience far better.
Toss in all of the strategic mistakes like waiting a year or two before taking spam seriously or offering better control over push notifications than uninstalling the app and they basically trained all of their early adopters to see Google+ as an unrewarding, un-QAed mess of bugs and noise with very little signal.
This would have been bad in its own right but an almost comical stumble when you really how many journalists, bloggers and other influential people used Reader heavily, ensuring that future Google stories for years were going to have a heavy note of “How will Google will let you down or exploit you” instead of the “Here's why you want to use this” tone which was pervasive during the era when Google was focused on making products you'd voluntarily use.
Excuse me but what the hell is this fantasy about Google plus? I'm not convinced that Reader was shut down and that Google plus was meant to be its replacement, the products are just far too different. I don't know where or why that rumour started other than to suggest maybe it was born of this same ridiculous hate fantasy.
Maybe I'm Google's target demographic but every complaint I've seen stems from absolutely refusing to allow Google to change anything. And a flamboyant hate for a product they refuse to use no matter what, which is a very carefully designed and free social product.
Glad you like it. I find it slow, clunky, limited, and information poor. And annoying, because it always puts pointless design tricks ahead of functionality.
Someone who's more inclined to be favorable is Robert Scoble. He worked under Vic Gundotra at Microsoft, and joined the service early. He's also had a long list of rather frighteningly consistent complaints:
As for finely crafted, I've got about 2000 lines of CSS I've written to take G+ from what Google shipped to this:
I'd accept a value judgement, but I'd be very curious as to what you do or don't like in particular.
For the first couple years, there was no way to avoid notification spam if, say, “Real Russian Pharama” added you to a circle. This included push notification spam for at least a year – they added a setting after ~6 months but it didn't actually work, requiring the iOS app to be uninstalled to stop it.
> An intern built it? It's one of the most finely crafted, expensive looking pieces of social software that has ever been built.
b) I was specifically referring to the Google+ integration they replaced Reader's social features with: it went from something which provided a simple way to share items, see other public shares and comments on the same item and see what your friends had shared to a simple button which didn't work on mobile devices (the dialog was clipped so none of it was visible) for at least a year and there was no attempt to see other shares of the same item, aggregate the same item being shared by multiple people you follow, or make it possible to see Reader shares separate from, say, status updates by people in your circles.
> And a flamboyant hate for a product they refuse to use no matter what, which is a very carefully designed and free social product.
I tried using it heavily when it first came out. I still use it more than most other people I know but … much as I might have wanted Google to give Facebook competition, they just failed to produce a quality product. I was willing to put up with bugs at launch but when there were basic QA oversights which took a year to fix (i.e. notification spam above) it was really obvious that it's about making something they want to push as a wedge against Facebook rather than something you'd choose to use — when anyone who actually uses it could find basic bugs in a few minutes, so it's unbelievable that nobody at Google noticed or was able to fix them in anything like their normal timeframe.
> For the first couple years, there was no way to avoid
> notification spam if, say, “Real Russian Pharama” added
> you to a circle.
The default for being added to a circle is still to notify you regardless of whether you know the other party, which seems to match the behavior of most other social networks (people like to know who's watching them).
> Scrolling the G+ timeline would show this is a very rosy
> depiction: notice how it's jerky even in Chrome? Hit the
> spacebar and notice how, unlike almost every other page
> on the web, you can't scroll?
This does not, however, generate a push notification to your phone as it did uncontrollably for much of Plus' history. Even after the setting was added to control this, it didn't work for a long time.
What this really came down to was the lack of prioritization: the follower model is closer to Twitter than Facebook, being very public oriented, so you're far more likely to receive notifications about complete strangers but the UI copied Facebook's notifications. This meant that most users were trained to ignore the notification bar on other Google properties for a long time as everyone they'd ever exchanged email with was pushed into the service. Anything more than casual testing would have made it obvious that they should have had a way to group notifications so e.g. replies wouldn't be flooded away and to prioritize "added you" less than "added you back".
> You might want to verify whether the behavior you're seeing is due to a misbehaving browser extension or user script.
Nope - vanilla Chrome on OS X (also Firefox, Safari and Opera). Similarly, even on iOS where you can't add user scripts at all, the touch scrolling is jerky and buggy, requiring a scroll/wait/scroll cycle to get it to scroll to the bottom of a comment thread.
In some ways I feel he'd be the perfect successor to the legacies of Gates and Ballmer.
"Before joining Google, he was a general manager at Microsoft. He joined Microsoft in 1991 and eventually became General Manager of Platform Evangelism. His duties included promoting Microsoft's APIs and platforms to independent developers and helping to develop a strategy for Windows Live online services to compete with Google's web-based software applications. Gundotra joined Google in June 2007, after taking a one-year delay working on charitable endeavors[which?] due to a Microsoft employee non-compete agreement."
Maybe his true mission is to keep tabs on Google and given the opportunity, create long-term strategic blunders?
Completely the opposite with Google or Microsoft. You need to know that YouTube is Google because it has an impact on privacy things, and you arguably benefit from their link with single sign on, reduced complexity, unified notification center, etcetera.
This is the same reason Google+ was a poor brand name choice since Google is already associated with Search, making a new product with a line extension name just hurts both products ability to differentiate themselves...
This is why DuckDuckGo, and other new search engines are able to grow market share... Because Google started believing their own lore, and fail to accept that they simply don't understand why their initial branding of Google was successful, but all their future products they fail to establish strong brands with...
This is why Google Wave died, and many other google products.
> How is a "Page" as a separate public identity treated
> differently compared to a pseudonym?
> How reliable is it to protect your real identity?
Youtube also defaults to my real identity if I visit the viste. If have to manually switch identities.
Edit found the explanation: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2657858?hl=en&ref_...
Also, in theory I'm not opposed to a unified login (nor are most of the people complaining I assume.) I've simply lost any faith I had that Google will keep different identities on the same account separate, after years of slip-ups, mistakes, and "oversights".
But anyway, the point is they caught this Facebook envy, and they wanted the real name policy, too.
What we have in practice is people complaining that their real names and photos are appearing next to comments on their previously-psudonymous Youtube accounts. Google seem to have flubbed either their user-education, or the mechanical steps put on offer to find what people wanted for their accounts when the policy was rolled out.
I don't know what was offered to Youtube users - were they given warning of policy rollout? Clear pages of settings to adjust when they logged on? Was a 'page' containing their current Youtube identity in place by default? These would sound like reasonable steps to take to avoid an outcry.
Why doesn't Google provide a dashboard for all their services accessible from every Google service when you're signed in? The Dashboard presents all of Google's services with the ability to opt-in to additional services.
So, for example, if I sign up for a GMail account, my dashboard only shows I've activated the GMail service, but also lists all the other Google services such as Google+, Docs, Drive etc. You can use the dashboard to promote your services rather than cluttering the GMail interface with promos for Google+, Google Chat, Hangouts etc. It's a bit ironic that one of the stated goals of Gmail is to minimise distractions and yet the GMail interface is stuffed with promos for other Google services.
Photos that I attached to a Gmail message were stored in my (never signed up for or desired) Picassa account. That is fucking batshit insane.
Google needs to make it much clearer that signing up to a Google account gives you access to all Google services. Their current sign-up page shows a line of tiny Google icons which completely fails to convey this. The icons are one image in a row, so you can't even hover over each icon to see a tooltip description of what they are. Once again, this is just clumsy UX.
In my view, if a user signs up for a particular service such as Gmail, only that service should be activated. Other Google services are only activated when you actually decide to use them (i.e. don't create an empty Google+ site for me unless I opt-in to using that service).
Perhaps this comes from different expectations. When I signed up with google this is exactly what I expected, to have access to every service they offered at that time and all future services.
> (i.e. don't create an empty Google+ site for me unless I opt-in to using that service).
This one I can see more (although I'm not sure quite what happens here, I'd need to create a new account and have a look).
I don't think some people in this thread understand that having something stored on the Internet, and having it be public, and having it to be tied to other public identities, and those identities being tied to your meatspace identity are four different questions.
I can't even say No ! This is way out of line. They lost it. It's not mismanagement, it's concious dark pattern all over the place. It rubs me the very wrong way.
It's ambiguous and given Google's recent trend I am a very lot less forgiven than i used to be. The more pushee they are, the less forgiven people will be, even the small mistakes will be less well received.
That's my strong and unobjective opinion. Google is getting too pushee to my taste. I pushback.
I heard this same line about a year ago, and I created a separate "page". That page is nearly unindexed. People don't follow the page, they follow my other two profiles. When they're searching for me, that's what they find.
What I need, in order to make that second bullet true, is the ability to HIDE my first-party login pages (people find them), associate my emails with that "Page" and login to EVERY SERVICE as that public identity. This means leaving G+/Maps reviews, this means Maps Location services, everything.
With "Pages" useless and broken, the logic of this system falls apart.
1. Google, according to Wikipedia, has 46,000 employees. The number of employees who are in a position to influence policy regarding Google+ adoption over the Google suite of products is likely less than one hundred (or .2%). It is entirely possible -- likely, even! -- that the other 99.8% of those employees do not agree with the Google+ strategy. It is also entirely possible -- likely, even! -- that those employees are encouraged to voice their opinions internally (though voicing those opinions externally doesn't really accomplish anything extra.)
2. You can disagree with Google's tactics, motives, and end-goals, but I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't believe that the average Google employee is very intelligent. It is entirely possible -- likely, even! -- that one of these employees did a cost-benefit analysis somewhere along the line (likely before Google+ was released to the public) and discovered that the cost of pushing an umbrella identity (pissing off users, possibly lowering retention and engagement) is outweighed by the benefits of such a strategy (attracting 'whale' consumers, strengthening advertising profiles for consumers).
That being said, Google employees, why is G+ more important than your users? is an incredibly loaded question and I think my tone might have stemmed from that.
It doesn't seem very loaded to me. The implication is simply that G+ is bad. Nothing more. That's a reasonable implication for someone to make. It's not a 'have you stopped beating your wife' type of question.
They clearly care a lot about G+.
So why would saying G+ > users imply that the value of users is small?
(And cynical-me suspects there's been a meeting going something like "Hey Sergey? Notice how there's been all these revelations about us snitching everyone's private email to the NSA?" "Yeah Larry, what of it? We seem to be getting away with it - it hasn't even registered a blip in our revenue/profit charts." "Yeah, _that's_ my point. The stupid fucking general public DON'T GIVE A DAMN. You know all those requests our advertisers keep making about tracking real identities across the entire internet? We could _so_ do that!" "Yeah, but what about our 'Don't be evil' motto?" "Sergey, do I have to threaten you with leaking your redtube browsing history _again?_")
"Oh that MacBook you use for work...ya it was made in a sweatshop in China. How do you justify that?"
It's only been in the past year or two that Google's been popularly seen as focusing on G+ to the expense of users and innovation. Internally a lot of parts of the company are probably quite similar to the Google of 2010 which everyone liked.
And if they hate social networks what are they going to do, move to Facebook or Twitter?
Pretty sure it's because my thought process isn't like a linear story. It's more like a series of contextually leveled bullets -- each inner statement adding some useful (albeit sometimes unnecessary!) information to the overall discourse.
I can assure you that people who write like that don't mean to be intimidating or rude. They're probably just trying to leave no gap unexplored! (Much like how programmers have to think!)
Here's a simple example, if you go to the video for Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball, there are the usual back and forth comments arguing her merits. However, you can now easily spot preteen girls if you were looking for that specific demographic, and then subscribe to them for more efficient creeping.
Shame on Google. This behavior is stunningly evil.
Now, you are offering a pseudo anonymous solution, but that is an insufficient firewall for my needs.
Maintaining privacy across multiple networks, some of which contain my personal life, some my work life, some my social life and some my internet life is hard.
There is simply no freaking way I am going to trust a company which cares a LOT less than I do about my privacy be responsible for maintaining it.
BUT luckily this whole thing really doesn't affect me directly, my firewalls have not actually been affected.
I was just hoping to communicate why the suggestion you are making is not actually an effective solution for anyone who cares about their privacy.
One thought about real names: what does your contacts database look like on your phone? While I know a lot of people by their online handles, I also know their real name, and I typically choose to enter that real name into my phone. Maybe this is uncommon, but if not, if you're building a communication platform, it does make some sense for the user-entered data to follow this format. Is there some intrinsic reason that someone be referred to as "Jonathan Rockway" when you send them a message via the SMS protocol, but "jrockway" if you send that same message via Jabber? It then follows to wonder: if you're talking to your friends via YouTube, why would you use yet another nickname?
Maybe what people want is a unique identifier that only they know, and then choose to share a different name with different groups of people?
I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other, but I am interested in what other people have to say.
This can't possibly be true. I easily interact with 100+ people on various platforms. I don't know any of their names. I consider them "friends" in a way, but their real names are wholly irrelevant to me.
>> if you're talking to your friends via YouTube
No... You are having a discussion about the video. This is certainly not your friends.
You can argue this, but if everyone is friends talking to each other, why are there still so many people willing to blatantly troll people they obviously don't know?
I'm not sure what world you are painting, but this does not reflect any reality I am aware of.
Discussion forums are, socially, a very different thing than hanging out with friends, even though they both involve people and saying things. That's what I think HN collectively misses when talking about Google+ or Facebook; they think those are Internet Discussion Forums when they are actually something for closer friends.
You have to understand that very few people are willing to write this much on the Internet for public consumption by total strangers -- we are very unusual people, and most online services aren't designed for us. That's why we're typing hundreds of words into a Web 1.0 GUI written in a custom programming language, rather than using Facebook or G+ or Snapchat or whatever.
Seems you're a bit out of touch with "usual people" - or at least "usual people" under the age of 35. I do agree HNers are unusual, but if anything I would say they are more likely to be concerned with what they share publicly, not less.
The type of person who tends towards HN will be different from the type of person who tends towards something like Snapchat on the above grounds.
G+ seems to be trying to be both a public discussion forum and a hangout for existing friends at the same time. This is part of what makes it often unpleasant.
I would not be so sure. I know at least the first name of most of the people I communicate with exclusively over the internet. Easily over 50 people. Regarding real names being wholly irrelevant, it is true you can get by without knowing somebody's name, but I find that people respond more easily and you can have a more honest, personal conversation if you at least exchange first names.
Now maybe I'm a minority here, but most of the things on YouTube I find worthy of a comment have either been uploaded by a friend or commented on by a friend. If I am using it for communication, I'm very likely not wasting my time calling out a random stranger because of their opinion of some random video or adding mine to the mix of comment spam.
There are many honest reasons I don't want my real name associated with everything I do. Sure, I have my real name posted in various places, but that is because it is my personal and strategic choice, not a point of coercion from a company. Choice is very important to me.
Just imagine this: suppose you wanted to blog about something that could possibly be embarrassing or things that you aren't even talking to your wife, parents, or best friends about. I'm not talking about murder or anything, but things about yourself that are deeply personal and you have nowhere to turn to vent or get advice. The fact is that you are not willing to be vulnerable to people in your real life, but you'd like an outlet and opinions from others about your situation. Believe me, I've posted things in forums and other places about myself that are deeply embarrassing and disturbing. I don't want my next girlfriend to know and I certainly don't want my next employer to know about this stuff.
There is a certain class of people that don't want their entire lives spread across the internet. Heck, I'd venture to guess that your email is not jason@_____.com, and if by some early-adapting miracle it is, most people you interact with is not.
Suppose you wanted to create a G+ account to talk about your frustrations with anything. Would you be willing to be honest and forthcoming if you had to use your real name? Would it be at all entertaining or useful to other people going through the same things you are?
And regarding wanting to blog about something that could possibly be embarrassing . . . well, I am very open about things. Why should I be ashamed of my opinion or a particular circumstance? I think there is no reason to be ashamed unless it is directly my fault, least of all my opinion. If it is something I have done wrong, I should own up to it or talk about what I have learned. Sickness, addiction, emotions, opinions . . . these are all things I should be able to talk about or proud of, not things I need to hide behind a username to open up about.
I realize this is probably not indicative of how the majority of people feel in this situation.
Then it means you're really not communicating that much over the Internet. Just to give you my personal example (and I'm generally an introvert), when it comes to "Internet discussion" I'm more or less actively involved in: a tramspotting forum, /r/soccer, /r/the_name_of_my_country, some urban development blogs and of course HN. I think I only know the first name of 3 or 4 people out of the hundreds (tens of thousands, if you include /r/soccer) of people involved in these communities.
Who honestly talks to their friends via Youtube? It's really not a social networking site. People use it to enjoy watching videos and occasionally make a comment.
Judging from the widespread user backlash on the G+ & Youtube linking for comments it seems people quite prefer using a pseudonym when making comments on Youtube. For often good reason.
Also, although it has been discussed before, anonymity itself doesn't affect the comment quality on Youtube. From all the sites I've visited over the years where comments play a large role it's my opinion that a site's pre-existing and maintained culture determines the quality, apart from any moderation.
This is the heart of the matter, Google views Youtube differently than everyone else. We use it to watch videos, not to communicate with friends, and don't consider it a social network - when we want to discuss a video with our friends we share it with them.
Google wants you to discuss it with your friends on Youtube (or G+) instead of posting it to Facebook (or wherever) and discussing it with your friends there.
> Is there some intrinsic reason that someone be referred
> to as "Jonathan Rockway" when you send them a message via
> the SMS protocol, but "jrockway" if you send that same
> message via Jabber?
They appear as CUNT'N'PASTE in my Android contacts app, because it pulls names from the Gmail contacts list, which I can edit so it complies with reality.
 Which makes G+ conversations confusing, because everyone has to remember that this person with the strange name in our comment boxes is actually Cunty, not whatever name G+ accepted.
It's important to balance the positives and negatives of a decision. On HN, we mostly see the negatives, since that's the sort of thing that people are willing to spend mental energy writing about on their computer. But surely some people like the new YouTube comments or Google+, right?
What really doesn't make sense is migrating someone to Google+ without asking, and then throwing them out since the account name didn't meet the higher name standard there. This has happened to a friend of mine.
So my phone book is identical to a public identity, is it? Just because most people have contacts by their full name in their phone book, it means that everyone should use their full name publicly at all times and on all occasions? Because that's what you're saying.
I don't know about your country, but in the Netherlands this is why we have privacy laws. It's legal to have a calendar with birthdates which your family and guests see; it's legal to keep a phonebook full of personally identifiable data, but it's illegal to share either of those with any audience.
Note that, yes, that makes every Dutch person with the Facebook app conducting illegal activities. But it kind of sucks to sue all your friends for uploading your info, so nobody does it.
(Also, the answer to your question is: a mixed list of first names, full names, nicknames, and first name + nicknames.)
> Maybe what people want is a unique identifier that only they know, and then choose to share a different name with different groups of people?
Exactly, and that's what I'm doing. I don't have that many identities, but yeah I've got two or three that I share with different audiences. Everyone in that audience knows me by "lucb1e" and I even own a domain lucb1e.com. If I wanted anyone in that public audience to know me in any other way, I would have used another name. I don't want to use my full name. My full name isn't even a unique identifier and it's much longer than my nickname. In my opinion, full names are pretty useless most of the time.
Even my Facebook account has no full name, and people seem to know and recognize me just fine, even though I know many of them in real life (and they also know my full name).
I don't care and don't even need to know that Google search, Gmail and Youtube are owned by the same company; to me they are separate systems.
The "unique identifier" approach is solving a problem that does not exist.
Then, trying to force people to have a public "social" profile under their own legal name, under the cover of this non-problem, is just crazy and arrogant.
(This is one of those things where enabling consolidation is pretty much orthogonal to the interesting part of the discussion, which is really more about how much latitude the service allows users. Of course giving the option for consolidation will be great for some people.)
1) Anonymous or no commenting on YouTube
2) Using Windows 8.1 Mail app to access Gmail. Because seeing that Google+ notification icon is distracting and annoying me
3) Stopped rating apps on Google Play store
4) Stopped contributing reviews to Local
5) Trying to stop using Google's Web products in favor of apps instead because of that damn Notifications bar.
I understand using a single Google Account for all services, but linking them all to one service where that service acts as a Social Network is not a service I would want to use anymore. They acquired Meeboo bar, and it seems they want every service they own have that bar and I despised that bar. Totally the wrong direction to take.
Treating each service separately would have been better and giving the option to the user to show that bar would have been great.
Also, Google has to maintain a forest of separate identities for everyone. (youtube, gmail, g+, etc). It's super annoying just to maintain one login. There's huge business value in consolidating those, even without adding features.
Finally, Youtube comments are a cesspool. Even when they're not racist or threatening, they're immature and, at best "wow that's awesome". They drive viewers away. I bet google wants to try to do-over comments in a way that makes them useful to people, not unsettling.
And I would hesitate to call it a disaster. Sure there's a lot of whining about it now, especially in tech circles, but every big interface change comes with a wave of whiners. We'll see in three or four weeks if anyone is complaining.
They'd certainly have a much tougher time doing this if there were another option for the masses, but for most people YouTube is it. Saying people are going to quit watching or uploading to youtube is silly, they'll go where? Vimeo?
They're going to keep tweaking it, people are going to adapt and learn, videos of cats falling off objects will continue to be uploaded.
ps: "How do they keep morale up"? Free food and big piles of money. How else do you do it?
The vast majority of Googlers do not approve of G+ policies. However, Google has never been run democratically and most of the time that's probably a good thing.
Furthermore, the management has been much less forthcoming than usual about the thinking behind these policies. What they have said varies and usually sounds like excuses.
In short, don't expect actual information in this thread.
For me, this is the most critical statement in the entire Google+ saga. Most Google employees do not approve of a strategy that google is betting its future on. Has this ever happened before? Probably never before. And to me, it marks a clear beginning of the end of google as we knew it. The google we grew up loving was a google that put product quality before anything else. Everything else(such as market share) was a result of a good product. This is no longer true.
Much as it pains me to admit that I'm not omniscient, there are ample examples of products where the majority Googler consensus does not reflect the majority market consensus. There are also ample examples of products where the initial market consensus doesn't reflect the final market consensus. (For example, Chrome was beloved internally by Googlers, but was met with a lot of external skepticism when it launched, and then eventually became the dominant browser.)
It was before my time, but I'm told acquiring youtube was unpopular. That seems to have worked out. I doubt it was as unpopular, though, and there was a lot less bet on it.
This latest Google+ push has made me realize just how far Google is willing to go to capture more data on their users instead of focusing on providing the best service possible as they used to.
I don't think we should be completely written off as "geeks", you're right about that, but it should certainly be acknowledged that we're a small (heavily) biased sample of the general population and our preferences need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Which in the eyes of most people other than those you have listed, makes us geeks. If we're talking about leadership, it isn't so much how we see ourselves that matters, but how others see us.
It doesn't require a crystal ball to know when a product solves a problem for users in a way that leaves a good taste in one's mouth.
However, I'm still discovering great products and apps from technophiles who have found solutions to problems that impact me. I've also left detritus behind, not because the awesome folks of HN said it was time, but because of well reasoned thoughts that start here (I tend to favor here) and in other technology springboards.
At the end of the day, I believe that mainstream ultimately wakes up. The kernals for change start small though.
Personally, I don't follow a compass held by just the tech pundits or mainstream - I head toward the smell of good user experience.
I have seen very little actual evidence of this, unless we're talking tautological, "all the predictions that came true came true, just ignore the rest", weathervanes. Still waiting on those social-network-based search engines to reign supreme...
I wouldn't be surprised if YouTube goes under in the coming years. Someone is going to create an alternative, and hit a homerun. YouTube is primarily about watching videos, and their video player is one of the worst available. Porn sites have offered much better video players for years, so what's holding up Google? It's been seven years, and they still haven't fixed it. Either it's not in their list of priorities, or they're incompetent. I don't care which one it is, they lose my support, and I'm ready to get behind the next alternative that's better in touch with the needs of users.
See also: Facebook. A lot of noise was made about facebook privacy (inside the HN and other tech eco chambers) and a lot of noise was made about people quitting facebook because of privacy. But in reality probably only .00000001% of facebook users probably quit because of privacy reasons, which is probably a drop in a bucket compare to the amount of new users they get everyday.
Google is doing this because they can. They are in a market dominant position with both youtube and Google search that they can afford to make decision, which in hindsight might not be popular with some users, but will close to nothing to harm their bottom line.
Normalization is a tricky job. Your assumption is that the entire set of users were aware of privacy problems with Facebook. Out of the universal set of Facebook users, there would be two subsets - people aware of privacy problems and their ill effects and people who don't. You should check "how many people quit (or significantly reduced activity on) Facebook, once they found out about privacy issues and their effects" and then report the percentage.
Anecdata: I know that a LOT of my friends have quit Facebook (or just stopped visiting) over privacy concerns and dissatisfaction with the UX.
The effect seems to be more that people gradually reduce their Google usage. I've cleaned out my private Google account, deleted my Google+ and after I migrated my mail it will be gone and subsequently replaced by a new G+ account of which every single letter is completely fake.
After all, for them, it's not a barren wasteland. They have a very active network (coworkers/friends). I don't think this answers your question, however most Googlers like G+.
But a better social product means nothing without an active network of users.
It's slow and buggy (i.e. it jerks painfully while scrolling on modern touch devices, it's sluggish on the desktop even in Chrome and they broke spacebar scrolling!), the photo upload experience doesn't work as reliably, search is embarrassing for Google and the timeline still doesn't do basic things like clustering shares of the same item or sorting based on what you've found interesting.
When Google can't compete with Facebook on technical quality, you know it's because of a management decision rather than lack of technical resources.
> But a better social product means nothing without an active network of users.
Lots of people tried it but they just found a marginally QA-ed bug-fest for the first couple of years which was clearly designed with the top priority of providing Google's ad sales team with tons of data to compete with Facebook ads and building a quality product seen as a cost of getting that data rather than the actual goal.
Asking to import and nag dialogues, I agree. They need to stop that.
That's what it took for me to be able to tolerate the Plus.
Facing the social network giant that is Facebook, G+ has to become successful after many past failures, and to do so, they try to force their way through, and make it ubiquitous.
However, this Youtube chapter was probably a step too far, since very intrusive and noticeable.
When will this madness stop?
Intercepting SMS required using a hidden API before. Now it's an officially supported feature.
No conspiracy theories necessary. :)
Back to the point: Google's ethos is to track and analyze as much of what's happening on the Internet as possible. If, as an employee, you don't appreciate that this is Google's bread and butter, you simply may not care enough about these things to ever get worked up about G+'s account management.
> The +1 button isn’t used to track your visits across the web.
> Google doesn’t keep a persistent record of your browsing
> history as part of the process of showing you a +1 button or
> otherwise use the fact that you personally have visited a page
> with the +1 button.
A bit more trial & error shows that its possibly connected via IP...switching IP seems to confuse it.
Gthrowaway1 2 days ago | link [dead]
The Google bashing is well deserved. Even people at Google despise Vic Gundotra (just check memegen.googleplex.com today), yet this incompetent figure is allowed to continue alienating users and driving Google's brand into the ground.
Vic, do us a favor: Go back to Microsoft and never return!
Disclaimer: I work for Google.
I don't think it's G+ being more important than the users, I think it has more to do with YouTube. Currently, G+ is for nerds who care about anonymity and all the other things that Google is being criticized here. That's fine, I'm one of them.
However, YouTube is a shithole and it's likely that YT people don't care as much about what they sign into as long as all their stuff is there. That Google would try to move YT users on to G+ makes sense in a "slum clearance" way.
The Real Name vs. Nicknymity thing is a real problem, and for me I don't think Google is handling right, but I do think they're handling it in a way that is not out of line with the values of a stereotypical corporate bureaucracy.
Google wants to know the real names of everybody on its services, I get that, but users who value theirs and others' internet identity do so regardless of whether it's under a real name or a nickname. That Google has been found to be getting back alley sex from the US Government does not help their case for knowing who you really are.
In my more cynical moments I think comments and such are a ruse to get more PII from their users for law enforcement purposes. But YT is also a shithole, and the ad rates against combined-identity demographics ain't sour neither.
LinkedIn and Facebook are leading the market in the authenticated peer reviewed content business, which is locked in to their platforms, and which search engines cannot index.
Extrapolate ten years down the line, and that means a scenario where existing search engine leadership is severely compromised.
And thats why the push for G+. Its do or die.
tl;dr: the goal is to have search access to authenticated peer reviewed content, and to mitigate the risk of existing market leaders in that space from cannibalizing the search business, and with it the lucrative advertising business.
That's not the only way.
It is a method that scales.
You can also identify content yourself, based on known sources (whether fully identified or pseudonymous), or based on the extant indicators within the text itself.
Traditionally the issue has been resolved through editors (not necessarily peer review) who would judge content on its merits and/or the reputation of its author(s). As Clay Shirkey has noted, "it's not information overload, it's filter failure", we've moved from pre-publication filters to post-publication filters. The incentives on and for publication have also shifted, with a huge increase in low-quality information being promoted (most of what's "viral"), something I'm increasingly getting sick of.
As for G+, as I've posted elsewhere (and Homer Slated points out very eloquently in a recent post), Google's formerly razor-sharp relevance algorithms are becoming increasingly vague. It's to the point it's becoming highly obvious to me, and it's very painfully manifested on G+ specifically.
Some of this might be attributed to SEO gaming of search, but tool design and selectin (see "What's Hot" and the extremely limited search and noise controls on G+) make me increasingly think it's deliberate.
HN is full of smart people who work with tech all day every day.
Imagine what it's like for the average person trying to create a YouTube channel but trying to avoid leaking too much information to the creeps.
It's weird to me that Google would make things tricky for content creators on Youtube. These aren't people posting cat videos, these are people who are trying to build a brand and who spend time and money creating original content - some of it is "let's play" style video, or vlogging, but some of it is young people creating music video and sharing it. Pissing off those people leaves YouTube a wasteland of cat videos, adverts off the telly, and chopped up tv programmes posted without permission. Google can make lots of money off that, but it's a shame they don't want the original content.
Personal private use is simply irrelevant to them. And you know, maybe it wasted time and the world would be better if people stopped having anonymous debates that don't win over any minds.
Google doesn't run cafes and bars, and they don't run reddit, and they don't want to. They aren't trying to kill Reddit.
HNers write their blog posts and seek discussion here instead of in the blog's comments. Redditors can post YouTube videos and discuss them on /r/videos
I scrolled through all the comments and at least in the first line I didn't see this yet, so I add it to this thread:
Why does <X> piss of it's users? (doesn't need to be the big G)
A) Mostly people are using services that they don't pay for. But the service must be awesome. This kind of user is not so attractive to competitive, profitable companies. They don't add much but they cost much time, trouble, energy, money. If these users go away no company really bothers, even if these are 90% of the users. (keep in mind, I'm one of these troublesome users)
B.) Users that actually pay might not be unhappy with the results. E.g. a company that buys advertisement space from google will not mind if Google processes the user information more efficiently. Also a Google business account owner will not mind that his employees can't watch Youtube videos from his account that would be shameful to show publicly. Therefore I think the bigger part of the interesting cutomers might actually approve of the current changes.
C) Most users have not much power. They can basically choose between service A and service B but often both services exploit their users the same way (see G+ and FB). So even if they are annoyed as hell they might not even go away.
Now I'm really one of the people who is unhappy with Google as it is, but I think there are some very good reasons for them to do it.
1) It's idiotic that my URL must be FirstnameLastname1234.
2) GDrive storage (which I use to upload 2000px G+ photos) is unfortunately expensive when compared to Everpix's unlimited storage. Everpix would have been quite profitable at G+'s scale, too. If Google invested this much in photo enhancement services, why not allow us to pay $50/year for unlimited full-size photo storage?
3) Not enough participation by other people, though it's getting there.
4) I'll never review a Google Play app or Youtube video if I'm forced to publish everything with my real name. They should allow pseudonyms.
Seriously, are there other problems? It provides fantastic value for me in the form of auto-awesome photos and the eventual integration of Google Voice. My profile is completely locked down to outsiders and unifies my Google services under a single identity.
I just don't see what the problem is. At worst, it discourages participation on the Play Store and Youtube. In exchange, I get cool photo stuff and a pretty great social network. There are still improvements to be made, but I don't understand HN's antagonism. Quite frankly, G+ is welcome competition to Facebook. G+ has better design than Facebook, respects my privacy vastly more than Facebook, and provides incredibly valuable photo backup and enhancement.
Users doesn't make money for Google. Users are valuable only when they're in sellable state. Ad companies don't want to buy fully anonymous, bogus or false profiles. They want real personal information from real human. To increase efficiency of target reaching / marketing cost.
Until now, Google didn't need to worry about quality of their product - I mean their users profiles. Because that was valuable enough. Because nobody else could provided anything better.
But now it's a little bit different. Especially with Facebook. Facebook provides better product - more accurate, proven, related, real personal information. There's mostly no spamming, bogus, false account. They offer interconnected and very clearly tasted profiles. The most fantastic thing is all the informations are input by users themselves. So accuracy of the data is incredible. Google' product - user profile - is mostly tracked by usage history. So inaccurate. People refuse to input something on Google. This degrades quality of their product.
To the marketers, Google product - user profiles - are now inferior. Nobody wants to buy Google product anymore. Not completely useless yet, but it's not competitive product to what Facebook provides. If this situation continues, Google has to bargain a lot, and finally will lose the only their profitable business - ad selling. Ad is not just an empty space on a website. Nowadays, you can't sell ad in high price without targeting information. Google's targeting was best in old days, but now Facebook offers even better which makes Google product crap.
That's why Google is pushing everybody to their copy of Facebook - G+. To survive. By making money. G+ can make money by delivering quality user profiles to marketers. But you, the users, are just nothing if you don't offer that informations. Because without informations, your account is just an useless binary junk which can't make money.
If you still love Google, please, feed them your personal information. That's the only way you can keep them (and their services) to survive. Anyway don't forget that any further marketing junks are also your responsibility. That's what you pay for Google stuff.
If you think something wrong in my posting, please correct me. I also want to know if there's any other reason.
I don't understand why they would want that. The kind of analytics data you can get from a Google profile is much more useful to advertisers than vague demographic categories like age or location (I mean, you can guess at these categories from Google's data, but if you know that someone acts like a 23 year old woman from Austin, that's more useful for marketing purposes than knowing that they actually are a 23 year old woman from Austin).
And you're wrong. Facebook data is not vague. People use Facebook to write about themselves. And to announce it to their friends. People don't lie to their friends. And that's the miracle of Facebook to marketers. People write truth on Facebook. Sheryl Sandberg knew it, so she didn't hesitate to get aboard.
Unlike Facebook, Google data is poor. They have only approximation and best-guess. People don't want to leave any personal stuff on Google. Google is a device for work, not a personal entertainment. They sometimes leave bogus data to avoid Google's tracking. Actually many people do. I had over 5 Gmail accounts for spam mailers and crappy web-service membership. That's the vague data. They can't even dream some relationship data between users.
I don't understand your story about 23yo woman. What marketers want to know is the only thing - how can I find a person would like to buy my product?. Everything else is just a clue and device to track them down. Age, sex, location, taste, marriage… All are just parameters. But Google has only that stripped down parameters. No more. Those parameters are better than nothing, but completely useless when compared to what Facebook offers.
Facebook offers: (1) whether the woman actually married or not (2) who's' husband (3) what's their jobs = income level (4) whether they have children and how old are the children (5) when did she moved recently. She don't need to write about her children. Because Facebook will analyze photos and will recognize children's age, race, sex, and current living location. In addition, Facebook also let you know how many friends she have, and how are their children… recursively.
If you're in a diaper company, which profile would you prefer? I won't even consider Google data. That's just a crap when compared to Facebook profiles.
Of course, those data won't be offered as is. That's illegal. But each companies know how to deliver those data to their customers. And obviously, Facebook is expected to have much more fine gained control on choosing advertising target. Marketers also know the difference of that methodology. "You can pin-point bombing on Facebook."
On Facebook, you might fill in a field saying that you are married or that you have kids of a certain age. Google knows that you have made a number of searches about diaper price, or quality, or about using cloth diapers, and have spent time on, say, price comparison web sites or parenting forums. From this kind of Google data, advertisers would know to send you adverts emphasising the price of their diapers (rather than trying to sell you high quality, expensive, diapers), and they know this with more confidence than they could extrapolate from what you say on Facebook.
It's true that Facebook also has data about what you do (commenting and liking on particular updates and photos, for instance, and web traffic data from Like buttons on pages), but note that this doesn't depend, any more than Google's data depends, on the user being truthful about their own real-world identity.
I like having one authentication service provider, but I cannot have this provider holding hostage my services, my data, my history etc.
In this sense Microsoft is better, because they focus more on the product and less on the identity (since the business model is around licenses this makes sense). However this could change soon... Bing, Office365 etc.
If Google wants to win this battle they need to allow users to expose themselves with nicknames at least, different names per service even. Internally they will have their unique ID to which they can attach their marketing business model. However, I will still feel something is wrong about one company knowing so much about me.
You guys don't mind using all services like Spotify, Quora etc that are so closely tied up with Facebook login. But when google tries to integrate it's own services it is so wrong? What are we, Hypocrites?
Coming to Google+, it is a much better designed and well thought off social network. What is the whole issue about?
Yeah like if you are Mexican and you made a comment online about drug cartels, and then you were disemboweled and strung up from a bridge as a warning to others.
Do people really think this?
How about: Why would I NOT want to hide my identity, unless I'm writing to people I know (and they know me as my identity)?
Agreed, there are some concerns as well. But again, aren't we living in an age where all our data is being sold to marketing agencies and companies. FB has been doing it since ever.