18 July 2011

Google+ name policy: three seven fatuous arguments

Following the discussion of Google’s profile name policy, I see some ridiculous arguments crop up with tedious regularity. “It’s to stop spam.” Looking at my spam folder, it’s full of mail from spammers with autogenerated fake names that would pass Google’s smell test: “Denese Mozelle”, “Adrien Lavona”, “Mohammad Alitahir”, “Letisha Lorri”, “Kelli Thomas”, and so on. If you don’t understand how trivially easy it is to bulk generate plausible WASPy names for spamming Google+, ask any programmer. ... Read more

13 July 2011

How to organize your circles in Google+

Limbo: famous people who you follow, but they’re not going to follow you back. Lust: discussion of sexual topics. Gluttony: discussion of food, recipes, restaurants. Greed: people interested in business and finance topics. Anger: technology and web sites, and other things that make you rage. Heresy: discussion of religion. Violence: friends who play video games Fraud: political debate. Treachery: personal gossip about your social group. (With thanks to Dante Alighieri and Evan Cordes. ... Read more

10 July 2011

Why Facebook sucks

Now that people are starting to migrate from Facebook to Google Plus, I see a lot of people asking, apparently seriously, what’s wrong with Facebook. Given that Facebook is hated as much as airlines, it seems likely that the site has few dedicated fans willing to stick around when everyone else leaves. I’m certainly not one of them, and here’s why. Facebook insists that you get a new e-mail inbox, which you can only access from Facebook. ... Read more

9 July 2011

Google Plus: Profile restrictions

Google requires that you put your legal name in your profile. No incomplete names or pseudonyms. They also require that you have a name consisting of a first name and surname. They will suspend profiles of anyone who does not obey the above restrictions, locking you out of the system. This will also break other Google services such as Latitude. All it takes is one person to report the profile. ... Read more

30 June 2011


I really want someone to provide a viable alternative to Facebook. This week Google launched Google Plus. Before long I got an e-mail from someone inviting me to a “Hangout”. Clicking the link took me to a page that told me I wasn’t allowed in. Clicking the link to unsubscribe from such e-mails took me to a 404 page. That’s not social networking, that’s spam. I flagged it as such. ... Read more

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