You know how we hate to toot our own horn around these parts, but this must be said: apparently I’m kind of a big deal on Google+
which is really rather amusing, considering I’ve been banned twice in two days and am still banned. Nonetheless, here’s what my stats look like today:
Meaning that even though I can’t do my usual self-promotional link-dropping, and all my existing droppings have been mopped up from the Goog, other people are spreading my droppings all over the horizon. It’s kinda like Farmville, only I WIN!
And as to why I’ve been banned twice, that’s easy. I’m raincoaster, right? Over five million blog readers have encountered me as raincoaster, so when I started up in G+ I started as “rain coaster.” Now, I wasn’t stupid; the rules clearly say you MUST identify yourself by your real name, so I opened the account not from raincoaster at gmail dot com but from real.name at gmail dot com, and in the space provided for “other names” I put Real Name. I mean, why would you HAVE that space if you weren’t allowed to have more than one name, right? Or as this very wise person put it:
I actually got clipped by Google a week ago due to using the name CZ Unit. Which was interesting, since they asked me to use the name I am commonly known by.
I had to explain over the course of a week that my friends know me as CZ, family knows me as CZ, people in real life know me as CZ. I even asked my friends “What name pops into your mind when you think about me”? “What name do you call me when you see me across a room”
In both cases (and others) the results were unanimous: CZ. Even the person who turned me in used to call me CZ back in 1987 (yes, I have the NextMail with voice attachment
I had to point them to my LJ (cz-unit), something I have been keeping since 2002. 3,000 posts; probably not a sock puppet.
I had to have my friends send emails of support and they were even having notarized letters signed on my behalf saying that they knew me as CZ and only as CZ.
And I had to scan in a copy of my lunch bag as evidence that yes: My wife even writes “CZ’s Lunch” on my bag. What more positive, tangible ID would one need?
All of this brings up two points: First is who defines a person? Is it your parents? Your Job? The Government? Google? Your friends? You?
Second is just how wise is it to outsource your friend support network? I was on G+ for a week when I got clipped, and I still have my LJ as a backup. How about people who don’t have that? What are they going to do when their network vanishes due to upsetting the provider?
Very interesting stuff. I wrote about it on my LJ, it has been an interesting experience. But it does help me to answer the age old question:
“Who Am I?”
That’s a very, very wise post. My own experience was a little less profound, since I’m used to dealing with this question All the Damn Time.
The first time I was banned, there was no notification at all, and if someone hadn’t posted the direct link to the appeal process in the help forum, I wouldn’t have been able to ask for my account back. Google deleted that helpful forum post, by the way. Why, if they don’t want to be evil? It asked for links to places I was mentioned as “raincoaster,” and they had to be along the lines of registered accounts at Google-owned sites like YouTube or media mentions, that kinda thing. I gave them this list (stalkers, here’s your dream material!):
http://facebook.com/raincoaster http://www.linkedin.com/in/raincoaster https://twitter.com/#!/raincoaster http://www.flickr.com/people/raincoaster/ http://www.facebook.com/raincoastermedia http://empireavenue.com/RAINCOASTER http://www.wordcampvictoria.ca/2010/04/featured-speaker-raincoaster/ http://en.forums.wordpress.com/profile/raincoaster http://www.peerindex.net/raincoaster http://ahamedia.ca/category/raincoaster-media/ http://gawker.com/people/raincoaster5/ http://1st.shortyawards.com/category/raincoaster http://trueslant.com/people/raincoaster/ http://www.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol4_3/v4-3-article70-raincoaster.html http://www.surveymagnet.com/2011/01/lolebrity-interview/ http://celluloidblonde.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/raincoaster-is-a-god/ http://www.mainwriter.com/2010/02/09/questions-over-lunch-with-lorraine-murphy-raincoaster/ http://lanyrd.com/2011/northern-voice/speakers/ http://www.miss604.com/2008/08/vancouver-blogger-profile-lorraine-murphy.html http://emmerogers.com/tag/raincoaster/ http://carocat.co.uk/2009/08/14/twitlight-who-are-you-raincoaster/
Is that enough, Google??? IS IT??? For god’s sake, the LinkedIn and Facebook vanity links are “raincoaster.”
Google emailed me after I filled in the form to tell me that changing my name from “rain coaster” to what I had on my LinkedIn Profile would be acceptable. My LinkedIn profile says “Real (raincoaster) Name,” so that’s what I did (subbing in quotation marks for parenthesis). Last night, they suspended my account AGAIN.
I guess something like 20 links is still not enough?
When are they gonna suspend Xeni Jardin, who also isn’t using her birth name?
And, as women are disproportionate users of pseudonyms (for “what are you wearing, baby” issues), this has become a gender issue. Yeah, I know it’s old skool and boring to call out sexism, but even if that was not the intention, that has been the result.