Thursday, July 31, 2014

Google+ updates policies, is still a fiasco

Hooray! Google have finally dropped their idiotic names policy on G+. Unfortunately it's a massive hack job and fails in almost every way imaginable.

I'd much rather be called "paperghost" than "Christopher Boyd" on G+. With that in mind, it should be a piece of cake to change it, right? The first problem is a total lack of clarity on the part of Google with regards how to change your details, what works and what doesn't.

A quick look at the Google posts on this one [edit - I had links but in keeping with the G+ tone they've fallen off and don't want to stick] and you'll see the first issue: people simply don't know what to click on to change the public facing name.  You'd think this rather basic info would be right there on the Google posts about this brave new world of customisation, but nope...nothing.

First port of call is trying to change the name in the custom url pop up, seeing as it's likely the first name related thing you'll have presented to you. Unfortunately, it doesn't work...All you can do is add letters and numbers to the name already in the system.

I eventually discovered that custom url fields are not the way to do it, and they won't be changing how those things operate for the foreseeable future.

Seriously, this is buried in blog comments.

I then worked out  - completely by accident - that you change the public facing name by clicking on it when on your profile. There's no onscreen indication that this field can be clicked on, there's nothing from Google giving you this info and looking in settings will only confound you. It's like the anti-mystery meat of web design.

Google then keeps warning you that you won't have the best experience if you go changing your details - no kidding!  - then presents you with screw up number 2:

You're still stuck with first name, last name boxes. As you might imagine, this isn't optimal if your pseudonym is one word long. The botch job workaround is to place a "." in the second box. Confusingly, one Google guy says this is a glitch and will be corrected, even though it says to do this on the official help pages. Also it hasn't been fixed yet.

An additional knock on effect is that the craven claws of G+ are so deeply embedded into all of your Google services that should you change it, that change is reflected across them all.

That's right, Google idiotic decision to cram this junk into all of their products means you'll now be receiving emails from "paperghost. " complete with the idiotic full stop at the end of the pseudonym.

Really? Really?

Get out of here.

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