Google is still reportedly enforcing a policy around banning pseudonymous Google+ accounts, tech pioneer Jamie "jwz" Zawinski reports on his blog. As noted last week, Google has said at the Web 2.0 conference that they plan to introduce pseudonymous Google+ account options soon, but that leaves one big question open: What happens to all the pseudonymous G+ accounts that already exist now? Zawinski's suggestion to just stop deleting them was raised in a company meeting with Google CEO Larry Page, who reportedly had this reply: "To nobody's great surprise, his answer was a very long-winded 'no'."
So if you do maintain a Google+ account with a non-real name now, I frankly wouldn't get too attached to it. Page's answer also gives credence to Zawinski's previous speculation of what Google's pseudonymous "options" will be: "I'll bet they still require you to register with your 'real' name, but then they'll graciously allow you to have a linked nickname or two, meaning they're still fully prepared to roll over on you to authoritarian governments or advertisers at the drop of a hat."
By the way, I asked a Google spokesperson about Larry Page's response as blogged by Zawinski, and she told me they had nothing to add that hadn't already been said at Web 2.0. She even sent me the specific video, which you can watch below. I continue to be amazed by Google's incoherence on this matter. So much so, I really feel the need to put my opinion in bold:
Google, if you do not give Google+ a powerful and distinctive market differentiator to Facebook's real names-based social network, you will lose to Facebook. If you lose to Facebook, you will become a subsidiary to Facebook. The company's future position on the Internet depends almost solely on how you handle this one policy.
That's my take, at least. Here, this weekend watch Google+ lead Vic Gundotra, to see if you think he's on the right track:
By the way: Anyone with a pseud-based Google+ account get theirs suspended recently?
Hat tip: Torrid Luna.