I was totally into the whole Google Plus thing. I really was! I thought, hey, here’s a place for adults. Where we could, you know, have Adult conversations and content. Unlike Facebook, who deletes you without warning for random reasons.
The concept of Circles was awesome (even though they clearly stole it from my Avatar story)! I could have other writers in my Circles. I could have fans in some Circles. I could follow people in yet more Circles. It was going to ROCK.
Then… Reality set in.
Now, I’ll admit that, at the time of this writing, Google plus is in beta. But fuck, Gmail was in beta FOR YEARS, so I’m not putting too much stock into when G+ will be OUT of beta.
So, about that Reality thing. It appears, that G+ was designed for families and children only. Adult content is not welcome. And, if you post it, they could, and did, bounce your ass. Said bounce could suspend your G+ account — and every-fucking-other account you had with Google! Your email, calendars and whatever else they felt like taking away from you.
Worse, G+ DEMANDS in the TOS that you use your real name. Oh, artists are allowed to use an alias, but I’m pretty sure it’s still supposed to be linked to your real name.
That is total bullshit.
Since there were TONS of discussions dealing with this topic, and several articles written on it, I’m not going to go into great depth here, other than to say that these two … problems … make G+ even less suitable for my needs than Facebook.
And here’s where the inline identity thing comes in. Dark Pen is my online identity — or one of them, anyway. But it’s the name I write under, the name that writing is known by and I had damned good reasons for not writing under my real name. I’m not going to tie the Dark Pen name to my real name because Google doesn’t understand people’s reasons for privacy.
Since Dark Pen is an alias, I’m going to remove myself from G+ before they come along and discover I’ve broken their terms of ‘service’ and delete all my stuff. Or lock it out and force me to reveal to them who I really am to get it back.
Yes, I know they could pretty easily track me down. But currently, they have no reason to, and I’d like to keep it that way.
I was trying to get a following on Blogger (which was failing miserably), but then I realized that THAT was a Google product. So. I’ll leave that blog alone. I’ll put in something saying that I’ve moved to WordPress (although I’m still maintaining my LJ account — where people actually comment and respond to me) and plan to continue here. I will set up pop to download my Gmail, and I’ve already pulled all my Gmail contacts into Hotmail.
I don’t plan to boycott Google — something that would be almost impossible anyway. And, if they get their shit together and acknowledge the rights of adults, I’ll return to G+. But for now? I think it’s better not to trust the ‘Cloud’ with my data (not that I ever did, really) and not to keep all my online eggs in one basket.
Links to Violet Blue’s excellent articles on the current state of Google +: