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please use a real sounding name

 
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Pam,

We've talked about it for years.

I've linked to some of the past discussion about it above.

You can choose a real sounding name that still keeps you anonymous.

If you are not comfortable with this change, I understand. I will wish you well on your journey and then I will lock your account.
 
paul wheaton
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Jenny,

If you pick a name that seems less made up, then we'll be all set.

Thanks!

 
paul wheaton
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So, we've talked about this change for years in this forum.

The change has been mentioned several times in podcasts and in mailings on my daily-ish email.

A couple of months ago I was accused of banning people for not doing this - so the accusers had (mis)read the information that was being sent out.

The decision has been made. the change is underway.

With the decision came the understanding that if it becomes a requirement, several good and decent people will leave. Probably a few dozen. And I decided that the upsides are so great, that this loss pales in comparison. After all, what are people protesting? They are demanding that they have obviously fake display names?

Those that want anonymity still have it.

Those that want to promote their business still have it (in their sig).

Those that want everybody to know them by their pseudonym in other online spots, can put their pseudonym in their sig.

When we made the change at JavaRanch there were dozens of people that were hysterically pissed. A few reluctantly complied, but most left. The site grew rapidly after that. And the few that stuck around told me that they liked the change. A lot. They become some of the staunchest supporters of the idea.

It is my history with this that makes me so unbending. The results are huge and excellent. Quite simply, it creates a certain flavor of community. A flavor that I really like.

I'm tickled pink that permies is finally making this change.
 
                        
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I don't even know what locking my account means. Does it mean I can no longer access the site or just that I can't post? I assume it means I wouldn't get notification of your "dailyish email." And, btw, I am not considering leaving because I "want to use an obviously fake name" but because I resent being forced to lie to stay. I was fine with the Hatfield that you assigned and thought that was the end of it, deliberately lying is not something I generally choose to do. Also, I have problems keeping track of passwords as it is, and this is just something else I'd have to keep track of. So what does locking my account actually mean? So I can make an informed decision?
 
paul wheaton
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Pam,

Welcome to my home. For the entire time I've had this home I've asked people to not smoke in my home. And since I didn't make it an absolute requirement, people have smoked in my home - mostly because they smoke in almost all other homes. For years I have said that I really don't like people smoking in my home, please don't smoke in my home. And people kept smoking in my home. For years I've been saying "one day, I'm going to kick out anybody who smokes in my home no matter how cool they are."

Today is that day. I'm fed up. I've had enough.

So here you are, blowing smoke in my face, in my home, and saying "why should I stop? What are you gonna do? convince me."

As I am working really hard to control my anger, I would very much like to ask you to apologize and put your cigarette out.

 
paul wheaton
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This community was never intended to please everybody. I made this web site for my own reasons to do my own thing. I want ONLY like minded people. I want ONLY people who are comfortable with using their real names - although I will allow a few that use real sounding names.

I think it is a perfectly normal, human response for people other than me to want something slightly different than what I am building. Some folks might make suggestions. I expect 99% will simply move on and find a community that is a better fit for them. Or attempt to build a web site that reflects their own ideals.

In 1998 I made a web site about Java. There were thousands of web sites about Java. Yet people liked my site. Today that site gets about 3 million people per month.

Last month my permaculture empire had almost a million people on one month.

Permaculture is a massive deviation from the norm. And I deviate from the permaculture norm. I have my own way of doing things and I fully expect most people to not like it.

I make this change not for the majority that will hate it. I make this change for the minority that will love it, like it or be okay with it. Because that's what I'm into.

Here is is, crisp and clear: if you want to post here, you will use a display name that is within my comfort zone.

Anybody that cannot post without using a pseudonym like ButtFucker7 or "Hugh G. Rection" to show off their personal wit and charm, will just have to post somewhere else.

I want to talk about permaculture with people that are using real names. It's a pretty simple thing. And I think as long as I am paying the bills, it is not too much to ask.

Toby Hemenway will be here tomorrow. You will notice that his display name is "Toby Hemenway". Geoff Lawton was here a few weeks ago. you will notice that his display name is "Geoff Lawton". Helen Atthowe pops in from time to time. You will notice that her display name is "Helen Atthowe".

From this point forward, this is the kind of community we have on permies.com. Those that cannot bear the thought of being part of this type of community are welcome to not participate.

It seems very clear and simple and obvious to me. I am seriously confused that there can possibly be any confusion.
 
paul wheaton
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Here are some excellent communties:

forums.permaculture.org.au --- the PRI forums. really great permaculture stuff. A little australian focused, but actually quite international. Open to talking about pretty much everything and very reluctant to ban people

forums.homestead.org -- a great forum for discussing homesteading. Very chatty and friendly.

www.homesteadingtoday.com --- they are totally okay talking about using GMOs and pesticides, but they have lots of excellent homesteading discussion

http://www.reddit.com/r/homestead/ -- reddit is a link aggregation site, but for each link you can have discussion. So it's kinda like a forum. They don't ban anybody, so watch out for trolls.

 
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Firstly, I have complied.

Secondly, I thought long and hard about the requirement before coming back to the website after the software change that locked me out for two weeks in the fall. Paul, thanks again for your help in getting me back in contact with my account here.

I have only 15 years worth of exposure on the internet. I'm not a programmer, or in business where I felt my "real" name needed to be a public commodity. I have used the same identity across the years, through several ISP addresses and many websites. I am known by that name, which does not break down into a first name and last name, but identifies me around the world.

I like Permies. I like it a lot. I want to be able to link to all the great and wonderful information I see here and make it available to people I know.

But in some of the places I might offer a link there are people that I do not want to be able to look me up in the phone book or Google my address. For that reason, and that reason alone, my ability desire to share Permies information with the world has now been curtailed in some areas.

 
paul wheaton
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Lolly Knowles wrote:

But in some of the places I might offer a link there are people that I do not want to be able to look me up in the phone book or Google my address. For that reason, and that reason alone, my ability desire to share Permies information with the world has now been curtailed in some areas.



I understand exactly what you mean.

There are tradeoffs. It is my experience that this path has far more upsides than downsides. I hope that as the years pass, you will be convinced this is true.


 
                        
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Paul, absolutely I apologise if you feel I am trying to blow smoke in your face. this certainly isn't my intention. I sorta feel that that's what's happening in reverse, actually, that I came to your open house and now have to accept having smoke blown in my face if I want to stay. You may have been discussing this for years but a couple of months ago was the first I knew of it and I thought the Hatfield thing had resolved it so was astonished at the email yesterday. I was (am) only asking what losing my account means in specific terms. This isn't an attempt to annoy you, it's simply a request for clarification.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is the clarification.

Click on "My Profile" at the top and then click on "name change request form".



 
paul wheaton
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On a lighter note: the current software has a thing in it so that when you submit a name change request it has a "reason" field. I have to say that a lot of the reasons people have submitted have been a lot of fun! Thanks folks!
 
paul wheaton
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Pam,

I re-read your post and see that you think of this policy as blowing smoke in your face. Therefore, it would seem that this site is not a fit for you. So I've locked your account.

If I somehow found the wrong interpretation of your words, please send me an email with what you want your new display name to be and we'll get this all sorted out.

 
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paul wheaton wrote:Here are some excellent communties:

forums.permaculture.org.au --- the PRI forums. really great permaculture stuff. A little australian focused, but actually quite international. Open to talking about pretty much everything and very reluctant to ban people

forums.homestead.org -- a great forum for discussing homesteading. Very chatty and friendly.

www.homesteadingtoday.com --- they are totally okay talking about using GMOs and pesticides, but they have lots of excellent homesteading discussion

http://www.reddit.com/r/homestead/ -- reddit is a link aggregation site, but for each link you can have discussion. So it's kinda like a forum. They don't ban anybody, so watch out for trolls.



I created a new message board yesterday to try to offer an alternative to those above for folks who might not feel comfortable there and want somewhere to talk and share ideas that might not be appropriate here. It's brand new, so there's nobody there yet, but if enough of us join in perhaps we can make a place that we all like to hang.

If that sounds interesting, check it out at:

http://www.permsteading.com/index.php
 
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I was a little concerned about using my full name since I freely talk about the small town where I live. I use my first name and last initial. Will that pass the test? I don't say anything on the forum that I wouldn't sign my name to but I am also concerned about security and safety. I don't want lurkers to see my full name and be able to figure out exactly where I live. Am I going to have a problem?
 
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testing for new name
 
steve berthiaume
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i don't think it works yet; maybe because you can only change the fields that say first & last name, and not "login name"?
 
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It sounds to me like your name is Steven and you are a feuding heathen.
 
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heathensteven is my "login name" which can't be changed as far as i can tell... i don't know where hatfield came from- maybe paul gave it to me?
 
Honora Holmes
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Sorry, I was being tongue in cheek wy my remarks. Paul has posted elsewhere that the site was automatically giving the names of either Hatfield or McCoy when there was no other last name listed. It sounds to me like you ought to be able to change your first name of "heathensteven" though. But I've not actually tried to figure it out myself.
 
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looks like it works; now my ex-girlfriends can find me thanks paul
 
paul wheaton
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Becky Pinaz wrote:I was a little concerned about using my full name since I freely talk about the small town where I live. I use my first name and last initial. Will that pass the test? I don't say anything on the forum that I wouldn't sign my name to but I am also concerned about security and safety. I don't want lurkers to see my full name and be able to figure out exactly where I live. Am I going to have a problem?



You may use an initial for your first name, but not for your last.

you can use a name that is not your real name as long as you don't publicly announce that it is not your real name.

 
paul wheaton
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steve berthiaume wrote:heathensteven is my "login name" which can't be changed as far as i can tell... i don't know where hatfield came from- maybe paul gave it to me?



I see "steve berthiaume" --- does anyone see anything other than that?


 
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Ahem, Steve. If your ex is a stalker then maybe you accidentally put down the wrong real name and you can go ahead and change it real quick.
 
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you can use a name that is not your real name as long as you don't publicly announce that it is not your real name.



wouldn't that be dishonest? i mean, using another name than your real name before this rule change was part of the culture, it was assumed that people weren't using their real names, and people could be creative and use their "names" to say something about themselves, like "musicman", "tractorgirl", or "firebush69." having a first & last name that's understood by everyone to be questionable seems to defeat the purpose of "cleaning up" permies or however it was phrased. whatevs....
 
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and if you google my name, i am *not* the ESPN sportscaster.
 
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I only registered two weeks ago and it said to use a real name but it didnt' have to be your own so long as you didn't admit one way or the other. I thought that was said in this thread as well. The point being it's a place with "real" people not Bertha Buttcheeks and Bacon Grease McCoy. I don't entirely get it but that's what's been stated and if you are bothered by using your "real" name I don't understand why not just take the opportunity to be able to do what you are asked while still respecting your privacy online. It's sort of beside the point whether any of us thinks this makes sense to us, right? We aren't calling the shots or paying for the forum. But I don't see how it's dishonest. It's never been considered dishonest to use a handle online. What's dishonest about being asked to use a handle that doesn't seem like one?
 
steve berthiaume
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if you have to use a "real name" , and it's not your own, then what of the person whose name it is? what if they don't want to be seen as posting here? i don't really see any difference between using a "real-sounding name" and a handle. if someone wants to be taken seriously on the forum, i doubt they'd use a name like bertha buttcheeks. i used my real own name in the spirit of what paul asked. i think it's bullshit, but i want to be part of the forums, and using someone else's name as my own seems contrary to what paul wants here; i don't know why he couldn't go all in and insist on identity verification.

at least i don't have to sign my posts anymore...
 
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I was contacted by one of the moderators regarding the "believable name" issue. I was not directly accused of having a name that's not believable, and it looks like I'm still able to post for now, so maybe final judgement has not been passed, but it was requested that if I change my name to a fake one, it must sound believable. I replied with the following:



I suppose whether my name is believable or not depends on who you ask, and what their cultural background has taught them. If you don't believe the name I've given is mine, I suppose you could call me by something else, but then how believable would it be to me to hear others calling me by a name unfamiliar to my own ears? (Or, to be more applicable here, if they addressed me in writing using a more "believable" name that my eyes might not recognize as my own?)

I have to wonder though, could the perplexity I'm feeling right now vaguely resemble in some minuscule way what the native tribal children felt like when they were taken from their communities, forced into schools run by the colonizers, and assigned "believable" names like "Steve" or "John"?

Of course, there really is no comparison, because this is just a website, and at least here, if the name I call mine is rejected, I have the option of leaving and going to talk with people in other venues. It would be a bit of a bummer though, cause I like this website, and there seem to be a lot of intelligent, friendly, and very knowledgeable people who contribute here, but maybe it would be for the best, as I'd rather connect with those who can respect the name I give when I introduce myself anyway.
 
                        
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This is a very interesting thread and I can honestly say that I've never seen one like this on any other discussion forum. What I have seen a lot of is "owner prerogative" with respect to judgment calls and ultimately that's what this boils down to and I've a believer in making things as clear and simple as they can be made.

The owner of this board wants this policy for his own reasons and the members can like it or lump it. Full stop. He's putting time, money and effort into creating this board and so he gets to impose his personality and whims on how he tailors its operations.

That said, I personally think that trying to dress up whims with the cloak of logical reasoning is a big fail. People are not understanding this policy because they're searching for reason behind it and coming up empty. I think this is the heart of the confusion.

Secondly, people are taking offense, I believe, because this policy runs counter to their moral reasoning:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Martin Luther King, Jr.



I suspect that what underlies much of the dissent here is that people want to be judged by the content of their writing, not by the superficiality of a "real sounding name." By being forced to adopt a "real sounding name" under the guise of "reason and logic" they feel that they are being judged for "being the wrong kind of people" and the people doing the judging are not looking, at all, at the content of their character and are only focusing on the superficiality of on-line appearances. An internet discussion board community of people with "real sounding names" is like a country club that doesn't want people with Jewish and ethnic names - content of character is immaterial, only appearances matter. The best thing for such country clubs to do is to state "we have this policy because that's the way we like it" and just avoid trying to rationalize because that only sows confusion for there is very little reason and logic to ignoring the content of people's character and instead focusing laser-like on their appearance.

I have no problem with the policy, I'm a guest on a website that someone else is paying for and managing, all I'm saying is that the rationalizations ring quite hollow and to my personality-type, a straightforward command of "because I said so" is easier to respect that ineffective hoop-jumping which tries to make sense of something that is morally questionable.
 
paul wheaton
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I'm closing this thread since it's focus was on a transitional period.

More on this topic at https://permies.com/t/12298/tinkering-site/real-sounding-name
 
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