Oh, Google... this is such a funny situation. I hope you can find the irony in it. You've set up this amazing social network that allows me to block content from one group and share with another with absolutely incredible degrees of intentional accuracy. My drinking buddies don't have to endure my geekfests about social networks and product management and Oprah and my work friends don't have to endure my endless "this one time, at Burning Man..." outbursts.
I thought I had reached Mecca.
So I decided to be 100% honest. I am both D--- F--- (hidden because I want to keep this blog from being included in searches about me) and Normal.
Google's community standards include the line "Google Profiles requires you to use the name that you commonly go by in daily life."
In fact, 700+ people know me as Normal and only 300ish (including anyone I ever went to school with from primary to college) know me as the name I was given at birth. When I filled out my name, I decided that I was ok merging my two halves because Google+ is special. I used the notation used on nametags and gravestones around the world, with my nickname in quotes between my first and last name -- something I'd never do on Facebook because their stupid privacy settings aren't as easy to use as Google+'s.
Of course, Google+ is evolving. This is a tough time for them, since they're a huge corporation trying to act like regular people. One of the things I like about them more than Facebook is that they have an awareness of privacy. Facebook is clueless and messes up all the time, but Google makes an effort to think about privacy.
I filled out their handy form and used this blog as a reference, so hopefully they can read this. They may not have time. I understand they're busy. It's just disappointing since I've been such an advocate from the beginning. I also included my Facebook profile, my LinkedIn profile, and even my Health Month profile (where I've also been pretty open about the connection between my nickname and my real name). And a photo of my driver's license.
We'll see where this lands.
P.S. To make this all more amusing, I have been asked if I want to be on a panel at SXSW about social networks and identity. *sigh*