Let’s start off with a recent quote from Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt who’s quite determined on forcing members to use their real name -and not a nickname- to access the latest social network Google plus;
“No one is forcing you to use it. It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+.”
Moreover, I remember this issue has been a higly charged topic in the boardroom of Facebook when they hit off. Luckily they decided that new users should register their actual name back then. I’m quite sure the social ecosystem would have been completely different today if they hadn’t pursued.
Now, next to the fact that I’m no believer of nicknames (RIP mainstream forums, ICQ, MSN Messenger…), I’m also grateful for this decision in the light of SAM (Social Adoption Mechanism). Allow me to explain;
Innovators are driven by an intrinsic motivation to be consistent to their innovative profile. They want to maintain their status and be recognised for being first. You could even argue that they are concerned with reputation management and personal branding. Just like doctors and researchers are signing off their scientifical papers with a real name, I’m convinced innovators are embracing the real life ecosystem to plant and grow their disruptive ideas.
That’s why the use of real names in social networks is going to be a very powerful detail in making this world evolve faster. So… how many influential people on Twitter are hiding their real name? Case in point.