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Marcus Hancroft

New Resident Names

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I am of the opinion that we need to go back to the original account naming process we had two years ago.  Pick a first name, select a last name from a list.  In my travels around the grid, I have seen some really bad choices.  I won't name specific "names" because I'm not sure if that's ok in the tos, but here are a few examples made up by me taken from what I've seen:  "Pants49", "H5skin", "Spvnthgs32".  I just made those up, but they are indicative of some of the new names I am seeing. 

Personally, I think it comes from selecting account ID's at places like e-mail clients around the internet, and new residents here don't realize that they are going to be walking around the grid with "H5skin" hovering over their heads for the rest of their second life. 

Yes, there are display names available to them and if it were me and I rezzed at Help Island and saw the names of those who hang around there all the time, I would Display Name myself in a New York minute. 

I know this has been discussed before and I'm sorry to drag it all up again, but maybe someone who is thinking about opening an account here will see this and realize that they can have a account name that isn't just a string of letters and numbers. 

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Display Names should have taken care of that issue but not many new residents are aware of the functionality just yet. However, there are websites where you can still register using First and Last names.

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That's what display names are for. There are services that give you only a number, like ICQ, which I think is far worse than having to pick a unique string of letters and numbers. I think it is odd to be forced to pick a name from a list when signing up for an internet service. It probably makes many people abandon SL before they even start. Although I must admit that I've grown fond of my last name and would never trade it for an account called just "Monalisa". :D

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Willow Danube wrote:

Display Names should have taken care of that issue but not many new residents are aware of the functionality just yet. However, there are websites where you can still register using First and Last names.

That is true, Willow.  But I believe the vast number of new accounts are created right on the SL homepage and not another of the locations because people don't know that option is available to them. 

 

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

I know this has been discussed before and I'm sorry to drag it all up again, but maybe someone who is thinking about opening an account here will see this and realize that they can have a account name that isn't just a string of letters and numbers. 

 

More to the point, hopefully they will realise that they can be creative in chosing their Username or use a Display Name :)

I don't think the new single names are the problem per se. We still had 'ugly' names with the old firstname \ lastname method. Ok, it might be a little bit nicer with a 'proper' lastname that was provided but I think if someone is lazy in creating a new single username, they'd still be lazy with the old method.

For example, if someone created a new single Username of Suella12345 now, I bet they would have Suella12345 Smith even if they had the given surname of 'Smith'.

It's the lack of creativity that gets me. I know that it can initially appear more limiting with single usernames but I think if people were to think more creatively when signing up, it's actually offers more choice. People can be who they want to be without having to select a surname they might not want. Ok, so if 'Suella' comes along she can't have the username 'Suella' becuase I have it. She doesn't have to be Suella001 though. She could be, say, SexySuella or SassySuella or SuellaSue - the choices should be pretty infinite.

Sadly, people sometimes seem to just go for the simple Suella12345 or Suella0001 options though :( I don't think we can particularly blame the new sign-up process for that. We can only blame the lack of creativity when people signup.

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Monalisa Robbiani wrote:

... Although I must admit that I've grown fond of my last name and would never trade it for an account called just "Monalisa".
:D

I completely agree, Mona.  I see long lost relatives of mine once in a while and I always say "Howdy" to them.  I would suspect that there aren't  many Hancrofts or Robbianis out there and it's fun when I meet a relative around the grid!  I wouldn't change MY name for anything in the world either!

edited to change would to wouldn't  /me laughs

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Suella Ember wrote:

 

More to the point, hopefully they will realise that they can be creative in chosing their Username or use a Display Name
:)

I don't think the new single names are the problem per se. We still had 'ugly' names with the old firstname \ lastname method. Ok, it might be a little bit nicer with a 'proper' lastname that was provided but I think if someone is lazy in creating a new single username, they'd still be lazy with the old method.

For example, if someone created a new single Username of Suella12345 now, I bet they would have Suella12345 Smith even if they had the given surname of 'Smith'.

It's the lack of creativity that gets me. I know that it can initially appear more limiting with single usernames but I think if people were to think more creatively when signing up, it's actually offers more choice. People can be who they want to be without having to select a surname they might not want. Ok, so if 'Suella' comes along she can't have the username 'Suella' becuase I have it. She doesn't have to be Suella001 though. She could be, say, SexySuella or SassySuella or SuellaSue - the choices should be pretty infinite.

Sadly, people sometimes seem to just go for the simple Suella12345 or Suella0001 options though
:(
I don't think we can particularly blame the new sign-up process for that. We can only blame the lack of creativity when people signup.

 

Exactly correct, Miss Suella!  It's the lack of creativity that gets me too.  You're probably right that there would likely be a Suella12345 Smith out there.  /me chuckles

 

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Wouldn't it be helpful if new residents could choose a display name already at the singup process?

Then when they have learned some about SL, they would know how to change it, if they changed their mind.

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

 Exactly correct, Miss Suella!  It's the lack of creativity that gets me too.  You're probably right that there would likely be a Suella12345 Smith out there.  /me chuckles

 

 

The thing is as a new resident, the first thing you logged in to SL was not to change your username into a nice display name. I would be too excited or anxious on how to move from one place to the next. Orientation Island is a good way for them to learn but not enough for them to release their inner creativity.. well at least, not yet. This is where Help Island or Info Hubs comes in. I remember when I was a newbie, I got teleported to this Info Hub and immediately approached by a 'volunteer' who was quick to dismiss V2 and told me to use Emerald instead. Back then, V2 was just first released.

I think this issue can be solved if volunteers take it into their account to promote the use of display names. But it would be much more effective if Second Life registration page includes a tiny note that says they can always use Display Name to change their username once they're logged in to Second Life.  

 

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I agree with Suella creativity is very important. When I signed up I wanted the name "Reporter" but it seems it is taken. So I thought about it for a little while and I came up with "LiveReport" which I have grown to love more then my first choice. :)

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There are two issues here. First, older residents need to not think of new resident "usernames" as "avatar names". LL has deliberately divorced the two, and that's a good call.

The problem as I see it, having gone through the new resident sign up process to see how it differs from previous incarnations, is that Linden Lab does not make a clear distinction to people signing up for the first time. On one hand, they do not let you know that your username will always be visible (having lead to many people using their private e-mail address as their username without the knowledge that this would be visible to all, and they don't do enough to prompt new users into creating a display name.

 New residents basically choose a username, then get dumped into the grid with that as their display name until they learn to change it on their own.

 

  Everything about the new user sign-up and orientation process is poorly thought out and this is no exception. New users should be put through an agressively interactive tutorial/orientation process much like you'd find in a well made videogame. During this usernames should be given the spotlight. As a new resident rezzes for the first time a box should pop up in the middle of their screen prompting them to create a display name. Some examples should be given, driving home that they are choosing a name, not an AOL screenname. Once chosen, they should be shown how to change it and told what limitations there are on this.

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LiveReport wrote:

I agree with Suella creativity is very important. When I signed up I wanted the name "Reporter" but it seems it is taken. So I thought about it for a little while and I came up with "LiveReport" which I have grown to love more then my first choice.
:)

 

/me might go and create "DimButHotFemaleNewsPresenter" so I can pout at the camera and say "... and now over to LiveReport with the latest news live from the field!" :smileytongue:

P.S. I agree with those who have said it would be good if people could create a Display Name (or at least be informed of Display Names) at sign up. That might partly help the problem.

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Penny Patton wrote:

There are two issues here. First, older residents need to not think of new resident "usernames" as "avatar names". LL has deliberately divorced the two, and that's a good call.

The problem as I see it, having gone through the new resident sign up process to see how it differs from previous incarnations, is that Linden Lab does not make a clear distinction to people signing up for the first time. On one hand, they do not let you know that your username will always be visible (having lead to many people using their private e-mail address as their username without the knowledge that this would be visible to all, and they don't do enough to prompt new users into creating a display name.

 New residents basically choose a username, then get dumped into the grid with that as their display name until they learn to change it on their own.

 

  Everything about the new user sign-up and orientation process is poorly thought out and this is no exception. New users should be put through an agressively interactive tutorial/orientation process much like you'd find in a well made videogame. During this usernames should be given the spotlight. As a new resident rezzes for the first time a box should pop up in the middle of their screen prompting them to create a display name. Some examples should be given, driving home that they are choosing a name, not an AOL screenname. Once chosen, they should be shown how to change it and told what limitations there are on this.

Great post, Penny!  Yes, this would be MOST helpful!  I wish this is what the sign up process was like.  Maybe I'll start hanging out at Orientation Island and help the new users as soon as they rez.  Wait...that might overwhelm them.  Especially since they are just getting used to moving around and seeing everything so new.  Hmmm...well, let's hope that someday, LL will change the account creation process again to make it easier for new residents to understand what those names really will end up being. 

 

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Suella Ember wrote:

More to the point, hopefully they will realise that they can be creative in chosing their Username or use a Display Name
:)

I don't think the new single names are the problem per se. We still had 'ugly' names with the old firstname \ lastname method. Ok, it might be a little bit nicer with a 'proper' lastname that was provided but I think if someone is lazy in creating a new single username, they'd still be lazy with the old method.

For example, if someone created a new single Username of Suella12345 now, I bet they would have Suella12345 Smith even if they had the given surname of 'Smith'.

It's the lack of creativity that gets me. I know that it can initially appear more limiting with single usernames but I think if people were to think more creatively when signing up, it's actually offers more choice. People can be who they want to be without having to select a surname they might not want. Ok, so if 'Suella' comes along she can't have the username 'Suella' becuase I have it. She doesn't have to be Suella001 though. She could be, say, SexySuella or SassySuella or SuellaSue - the choices should be pretty infinite.

Sadly, people sometimes seem to just go for the simple Suella12345 or Suella0001 options though
:(
I don't think we can particularly blame the new sign-up process for that. We can only blame the lack of creativity when people signup.

 

I'm one of those people who has numbers in her first name, and I feel confident enough in my capacity for creativity to say that lack of that particular trait wasn't a factor in my choice. :smileytongue:

I simply did not have a very good understanding of what SL was. I'd never participated in any MMO or VR before I stumbled across SL. If I had known at the time I signed up for an account how involved I'd end up becoming in SL, I definitely would not have gone with "Melanie774". The name was simply a handle I'd used in a couple of other online instances and I'd felt I was simply using kind of a throwaway name while I checked out this new "game" in my spare time.

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Melanie774 Kidd wrote:

 

I simply did not have a very good understanding of what SL was. I'd never participated in any MMO or VR before I stumbled across SL. If I had known at the time I signed up for an account how involved I'd end up becoming in SL, I definitely would not have gone with "Melanie774". The name was simply a handle I'd used in a couple of other online instances and I'd felt I was simply using kind of a throwaway name while I checked out this new "game" in my spare time.

 

And herein ^ is what I expect others have done also.  The old system, when you signed on, had you pick a first name.  In my case, I chose Marcus.  Then on the next screen, or right next to the first name choice (I can't remember which, it's been too long) was a drop down menu of last names you could choose.  Each of those last names were only available for a short time, so each "Hancroft" you see out there became a resident at about the same time as I did.  I consider them "cousins".  And so, Marcus Hancroft was born!  Now, though, new residents don't have that luxury.

"Create a user name" and "Create a password" are the only options new users are given.  The user name cannot have any spaces in it.  So if I wanted to create Marcus Hancroft now, it would have to be MarcusHancroft Resident.  There is a note to the right that says: "Note: Your username is your login ID. Once you register, your username cannot be changed." but nothing about this user name being suspended over your head for ever more.   

So I can see how anybody might pick Marcus123 as a user name. 

You can, however, Miss Melanie, use display names to change your first name to strictly Melanie if you wish! 

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

You can, however, Miss Melanie, use display names to change your first name to strictly Melanie if you wish! 

 

Yeah, right now my display is set to "メラニ · Melanie" because I'm a dork. :robotvery-happy:

I'm in a bit of a quandary as to whether I want to set it as Melanie Kidd. I'd like to, but for business purposes I don't think I will; I'd hate for people to accidentally send notecards and group invites to the avatar that does have the username "melanie.kidd".

Who, of course, never ever ever ever ever logs in. Oh the injustice :robotmad:

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Melanie774 Kidd wrote:

 

Suella Ember wrote:

It's the lack of creativity that gets me.

 

I'm one of those people who has numbers in her first name, and I feel confident enough in my capacity for creativity to say that lack of that particular trait wasn't a factor in my choice. :smileytongue:

I simply did not have a very good understanding of what SL was. I'd never participated in any MMO or VR before I stumbled across SL. If I had known at the time I signed up for an account how involved I'd end up becoming in SL, I definitely would not have gone with "Melanie774". The name was simply a handle I'd used in a couple of other online instances and I'd felt I was simply using kind of a throwaway name while I checked out this new "game" in my spare time.

Isn't it a shame how some people feel the need to dimish others capacities. Your name is your choice, not other peoples. I get so tired of the single name vs forced last name debate. WHy should we conform to a few privileged peoples viewpoint? I know I won't and never will.

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I prefer the old system, too, but it's too late to worry about it, now. I realize people can use display names to cover up the weirdness of the account name, but just FYI, around me, it means nothing. I keep display names turned off. Fortunately, I also don't give a flying prim what your name is and won't judge you for being called steve1234 any more than I'd judge you for being Steve Foxdale.

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I think everyone for me to have to be able to select a favorite first name and last name freely. And, an existing member should also enable the change in the first name and the last name for a fee. 
I have the friend who wants to change Login ID.  I want also to change the name once. 
The display name doesn't become the rescue plan.  Login ID is still a main current of the individuality of avatar, and the display name looks like the group tag. 
In Dashboard, it is necessary to make a revokable mechanism in a favorite name.  Of course, it is a change to the name that doesn't exist at that time. 
Cost is thought that amount of money... about1000L... that the person who wants to change the name really pays is appropriate. 
It might be good to enable only the manager of Linden Lab to inspect the record of a past name to make the trouble doer turn out changing the name.  Keeping for a certain period to unalterable might be good if it changes once. 
This not only becomes a lot of members' reliefs but also becomes a profit for Linden Lab.

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Personally I don't find names with numbers very aesthetic, but then again I am sure there are people who don't find "Finora" to be pleasant on the eye either.  Each to their own.

In my limited experience most of the names with numbers I saw tended be relatively new people.  Perhaps they quickly signed up making a name to try SL, tried it a bit, didn't like it and left ?

My main angst with names that had numbers occurred when I was hosting.  I would find myself worrying whether I should address the person by their full name even if that was "Sexybeast1969", or to shorten it to the letters only.  Typically I tended to shorten it and never had anyone complain.

 

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Finora Kuncoro wrote:

Personally I don't find names with numbers very aesthetic, but then again I am sure there are people who don't find "Finora" to be pleasant on the eye either... 

 

Actually, I find Finora Kuncoro a fantastic name!  VERY original! :smileyhappy:

 

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Whether the new single-name system is good or bad, it is a significant cultural change.

As we know, in the past people were required to conform to a system where everyone has a personal name and a family name. This system is pretty widespread in the RL Western cultures, and for people familiar with those cultures it gives a mental nudge towards considering this simply another world, analogous to the physical one. For people from cultures with different naming systems it isn't that simple of course, so in addition to hinting that this is in a sense a 'real' world it also gives some feeling of being in a foreign land.

Now, the display names reform could have addressed this last part. It does, at least in principle, make it possible to form names that don't conform to the personal+family name format. That might help making SL more attractive to people with non-Western avatars, but I haven't seen a notable increase in non-Western RL naming styles. In part I think this is because the new user creation setup does not direct new people to select full names, it just requires them to have an user name. This isn't the full extent of the issue, though: old residents are also selecting single-word display names, essentially just dropping their family name.

I believe the core issue here is that the new setup of having an username and an optional full name gives people, especially newcomers, the impression that SL is another service on the net similar to one's Google account, or a web forum, or – dare I say it – a game. On a brighter side, it also seems that the more experienced residents are free to change to using a name they feel comfortable with, and the social circle of many people here is small enough that they feel they can get away with using only a single name.

Still, it does make SL feel just a little bit less like the other world we consider 'real'.

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Unti Kamala wrote:

Whether the new single-name system is good or bad, it is a significant cultural change.


As we know, in the past people were required to conform to a system where everyone has a personal name and a family name. This system is pretty widespread in the RL Western cultures, and for people familiar with those cultures it gives a mental nudge towards considering this simply another world, analogous to the physical one. For people from cultures with different naming systems it isn't that simple of course, so in addition to hinting that this is in a sense a 'real' world it also gives some feeling of being in a foreign land.


Now, the display names reform could have addressed this last part. It does, at least in principle, make it possible to form names that don't conform to the personal+family name format. That might help making SL more attractive to people with non-Western avatars, but I haven't seen a notable increase in non-Western RL naming styles. In part I think this is because the new user creation setup does not direct new people to select full names, it just requires them to have an user name. This isn't the full extent of the issue, though: old residents are also selecting single-word display names, essentially just dropping their family name.


I believe the core issue here is that the new setup of having an username and an optional full name gives people, especially newcomers, the impression that SL is another service on the net similar to one's Google account, or a web forum, or – dare I say it – a game. On a brighter side, it also seems that the more experienced residents are free to change to using a name they feel comfortable with, and the social circle of many people here is small enough that they feel they can get away with using only a single name.


Still, it does make SL feel just a little bit less like the other world we consider 'real'.



Very insightful, Miss Unti!  This is something I hadn't considered about the whole thing and I had an Ah Ha! moment while reading it!  Thank you for posting! :smileyhappy:

 

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