Real Names, and why we need them

Businesses known me by many names:

  • thirstforwine (I use this username on most social networks)
  • Mr McIntosh
  • Robert McIntosh
  • share 280xxx

There are many reasons why they would store that information for contacting me ‘officially’. However, most are not how I would necessarily want to be called by friends and contacts speaking to ME personally.

You can call me Robert, or Rob :wink:

How would you know that if you wanted to get in touch, or know me better after reading some random post in the community?

When we launched this Society community project we decided it would be better if members were able to select a username that expressed their individuality rather than imposing a strict format on everyone. We also chose not to enforce a REAL NAME only system that required you to use your real name instead of a username, as is the case when your reviews are posted on the main site.

However, it is hard to get to know and trust a user you only know as ‘thirstforwine’, so our membership rules ask that, whatever username you choose, that you also add your real name to the ‘Display Name’ field in your profile preferences. I would much rather refer to you by your first name (if you don’t mind) in messages and interactions. It also means that when you search for a user (to add them to a conversation) you are searching BOTH the username field and the display name field for a match.

start by typing ‘@’ then as you type you will get a choice of options

By default this will show as “Mr/Mrs/Ms/Mx [Surname]” since this is how The Society likes to address members, but this can be a bit impersonal for a more informal, social community like this one.

I encourage you all to take a look at this field and tell us how you’d like to be known in this space, but I also would like to point out that this cannot be left BLANK as this is unhelpful to all and against the site’s policies.

How do you feel about this policy? Does knowing each others’ names make it more personal and less likely that there will be misunderstandings? Or might this policy cause fewer members to take part?

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below so I can answer them for all to read, or send me a message.