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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gmail + GVoice = GMe? Online Handles as Legal Names

With Google's recent announcement that they are integrating gmail with GoogleVoice and that you can call (for free!) from gmail, I had three thoughts:


1. Uh oh, Skype. Youze in trouble.


2. I wonder when we'll start requiring folks to have their online handles as part of their legal names.


3. I wonder if Mom would get upset if I legally changed my name to Colleen Susan Warmaiden Harris.


Now, it's not terribly difficult to change your legal name - in some states, it's as little as a form, a short audience with a judge, and a small fee. There's the trouble of changing your license and all of your other legal documents, of course, but it's not more of a hassle than women who change their names when they marry have to go through. I'm sure people have done it already, and their legal names are now Jondamuur Dread, or some such thing. But I do wonder if this is going to become so ingrained as a part of our identity that it becomes folded in as part of our official identification.

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