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Not Planned 'User Names' are so Jurassic

Discussion in 'Closed Suggestions' started by TheBigK, May 28, 2015.

  1. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Did a quick search; but didn't find this suggested.

    I propose elimination of 'usernames' concept. Before you point your guns at me, take a minute to brainstorm on my suggestion. User names are so Jurassic that they shouldn't make it to XF 2.0 (IMHO). XF already has user_id that identifies users uniquely; so why restrict our members from using user ID of their choice? Let people choose their own identity.

    So, how'd you distinguish between Kier (Superman) and Kier (Lesser Mortal)?

    I think the way Facebook and other modern social platforms have solved this problem. We need usernames to 'refer' to someone, tag someone or find their profile page to write on it. But do we really need unique usernames for this? I guess no!

    I guess the problem of uniquely identifying users is a problem solved already - by almost every leading social network. If I'm looking fir Kier; XF can suggest the right Kier using following signals-
    1. Am I following Kier?
    2. How many 'hops' do I have to the right Kier: I'm following Chris, Chris is following Kier (S) but not Kier (LM). So I'm likely to be suggested Kier (S).
    3. Is Kier (S) more active than Kier (LM)?
    4. How many times have I quoted Kier (S) and Kier (LM)?
    5. ...and so on.
    This gives the liberty of choosing their own names or favorite usernames to forum users!

    On our forums, we encouraged users to use real names and ever since doing that; their engagement is way more than it was before. Their replies are now more authentic and they feel more connected.

    What say?
    Kintaro, Veer, Mouth and 1 other person like this.
  2. Da Bookie Mon

    Da Bookie Mon Well-Known Member

    I do like the use of usernames, even Facebook still uses it. But I'd like to see a names field used so you can't limit your site to only one Mike, one, James, one Kieth, one Mary etc. Some people are so extreme that if their name is taken, they won't join.
    51463 likes this.
  3. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    That! A common problem we've faced on our site.

    The best thing about the approach I suggested is that boards can continue with 'unique' usernames if they want. It should just be a 'checkbox' option for the admin.
    Neal and Da Bookie Mon like this.
  4. Mr. Goodie2Shoes

    Mr. Goodie2Shoes Well-Known Member

    What I think is maybe have a new field called "Name" and when tagging and stuff the suggestion list can be something like: "Kier (@KSM)" to uniquely identify the user.

    If the username is not unique then we'll have to remember the user's id and who is going to remember 1319 where TheBigK is much much much easier to remember? :D
    Neal and TheBigK like this.
  5. JackieChun

    JackieChun Active Member

    I am against eliminating user names. Having a user name is part of the fun of being in a forum, and it encourages people to maintain an identity, which leads to better forum behavior.

    Besides, it would be confusing to users if they had to choose a unique identification name, plus a non-unique "public" name.
    Zynektic likes this.
  6. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Usernames are fun, interesting, unique and afford my members anonymity; I won't be getting rid of them anytime soon.

    I also find the opposite to be the case with names, having had lots of members register with their real name (because that's what they've done on Facebook and Twitter) and later ask to apply a username to their account because they didn't realise they could do it. :)
  7. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    User names are far from 'Jurassic', they are still widely used across the Internet. Not everyone wants to be known by their real names everywhere.

    My forum is for PlayStation gamers and we user usernames that are the same as or similar to our PSN IDs. In the console gaming world you can choose to display your real name to others but many do not, except to friends that we know and even then not always. We prefer the anonymity a user name gives us, plus our user name identifies and even defines who we are in the gaming world as opposed to who we are in real life.
    CyclingTribe and Zynektic like this.
  8. Zynektic

    Zynektic Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. We run a gaming forum too and people having to show their real names would stop them from joining the website.

    Also, a lot of people who use Facebook hate the idea of using their real information too so use different surnames and stuff, so even if they use that platform, a lot of users prefer to have some anonymity regardless of whether its against Facebooks terms and conditions or not and considering half the crap these services do to peoples data I am not surprised that they do not want to use real names.
  9. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Please don't make it look like my suggestion hints at forcing people to use their real names. The traditional username system may continue. I just want a choice!


    PS: It looks like getting custom addon developed is a better way to achieve desired functionality. Posting suggestions here looks like a gross waste of time.
  10. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it was your disparaging thread title and the comment below that lead people to believe that's what you meant ...
    It does sort of imply you want to do away with usernames. ;)

    Really? Because a few of us disagree? The point of making suggestions is that you might well have an idea that lots of people (and, more importantly, the developers) like and support; but you shouldn't expect them all to be met with the same enthusiam that you have for them and quite a lot of ideas are not going to be seen as useful by others - that's just how it works. (y)
    Martok likes this.
  11. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    No "does sort of" implication there. That is a flat statement of fact that he proposes the total elimination of usernames. :p
    CyclingTribe and Martok like this.
  12. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    This isn't what you said in the first post:

    Plus the title is very negative towards user names.

    Maybe you should express your suggestions more clearly. ;)

    Not at all. Suggestions, if explained properly, are definitely needed. However, no-one should expect every member here to like a suggestion. Thise who are not in favour have to post to say so as there is no other way to express their opinion, whereas those in favour can simply like the first post if they don't want to comment.

    People need to get used to suggestions are up for debate from the community, for anyone to express their opinion on these. It's then up to the developers to guage that opinion and decide whether or not to implement a suggestion.
  13. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  14. Lawrence

    Lawrence Well-Known Member

  15. Zynektic

    Zynektic Well-Known Member

    So every time someone makes a post, you have to go click their username to find which bob it is? Seems completely silly to do this and I am sure no one is going to like that. A unique username allows you to identify people quickly and easily.
  16. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    So members would have to remember user IDs rather than user names?

    Other than the first three accounts registered here, I don't have a clue which user IDs even the most well known members have, including my own.
    Amaury likes this.
  17. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    Also, how would you tag one of the 100 Bobs on a forum?
  18. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Martok likes this.
  19. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    This is unlikely to change. While forums do overlap with something like Facebook, the usage is still different. Facebook is, in many cases, focused on the people in your small circle, compared to a forum where the focus is generally around the forum content and thus encompassing of the entire community. A unique identifier is very important in this case. I would note that Twitter takes this approach, as the fundamental unit is your Twitter handle. You do have another name component, but that functions more like an extra component than the fundamental identification.

    Facebook still has problems with this too. I know two people with the same name. Last night, I was trying to tag one of them in a picture and I had no idea which one was which, even with the profile picture (it wasn't distinct enough). I had to open another tab to identify which was which... and if they hadn't changed their profile picture, it would've been impossible to distinguish them.
  20. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    On sites that deal with topics that may be illegal in other countries, the ability to use "user names" is critical. By forcing everyone to use their real name could result in real world risks for those individuals. There should be absolutely no requirement to identify yourself to the world by forcing the use of a real name.

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