Current mood: Worried+
Google Accounts and Google Profile, and G+ and Gmail and Google apps -- well, I'm frankly baffled by many aspects of how they connect or will connect at the moment, and the consequences of all that... to wit:
I have a client who is an author; I made his website (that we'll call AuthorName.com), and would normally set up a gmail domain email account for him through Google Accounts
... he would also like to join G+ (and he has a pretty big twitter/facebook/community blogs following). He also has a longstanding gmail address that he's used for all his author-related email -- let's call it [writer.guy]@gmail.com
. The plan was to forward that mail to new account Author@AuthorName.com(via a Google account) and go forward using that email instead of [writer.guy]@gmail.com
But we're holding off, because, guess what -- Author Name isn't his real name. It's his pen name. It's on his book, and it's him, and he uses Author Name on Facebook and other social media, but it's not the name on his birth certificate, or the name his family calls him. Pen names are pretty common for writers (thus the whole "pen" part), but I'm very nervous now about going with any Google accounts services for him, especially Gmail. What if Google decides to suspend his account because he's not using his "real name"?
How would they know? I have no idea, but I don't feel like chancing it.
Will this happen only if he's also using G+? Is G+ the thing that gets your gmail snatched away. Or is it also your Profile? Or what?
This whole business of using your gmail account as hostage and a blunt instrument to make you do what Google wants you to do is scary, and it's freaking me out. I've gone from adoring Gmail, to feeling very, very insecure about it.
I'm currently checking out Zoho mail with a domain I own to see how viable that is, or maybe I'll go back to Thunderbird, with a forward to something in the cloud. I'm open to paid web mail suggestions. I don't want to wake up one day and miss some PROBLEM: URGENT, URGENT PLEASE REPLY ASAP email from a client because Google has suspended my gmail account after deciding they don't like the looks of something related to me in their labyrinth of accounts/apps/services/social media, and I definitely
no longer feel secure about recommending it to clients.
I know what you're thinking: I should never have used Gmail to begin with then, since it's free
. What did I expect?
Perhaps so, but it was the best email service I've used, and I never really worried about anything except making sure my password was nice and strong. Until now.