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Monday, July 25, 2011

Real names and social networks

A brief thought about names: requiring "real names" is a symptom, not the disease. As such, you can start thinking of other symptoms right now, and then look to see if they appear later.

Here's one to wait for: user profiles must have a photo, and it must be a picture of you. That means no more cute cat avatars, or other wild non-you things going on. Maybe they'd also add some qualifications about not altering the colors or other things of that nature.

Why? Easy. A user profile with a black cat avatar, when analyzed, says "feline, black". A user profile of an actual person might say far more. Of course, you'd need a ton of people looking at these things and categorizing them, or some serious facial recognition chops to do that in a scalable manner.

What's that, you say? Facial recognition companies are being bought up?