I am NOT going to pretend to have any answers about this.
What I’d just like to do is spin this a bit.
I’m seeing a lot of people, myself included, who think changing forums to only show commenter’s real names is a bad idea. These people have listed many, many different reasons why they feel this way, and some of those reasons include personal safety from internet predators.
I’m seeing a handful of people who say that they think it’s not such a big deal. Having their real name out there doesn’t bother them.
What I’m NOT seeing, not one single time, is any commenter saying, “This is a great idea that I have wanted for a while, and I’m glad Blizzard is doing this.”
Now, this is where I’d like to spin this discussion, just on this one post.
Yes we know of the thousands of pages of vocal protestors commenting in various fora that they hate this change, and why.
What I want is for anyone who truly wants and approves of this to comment that they do, and specifically why. What specific benefits do you feel that this change will bring to you, realistically?
I’m not asking for people who are ambivalent to comment, people who feel, “Meh, no big deal.” If you don’t have a strong opinion about it one way or another, than you don’t really have a stake in whether this change goes live or not. You’re happy (or passive) either way.
No, I honestly want to know, and hear the voices of, those people (if they are out there) that are really positive towards this change, and why.
Help me to understand.
Because here’s the thing… right now, I’m not seeing a single soul out there vocally saying “Heck yes, bring it on, this is going to be awesome! Thank you Blizzard, I’ve hoped you would do this for a long time now, and there will be nothing but puppies and rainbows here on out.”
So, that raises the second question in my mind…
If not one single paying customer wants this change, and in fact the majority of vocal customers are offended by this change, then why is Blizzard spending so much in the way of time and resources to implement this change?
What, honestly, is their benefit?
Right now, from my little corner of WoW, it looks like all this has resulted in is the loss of customer good will and trust.
But there are many other reasons a company can choose to make a change.
Some people have suggested this is to help Blizzard reduce costs in terms of Moderator employees, by driving the forums to be self-policing.
Is this being done to help bring a more open and transparent identity practise to their forums to help in Human Resources and legal or criminal complaint investigation?
Is this being done because Blizzard has recently implemented a partnership/business arrangement with Facebook, and now they are required to make these changes as part of their personal networking interface with Facebook to abide by their agreement and make money with their business partner, regardless of what the customers want?
I don’t know, as I said. I don’t have answers. But I would dearly love to have more facts and a wider perspective in order to help better understand why they’re doing what they are.
Because let me tell you, their stated reason of making the forums a happier place just isn’t flying over here. I’m not buying it.