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Google Profiles – How About Fixing the Account Chaos First?

Google Profiles are coming:

A Google Profile is simply how you represent yourself on Google products — it lets you tell others a bit more about who you are and what you’re all about. You control what goes into your Google Profile, sharing as much (or as little) as you’d like.

A centralized identity management shared by the zillion Google services is a good idea – except the GOOG should have fixed the foundation first. Yes, there’s chaos around Google accounts, it’s been like that ever since Google Apps were introduced, and fixing it does not appear to be a high priority at all.

In the early days of Google Apps the only way to sign up was by linking to an existing Google Account, in the format of [email protected]. If you have one of those accounts, there is no way to tell Google that you are now [email protected]. This means that Google Apps think of your original @gmail and new, @domain identities and two different ones. You can directly access (via URL) your own Calendar, Docs, Groups ..etc. all under your own domain, however, programs that need to access those apps only find the other version, attached to your @gmail.com account. A simple example is trying to save an event from Upcoming.org, Zvents, or any other services: there’s no way to use them with your own domain.

Even the Google Groups is messed up: when I am logged in as [email protected], Groups that I am a member of won’t recognize me. I actually have to have duplicate identities created in Google Groups: one to be able to send email (my own domain) and one to be able to access Group’s other features via the browser (@gmail format).

I understand that for quite a while now yo don’t have to link Google Apps to a @gmail.com account, your Google Account can be your own domain itself. This is good news, since a lot less users are affected. It’s also bad news, for the very same reason: less users, less pressure to fix it, so the early Beta users are stuck… Of course we could always just create a new account (which does not have the chaos) and move on, but a domain is an investment, I can’t just throw it away. So for now: Google, you got my domain messed up, and any time you add new bells and whistles to Accounts, I will bring this up, until you fix it.

Update (1/20/08): I think it’s fixed now. 🙂

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