Friday, 15 July 2011

My Google Account(s) History, and where to next?

In the beginning

Remember when GMail was creating the same kind of buzz that G+ is now? Remember how you could only get a GMail account by invitation? Well I was fortunate enough to be able to get the ID I wanted, and I was happy.

However, I also had my own domain name that I'd been using for years and that's where everyone emailed me. No problem; I just had GMail pull in my domain email and I was still happy.

Then came Google Apps for Your Domain (GAFYD), yes that's what we called Google Apps in those days. Now I could take my treasured domain name and get all the Google Apps goodness directly. I was even happier.

However, this meant I had a Google account at my GMail address with the ID/Profile name that I want to use, plus a Google Apps account at the email address that everyone uses (with no profile of course). No problem; I'll just make my Google Apps account a secondary email address on my Google account. Happy again.

Then came the Google Apps infrastructure transition. I've had to separate my Google Apps ID from my public Google ID. So I've got the profile name I want to use connected to the account I don't use and the email address I use with no profile. Not so happy now.

Now Google Plus has come along and I'm using my old GMail account once again because we don't have G+ in Google Apps yet.

So, I'm left with a situation where the ID/Profile name I want to use is now disconnected from the email address that I use. Yeah I know I could forward stuff and live in GMail instead of Apps but there ought to be a better way.

Somewhere along this journey things got even more messy when I had to associate a YouTube ID with my Google account. Naturally the YouTube ID that matched my Google account ID wasn't available so I have yet another ID.

Also as a PicasaWeb user I was able to select additional usernames for my album URL, this seemed great at the time and I tried out a few alternatives, only to find that they can't be changed or deleted afterwards. There was no warning of this at the time. So there's a another set of IDs I’ve got.

There is some good news though, products like Blogger and Analytics allow me to add users so I’m able to have a single account that can be accessed by either my Google or my Google Apps ID. Now that makes me really happy.

So, where to next?

First we need to be able to delete unneeded IDs such as those for PicasaWeb, apart from anything else it would free them up for others to use. Hey, Google this shouldn’t be hard.

Harder though is a process to match up our Google IDs with our YouTube IDs. Which takes precedence? How do you handle the dispute between JoBloggs on Google and JoBloggs on YouTube who both want the ID?

Secondly though, I think we should be able to use our Google profile names on whichever Google or Google Apps account we choose. One possibility that appeals to me is being able to "associate" two or more Google accounts together somehow on one profile.

Are you in the same situation with your IDs? How would you like to see this resolved?
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