I actually feel that Circles are going to be a source of embarrassment to a large number of people. They are the "Reply All" of Google+. You don't know who is in a circle when you get a message, which means you don't know who you are responding to. You don't even know how many people are in the circle. So when you get a message from your best friend that says, "Good morning!" and you reply with "Hi! So, did you take him home from the bar last night?" someone is not going to be happy when you discover that the "Good morning!" was directed to everyone at work. Even if you check the list of the random 21 people, that may not be enough to tell you if this is "Joe's Friends" or "Everyone in Joe's circles". The opportunities for mistakes (and duplicity) are rife.
In short, Circles, especially large ones, not only don't provide real privacy for correspondents, they may result in exposing information you'd prefer kept private.
Here lies the huge irony in this discussion. Persistent pseudonyms aren't ways to hide who you are. They provide a way to be who you are. You can finally talk about what you really believe; your real politics, your real problems, your real sexuality, your real family, your real self. Much of the support for "real names" comes from people who don't want to hear about controversy, but controversy is only a small part of the need for pseudonyms. For most of us, it's simply the desire to be able to talk openly about the things that matter to every one of us who uses the Internet. The desire to be judged--not by our birth, not by our sex, and not by who we work for--but by what we say.
Why is that? I think it's because Twitter realizes it can provide plenty of value for users (and thus for advertisers) without having to know your real name. The social web is about reputation and influence, not necessarily names.
"The portrait of identity online is often painted in black and white," Poole said. "Who you are online is who you are offline." That rosy view of identity is complemented with a similarly oversimplified view of anonymity. People think of anonymity as dark and chaotic, Poole said.
But human identity doesn't work like that online or offline. We present ourselves differently in different contexts, and that's key to our creativity and self-expression. "It's not 'who you share with,' it's 'who you share as,'" Poole told us. "Identity is prismatic."
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No tan bien, Twitter se ha estado cargando perfiles "fake" últimamente, como el de @sheldoncooper y otros caracteres ficticios. La mayoría de esas cuentas no son más que para hacer humor, y en todo caso no queda muy claro por qué unos sí y otros no.
Ojo. No es exactamente lo mismo hacerlo el que mejor que hacerlo bien. Imagino que también hay problemas de suplantación y de gente que pueda creer que están ante el personaje 'verdadero'. Una cosa es un seudónimo y otra usar el nombre de otro...