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ENH: Unique boardnames

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


JaneyCanuck Report 22 May 2011 19:51

There are three posters all named "David" on page 1 of the Living Relatives board at this moment alone.

Why are users still being permitted to register without choosing a *unique* boardname so they are identifiable to other users, without them having to click on their username to learn their full name (if they have not had the sense to conceal it), or check/take note of user registration numbers, etc.?

What other discussion board site in the known universe permits multiple users to use the same on-screen name on their posts?

This obviously is not of any interest to the site management, which has ready access to account registration details for all users, e.g.

It is a major irritation for paying users.

There have been upsets over the years when users were mistaken for other users because of identical usernames. (I was a victim of one such mistake, when I used the boardname the system assigned to me, without thinking, and it turned out to belong also to another poster who had recently distressed someone.)

It's very simple.

One username per person, one person per username.

Old accounts -- all the hundreds of Julies and Michaels and so on -- would simply have to be assigned something like their member number instead of their current username, until they altered it, just as one quick suggestion.


SylviaInCanada Report 22 May 2011 19:57

very good suggestion, Janey

It's pretty annoying to have to keep clicking on names to check whether David is David or another David, if you understand what I mean!


David Report 22 May 2011 20:53

Ive only ever used David because that's my name.
I could change to David 001

But would it not not be better to ask the other two to be 002 and 003?


SylviaInCanada Report 22 May 2011 21:20


there are probably many more than 3 Davids on this site, not just the 3 of you

and there always have been .................... I'm guessing that you were not the first David to become a member, and possibly not even the first one to post!

why don't you pre-empt GR, and decide on what YOU would like to differentiate between you and all the others?

Looking at the speed at which GR are responding to the suggestions on this thread ....................... it's likey to take years before they actually do anything

and just think of how appreciative we would all be if we knew which one we were "talking" to, or helping.

I added "InCanada" to my name only a couple of months after I joined in 2004 because there are other Sylvias on this site, and I wanted to be identifiable as ME.



jax Report 22 May 2011 21:43

Apart from the fact I do not like my full name, I changed it so I would not be confused with the many others with that name.

Every other site I have used where I have needed a board name it has always been followed by numbers or something presceding it



GlitterBaby Report 22 May 2011 21:59

I for a short time used the board name of Glam Rock Chick

Got accused of being someone else. Had never seen the name on this site before so I thought I was safe using it

So not always easy to come up with a new board name which is why I keep to this one



JaneyCanuck Report 23 May 2011 01:11

I belong to a political discussion board in the US that has 100,000 registered users.

Each has a discrete username -- no two the same.

At the time I joined, the invasion of Iraq was underway, and many people had usernames that included the word Bush. Entirely coincidently, I had chosen a username that had "bush" as part of it, one that I had used elsewhere that had no connection to Dubya. I was amazed that nobody had picked it already, given the context! (The site management did declare an amnesty a few years later to allow everyone who was tired of their 2003 username to switch to something more personal. ;))

It's amazing how easy it is to come up with a unique name. ;)


Gai Report 23 May 2011 05:46

Well I use Gai because that's my name. Then last month another member sent me a pm in regard to my name.

Her name is also Gay but she uses the spelling of Gai and I have never seen another member posing under that name.

If need be I can always change to a boardname. I can understand where Janey is coming from and the reasons for us all having a unique name.



AmazingGrace08 Report 23 May 2011 06:43

You would think that the site would not allow the same names, it must be easy enough for the system to reject a selection if it is already in use.

If you set up a new email account you have to select a name and if that is not available you can't use it. Not sure why the system can't be tinkered with to reflect something like this...


SylviaInCanada Report 23 May 2011 06:48

There is one problem

If you go intoYour Account, or even click Update Profile under your avatar

it will tell you that you can not have your board name because someone else has it

Problem is ............... that someone can be YOU!

I got that in the first day that the new things were working.

I KNOW there is no-one else on this site who has SylviaInCanada

But their programme can only tell that the board name is in use, not who has it.

Moral of this story ........... don't touch your board name unless you are changing it 'cos you won't be able to get it back!



jax Report 23 May 2011 13:08

I think having the profile pic helps now, but not everyone has one and they can be easily changed.



Gai Report 23 May 2011 13:25


I have tried to upload a profile pic without success. I'll get round to having another go later.



JaneyCanuck Report 23 May 2011 15:42

"I would much rather see the board name (Fictional or otherwise) I have chosen to use, shown on a post rather than have a board name imposed upon me by the site owners or my chosen board name followed by a string of numbers."

And I didn't see anyone propose any different.

Nor did I say "It is a major irritation for ALL paying users." Or a majority.

So as to why anyone would question whether I have some way of knowing whether it is, I have to say I am clueless.

There's certainly evidence in this thread that it is an irritation to SOME paying users.

And it certainly is to those of us who have been mistaken for someone else, to our detriment.

I guess we should have told the people who did that to hover their mouses over our names ... and we should have told them that BEFORE they lit into us for being someone we weren't and doing something we hadn't done ...


Blue1 Report 23 May 2011 15:43

just wanted to say that when I first became a paying member I used my first name.Someone then advised me to pick something else as my board name which I did, "Blue"
Then a couple of weeks ago someone else had also selected "Blue" as their board name and were posting on the same page as me.
I have know changed it again to Blue1

Didn't realise the mouse pointing thing was available.
Any how, I changed it because I thought it looked like I had loads of asking for help posts.

Blue1 used to be Blue


JaneyCanuck Report 23 May 2011 15:47

And the danged thing there is, when you change your board name, the system does *not* change it on all your previous posts.

(If it did, it would sure be a lot harder for the name-shifters -- people who intentionally change board names to deceive -- to play their games. Fortunately, there are fewer of them about these days, I think. But with a proper system, where each user has a unique board name, name-changing should not be possible.)

And yes, very many people don't know that hovering one's mouse over a live link will show the information for the link.


Blue1 Report 23 May 2011 15:56

I did notice that my name hadn't been changed on previous posts by chance really.I looked back at an older post I had made quite along time ago to look at the advice my helpers had given at that time,and my first board name came up!


JaneyCanuck Report 23 May 2011 19:17

If you do want to alter your name on old posts to what it is now, it's easy to do.

Just click on the Edit link in the post and then click Submit without doing anything else. That will change the boardname.

I do it if somebody happens to come back to an old thread and add something to it and it shows up in my threads, and my posts there are as the boardname the system first assigned to me.

If I'm posting again in it, it makes sense for me to have the same name all the way through, so as not to totally confuse someone who has only just found their way back to their thread after 3 years ... ;)


David Report 25 May 2011 18:38

IF I were to change my user name on these boards could I change back to the origional if I chose?

I recall when some users changed their name every other day.The cosequence of this is you don't know who the poster really is.


SylviaInCanada Report 25 May 2011 19:30


short answer NO

because there will be "another user with that name"

It might be interesting if one could see just how many Davids, Williams, Marys, Johns, etc there are on the boards ............... let alone members of GR

I think there are currently only 2 Sylvia's posting, there was a 3rd but she has I think been banned.

I figure less than 1% of GR members actually post on these boards, but their names are on file, of course.

GR says it has over 11 million members ...................... 1% is 11,000

.......... the number looking at he boards could be as low as 1,000



JaneyCanuck Report 25 May 2011 20:03

I know that assigning boardnames to 11 million people could be problematic!

That's why I suggested automatically assigning the given name + the member number to anyone who has not expressly chosen a boardname (as thee and me have for instance, Sylvia of Sylvias).

There would be a side benefit -- on tree searches, it would be easy to see who has probably not visited recently and got themselves a boardname!