Rodvik’s decision last week not to bring back last names rings a bit hollow, especially in the face of the massive community support for returning to them (the jira post has 2453 votes and 737 watchers). His primary reason not to make a change is that it is inhibiting to new sign-ups; a valid point, but easily resolved with a simple (optional, you can do this later or not at all) in the sign-up process. One of the reasons for the changes in what is required of Third Party Viewers was that newbies were being harassed based on the viewer identified in their tag (unfortunately this has been independently verified). I am sure there is even more widespread discrimination based on “Resident”. Simply removing the Resident or .resident in as many places as possible will only help a little, we are not fools, anyone without a space in their name is a newbie! Display names only confuse things, for all practical purposes we must see actual names in order to know who someone is, display names and appearance are too ephemeral.
I suspect that one of the unspoken reasons for not re-implementing last names is that coming up with continuing supply of acceptable names is a time consuming pain in the ass for the Lindens.
A better way:
- Allow deferred last name adoption at sign-up.
- Create a database of names suggested by the SL community, something similar to a jira where we can not only suggest but comment on suggested names. Make it searchable and so it can be ordered alphabeticaly, by most recent, or by most recent comments. That would provide a continual supply of names for LL to choose from. Preload it with existing names (marked “taken”) and vet it occasionally would be all the maintenance LL would have to do. The list would, of course be clearly labeled as suggestions. What names are used and why is solely at LL’s discreation.
This would result in last names reflecting the time frame when names were adopted, rather than rez date but I suspect there would not be much difference.
Lastly, this IS win/win. It will get the community off your back (this will not go away until you address it constructively) and we get last names back.
Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable. ~W.H. Auden