Advice sought regarding usernames for forum members
On my forum I am considering having users' real names display. I know that you are thinking I am crazy but I am setting up a site like classmates.
Should I make users:
register their real name as their login/username or
register a username and ALSO require their real name at registration (which I will display in their postbit and profile)
just register any username
Here are the problems I see with option 1:
some users have the same real name and therefore, all of the John Smith's will have to alter their real name to make it unique.
there might be a greater likelihood that users will forget that they need to login with their real name. I think people have a tendancy to use the same username on lots of sites that they are a member.
Here are the problems I see with option 2:
it feels like a privacy or security issue if you display both a username along with a real name.
Here are the problems I see with option 3:
you won't know the real identity of the classmate(s) you are messaging with
I agree 110% with Yogler. Don't force people to give you their real name. The internet is a scary place and I can completely understand if/why people don't want to give out their real names. Because of this, you'll risk losing members who would otherwise be interested and others will simply lie about their real name - kind of defeats the whole purpose.
If you were to do it, I dont see a problem with duplicate names, because there shouldnt be many people with the same exact first and last name...Sure, there are people out there like that - but the odds are not too great that two of these people will come together in your forums.