The Commitment form on Area 51 requires your full name to be provided. Is this publicly viewable? Why not just use the existing usernames?
I don't think giving a full name guarantees more commitment than sticking with what people use as their username.
Especially when this is something not really "verifiable". You can still input a false but real looking full name or keep your username, or only your first name (I think there should be at least one space in a full name).
While we're on the topic of "commitment"... I also think the sentence
I commit to participate actively in , to visit at least three times per week, to ask at least three questions during the beta phase, and to answer as many questions as I can for at least three months.
Is too specific and too rule-bound. I am not very inclined to commit to anything with something like that in the "contract". It just sounds too "forced". There's no need to put numbers in there. If someone is really interested in a topic they will eventually participate. If that someone happens to not be around for the beta phase... no problem they'll come around later (look at Jon Skeet).
I'm serious about the sites I've committed to. I fully understand what I've publicly committed to.
However, I do not give my real name on the internet. I would hate to see any kind of "enforcement" of this policy, because it would just serve to annoy otherwise enthusiastic site-supporters.
My "Blorgbeard" identity is far more visible on the internet than my real name anyway, so I feel that signing that name actually means more.
Near as I can tell, it's not publicly-visible. And there's no verification that it matches either your username or the "Real name" you put into your profile (which is also not publicly visible).
So might as well have some fun with it...
Heh... Just ran across a /. post on name-assumptions in software, and immediately thought of this, and how, regardless of the intentions behind it, it actually seems reasonably sane about the whole thing. Unlike, say, Facebook...
Ehud Lamm, in the Lambda-the-Ultimate discussion, Use real names, about site policy:
Quite a few mentioned the unease the feel about using their given names. Well, I feel uneasy about conversing with people who choose to remain anonymous. It's good to keep in mind that each of us has his own sensibilities.
I think it is possible to find middle ground. You can use a login of your choice (something non-offenisve please), and give your name only in the user account details. You can give a url to a homepage/blog from which people can find out who you are. Naturally, using a handle which is well known in the CS/PL community is much less of a problem than using a LtU-specific made up username.
I hope these suggestion are acceptable to large majority. Like I said before - if you think you have good reason to remain anonymous, but otherwise are playing by the rules, I am not going to kick you out. I trust your judgement, guys.
Is there such a big problem with most people having, if they want, a nickname they use to interact but also having provided their real name? The 50k+ folks who don't give real names I guess were not hugely committed before they signed up to SO.
This is a fairly serious commitment to actually support the site, and we want people to see it that way. Typing your full name is the online equivalent of signing your name. Providing your actual real-world name shows a higher level of commitment than just typing some made-up online nickname or "asdf" or something goofy like that.