Google+ triggered an online identity crisis. Here’s how I’d been managing my online identity since leaving Yahoo.
- joseph.by is the domain I use for all of my personal stuff (tumblr and personal email)
- josephby at joseph.by is the email address I use for my personal identity, including email and calendaring with Google Apps
- josephby at everbird.com is my work identity, used for company email and other work logins
- josephby at gmail.com is my legacy Google account, used for Google Talk
This all worked well enough until Google launched Google+ without support for custom domains; at that point I found myself constantly switching between my two personal Google accounts for “personal” stuff.
When Google+ launched I figured I’d use my personal Google Apps account with it. Except that Google+ didn’t support Apps accounts. So a bunch of people added me as josephby at gmail.com making things worse.
I now realize that my mistake was conflating a clever email address with my online identity. I already established an “identity” within Google. Once I registered the joseph.by domain I should have just setup an MX record to forward mail to my existing personal gmail account.
I learned that you can be as clever as you like with vanity domains, but don’t let them screw up your online identities.