Normally my posts are about life, love, being one with the world, and similarly squishy stuff. Today, I conquered one of the last remaining hassles associated with changing my last name, and I want to share my accomplishment with the world!
I have a website that is powered by Google Apps, www.WalkTheTalk.biz. This account is not a premium business account, which means I can't create my own Google user profile for whatever reason. I understand that "free" generally means limited functionality, and that's OK by me right now.
But I spent hours and hours last March trying to figure out how to change my last name as the administrator on my own Google Sites website. Couldn't do it. Searched forum after forum and read post after post with detailed accounts of how frustrated users couldn't do this simple thing. I grumbled and created a new account under "info," changed it to be an administrator account, posted a doc to my website that appeared under my new name rather than my old name, changed my old account back to administrator, and gave up on the whole mess. At the time, I admit I did have thoughts of "a system created by men for men," who generally never have to change their names or consider the extensive ramifications and complexities of said name change.
Today I couldn't figure out how to make it work the same way I did last time. Harrumph. So I went on the hunt once again for how to change my last name in the user account.
At this point, you may be thinking, "What's the big deal? You had that last name for 10 years. Is it really so bad that it would appear in tiny little type at the bottom of a couple of your website pages?"
In a word, yes. My new last name, Hart, is part of identity and my brand. I chose it carefully. It represents me. It's fresh and whole and sums up my philosophy of moving forward in life with an open heart. The old name is, well, old. As in stale, dessicated, obsolete.
For all of you who know exactly what I'm talking about and desperately want your website to reflect your new identity, here's how to change your own name:
- Sign in to your site's control panel. Instructions here.
- Click on the "Organization & users" tab.
- Click the underlined name that includes the old name you want to change. Don't highlight the line that includes your name and all your account information. Don't check the check box next to your name. Click on the actual name itself, which appears in blue and is underlined.
- The "User information" tab will appear.
- The first line on that tab says "General," then your old name, then "Rename user."
- Click "Rename user."
- A text box pops up that says you are going to lose certain chat history. Not ideal, but OK.
- Type your new name.
- Click "Rename user."
It's done! Hooray! You are now officially the new you on your website!
Just to make sure all bases are covered, also change your name on your email account.
- Click "Mail" at the top of the page (be sure you are signed into your account).
- Click the gear icon on the top right quadrant of the page.
- Choose "Settings" from the drop-down menu.
- Click the "Accounts and Import" tab.
- Click "edit info" next to the line that says "Send mail as."
- Type your new name in the blank box, which will automatically be selected once you type something in there.
- Click "Save changes."
Whew! You are now officially the new you on your Google Mail email account. Congratulations!