Spoiler: For now, you can still use your user name to log in despite what the form says.
We’re making some changes to the log in system. We’re phasing out user names in favour of email addresses. This change started actually three years ago.
Previously, the system accepted only user names for log in.
The first change was to allow email addresses. At the time we changed the label on the login system to add ‘(or email)’.
The second change was to give priority to email addresses by changing the label to ‘Email (or username), with the username in smaller type.
Now, with the current step, we’re strongly encouraging everybody to stick to emails only (even though usernames are still acceptable) by changing the label to ‘Email’ only and changing the form’s type to ‘email’. The type change will mean that password managers will prompt for new credentials. Update: Never realized that some browsers wouldn’t allow you to use the old user name in an ‘email’ field. The form now is back to ‘text’ instead of ‘email’.
The main reason for this change is that having user names and email addresses is complicating the cross-site login system (WLPC login) and causing problems.
The source of these problems is that we had user databases for each of our sites before implementing the WLPC system. Many users had accounts on Storiesonline and Finestories.
When implementing the WLPC system across our sites, we didn’t wipe any site’s database. We kept all accounts.
The WLPC system tries to match accounts from different sites and synchronize the data. When a user tries to use Storiesonline’s id to log in to Finestories or to the Clitorides Awards site, the system looks to see if the user’s email address exists before trying to create a local record for this user. Sometime, if they have already created accounts on those sites, there would be conflict on the site with if the user used a different email address with the same user name or some other user used the same user name as the one from the other site. Complicated to say the least.
To minimize the possibility of such conflicts, we must eliminate as many conflict points as possible. Since everybody is required to have an email address in the system, a user name becomes redundant. Redundant values are the best candidates for elimination.
So as of today, the log in system will ask for your email address, but will accept your pre-existing user name.
At some point in the future, we’ll make the announcement that usernames are not to be used on Storiesonline and Finestories anymore. The clitorides awards site doesn’t have this problem as it started out without using user names at all.
So, the best thing you can do is make sure that your email address is up to date and start using it from now on to log in instead of your username.
Sorry for any inconvenience.
Update: Since this turned out to be more complex than a simple change on the form, I’ve set a deadline for the change. As of 2015-01-01 (more than four months from now), email addresses will be mandatory for logging in.
I’ve removed the ‘User Name’ field from the ‘My Account’ page to minimize confusion.
The notification will stay posted on the site until the deadline. It’s visible on all pages.