"identity" entries

Being online: Your identity online–getting down to basics

What men daily do, not knowing what they do!
The Internet provides minimal information about us when we go online,
but compensates by providing immediate, dynamic exploitation of that
information. This post in the identity article series shows what we tell
others just by connecting to the Internet. Previous posts in this series explored the various identifies that track you in real life. Now we can look at the traits that constitute your identity online. A little case study may show how fluid these are.

Comments: 3

Being online: Your identity in real life–what people know

Professional investigators can find out more than most people realize
about individuals. This section of the identity article introduces how
investigators do their work, on and off the Internet.

Comments: 2

Being online: identity, anonymity, and all things in between

To be or not to be: that is the question.
Hamlet’s famous utterance plays a trick on theater-goers, a mind game of the same type he inflicted constantly on his family and his court. While diverting his audience’s attention with a seemingly simple choice between being and non-being, Hamlet of all people would know very well how these extremes bracket infinite gradations. Our fascination with Hamlet is precisely his instinct for presenting a different self to almost everyone he met. Social networking gives us an impetus to review how we appear online. When people ask who we are, questions multiply far beyond the capacity of a binary “to be” digit.

Comments: 11

More that sociologist Erving Goffman could tell us about social networking and Internet identity

After

posting some thoughts

a month ago about Erving Goffman’s classic sociological text, The
Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
, I heard from a reader who
urged me to try out a deeper work of Goffman’s, Frame
Analysis
(Harper Colophon, 1974). This blog presents the thoughts
that came to mind as I made my way through that long and rambling
work. Although the Internet tends to strip away the external
meanings Goffman recorded, we still bring our real-life frameworks
into online interactions.

Comments: 6
What sociologist Erving Goffman could tell us about social networking and Internet identity

What sociologist Erving Goffman could tell us about social networking and Internet identity

I just finished Erving Goffman’s classic sociological text, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. A friend told me to read this for an exploration into what “identity” means online, and I did find that the book offers some useful frameworks. It helps us understand the contradictory effects of presenting ourselves online, and identify the opportunities and dangers.

Comments: 5

Vendor Relationship Management workshop

Nobody knows you as well as you do. Or do they? Let's run a test. Do you
know what percentage of your food bill went to processed products? Or
what type of coupons (store coupons, newspaper coupons, etc.) is most
likely to get you to switch brands? I bet someone out there knows.This kind of data mining is the modern companion to Customer Relations Management, which is the science of understanding customers and trying to get repeat business. CRM can offer many valuable benefits, but ultimately the control lies
with the vendor. A Vendor Relationship Management workshop at
Harvard looked at what it would take to leave control with the
customers.

Comments: 4

Privacy and open government: conversations with EPIC and others about OpenID

A few days ago I proposed a way to

offer more privacy to people visiting government web sites
.
This blog builds on that proposal, which was largely technical, by
examining the policy and organizational issues that swirl around it. My ideas are informed by a discussion I had with Lillie
Coney, Associate Director of the
Electronic Privacy Information Center.
The blog is also inspired by two comments on the earlier blog and
brief email I exchanged with one commenter, which intertwine with
Coney’s in intriguing ways.

Comments: 2
The Digital Panopticon

The Digital Panopticon

This post is part three of a series raising questions about the mass adoption of social technologies. These posts will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27. In 1785 utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed architectural plans for the Panopticon, a prison Bentham described as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” Its method was a circular grid of surveillance; the jailors housed in a central tower being provided a 360-degree view of the imprisoned. Prisoners would not be able to tell when a jailor was actually watching or not. The premise ran that under the possibility of total surveillance (you could be being observed at any moment of the waking day) the prisoners would self-regulate their behavior to conform to prison norms.

Comments: 19

What OpenID Can Do for Academic Publishers

Free identity management can transform the way students and scholars read online.

Comments: 2