Note Session2

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Portable digital identities will (or might?)…

  • solve problems by allowing people to interact & collaborate
  • call for new rules about opting in / opting out, e.g. for disclosing or sharing profile information?
  • change distributed work in business, educational, … contexts
  • merge identities that used to be separate

online interaction collapses two kinds of boundaries (see also danah boyd on mediated publics):

  • "sociospatial boundaries": interaction situations are delineated by space (think "frontstage - backstage metaphor", e.g. the waiter interacting politely with patrons vs. the waiter complaining about them in the kitchen
  • "sociotemporal boundaries": many interaction situations are not recorded, so our actions are "forgotten" - information online, in contrast, is persistent and searchable. Should there be an expiry date for digital information (see also Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger)

Recognizing the facetted nature of identities - some consequences:

  • showing different facets might facilitate interaction, e.g. blogging about personal stuff in a corporate blog can help find common ground for business interaction
  • pressing question: who gets to decide when to disclose which facet to whom? (further complication: lots of identity facets are relational, so there are at least two "owners" of the information that A has a crush on B)
  • collapsing or integrating different facets into one 'online identity' ist (probably) technically possible - but is it socially feasible/desirable?

Problem: in "real life", there is no such thing as a "core identity" or "central identity" that belongs to one individual; rather, identity is socially negotiated, ever-changing, highly contextual

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