Monday, 2 July 2007

identity kits

Vic mentioned this wonderful new project, which takes the 'What's in my bag' idea a bit further.

A long time ago I contributed this to the pool:


(Showing a bag I continue to use and will be using again this weekend when I go to this conference.)

It is clear that people do not reveal 'all' but construct images in a manner so that they represnt themselves in a way that they feel OK about going online. To do this, they need to think about how people might read the images - (what will they think? what associations do the objects have? what do they 'connote'?); they need to know something about how objects represent aspects of their persona; they need to consider what to leave out as well as what to include. Maybe they arrange things so they look smart/show their label/hide their label/ look casual/ appear expensive/cheap. And the inclusion of images of faces taken on a scanner connotes something ludic; maybe a cross-reference to office parties and 'parts of the body image making' and a presentation of self that says @I am game' 'I am fun' - 'I live life madly'.

I am really interested in the ways in which we display online identities and have noticed the continuities in the ways some people present themselves across sites. For example they may begin a persona on a flickr stream and then deepen it through displays in other spaces... like Niznoz's stream and his two blogs here and here; or Gamma's stream and his blog. They are serious reporters of the city; they show something of 'life as it is'; of the history and the way things are changing. NizNoz has two blogs, each with a different function.

People often use their blogs as a way of SPECIALISING. People use different parts of the web, different types of software to perform different tasks. And they are getting good at working out what is good for what task. This is a digital literacy skill; not everyone will 'GET IT' intuitively and so there is a role for researchers in working out what the conventions are and a role for educators in teaching about these things.

It has recently become trendy to represent oneself as a Simpson on Flickr and use the image as an icon of identity. YOu can get one via a new gadget available over at The Simpsons new movie website here. Obviously a lot to be written about re avatars and icons people use on websites, but no time here... must go.

But I'll just leave you with the image my dear partner in life made of himself on Sunday. What kind of impression does he give here? (Answers on a postcard please).


John said...

Nice post

Anonymous said...

Nice post

As for my identity, I like to think of it as life imitating Bart


Anonymous said...

he's saying, "Hi, i'm quirky, but I have an expensive camera"

To me his expression gives off a 'you don't have to be mad to work here look...'

tallulah's Dad said...

have several online identities that are dispersed across various interactive sites and they are orientated around the discontinuities of identity that I experience as a gay man. An interesting paper that explores this is:
Mowlabocus, S. (2005) 'Being Seen to be Gay: User Profiles and the Construction of Gay Male Identity in Cyberspace' in Simon, G. & Burkitt, K. (eds.) Working Papers in Contemporary History & Politics. Manchester, European Studies Research Institute.

Tallulah's Dad
Sister Bridge over troubled Water
Sparky- to name but a few

DrJoolz said...

"Life as imitating Bart" is v funny IMO. Nice comment.

It could be saying, "I have an expensive camera and can afford to be quirky too."

Interesting re the different names and identities .. I use the same name on all online spaces...and most of the spaces I use are similar to eacgh other and are used for the same kind of purpose. I wonder what the most common approach is - to have lots of online identities or many. The popularity of facebook and so on where people use many types of software in one space and one identity might suggest that many people are happy to develop one complex, multi-layered identity ...possibly. .