First off, I'd like to draw everybody's attention to the Digital Native newsfeed I added to my blog this morning. It comes from the Berkman Center at Harvard, which I posted more about yesterday.
Also through the Berkman Center, I came across a link to danah boyd's blog. Boyd is a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center and a researcher for Microsoft who deals with new media issues, such as privacy and identity. I found a good amount of posts on this blog that have helped me to better understand my topic, such as the post "Facebook and radical transparency (a rant)" and "Pew Research confirms that youth care about their reputation".
So, do danah boyd and I agree on identity issues in the online world, you ask? Her ideas have definitely helped me consider new facets of my argument, such as the tie between identity and privacy. In her Facebook rant post mentioned above, boyd argues that Facebook ought to do a much better job of keeping people informed about how their privacy settings are configured. We must have the right to choose and consent to our identity in cyberspace. If people want to be very public, such as boyd, who makes herself public through Facebook and Twitter, that's great--but they ought to have the right to know exactly what information is being published.
Boyd's rant came in response mostly to Mark Zuckerberg, and the changing of Facebook's privacy standards. Zuckerberg said “You have one identity… The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly…"
So where do I fall in this debate? Well, I guess I agree more with boyd. People care about their online identities, and they ought to be able to control those identities. I'm still trying to figure out if boyd would agree that this measure of control over multiple identities is basically the same as forming an aggregate online identity. Like one of boyd's commenters said, "truth is the aggregation of a gazillion interactions." So that's where I'm headed in my research process right now.