Thursday, March 27, 2003

Faceted Id/entity

Danah Boyd's MSc Thesis, Faceted Id/entity: Managing representation in a digital world, for the Sociable Media Group at MIT Media Lab:

In order to manage one's identity and representation, individuals rely on contextual information about the environment around them. While they are quite adept at negotiating the complexities of contextual feedback in the physical world, the digital realm challenges their expectations by providing an entirely different set of rules. Focused on giving users control over their digital identity, the thesis research documented at this website discusses issues of contextual negotiation, self-awareness, and faceting of one's identity for management purposes. I approach the subject first by analyzing how people negotiate context and identity in the physical world; using this perspective, I discuss how the underlying differences in the digital world alter people's notions of context and identity. With those differences in mind, I argue for a design approach that empowers users by giving them tools for self-awareness and identity management.

Very interesting. Thanks Peter. And Molly - as we discussed - online identity may no longer be news, but blogs are social computing applications (Stewart Butterfield's phrase) and identity is most definitely still a part of sociality, and relevant to design.

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