Exploring the Construction of Online Identity

From IIW

Convener: Thu-An Bui

Notes-takers: Alex Rosen, Kaliya Hamlin


  • Larry
  • Alex Rosen
  • Kaliya Hamlin
  • Tim Burks
  • James McLaughlin
  • Jeff Stollman
  • Mary Breusake
  • Dave Brown
  • Jeff Hodges
  • =NRG

Discussion notes:

Poken to connect Location based tools – more contextual information, also time stamped

An: I came to IIW thinking it was going to be something else. More Social Media, Marketing, Online Reputation Management How you manage your presence online.

That is what all the people who will use this stuff will eventually care about – they care about how it manages their presence.

People signed up for google, yahoo, plaxo. From what I have heard OPenID – universal identity – a lot of it is how do you communicate to the users what the technology is in a way that is not scary.

There are a lot of people here talking about identity plumbing

Riffing on that – there is a scenario – people here are working on BETA-Max and VHS is going to wipe us out. Facebook = VHS


Kaliya had conversations w/ adults that facebook freaks them out – regular people. Until you have the last person who uses rotary phones die, you have older people who don’t use facebook the same way younger people do

Facebook is a sucky app, despite it, has the presence.

Sites that accept open id? who accepts FB Connect? CBS

Scenario – risk that is not being acknowledged – almost being dismissed

Business factors, user acceptance ‡ drives to adoption

What plumbing will be most widely adopted in the most winning mass audience, consumer space

Influence, factors of importance?

Strong enough understanding – msft passport was fought? FB

Connect is similar

Not seeing the evil empire backlash

The difference is facebook is easiest.

I think some of the backlash –

Facebook is an alternative

An: SO that is one way of looking at online Identity. Asking the room about

Online reputation management from a consumer perspective. How do you think about yourself and how do you present yourself online – constructionist framework

All of you atriubtes – the stuff you put into a form. When you think about personal online identity – which of those frameworks and why

Judi – context – who do you talk to and what kind of person do you need to be in the world – personal representation, representation of the company,

Active - tweeting Passive – googling self seeing what people say

  • Ipseity – features unique to you (DNA, Date of birth)
  • Transiant – attributes unique to you. (Age)
  • Contextual – multiple persona

Community does not do a good job of sharing the lexicon

Different people mean different things about authentication

What I would like to get out of this discussion.

Yes there is an issue of we are all part of “a” community.

We haven’t figured out what it


There is a clear definition

How do you integrate people who don’t have background and what to become involved

How do you get them involved with the least pain as possible

How do you leverage their talents and ability

People might be might be new to the community.

Vastly larger community – that has a different community.

One of the complexities.

What does identity mean – extremely many facited notion The stuff that is unique to our innerselves

Federated identity – reputation and trust Selves as member of groups

Citizens – rights responsibilities

Economic profile

‘the digital us” trackable in a digital world.

Digitalidcoach.com/ - identities tab

Lexicon – not clear and agreed upon. Jeff questioned its usefulness

Issue of Control that we are asserting over identity. “who is we”

Consumer control of what the

Constructionist – my personal story – what are the tools I will use to create my online identity – twitter and a blog, it is a skill we need to teach people – how they construct it online.

Mistaken notion that one can own one’s identity.

We in the online world use the word online identity to much. Best way to influence online identity

Erving Goffman – Presentation of the Self

We can influence it – The notion of identity is contextual.

My notion of my identity or his notion of my identity

Do you think it could be called identity - reputation

Not the same – Reputation is the uttering of the image

Powerful thing about facebook and twitter.

Project and construct views of people. =JeffH – his attempts presenting himself

Three different cases Varying level of “careful” What does it mean to be careful?

This comes into play when using online dating service

Spectrum of findability—some people want to be more some want to be less

Natural names and identifiers are not congruent, but they’re intersecting. They only intersect a little in global sense. Task of id system when deploying is deciding how much you want them to intersect. Hard to make a strong intersection—often makes people unhappy.

Future of Reputation, Daniel Solove—read

Also- Digital Person & Understanding privacy

He suggests changes to regulatory and legal environment to better accommodate identity

Japanese laws on spam are on per message action.

But what should the regulation be and who should regulate? Govt should be more transparent with data they have on us, so should all entities Facebook should have to tell us everything they store about us

Have to consider EULAs. These often make people waive rights without them knowing.

Going to where people don’t want to be repositories of all this info anymore. It’s burdensome. Do we want entities that handle this and compete for business?

  • This is taking a long time to come about
  • Credit Bureues

How does this fit into a verified identity model with naming? How to name things so endusers understand?

  • Personas? These are contextual
  • Attributes?

Potential outcome: How to define/explain these terms to public. Could we make common craft videos for key concepts in this space so people can understand us?

Mass market users care what this does for them, not what it’s called.

Persona or Profile??? Do people know what persona means? OECD paper on ‘what is identity’

Narrow the frame andthen define the term within the frame, or else you end up in circles.

Personhood has been argued over for many thousands of years. In legal sense, a corporation is a person. Corporations also have brand identities.

Paper by Eric Olson. Go to Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy. ‘The problems of personal identity.’

Danah Boyd has research on after death digital shrines. Facebook papers, etc. being taken over after death to preserve and spread information.

What’s next? Do we want a Google Groups, a wiki to make a glossary?

  • YES!!!
  • Can use ID Commons wiki

What are the colloquial uses of these terms as they’re actually used online and really

Don’t want the ontological framework for the existential condition

Context setting comes before definition.