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May 17, 2005

Reality as just another kind of media

danah boyd has an excellent observation piece on her blog apophenia in which she discusses the problems with connecting together physical and digital persona for the same person. From the entry:

... Given Aronsons' work (in brief, first impressions matter and are near impossible to overturn), coarse data is highly problematic. The thing about blogging is that it appears to be rich data, not coarse data. Yet, at the same time, how are the mental models of an individual connected to them? And worse, how do our models based on digital interactions fail to prepare us for what happens when we interact? This has huge implications on our ability to get to know people online.

As I think all of we who make an effort to project ourselves digitally wonder, What impression do people have who, after Googling me, read my website, my blog and my articles? Beyond danah's fascination, which I also share, of the disconnect between physical and digital persona, there are other potential disconnects to consider. As academics, we communicate ideas through our technical writing, and there are several researchers whom I have met after become very familiar with the results of their research. My mental image of them is inevitably far off. This point danah raises is particularly interesting to me, for a reason that will become obvious toward the end of June. Different personas, different media, different false impressions.

posted May 17, 2005 10:28 PM in Self Referential | permalink