05 March, 2009

Managing Your Online Identity

There's an interesting conversation starting on the The Identity Studies Blog about blogging, asking the question "How compatible are the identities of blogger and published academic?".

In LTD we had conversations around slightly different, though related issues to do with general online identity. I suppose our questions would be "Do you try to keep your personal and professional online identities separate? Do you try to keep them controlled?"

I've created a simple diagram to help me think about the information available about myself, and it is interesting to see how personal and professional overlap. It is also perhaps a little alarming that there is so much information out there that is publically available.

I've just collected my information together on MyBlogLog while I'm thinking about managing online identity, and I'm setting up a page on ClaimID. Does a central place like this enable you to manage your identity and reputation properly? Does it enable anyone to find so much about you that there are dangers involved?

Why is this relevant to Edge Hill University? We are asking questions at the moment about what our role is in educating our students generally about new literacies and skills required in the emerging digital world. As we make decisions about encouraging students to use various open online services as part of their courses, do we want to advise students as best we can as to how they can be safe and in control of their reputation and identity? Perhaps even how they can use the resources created and stored in these services as an ePortfolio.

Two very interesting articles on this subject are The Shifted Librarian's Who is Managing Your Online Identity and the article from New York magazine that it links to.

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