Tag Archives: identity

Sometimes We Need Pseudonyms

[fr] Pourquoi on a besoin de l'anonymat et du pseudonymat en ligne.

Ten years ago, if I’d spent over an hour reading stuff on a website, I would probably have written a blog post about it. Not necessarily a long blog post. But I would have blogged about it.

Nowadays, I share the link on Twitter and Facebook. (I’m having trouble dragging myself to Google+, for some reason, and only just signed up for App.net — can I please have a client that allows me to post to all four at the same time? maybe even with customized text for each, but from the same place? please?)

So today, here’s My Name Is Me. Picked up on Twitter, and I’ve already forgotten through who. Click on some names there. Read the stories.

I’m a self-confessed fan of real names (it goes way back) — but I’m by far not an absolutist. I believe in trying to live an “integrated” life, in being as whole as reasonably possible in the various aspects of my life. I’m lucky to have a life and circumstances which make that pursuit realistic. Though I have my secrets and I do value my privacy (even if it doesn’t include certain things many others would consider private) I am not in a situation where there are whole aspects of my life I need to keep from certain people. I’m straight, I don’t have an employer, I’m not in a job like teaching or being a therapist or a lawyer where my personal life could be of interest to the people I work with, I’m not well-known enough for fame (or that of others close to me) to mess up my relations with people, I’m not an abuse survivor or an activist. I have it easy.

Like many of the people sharing their stories on My Name Is Me, I don’t believe enforcing real names will eliminate bad behaviour. I think it’s reasonably legitimate for some spaces to ask people to use their most stable identity (usually their “real name”), but there are always edge cases. I also believe there is a huge difference between “anonymity” (often short-lived and slippery) and a stable pseudonymic identity accompanied by a verifiable reputation. I think such identities are fragile, but sometimes they are the less bad solution.

I started off my life online very careful (almost paranoid) about keeping my real name a secret. I was afraid. Afraid of all these “strangers” populating the internet, the weirdos I might stumble upon. After a while I chose a pseudonym which I started using (“Tara Star“) as my “real name”. Some people knew my real name, but most didn’t. I was active on Webdesign-L at the time, and remember that I began feeling increasingly uneasy that (a) all the people around me seemed to be using their civilian identity, and I was kind of “cheating” and (b) I was building a reputation for myself which was not connected to who I “really” was. That’s an important bit: Tara Star was just a buffer for me between who I was and this strange online world that still scared me. Who I was was Stephanie Booth. I took the plunge to ditch Tara and be fully Stephanie online when I registered the domain name for this blog — also realizing that the domain registration made it possible for me to be looked up.

Trolls and haters are a problem online. The fact they are often (not always) anon/pseudonymous does not mean that others don’t have valid reasons for hiding their identities, nor that they are unable to use a pseudonym responsibly.

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Posted in Connected Life | Tagged anonymat, anonymity, identité, identity, name, pseudonym, pseudonymat, real name | Leave a comment

Pseudonyms on Facebook

[fr] Vrais noms, faux noms, Facebook. Oui, je suis un peu crispée là-dessus.

I have to admit to a bit of a hang-up: I don’t like pseudonyms in real-names-only spaces.The first time I realized I disliked them in that context (and in that context only — I have no problem in general with anonymity/pseudonymity, except that it’s fragile and potentially dangerous to the one who tries to hide, and is bound to be discovered someday) a very long time ago, in another life, when I was very active on an e-mail discussion list called webdesign-L.

At the time, I was still suffering from the paranoia of the newcomer on the Internets: nobody shall know who I am, nobody shall know where I live, nobody shall know what I look like, nobody shall identify me. (Yes, my real online life started in the murky chatrooms of Chatplanet, in 98. I was completely freaked out about these “anonymous strangers”. I’ve come a long way.)

Until I registered climbtothestars.org, I used a pseudonym as my “real name” in all my online dealings: Tara Star. My coming-out as Stephanie Booth was not difficult, because by that time I had become increasingly uncomfortable about the fact that

  1. I was misleading a whole bunch of really nice people about my identity, when they were being honest about theirs
  2. I was starting to build a reputation for myself which was disconnected from my civilian identity.

So, on Facebook it’s different. The few contacts I have who use “fake names” use “obviously fake” names. I knew them offline before connecting to them on Facebook (you won’t find me connecting to people on Facebook that I don’t already know previously somehow or other, by the way).

But it bothers me that Facebook explicitly says “Real Names Please” and that not everyone plays by the rules. Now, I understand the rationale behind the need for anonymity/pseudonymity in some cases. That’s why I say I have a hang-up, because my position is not 100% coherent. It bothers me when people willfully “go against social norms”.

From a more practical point of view, it really annoys me to have to remember that this or that person is using this or that pseudonym on Facebook, when I know them under their real name in meatspace. It makes looking them up and inviting them to stuff complicated. And when they have two accounts, it’s even worse. Which of them do I invite? Thank goodness it’s only a small handful of my contacts that makes me think overtime ;-)

This is an old topic for me – we discussed it at length on Spirolattic.

So, Facebook? Well, my hang-up makes it really difficult for me to say “yes” to friend requests from people who don’t use their real identity (or some minor variation thereof) on Facebook. But well, there are exceptions. So, dear friends-with-two-accounts-or-fake-names, consider what you mean to me if you’re in my contacts!

Thanks to Jon Husband for his question on Facebook, which prompted me to produce this dormant post.

#back2blog challenge (8/10):

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Posted in Connected Life | Tagged anonymat, anonymity, facebook, fake name, identity, name, nick names, pseudonymity, real names | Leave a comment

Do Not Use Your Brand Name to Sign Comments

[fr] Ne signez jamais des commentaires que vous laissez sur le blog d'autrui du nom de votre marque. C'est irrespectueux (vous parlez à une personne identifiée, et vous vous cachez sous une marque, sans dévoiler votre visage?), cela vous fait ressembler à de la pub à peine déguisée laissée par un "community manager" à deux balles (le fameux stagiaire), et au pire, on vous prendra pour du spam.

Donnez au blogueur un nom. Que ce soit votre nom légal, un pseudonyme stable... peut m'importe, personnellement. Mais ne soyez pas une marque. Je cause aux gens, moi, pas aux marques.

Never use your brand name to sign comments. You are a person, not a brand.

How do you want to be perceived?

As a person?

Or as “advertising-disguised-as-conversation”?

There’s nothing wrong with representing a brand. You can even sign “Judy Smith (MyGreatBrand)” if it’s important to you — but be aware that it will make you sound like a commentor-for-hire or a “community manager” (note the quotes and the lowercase, not to be confused with the Community Manager, reserved for people who “get it” and usually occupy a senior position).

Signing with your brand name is also the surest way of being identified as spam — whether you really are spam or not.

You don’t want to make things difficult for the blogger who is deciding whether to approve or trash your comment: identify yourself clearly as a human being. Whether you use a name or a stable, recognizable nickname is not a big issue (at least for me). But using your brand as your nickname is so… cheesy.

And also impolite. You know who I am. Your comment is an open door to a conversation. Why would I not be allowed to know who you are? Even the robots who answer the phone in the worst of customer service call centres tell you their name.

Don’t be a ghost, hiding under the big white sheet of your brand.

Please do not sign comments with your brand name. Be a human being. Give me a name.

I’m toying the idea of replacing brand names with something witty (“Insert Brand Name Here”, or preferably something better I’ll think of under the shower tomorrow morning) and making them link to this article when people try signing comments with them. What do you think?

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Posted in Blogging, Corporate | Tagged brand, branding, commenting, conversation, human, identity, rant, signature | 2 Comments

Google Identity Dilemma

[fr] Depuis des années, j'utilise une identité "fantaisiste" pour tous mes services Google. C'est mon identité principale (vous voyez de laquelle je parle si on est en contact). J'aimerais passer à prénom.nom comme identité principale (je la possède aussi) mais tous les services Google sont rattachés à la première, et je ne vois pas vraiment comment m'en sortir. Idées bienvenues!

When I created a Gmail address all these years ago, I chose a “funny-cute” name that was easy to remember for most of the people I knew. I was on IRC all day back then, and my nickname was bunny(wabbit_), and people knew I was Swiss.

I didn’t really think my Gmail address would become so central to my online identity, you see.

Of course, I also registered firstname.lastname and redirected it onto my main e-mail address and identity.

As years went by, Google added all sorts of services that got tied onto this identity (not to mention the 2.5Gb of archived e-mails and chats). Google Talk, Google Profiles, and recently, Google Sidewiki and Google Wave.

These last weeks, I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t “make the switch” and use my more serious “firstname.lastname” e-mail address as my main identity. Actually, to be honest, I’d like to. But there are obstacles — oh, so many.

First, all my contacts are linked to my current account. All my e-mail is stuck in it. My Feedburner and Google Reader settings are linked to it. My blogger blog is. My calendar. Everywhere I use my Google identity for a third-party service, here we go.

And Google does not allow you to link one Google account to another (sure, you can redirect mail, but that doesn’t solve anything).

So, do you see my problem? If you have any bright ideas, I’m listening. I would really like a solution.

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Posted in Connected Life, Personal | Tagged calendar, centralization, dilemma, e-mail, feedburner, gmail, google, google reader, google sidewiki, google talk, google wave, identity, name, profile, services | 12 Comments

Anna Rogozinska: Everyday body regimes: the construction of self in weblogs about dieting (BlogTalk 2008, Cork)

[fr] Notes de la conférence BlogTalk 2008.

Live blogged notes of Anna’s talk, might be inaccurate. Some video footage will follow when exported and uploaded. Don’t hesitate to add links to other coverage. Slideshow.

Adding to the Polish invasion of Cork/Ireland.

Identity as a construct, a reflective project. Fluid, fragmented and ever-changing. We’re not born with it, and we’re not given it. It’s self-constructed.

Narrative identity. Identity is a set of biographical narratives, reflected through lifestyle choices and the way we treat ourselves.

Gender play. Concept of multiple selves. Problematic line of research which originates in MUDs (virtual identity). Also, view of identity as constructed through text, and doesn’t take other media into consideration.

We need to look at the material aspects of constructing our identity online. Other problem: easy to draw on social theories to analyze life online, without actually checking if the theory fits in that particular context.

So, start with the content/context, and then think of possible theories, instead of the other way round.

Writing the self as a cultural practice. Many contexts: linguistic, social…

Tickers (days on diet, days left until wedding) are also a way of constructing one’s identity.

Methodology: academic objectivity makes one hide behind the role, and sometimes forget oneself as a person. Doesn’t necessarily make what we say better.

Dieta.pl founded 8 years, ago, blogs one year ago. Polish dieting portal. 60K registered users, 82% women, young, from rural areas or small towns.

Lots of calorie counters (how much do you burn with one hour of passionate sex?)

To become and author on the portal, you need to register and enter personal data. You are a “chubby”. You need to measure yourself and stuff (height, weight, etc).

Active forum: I’m starting tomorrow, I want to lose weight. Each person can start their own thread.

Weblogs. Ticker. General information about the life of the person. Gives bodily information (period coming, so 1kg above what she should be, etc — very close to the body).

Another blog: detailed account of what she ate, the exercise she did, the excuses she comes up for eating more than what she should have.

Counting calories. 4-5 meals a day, food always on the mind. Dieting: where do you eat? which restaurant? what dieting supplements?

Identification through one’s body. Always under watch. Always too much of that body, and never perfect enough.

My weblog is the space where I set the rules, even if I obey conventions (calorie tracking, excuses). Also a means of making technology mine. Blogging and dieting structure one’s life. Intertwined genres.

Fixed set of themes and categories. No additional widgets one can use. Expression limited by technology, and their ability.

Comparing the blogs with the personal threads on the forums. Monologue and dialogue. The forum is more about interaction, and the blog more about a presentation of self (monologue) in a narcissistic way (even though they allow dialogue, of course). My space is a blog space, and Our space is the forum space.

Identity of a diet blogger constructed through person use of technology. How temporary are those blogs? When are people going to stop? When they stop being read? When they have lost their weight? Will they keep on writing their blogs?

The identity of the blogger refers to other users, but not as much as on the forum. Interesting: how the dieting blogger refers to other identities of hers/his. Am I the same on the blog, on the forum, on Flickr, on Last.FM? steph-note: yes, same person, but emphasis on different aspects of my identity

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Posted in Stuff that doesn't fit | Tagged Anna Rogozinska, blogging, blogtalk2008, diet, diet blogs, dieting, Events, identity, notes, poland, Research | 2 Comments

Badges at Conferences

[fr] Laurent est tenté d'éliminer les badges lors de LIFT. En effet, il y a des tas d'aspects désagréables à ces badges: ceux qui font du réseautage industriel en cherchant tel ou tel type de personne, et aussi, tous les préjugés associés à certains noms d'entreprise ou types de badge ("presse", "marketing", "speaker").

Pour ma part, étant très peu physionomiste, je regretterais la disparition des badges. Souvent, lorsqu'un visage un peu familier m'aborde comme si on avait gardé les vaches ensemble, je n'ai aucune idée de qui il s'agit. J'ai besoin du nom pour me souvenir qu'effectivement, on a gardé les vaches ensemble l'été passé.

J'ai deux-trois idées concernant les badges, tout de même:

  • mis à part le nom, laisser la personne décider ce qui y sera écrit
  • faire de badges double-face, car ils ont la fâcheuse tendance à se mettre du mauvais côté
  • éviter comme la peste les badges autocollants qui se décollent ou à épingle qu'il faut accrocher pile sur le sein gauche
  • essayer de trouver une solution (bandeau! ;-)) pour que le badge soit plus près du visage...

Bref, les détails... c'est important.

Laurent Haug blogs about conference badges and his desire to make LIFT a badge-free conference.

Funny, I was also thinking of badges at LeWeb3. But actually, the main thing I was thinking was: when are conference organisers going to stop making one-sided badges dangling at the end of a thingy that is designed to let them rotate freely?

I personally like badges and would be quite unhappy without them, because I’m a very bad physionomist. I index “person data” by name. Dozens of times at conferences, people come up to me saying “hey, Steph, how’ve you been?” — sometimes their face looks familiar, others it doesn’t even ring a bell. Half the time, I’m saved by the badge. I catch a glimpse of their name, and all I know about them, our shared history if we have one, comes back to me. I index people by name.

So, take away the badges, and I have to use the awkward “excuse me, before we say anything more, would you mind telling me your name, because I’m so bad with faces?” — I do it (I’m not one of these people who can pretend very well), but I really prefer the badges. I’m one of these rude people who’ll turn your badge around to read your name — but the presence of the badge makes it easier, because it suggests that we’re going around reading people’s names.

Also, I know a lot of people online without knowing their faces, and badges do help with that.

There are things I do not like about badges, though. I’d like to highlight two of the “cons” Laurent points to, because I agree with him:

> – Chest navigators. People who walk through the conference starring at badges looking for keywords like “CEO”, “Facebook” or “Press”, usually for bad reasons. You end up losing your time with these 95% of the time. > – Misconceptions from titles. This is especially painful for people working for big companies where you HAVE to have a lousy and arrogant title. From a really cool dude I met at Leweb working for Microsoft: “People see Microsoft on my badge, so their crap filter goes up one level. Then they see Marketing and they start to draw strategies to get away from me”. The guy is brilliant, open, helpful, all the opposite of the stereotype that his badge could push you into.

Laurent Haug, “Badges”

I would definitely go for the following:

  • get rid of “castes” on badges
  • get rid of formal company names or job titles: let people choose what they want written on their badge
  • print them on both sides!
  • look for creating solutions like headwear — or maybe stranglers?! — to get badges off people’s chests
  • absolutely avoid pin-on or sticky badges (as a woman, I have to say I really don’t like putting them smack on my breasts, I’d rather have something hanging around my neck)

Some thoughts in the “Devil’s advocate” department, though:

  • there are situations where it is useful to know what company the person you’re talking to works for, or what position they have
  • badges printed on only one side are handy: write something on the back, stick business cards in, or the programme of the day
  • no badges adds serendipity to networking, which is good.

Feel free to share your badge thoughts and experiences.

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Posted in Event Musings | Tagged badge, conférences, Events, identity, laurent haug, lift, nametag, networking | 7 Comments

What Do You Care About?

[fr] Hier soir, au lieu de me demander "alors, qu'est-ce que tu fais?", David Isenberg m'a demandé "de quoi te préoccupes-tu" (ou, peut-être, "quels sont les thèmes chers à ton coeur" -- traduction pas évidente de "what do you care about").

En bref, je m'intéresse à l'espace où les gens et la technologie se rencontrent, particulièrement sur internet. Plus précisément:

  • les adolescents et internet
  • le multilinguisme sur internet

Yesterday evening in the skyscraper, I met David Isenberg, who instead of asking the very conventional “so, what do you do?” question, asked me “so, what do you care about?”

What a great question to ask somebody you’ve just met. It kind of blew my mind. Personally, I’ve come to dread the “what do you do?” question, because the answer is usually something like “uh, well, I’m a freelance consultant… blogging 101, stuff, teenagers, talks… bleh”. Which actually, does not adequately cover what I do and who I am. Actually, the evening before, somebody told me “you need to work on your sales pitch.” To which I answered that I didn’t have a sales pitch, because I don’t want to “sell myself” — if people want to work with me, they call me up or e-mail me, and I’m in the lucky situation that this provides enough interesting work to keep me busy and fed.

So, what do I care about? Mainly, about people, relationships, technology (particularly the internet) and where they intersect. That’s the whole “internet/web2.x consultant” thingy. And in a bit more detail, these days, there are two issues I care about a lot:

  • teenagers and their use of the internet, and the educational issues it raises (what the risks are and aren’t — insert rant about predator hysteria here — what is changing, what parents need to know)
  • languages online, particularly doing localisation right — insert rant about “country = language” here — and providing tools and strategies to help bridge people bridge language barriers better, and creating multilingual spaces (“multilingualism” stuff).

So, what do you care about?

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Posted in Connected Life | Tagged adolescents, Anecdotes, caring, Culture, davidisenberg, Events, identity, internet, languages, localisation, multilingualism, My work, Online Culture, onlineculture, Pieces of Me, predators, Psychology / Sociology, supernova2007, teenagers | 11 Comments

Lara Srivastava

Lara Srivastava

Mobile phone everywhere in our life.

We’re at the beginning of the “digital revolution”.

Much of human relationships is now mediated by some form of technology. We spend more time consuming digital media than any other media.

Acceleration: what on earth are the next ten years going to bring?

Social networks: added value to the individual, especially when the social network is visible by others.

Connectedness and the marginalisation of space and time in our interactions.

We keep our social contexts separate because of space and time. With technology, we get to merge them.

Boundaries.

Shared experiences create friendship and intimacy. steph-note: great minds meet

We don’t live by scientific methods or statistics.

Ambiguity of communication: open-endedness (e.g. who ends the conversation, bye-bye ping-pong)

Need to re-create ourselves online. => “who am I?” Shadows of ourselves everywhere we go. Painting ourselves online. We fragment our identity online. Where do we find our “true” identity in there?

Managing online identity is a bigger and bigger challenge (not talking about privacy or legal issues here). What design to facilitate this?

“Vivons heureux, vivons connectés!”

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Posted in Connected Life, Live Blogging | Tagged conference, Cyberspace, Events, identity, LaraSrivastava, lift07, notes, Online Culture, onlineculture | 2 Comments

Google et les noms

[en] Mentioning the name of somebody in one's blog can have embarrassing consequences. People with less web presence than the blogger might find their official site behind a blog post that mentions them in passing when they google their name. How do you know if people will be happy to get your google juice or not? Bloggers are always happy with google juice... but what about the non-blogging crowd?

As people with the power to express themselves in public, bloggers have responsabilities they might not be well-prepared for. Here are a few embarrassing experiences I made: for exemple, unintentionally google-bombing people I had no hard feelings against, or not giving google juice when it would have been appreciated.

Tagging adds to the difficulty for the blogger, as tags are often chosen for private reasons, but as they are links that are indexed, they have an impact on the online presence of other people when they are of the firstname+name form.

Depuis quelque temps, je médite sur la responsabilité du blogueur qui nomme dans son blog d’autres personnes que lui, particulièrement si celui-ci a passablement de “google juice”, comme on dit en anglais. En effet, si je nomme une personne dans mon blog, il y a de fortes chances que mon article se retrouve en position assez proéminente lorsque l’on recherche le nom de cette personne.

Si vous cherchez mon nom dans Google, la grande majorité des liens sur les deux ou trois premières pages m’appartiennent — je suis responsable de la présence de mon nom dans ces pages. C’est le cas, bien entendu, parce que je suis quelqu’un qui a une très forte présence en ligne et une vie sociale “internautique” importante. (Je rassure les lecteurs qui ne me connaîtraient pas assez… ma vie sociale “non-internautique” se porte également très bien!)

Ce “pouvoir” que me donne mon blog peut être utile lorsque quelqu’un désire obtenir plus de visibilité sur le net (hop! un petit lien, ça donne un coup de pouce au référencement d’un site qui se lance, par exemple), mais c’est surtout une petite bombe qui peut se déclencher de façon involontaire si je ne fais pas particulièrement attention. Par exemple, je suis allée mercredi à  un concert que j’ai apprécié. J’évite de mettre le nom de l’artiste dans le titre de mon billet, de peur qu’il n’arrive ce qui arrive à  l’école d’arts martiaux dans laquelle je m’entraîne: en cherchant le nom de l’école dans Google, mon article est placé avant le site officiel de l’école. C’est un peu embarrassant!

Il y a encore bien pire: reprenons le cas de l’artiste de mercredi, dont j’écoute les chansons régulièrement depuis quelque temps. J’ai un compte LastFM, qui établit des statistiques sur les morceaux que j’écoute avec iTunes. Je publie sur la première page de Climb to the Stars la liste des derniers morceaux écoutés; cette liste renvoie aux pages consacrées aux morceaux en question sur LastFM (par exemple: We Will Rock You (Queen). On peut y lire combien de personnes ont écouté le morceau, et encore bien d’autres choses fort sympathiques. Si on cherche le nom de l’artiste (LB) dans Google, on voit que la page LastFM qui lui est consacrée (et qui existe par ma faute, si on veut) sort droit derrière son site officiel. Limite embarrassant, également!

Donc, je ne mets pas son nom complet dans ce billet. Premièrement, cet article ne lui est pas consacré en tant qu’artiste, ce qui m’embarrasserait triplement s’il finissait bien placé dans Google pour une recherche sur son nom. Deuxièmement, mon Cheese Sandwich Blog est bien plus récent que Climb to the Stars, moins bien référencé, et avec un peu de chance il le restera, puisqu’il est consacré à  mon petit quotidien plutôt qu’à  des questions d’importance nationale comme celle que vous êtes en train de lire maintenant. Une mention “en passant” du nom de LB dans le corps d’un article ne porte pas à  conséquence sur mon “petit blog”, mais qu’en serait-il dans celui-ci? Je ne veux pas prendre le risque.

L’expérience me rend prudente. Il y a quelques mois, on m’a demandé de retirer un nom de mon blog. La personne en question avait fait des photos de moi pour l’article dans Migros Magazine, et m’avait gentiment autorisé à  les mettre en ligne sur Flickr. Comme je considère qu’il faut citer ses sources et l’annoncer lorsqu’on utilise le travail de quelqu’un d’autres, j’avais consciencieusement mis son nom dans mon article et également dans les tags des photos en question. Ce que je n’avais pas prévu, c’est que ces photos, qui ne sont pas forcément représentatives de son travail, et qu’elle m’a laissé à  bien plaire mettre dans mon album photos en ligne, se retrouveraient en première position lorsque l’on cherchait son nom dans Google. Ma présence en ligne étant plus forte que la sienne, j’ai littéralement fait mainmise sur son nom sans m’en rendre compte. Bien entendu, j’ai immédiatement fait de mon mieux pour réparer les choses quand elle me l’a demandé (à  juste titre!), et si j’en crois ce que je vois dans Google, les choses sont maintenant rentrées dans l’ordre. Néanmoins, expérience embarrassante (j’ai déjà  utilisé ce mot aujourd’hui?)

La généralisation des folksnomies pour catégoriser et classer l’information, à  l’aide de “tags” ou “étiquettes”, ajoute encore des occasions de commettre des impairs malgré soi. Sur Flickr, par exemple, il est souvent d’usage d’accoler un tag nom+prénom lorsqu’une photo représente quelqu’un. Mais lorsque je mets en ligne une série de photos passablement floues prises après le concert dont j’ai parlé, est-ce que je vais mettre le nom et le prénom de chaque personne sur chacune des photos? Du coup, j’ai commencé à  être un peu plus parcimonieuse dans ma distribution de tags: nom+prénom pour un petit nombre de photos, et un prénom ou un diminutif pour les autres. Le problème avec les tags, c’est que je les utilise surtout pour pouvoir m’y retrouver dans les 4000+ photos que j’ai mises en ligne. Mais en même temps, les tags sont également des liens, et sont également indexés par Google. Ma façon d’organiser mes photos va avoir un impact sur la présence en ligne d’autres personnes. Potentiellement embarrassant quand il s’agit de noms de personnes!

Comment peut-on deviner si une personne donnée préfère que son nom soit mis en avant sur le web, ou pas? Dans le doute, mieux vaut s’abstenir — c’est le message que je tente de faire passer aux ados lors de mes conférences. Ces conférences, en passant, c’est très bien pour moi: à  force de répéter les choses aux gens, je suis forcée d’y réfléchir, et des fois je me rends compte que ma position à  certains sujets est en mouvement…

Cependant… s’abstenir n’est pas une solution sans risques. Plus récemment, alors que je préparais un site dans lequel on parlait du parcours de quelques personnes, j’ai justement évité de mettre en ligne des pages vides (ou presque) ayant pour titre le nom de quelqu’un lorsque je n’avais rien de précis à  y mettre. Ce que je n’avais pas prévu, c’est que l’absence de page signifiait également l’absence du nom dans ce qui ressemble à  la “table des matières” du site et créait un déséquilibre dans la présence en ligne des différents acteurs — ce qui m’a été reproché (à  juste titre également).

A moins que la personne nommée ne soit un blogueur, je dirais que mettre un nom dans un billet est une chose délicate. Plus ou moins délicate, selon que le nom est dans le corps du billet, sur du texte lié, dans le titre du billet, ou pire, dans le titre de la page. Plus ou moins délicat également selon la visibilité du blog dans lequel c’est fait.

Les gens vont-ils nous en vouloir d’avoir cité leur nom? Vont-ils nous en vouloir de ne pas l’avoir fait, ou pas assez? Il n’est pas toujours possible de vérifier auparavant avec la personne en question. De plus, même si on vérifie, la personne est-elle pleinement des conséquences de l’une ou l’autre route? Une vérification sérieuse ne pourra manquer de s’accompagner d’une explication du fonctionnement du référencement, ce qui risque de crisper certains… à  tort.

Voici à  mon sens démontrée une nouvelle fois l’utilité d’une forte présence en ligne. Vous pouvez mettre mon nom où vous voulez, ça ne me dérange pas, car je sais que sur Google, c’est moi qui possède mon nom.

Ce que démontre également ce genre de situation, c’est la responsabilité qui va avec ce que j’appelle la “parole publique”. La parole publique est un pouvoir, et avant internet, ce pouvoir était en principe limité aux personnes dont c’était le métier (journalistes, politiciens, écrivains). Avec internet, ce pouvoir se démocratise, et c’est une bonne chose. Mais nous sommes peu préparés à  la responsabilité qui va avec. Avec la façon dont fonctionnent les moteurs de recherche comme Google, on ne peut plus écrire sans avoir présent à  l’esprit les conséquences que cela pourrait avoir pour le référencement d’autres sites.

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Tagged blog, blogger, Blogger musings, blogging, Blogosphere Interest, egogoogling, enligne, Essay-Like, flickr, google, googlebombing, identité, identity, internet, lastfm, liens, Links, name, namedropping, nom, online, parole, public, publique, recherche, responsabilité, responsability, search, speech, tags | 12 Comments

Maturité d’un journal intime

[en] Jennifer has been keeping an intimate diary online since she was 15. Her online and offline worlds have increasingly collided, and she is now facing the fact that she does not feel free to write on the internet as she used to be. It's really fascinating to read her going through this.

Jennifer a commencé à  écrire son journal intime sur internet lorsqu’elle avait 15 ans. Elle nous a tout livré, sans retenue. Maintenant, entre les années qui passent pour elle et la quantité d’écrits qui s’accumule, son rapport à  son journal change. Je dis depuis longtemps à  qui veut l’entendre qu’un journal intime sur internet n’est pas une entreprise viable, à  terme. Tôt ou tard, les cloisons que l’on a érigées entre son “soi en-ligne” et son “soi hors-ligne” deviennent poreuses. D’inconnus, les lecteurs deviennent connus, et on peut se retrouver à  vouloir parler d’eux.

Lire les réflexions de Jennifer à  ce sujet, et suivre son évolution, c’est assez passionnant.

[...] la principale raison à  ce «bloquage» est surtout que j’ai de plus en plus de mal à  m’«étaler», intimement et émotionnellement parlant, sur internet. Même si je recommencais un blog un jour, sans donner l’adresse à  personne, je crois que je pourrais plus me livrer complètement. Je trouve ça assez malsain pour être honnête. Presque sale. Je préfère garder l’intimité de notre couple. Si je veux lui dire des mots doux, je préfère les lui dire rien qu’à  lui. Quand on dévoile son cÅ“ur, on met à  disposition notre partie la plus sensible. Faire ça sur internet, à  l’accès de tous, et donner donc par la même occasion à  tous ces inconnus (ou pas… Facile d’être découvert) le moyen frapper où ça fait le plus mal, je crois ne plus en être capable.

Jennifer, 11 février 2005

Lire la suite du billet de Jennifer.

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Posted in Stuff that doesn't fit | Tagged ados, anonymat, Blogosphere Interest, blogs, Citations, Cyberspace, diary, identité, identity, internet, intime, journal, Offsite, privacy, Psychology / Sociology, recherche, Research, teens | Leave a comment