[Originally posted at The Networked Society
Many important pieces of paper call me Dominique, but I wouldn't say that's my "real name." More on that in a moment.
I've been a blogger/journaller (in varying proportions) since 2002, when I whirled through several journal sites before settling on LiveJournal
. I have since switched my allegiance to Dreamwidth
, which I have been using since closed beta.*
I will be cross-posting and cross-linking everything I contribute to this blog on Dreamwidth. For the class and anyone who happens upon The Networked Society by whatever means: you are welcome to follow me home to sofiaviolet
. For my regular readers: you can visit The Networked Society
to read everyone else's posts.
I have almost always been pseudonymous online, for certain values of pseudonymous: Sofia Blackthorne and sofiaviolet aren't on my passport or anything, but they're both me
in a way my legal name isn't. I use them everywhere
. This isn't the first time I've made a connection between my offline, "official" self and my online/offline "real" self, but it is the first time I've made the connection publicly in a manner that funnels people from Dominique to Sofia.
So I'm not super-strict in enforcing separation of my "official" self's (fairly minimal) online presence and the vast majority of what I do online. I avoid directing people from Dominique to Sofia and exercise caution in directing them from Sofia to Dominique. Basic internet skills.
As for internal separation, talking to one group of friends about this topic and another group of friends about some other topic - I pretty much don't do it. This is an area where journal sites, like most social networking/social media** sites, kind of fall down on the job. Sites using the LiveJournal codebase (which include clones such as InsaneJournal and forks such as Dreamwidth) have filters (user-defined groups of people; entries can be restricted to a particular filter or to multiple filters), which can be used for this kind of separation as well as for privacy.
* I would like to devote another post to issues surrounding Dreamwidth: why the site came into existence, who has started using it and why, etc. I'd also like to talk about the experience of being an early adopter, something I'd never been before committing to Dreamwidth.
** In part three of her essay on Why Monetizing Social Media Through Advertising Is Doomed To Failure, synecdochic/denise (co-founder/co-owner of Dreamwidth) provides a nice disambiguation for social networking and social media:
The two terms are not interchangeable, ultimately. Social networking seeks to (for the most part) replicate a person's existing social web (think of sites like Classmates.com and LinkedIn.com); its purpose is to define your ties with others. Social media takes that one step further: it seeks to create and nurture social ties to others, through the content that you provide.
This suggests to me that social media users may in fact benefit from talking to everyone about everything, in terms of creating these new relationships. Not simply because diverse content brings more diverse followers, but also because publicly available content brings more followers.
If you think of a site as a game, the "winning conditions" of the game will be a good clue as to whether the site is a social networking site or a social media site. If you win the game when you collect all of your existing friends, or collect as many new friends as possible, you're on a social network. If you win the game when you provide content that's interesting enough to get other people to build relationships with you, when your social currency is the content you provide, you're on a social media site.