ASIS&T 2008: Life on the Web

My So-called Life on the Web
Presenters: Allison Brueckner, Gary Marchionini, Catherine Marshall, William Jones (moderator), Marcia J Bates

[Came in late, so I missed most of the first presenter, Fred someone-or-other. Sounds like he talked about privacy on Facebook. Sat on the floor in the back of a full room & couldn’t really see the screen. Marcia J Bates was listed but isn’t here – missed intros so not sure what happened, guessing Fred took her place.]

Cathy Marshall: 3 digital archiving myths and why they should move us to action
Microsoft Research

-1 Storage is cheap, so we should keep everything (1 person in the room believed that).
-A lot easier to keep stuff than to cull it; a lot easier to lose stuff than maintain it. In the field, she has seen ppl using periodic crashes & data loss to help cull their stuff.
-Not emotionally viable to keep everything.
-She has 29 low res digital photos from a decade ago. Flickr has a bajillion photos, plus millions on Facebook. How much more you keep on your local disk vs sharing. [What about us Flickr freaks? I don’t have that much more on my HD than I have on Flickr.]
-Much of what we keep does not have much long-term value. Just the final things (final draft, PDF, etc) and data sets have value.
-Benign neglect has virtues.

-2 Today’s kids are all digital and will know what to do (2 people)
-Kids are fearless and facile online, but rely on other family members to control non-digital archiving.
-They don’t actually know what to do, they’re good at doing things.
-3 matter of repositories, formats, access control
-Her time ran out before she could get through all her points.

Gary Marchonini: Proflection in Cyberspace
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

-Have many IDs in cyberspace. New opportunities & challenges. Photos, avatars, etc.
-What do I want people to know about me when they enter into this particular space. [Performance aspect.] Not really me – projection of me.
-Really a proflection – projection of and reflection of me.
-Ambient projection – streams of info that leave me as I work – clickstreams, etc. Most troubling – ambient data collection with goal of trying to recommend/sell/etc..
-How best can we help people? Help people protect themselves. ClaimID – reclaim what the web says about you. [I have a ClaimID I use to aggregate the sites where I’m at, and also with a section to sort out the other Alison Cody’s that come up when people Google me.]
-How do you gain control? Help people looking understand if you have sanctioned what they’re seeing or not.
-How many of your cyber identities do you know about vs not know about?
-If we’re not doing it, who will?

Allison Brueckner: My So-Called Life on the Web in Second Life.
cALiCo Information Consulting

-Utopian vision aspect of Second Life. Hardware requirements to run 2L. People can go to 2L to see art, hear music, that they can’t physically get to see/hear. Remove judgments made based on physicality.
-Dystopian vision: grievers in second life do things like stealing content (art), caging avatars, wrecking things, etc. Recession in real life, recession in second life.
-Reality: she sells real art via second life. Big library, info science community in there.
-She also ran out of time.

Tidbits from Q&A:

Q: Generational difference with privacy? Kids have 200+ friends.
Fred: Over 3 yrs use had on average 580 friends. What kind of sense of privacy is that? Technology enforces a binary idea of friendship. [I do wish there was some way to better categorize people. Lots of controls but would be nice to have some way to indicate “friend” vs “acquaintance/person I used to know but don’t anymore.”] Privacy settings still need more granular control. [How much more thought? There’s already a lot.]

Q: Young people’s expectations of privacy  – showed that young people had own expectations of privacy and were devastated that employers look @ Facebook & using that info to evaluate candidates. They found that inappropriate & considered that stuff on FB is only for friends. Employers don’t understand this distinction.
GM: People recognize this now.

Q:  Mom whose kid refused to be her FB friend. Gets accused of trying to co-opt everything the younger generation is coming up with. Kids say – there’s no place left for us! Is this the last frontier, will something else come to replace FB?
Fred: Broadened access brings a loss of space. Real profiles (for parents) vs ghost profiles (for friends). Tendency for migration in social spaces. Younger people lead migration trying to escape older people.
Cathy: Talking about personalization & seeing what the world looks like to other people when your prefs are lost. (Got a new comp -seeing different ads b/c it didn’t know her.)

Answer to another Q:
Cathy: For some people, easier to jettison a profile altogether than to deal with so many fine-grained privacy controls.

Q from Candy: Interaction in physical worlds that is combining two separate worlds –  sometimes uncomfortable to have those random cross-connections – run into a work person on vacation, etc. Same thing online. Wedge of services saying “we’ll find out who everyone is and manage it for you, in all the different places where you are.” Disconcerting – want them separate.
AB: Various roles we play in life – how many hats do you wear?
Fred: Challenging to manage multiple IDs online. Less challenging in real life – physical situatedness. You know how you need to act based on where you are.

Q: Changing natures of privacy. Rethinking what privacy means – need to look at laws & regulations.
GM: Hate to regulate something we haven’t had enough experience with to make some intelligent decisions. Employers will use whatever they feel is publicly accessible. If I put something on FB that makes me look unemployable, that’s my choice. Young people starting to understand that things online have consequences and persistence. Try to help people understand that better – less interested in regulations & standards and more intereted in education of users, providing tools & services to manage.
CM: Remembers when employers were allowed to ask if you planed to start a family. Regulations can make a big difference.

Q from panel: Difference between what they can ask & what they can find out.

Q: LinkedIn – can’t figure out what to do with this network. Not looking for a job – what does this do to me? Ask students why they want to be on Facebook & hasn’t heard a good answer from them.
Fred: Agree, what is the point of LinkedIn? He studies young people in transition from HS to college. Benficial uses for them. If you are situated in life, they’re of little utility. Help you keep latent ties. Bring all the people you know & have met back into your life. [No, thanks.]
CM: Also mystified by LinkedIn. She gets same answers as Fred – don’t you want to know what happened to everybody?
[I wonder about LinkedIn myself. Not sure how helpful it will ultimately be, but early in my career so I can test it out. Connected to a lot of folks I haven’t actually worked with on LI — value of that?]

WJ: Asymmetry of online availability – example, property taxes. Anyone can look at your info without having to share any about themselves. Should we have expiration dates on information? Should we treat web addictions as an addiction? Not that funny, really. Not obvious what consequences of your choices are now or later. We don’t necessarily know what’s best for us, Google doesn’t either.

Comment: Korea & Japan have treatment centers for web addiction.

Comment: Notion of “real” devalues what people are doing online. Online identities for different parts of your life in the physical world. Meeting people first in virtual worlds, then later in the physical world.

Comment; You can control what you put about yourself online, but not what other people put online. False vs real, photos, etc.

Comment: Open source identity management? Alternatives to commercial developments for educational use.

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