Topic 2: Reflective Summary

There were some really great contributions to this weeks topic Ammaar’s post summarised the points for and against having a single online identity. He also highlighted that it is very rare that a user will have online one online profile and so they much choose whether the persona on each platform is the same or whether they should tailor it to each platform. This is something I touched upon in my comment on Holly’s blog in response to her post. Some social media platforms like Facebook are design to be personal and so are often used that way, others like LinkedIn are designed to be professional and others like Twitter or Instagram are more open to either uses. Something which most people covered in their posts is that the majority of people have multiple identities – personal and professional and keep these identities separate but sometimes these lines get blurred for example having work friends on Facebook. I think in contrast to what Miss CEO and Holly said is that just because you keep personal and professional networks it can be very difficult to have these never overlap. This was brought up by Brown (2014) who Holly mentioned in her blog. I think this is the main argument in favour of having a single identity and keeping it all professional as Diaz (2010) argues.

Both Holly and Miss CEO made excellent points that from a commercial perspective it is much better for users to have a single identity because it is much better for companies to have one more complete profile for a user and as Miss CEO pointed out these online profiles are increasingly a from of online currency, in some ways the main form of online currency as the majority of money on the web is in online advertising using those user profiles. This is emphasised really well in a video linked by Miss CEO:

Another key point in the debate brought up my Holly and Miss CEO as well as a number of other people is about anonymity. This links to the problem of not having profiles overlap – as Brown (2014) argues this can only really be done by having completely anonymous profiles, even a name is enough to make a connection. However, this can be damaging to the authenticity of profiles as Krotoski (2012) points out. Holly raised the point as to whether anonymity even possible any more?

I have learned a lot about managing your online identity in the last two weeks and reading other peoples posts has made me think about things I would never have thought of alone such as from a commercial perspective. In addition to this, the discussion has made me re-evaluate my own approach to online identity and whether having separate professional and personal profiles is really best.




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