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posted 11 May 2012, 05:17 by David Sherlock   [ updated 11 May 2012, 05:20 ]
The stab that Googles, Facebook and Twitter have had at online Identity depresses me. Here is Chris Poole making me feel somewhat better about things. "It’s not who you share with, but who you share as."


summed up by wired:

  • Both Google+ (with Circles) and Facebook (with Smart Lists) misunderstand the core problem of online identity: It’s not only about who you’re sharing with, but how you represent yourself. “It’s not who you share with, but who you share as.”
  • “Identity is prismatic.” We’re all viewed through multiple lenses; we always represent ourselves through multiple personae; and this isn’t a strange aberration or attempt at deceit but a fact of being human.
  • Facebook (but not only Facebook) have fostered the assumption that our identity is consistently not just verified but represented online through a first and last name attached to a photograph of our face. This is actually a diminishing of our plural identities, not a flourishing of it. It consolidates our identity, which distorts how we truly are.
  • If you’re looking to keep score between the major social media companies: Twitter handles identity better than Facebook, because it allows for handles, multiple accounts, fake accounts and other features that keep Twitter interest-driven, not identity-driven. Google, in turn, “missed a gigantic opportunity to innovate” the representation of identity online by allowing for something as rich as Circles for self-representation, not just choice of audience. “Facebook and Google do identity wrong; Twitter does it better; and I want to think about what the world would be like if we did it right.”
  • Ultimately, though, big companies don’t determine identity on the web, even if they shape its contours. Users and other developers do, through their behavior and choices.