Even without the Internet we still have different personas or profiles that we project to the world, for instance our ‘work’ persona and our ‘home’ persona. However when we start to put these profiles online they can become quite difficult to juggle. Of course, developing multiple online identities has its usefulness: providing context for a specific area you are networking in. However they can produce some mental anguish, remembering all those passwords for one thing, for another I may not want my professional cohort who look to my blog for musings on e-learning or user engagement to find out about my passion for burlesque dancing via some careless identity clues (oops). But it happens, so how can we help academics through this minefield?
We are currently researching a new course to be run on the subject of online identity in collaboration with the Oxford Learning Institute. Presenting a positive online identity is the name of the game, along with discussion revolving around those sticky facebook issues and stalking.
As a side, I wonder if this may be the flaw with Google Wave. An exciting new communications paradigm, but it does assume that you are a single you, what about all those multiple idenities?