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Digital Identity

January 2nd, 2009 - written by Brian Utley

I’m a little worried about Born Digital. The first chapter was rather dull and out-of-touch. I completed Thursday’s flag in about an hour (45 pgs). There were a few subtle comments that made me think that these two guys spent a lot of time doing research that wasn’t followed-up on. If you are doing research about photo sharing in 2006 then you may miss what is happening with Flickr. They mention photobucket as the new player in photo sharing and only mention Flickr in passing later in the chapter. Also, the phrase “sixteen year-old girl” is used non-stop for every example they give. I get the feeling that they are trying to clue-in a 50 yr-old man into what is happening online with “those crazy kids”.

The first chapter is about identity. The second chapter is about a person’s digital dossier, which is basically a pan-out of digital identity, with identity being a sub-set of a person’s dossier. Because your dossier is more broad in scope there weren’t as many “errors” in what they view as the most recent trends. They do mention, to their credit, that as soon as their book went to press it would most likely be a little out of date.

What last nights reading did do, is make me take a look at how exposed I am with my different domains. There are a couple out there that I’m having second thoughts about. Also, it made me think about past actions on other’s blog posts, forum posts, and other areas where I voluntarily submit information that may not necessarily belong online. More crucial was how it made me take inventory on my 12-yr-old and what her actions are online. She has a laptop, and is a little social butterfly. This will undoubtedly carry over to her online identity as she gets older. It’s going to get tricky.

Digital Identity

Authors, Book Thoughts, Books, Born Digital, John Palfrey & Urs Gasser

  1. Dorothy
    January 2nd, 2009 at 16:09 | #1

    Brian, I am older than you (53). I am a life-long voracious reader. For much of my reading life, if I started a book, I finished it. But not any longer. If a book seems like it’s not “good” (defined differently, depending on the book and what I hope to get from it), I stop reading it. “So many books; so little time.” as the t-shirts teach us.

    If Born Digital is outdated, or simply lame, put it aside and move on.

    I didn’t see here any infor on how you chose the books you plan to read.

    Also, what will happen to the books after you read them? Where do you get the books you’re reading? And have you considered an e-book reader?


  2. Brian Utley
    January 2nd, 2009 at 16:21 | #2

    Hi Dorothy!

    In most previous cases I did the same thing. If it’s not good, it goes back on the bookshelf or maybe to eBay. But I’m gonna stick to this one for a bit longer. Chapter 2 zoomed out a little bit and was more interesting. We’ll see how I feel after tonight’s reading.

    I have 5-6 books already purchased, and ready to be tackled, but beyond that I’m letting each book dictate another book. This path I will map out as I get further along. For instance, I was reading Outliers, which discusses how luck and opportunity are crucial in most success stories. This got me thinking about how prepared each person that was used as an example of success was at the time the opportunity for advancement arose. This led me to Talent Is Overrated, which talks about how important preparation and deliberate practice is to be a success within your given domain. In this book there is a section on Benjamin Franklin and the remarkable way he studied and practiced writing. This got me thinking about the 500 years or so of American History and how much easier that would be to study than, say, the history of Greece or Asia. So I decided to research the best condensed and somewhat comprehensive history books. So, so far, it goes like this:

    Outliers – (Opportunity)
    Talent Is Overrated – (Hard Work)
    People’s History of The United States
    Which will probably lead to something good…

    After I read the books they go into a big pile I have in my basement. This pile one day dreams of being put on a bookshelf. Almost every book I get comes from Amazon.com. I have Amazon Prime, so the shipping is free.

    I have considered an eReader, but I love to collect books, so that will most likely never happen.


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