Online indentity management & social groups

I came across this presentation on John Bells’ blog (John Bell heads the Digital Influence Team at Ogilvy PR) and had to share it here.

This happens to be one of my research interests, something I alluded to in an earlier blog post, and I am now working to get ready for publication.

The presentation is from Paul Adams, senior UX researcher at Google. I love the connection he makes between social science and social interface/product design. I love the fact that this kind of research happens in a corporate setting, and if I didn’t love teaching so much I’d be jealous of his job.

Colbert vs. Google

If you didn’t catch Colbert taking on Google last night, this is a must. Funny, of course, but he is making a lot of valid points:

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http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:351570

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We will ALL be out of jobs

Sorry, this video cannot be embedded, so you have to click over to watch it (but remember to come back!).

It’s yet another story of a person (this time, a teacher) losing her job over some comments she made on Facebook.

SOON, WE WILL ALL BE OUT OF JOBS.

If things continue to go this way, soon, we will ALL be out of jobs.

People, it’s time to get used to it and stop over-reacting: With social media being so open (with or without our knowledge or consent), it is unavoidable that statements will be heard by the wrong people and taken out of context. Imagine this teacher complaining about her students to her friends, over dinner – would she be fired for that? Would she be fired for maybe, half-jokingly calling her students “germ bags” in this context? No, she would not. But because things are being taken out of the context and the original audience for whom they were intended, they are costing this woman her job.

So, we have two options:

1) Keep it so safe on social media that we all become bland, boring and dishonest, and ultimately abandon it, because an unauthentic form of communication is just not worth the waste of time.

2) As a society, start getting used to seeing comments that were not intended for us, learn to place them in their proper context, and stop jumping to conclusions and judging people so quickly and so wrongly. Chuckle and move on. (Oh, and: students, wash your hands. parents, be nice to teachers.)

This situation will keep repeating. You’ll hear about it more and more often. It’s time to learn to adjust to the new reality, or we’ll ALL be out of jobs.

Thank you, Quincy, for bringing this video to my attention.