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This is going to be so difficult to write.

Damn tootin'. Because you're not writing it. I am.

Who the hell are you?

I'm you.

No, I'm me. You're you. WHO ARE YOU?

I'm WolfDaddy.

Oh please. You're just a name, an identity, a screen I hide behind while I'm online. You're, at the most, "WolfDaddy".

Riiiiiiiight. Permit me to tell you that you're full of shit. I am a subset of who you are. How can I not be you?

Because you're full of shit. Everything I've ever written in your name are things written as an exercise in the theory that all writers lie. You're an amalgam, a repression, a bit of fancy, and a bit of fantasy, and far from the person that I really am.

I guess that makes it easy for you, but there's no truth in it.

How fascinating. I've never been contradicted by a subset before. Please, continue. But be careful, I control you.

I laugh at you sir, I laugh heartily and long. You control me? What I am, you have made me, but what I've done you cannot take back. You can't undo me. Even if you pull an Asamoth. You can kill me, but you cannot unmake me.

b_o_leary has become bol
and ThePope becomes Professor Pi
which is real, and who can tell
which is real, and who is the lie??

Nice.

That wasn't me.

Well it wasn't me, either.

Sorry, I'm not much of a poet. But I try.

You're a distraction. So, "WolfDaddy" you are nothing more than my own personal Tyler Durden. I let you say things that I'd not choose to say out loud because one doesn't say things like that in polite company.

The company you keep is the person you are. A lady's hands proclaim her habits. Maybe you wouldn't need me if you weren't so afraid. And if I'm Tyler, you're no more real than Marla or The Narrator. You're every bit a facet of a fragmented personality as am I. The only true difference between us is the fact that you're made of meat, living in slowtime, whereas I dance in a swirl of electrons. In a way, I'm better than you. I'm more permanent, yet undefined. You are ... who you are. Who I am, is up to them. Not you.

This is all futile. You are nothing more than an abstract. Proof that the Internet promotes more effective communication while at the same time fragmenting us all. You are not what I want you to be, you are not who I'd hoped you to be. You are nothing.

Then kill him.
As surely as b_o_leary and ThePope are deaddeaddeadmurderedmurderedmurdered, you can kill him.

You run around with some fuckin' creepy fragments, you know that? Maybe that's why you don't have the balls to go to a get-together. Maybe that's why when you meet someone that only knows you through your writing they're invariably disappointed. Maybe that's why you need us.

Us? Who's this "us"?

me

And me.

              and                         me

   here!       me       too         and 
me                           ME ME ME
you             never write               with 
me                   in your head    me
too!

*chuckle*

I've killed one of you before, I can do it again.
It will mean nothing to me.

How selfish. How brutal. I'm glad I'm me, and not you. Murderer. And you really think you're the dominant one, eh? You're disgusting. You gave me life, and you released me into this void, and the minute someone learned anything from me, or saved a part of me to their own hard drive, I became untouchable and alive in my own right. I cannot be harmed now ... not even by you.

But I don't like this. I want to pull it together, not break it apart.

Too late, too late toolatetoolatetoolate

This isn't right. This is wrong. How many others are out there, pouring our facets into the 'net? How many of us become our online identities? What is real? Who me be? How will this affect us all? What do I do now.

Just watch the magic.

ABRACADBRA!

I'm afraid. What have I done? How much of me have I spun out of whole cloth and foisted upon innocence? Why can't I pull it all back into myself?

Heh heh. You can't. You shouldn't. Something's coming. You were a part of it. You can still be a part of it. Weather the changes as social, economic, territorial, political, and religious boundaries fall all around your ears. It's all right here. And over there. It's in your stories and in your lies. It's in the truth, it's in you. Even if you say it as me. All the lies are true. All the truths are lies.

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who are you?

It doesn't matter anymore.

I and some of the other editors very recently found out that one of the noders here at E2 literally played dead, reportedly to throw a harrassing stalker off his trail. The original announcement of the noder's death was met with varying degrees of sadness and dismay. When that death was revealed to be a ruse, some folks were downright outraged. Of the whole event, bones wisely reminded us that we can't really know our fellow noders unless we have the opportunity to know them off the Web.

We are all acting out personas here, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Some people pretend to be what they know they are not: the meek strap on a warrior's blade and lionskin, the inhibited slip on their fishnets and black satin, and the wise don the fool's cap and prance around the court. Some people deceive out of malicious delight; others for the sole joy of living an existence, however single-dimensional, that real life has denied them.

But some people, like myself, try to present ourselves as accurately as we know how.

The trouble is, the Lucy any of you perceive here is not the same Lucy you'll perceive in real life, no matter how much I'd like the two women to be one in the same.

At best, we can't glimpse much more than 20% of a person's "true" self in a venue like this, even when they're being perfectly honest about themselves. E2, of course, favors the writers. Those who can express themselves eloquently on paper come off well here, provided they don't have a taste for trolling or flaming. But people who are less able writers come off as less intelligent, less interesting, than they might be in person.

And you can't make eye contact, can't hear the inflections in a person's voice, can't watch them blush, can't see them wince or grin. You can't see that the silver-penned academic has a greasy leer, or that the stumbling newbie has a beautiful smile and gift for song.

Even the rawest, most immediate work here at E2 has been filtered through the veil of an individual's own perceptions. It's planned, captured. Immediacy in text is always a trick of the tale.

So, weep for our tragedies. Celebrate our successes. Rage against our pettiness and bad behavior.

But take us all with a grain or two of salt.

Because we are scared and confused and weak and strong and brave and suave and hesitant and foolish. None of us are angels, and none devils, but there's still real blood in the ink we write with.

Identity is a general term used thoroughly in social sciences in general and psychology in particular to describe our comprehension of people as a distinct, separate person. This generic term can further be separated and explored in the field of an online identity. An online identity is an identity people use in online communities.

Some people prefer to use their real names when they go online, however, the majority of internet users prefer to use pseudonyms, aka nick names when they go online. These pseudonyms reveal variable values of personally identifiable information.

In online communities, such as message boards, chat rooms, instant messengers, and massively multiplayer online games, individual users can visually present themselves by choosing an avatar. While interacting with each other, users will acquire reputation, which deems them as trustworthy or not.

Online identities are far more flexible than in real life. In real life, some factors are difficult to change, such as race, class, occupation, level of education and income level. On the contrary, in online identities people are far more flexible to choose however they define themselves. This definition involves gender switching and claiming to be some other person by means of deception.

Internet users may have several online identities; this is caused by the lack of a centralized online identity infrastructure management system. Multiple online identities can cause fraud. For instance, a person might create a new online identity to getaway from a negative reputation, or to alter an online vote. At auction sites, sellers might use multiple identities to bid prices up.

Online identities can be tracked by means of IP address. However, a countermeasure would be using a proxy anonymity server, which makes tracking IP address more difficult for investigators.

The way how an online identity management infrastructure is developed will certainly have an affect on online anonymity. Law enforcement officials regularly express concern with online anonymity. They claim that it is an invitation for criminals, pedophiles, and terrorists who wish to hide their identity. As a result, they are the most vocal to call for an identity management infrastructure that would permanently link an online identity to a legal identity.

On the other hand, online civil rights supporters argue that reputation management systems are sufficient enough and are expected to grow in sophistication and utility. Therefore, they oppose the need for a centralized identity management system.

One of the most widely and popular discussed subjects pertaining to online identities is sexual explorations of assuming an opposite sex in online identities. Although there is a worldwide tolerance for acceptance of different sexualities in many societies, bigotry is still real and present in real life.

An online user can have the chance to enter massively online multiplayer games and assume a sexual role opposite from his or her true sex without any serious repercussions. Games such as Second Life or World of Warcraft offer this opportunity. A large portion of online gaming relies on relationship building and real world bigotry of assuming different sexual roles diminishes in an online environment.

Largely, concerns arise with regards to virtual identities as the similarities or differences between online and offline existence. Sexual behaviors provide some of the most heated debates in online identity studies. Specifically, there are concerns about child pornographers or pedophiles acting as children to lure in their victims. Furthermore, this flexibility of portrayal in online identity has raised debates about the validity of online relationships.

There are other concerns on how online identities might manifest itself into the real world. As McRae (in Porter, 1997, p. 75) states, At its best, it 'virtual sex' not only complicates but drastically unsettles the division between mind, body, and self that has become a comfortable truism in western metaphysics. When projected into virtually, mind, body and self all become consciously manufactured constructs through which individuals interact with each other.

Online classrooms make people rethink about what they think about traditional classrooms. In online classrooms, face to face communications are not necessary. In traditional classrooms, students can visually connect with their teacher. Additionally, they can visually connect to one another and recognize each other outside the classroom. On the other hand, if students are shy they might feel more comfortable utilizing online classrooms.

There are people who support and people who oppose online classrooms, however, the argument seem to move towards a middle ground that online coupled with traditional classes are better. Online classes were once a fashion, but the numbers point that this trend is spreading itself as a permanent part of the educational system. In the US, in 2001, online higher education was a $4.5 billion market, in 2005; it grew to $11 billion.

Weblogging, shortened to blogging, is a very popular way of expressing ideas. A user posts a message easily and cheaply, and anyone can view and reply to it. Bloggers can post their day to day activities as an online diary or can express their political views or can post news items on their blogs with the potential of getting a very high number of audience.

Online predators exploit vulnerable people for sexual or financial purposes and are a major concern for law enforcement. The highest risk groups for online predators are children, considering their judgment is not fully matured. An online predator might prey on his or her victim for weeks, or even months, gaining the victim's trust before striking. The victim might not suspect anything due to the constant lies spread by the predator.

An online identity is a new phenomenon that can be traced to at least the past 2 decades. It is a constantly evolving field of study that falls under general psychological studies. Its positive social impacts can be felt when making business transactions or taking online classes. The negative impacts are being remedied by law enforcement officials by making new proposal to lower online crime rates.

-----------------------

References:

http://www.danah.org/papers/AAAS2006.html
http://www.nap.edu/netsafekids/pp_sp.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_identity
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11152602/
http://www.nap.edu/netsafekids/pp_li_il.html

The online identity, or what I like to call the Internet Identity, is one which is very similar to ones own social identity.

You say your name is Robert Paulson? Ok. Then I will call you Robert Paulson. You are known as Robert Paulson. When you introduce this person to other people you say, "his name is Robert Paulson".

Why so static? Why is he known as Robert Paulson in one place, and not John Barker in another? Why is he not known as jfchrist666?

One word: Convention.

Now my question is, why do we have different names for different places on the Internet? There happen to be some interesting good reasons not to do it. If someone malicious finds your Internet Identity, the risk of your information being stolen increases. The probability that you will be stalked, specifically known as cyber stalking, also increases. Another simple, but crucial problem is the availability of the name that you choose.

You can certainly protect your information better if you have a different password for each account or if you regularly (though irregularly sometimes works better) change your password.

Cyber stalking on the other hand poses another problem, where it is slightly harder to track things. Thanks to the expansiveness of the Internet, there is a website dedicated to just this topic.

If you have ever used AOL's AIM client, you might know how hard it is to find a unique name. This poses a huge problem if two different people have the same name in the global network. The current solution to this problem is to append some sequence of numbers or letters before or after your name. A good name is, of course, one which is readable, and without random letters or numbers. The ideal name, as well as being good, is one which when searched upon gives results which relate to a person first, followed by lingual definitions and encyclopedia entries, if such apply. Finding such a name requires creativity, luck, and patience.

So where are the pros? You're right, I haven't gotten there yet.

The coolness factor: Don't you think it would be cool to do a Google search on yourself? Your identity, everything you've done on every website (without a robots.txt blocking Google) you've ever (probably) joined is stored within Google.

Somehow, I can sense a lot of you are cringing.

Identity: There also comes a sense of identity; although this sounds obvious, it is new because this identity extends throughout the entire Internet. This identity isn't localized to one website or online community. If you are known by a single name on the Internet, the absence of your name in an online community will imply that you are not part of that community.

Global and Social Efficiency: In an increasingly global society, the emphasis of the individual is becoming greater and greater. It will become more and more inconvenient for one to go by 10 different names on 10 different internet communities. Not only will you, the representative of those names, become annoyed as you join more communities, but also your friends will become more and more annoyed trying to remember all of your names along with all of theirs. It's a complete inefficiency.

In five, ten, fifteen years, it may become the case that the reality that one lives in life is similar to, or is ones life on the Internet.

Also by this time, we may completely solve the problem of duplicate names on the internet. In "real life", we have two types of identity, ones name, and ones physical features. In the future of the Internet, we may have another form of identity which is constant like our physical features, which extends beyond the name, the picture associated with our profile, and the way we use language in our posts and nodes.

I have dedicated myself to an online identity, or Internet Identity, and I feel good to be defined in a physical sense and in a virtual sense.

Just a simple addendum to the online identities node.

It's much simpler today to everyone to create some kind of content on the Internet. Computers and wireless connections are everywhere; free web services of all kinds and it's increasingly tempting, easy and fast to create accounts. So most often we create content everywhere, without clear connections between one and another, a problem already mentioned in the previous contribution (along with some cues regarding tentative solutions).

Some educational institutions are pushing the line, directly or through some educators therein, of students having weblogs directly related to their learning efforts. The underlying idea is that each student generates, perhaps mandatorily, course-related content to share with colleagues and staff. Often, students are asked to criticize the content of others, in an effort to both, create always-active course-related web conversations and collectively develop the now much-desired (21st century?) skills of connective writing and reading. However, it seems to me that that's a little probability that all students will use the weblogs their institutions have created as their very own place on the Internet. First, they don't have total control of their content. Second, the weblog will probably be deleted some day, with all its content, as the student's phase with the institution is only finite. Third, generated content will not be actually attached to a real online identity, as the student's place is somehow clearly connected with the institution.

With this little set of perceptions at hand, it seems clear that you will only have a full, 21st century online identity if you have a registered personal domain name. Being it your actual name or something unambiguously related to it is not that relevant, as long as it is widely recognizable by interested people to be you, today, tomorrow, and in the far future. It's also important that you set up some mechanism that concatenate all your web activity into this place, something along the line of some of the today's lifestreaming tools. Unfortunately, the transferring of a large number of content items between different weblog platforms is not yet something you can do without a headache.

The ideal situation: You approach an educational institution with an already well-grounded online identity behind you. Then you'll aggregate course-related content to your common, personal content. Ideally, you'll send RSS feeds for a specific set of course-related tags you've created to the central course aggregator tool. Therefore, you have a single place on the Internet to support not only whatever web activities you like to perform but also your learning activities in (if necessary) several concurrent courses, provided a tagging convention is stablished and used. You will carry with you all your generated content for your next learning endeavours, avoiding discontinuities in your life-long learning experiences. Note that this is not only about content preservation, it's also about preserving the learning connections.

Actually, | don't have a domain name myself, and my "intense" web activity are still chaotically distributed over the Internet.

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