Gnomedex: Julie Leung on Blogging as Social Tool

Posted in Blogging, Events, Opinion, Social networking

Julie Leung is presenting right now on blogging as a social tool. Now, she’s not talking about social tool in some of its traditional meanings – not when we talk about IM or about other pieces of software. She is talking about the social aspects of speaking online. About what is the line about what is personal and not and what goes on the blog or not.

What is public identity? What should you create? What are the masks we wear? We portray characters in our online selves. And we each make specific decisions about which identity aspects go online. I did a lot of study on these “selves” or “masks” we wear in social situations, so this resonates. There has been a lot of research done in the communication arena about the ability for us to create additional and disparate identities online where we’ve not been able to do on the same scale before. Blogging falls into that. Unlike IM it is mostly one to many, and that also requires us to be a different person.

Blog Ads by Chitika What do we choose to reveal on our blogs? Does private information affect us or others? Of course. It changes what people think of you, and can alter your social interactions. And, yes, it will always be available online – archived for all to see. Many of us will forget that what we write online is the same as what gets put in a newspaper – if you don’t want it physically published anywhere by anyone, you need to reassess what mask you wear online and what information you divulge. However, there is a tension there. Divulging some information can give you that mode of interaction not possible without it. There are rewards.

Why choose to keep some secrets?

1. preservation – keep your relationships sacred. Don’t make family and friends feel uncomfortable about putting their lives online. We need not make others public figures against their will. This is especially true for children, as we’ve seen with many celebrities

2. protection – leave the choice open later. For children, this means giving them the right later to decide what their role will be in a public, permanent format.

3. privacy – there is a proper place for secrets. Keep something sacred and increase its value to you by doing so.

Why make private public?

1. chronicle – personally powerful in a social way. It weaves our lives for others and documents our thread through life. Everyone can chronicle their life stories and share it with others.

2. cross-polination. share your senses – share your ideas and experiences with others as we move through life

3. creativity. express who we are and define our identity. Defining something on your blog can help you change and grow.

4. missed this one – got drawn into thinking instead of listening. Anyone have it?

5. cross-roads. learn we are not alone and establish various connected networks.

When we share, we find beauty, we find hope, friends, family, tribe, a sense of coming home and belonging in the world.

It was a nice panel. Expressive of the social aspects of our passing lives in the blogosphere. Something we often overlook when talking about technology. Blogging is not about technology alone, but about the stories we share and the connections we make. I think it was a very lovely presentation in its content, but also in the storyteller voice in which it was spoken. Thanks to Julie for sharing her life with us here at Gnomedex. Let’s all take Julie’s message of hope and see what kind of experience await us all as we walk into the water.

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