Helpful Readings:

  • Hogan, B 2010, ‘The Presentation of Self in the Age of Social Media: Distinguishing Performances and Exhibitions Online’, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
  • Zhao, S, Grasmuck, S & Martin, J 2008, ‘Identity construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships’, Computers in Human Behavior
  • Castells, M. (1997) ‘The Power of Identity’, Volume II, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture
  • Castells, M. (2004) ‘ The Network Society:  A Cross-culture Perspective’
  • Nunes, M. (2011) ‘ Error: Glitch, Noise, and Jam in New Media Cultures’
  • Krotoski 2011, ‘Online identity: Can we really be whoever we want to be?’ , The Overser, 19 June

Notes on readings:

  • The world is a stage -> we’re actors performing
  • Performance vs exhibition
  • Exhibition is still a form of presentation of self -> we choose what to display and what not to
  • Individuals present an “idealised” rather than an authentic version of themselves
  • In the “backstage” we do much of the real work necessary to keep up appearances
  • Media provides a window into the private lives of others or things that would not normally show in public but not social media because we decide what to display
  • We decide what to display , where and what narrative  to tell
  • Individuals vs reproduction
  • We “show rather than tell” -> the “visual self”
  • We play-act being someone else or someone/something we are not or would like to be
  • Identity: appareance + manners + attitude + feelings
  • Disembodiment allows people to reinvent themselves through production of new identities
  • On Facebook we can’t pretend to be someone else or something we are not but only “improve”/”emphasise”/ “exaggerate” and “stretch the truth a bit” OR on the contrary “di-emphasise”/ “hide” part of our selves we regard as undesirable (ex. shyness, overweight etc) -> the “hoped for possible self”
  • Explicit statements of our self (ex photos and statements) vs Implicit statements (ex hobbies, tastes, movies, music etc)
  • “Virtual self” (On line) -> “True self” (we actually show who we are)
    -> “Ideal self” (an idealisation of ourselves)
    -> “Possible self” (something that we potentially are or have the                        potential to become)vs

    “Real self” (Off line)

  • All these “selves” are products of different situations rather than characteristics of different individuals
  • Online world & Offline world are not seprate worlds
  • Identity is people’s source of meaning experience
  • Identity vs Role (mother, father, student, worker, smoker etc)  -> Identity organise the meaning while Roles organise the functions
  • From a sociological perspective, all identities are constructed. The real issue is how, from what, by whom and for what
  • Our experience of the web is changing our identity both on and offline

Online Identity Further Ideas

As previously said, I would like to chase the opportunity given to me thanks to this project and learn how to create GIFFS. And as I also mentioned before, when thinking about Online Identity, I think of Facebook as it’s the most used Social Networking Service.

Therefore I want to “recreate” a sort of Facebook page of my profile but with animated images (GIFFS) as I am sure it is something that Facebook will use soon or later, where everyone can have animated images as their profile picture.

We can find an example in Harry Potter where they had alive portraits and moving pictures in newspapers:

A part from creating moving profile pictures and cover photos I also would like to create other GIFF in Facebook so the whole Facebook page will be moving!


Facebook as Online Identity

Facebook is an online social networking service, whose name stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other. It was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students. The website’s membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over.

Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users,of which 8.7% are fake.According to a May 2011 Consumer Reports survey, there are 7.5 million children under 13 with accounts and 5 million under 10, violating the site’s terms of service.

User Profiles:

Users can create profiles with photos, lists of personal interests, contact information, and other personal information. Users can communicate with friends and other users through private or public messages and a chat feature.

Social Impact:

Facebook has affected the social life and activity of people in various ways. With its availability on many mobile devices, Facebook allows users to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet. It can also unite people with common interests and/or beliefs through groups and other pages, and has been known to reunite lost family members and friends because of the widespread reach of its network.

Some argue that Facebook is beneficial to one’s social life because they can continuously stay in contact with their friends and relatives, while others say that it can cause increased antisocial tendencies because people are not directly communicating with each other. Some studies have named Facebook as a source of problems in relationships. Several news stories have suggested that using Facebook can lead to higher instances of divorce and infidelity.

Other interesting facts about Facebook:


Definition of ‘Social Networking Service’

When I think about ‘Online Identity’ I always think of Social Networking Service, particularly Facebook, Chatting Websites, Dating Websites and also Online Games.

A social networking service is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, pictures, posts, activities, events, and interests with people in their network.

Definition of ‘Online Identity’

An online identity, internet identity, or internet persona is a social identity that an Internet user establishes in online communities and websites. It can also be considered as an actively constructed presentation of oneself. Although some people prefer to use their real names online, some internet users prefer to be anonymous, identifying themselves by means of pseudonyms, which reveal varying amounts of personally identifiable information. An online identity may even be determined by a user’s relationship to a certain social group they are a part of online. Some can even be deceptive about their identity.

In some online contexts, including Internet forums, MUDs, instant messaging, and massively multiplayer online games, users can represent themselves visually by choosing an avatar, an icon-sized graphic image. Avatars, digital representations of oneself or proxy that stands in for a person in virtual worlds, are how users express their online identity.

The concept of the personal self, and how this is influenced by emerging technologies, are a subject of research in fields such as psychology and sociology. The online disinhibition effect is a notable example, referring to a concept of unwise and uninhibited behavior on the internet, arising as a result of anonymity and audience gratification.

The social web, i.e. the usage of the web to support the social process, represents a space in which people have the possibility to express and expose their identity (Marcus, Machilek & Schütz 2006) in a social context. For instance people define explicitly their identity by creating user profiles in social network services such as Facebook and or LinkedIn and online dating services.

Online Identity Ideas

In the last few months, during my time here in Australia studying at Deakin University, I feel I have learnt so much and improve my skills in photoshop and photography in general. I have learnt more here in a couple of months than in a whole year studying at my home University.

So for my next assignment I want to keep learning doing something that I would have never thought I could do. When my photography teacher showed us in lecture GIFS and Cinemagraphs, I decided I wanted to learn how to make one.

Animated GIF:

An animated GIF file comprises a number of frames that are displayed in succession.
By default, however, an animation displays the sequence of frames only once, stopping when the last frame is displayed.


Animated GIFs perhaps come the closest to capturing the true essence of a moment—what photographic technology has often struggled to achieve since the first recorded image. NYC-based innovators Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg have created a whole new style of art for digital ads in the field of fashion photography; they call them “cinemagraphs” : an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly.

Here’s few examples:

The beauty of their vision lies in its simplicity. Movements are so subtle (a model’s hair blows in the wind, the gentle jostle of the subway, the flash of a passing car) as to not always be apparent at first glance, but closer scrutiny rewards you with these isolate moments of delight.
“There’s something magical about a still photograph,” Jamie explains, calling them “a captured moment in time—that can simultaneously exist outside the fraction of a second the shutter captures.

This techniques is usually used in movies (romantic or action scenes); here’s an example:

Here are also an example of Tutorial on how to make a cinemagraph:

This last film scene is quite inspiring as I love the technique is been used at the end. I could do something similar for my cinemgraphs having the couple still kissing and the camera around moving.