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You and Eternity

October 17, 2012

Marshall McLuhan said “The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare.”

Taking my cue from the master as I have done for all my posts, as our course and this blog are coming to end, I thought probing immortality and social media might be an interesting idea for my last post.  So here are three differnt approcahes.

Adam Ostrow, editor in chief at Mashable, explored the idea of immortality at a recent TED event. In his talk After Your Final Status Update, Ostrow observes that many of us have a social media presence — a virtual personality made up of status updates, tweets and connections, stored in the cloud. He then asks a very big question: What happens to that personality after you’ve died? Could it … live on?  He thinks so. Indeed as he sees it because thanks to the vastness of the data we’re creating on line and technology’s ability to make sense of it all, it’s going to become possible for our digital personas to interact with the real world long after we are gone.

Alternatively, Stuart Miles, ask us to consider the possibility that in the future, all our precious memories and favourite creations will become lost along with us when we die because of what he describes as Cloud Collecting.  As he imagines it in 2032 Cloud Collecting is a big business, where Cloud Collectors act as either on line bailiffs, and repossess virtual assets, or as dealers, and trade in the digital memorabilia of the rich and the famous. Read more…


You and Barrack Obama

October 12, 2012

McLuhan said  “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” 

Jill Walker Rettberg, (see References) experienced the power of this when she received, from the travel site Dopplr , a personalised annual report of her travels customised into a one-page visualization. Dopplr also included, for a bit of fun, a link to a blog post titled ‘Dopplr presents the Personal Annual Report …. freshly generated for you, and Barack Obama’ so Rettberg, and others could compare their travel with Obama’s.

Rettberg was fascinated. As she said  “no social network site had sent me such a portrait of my life before – and as a researcher of social media I’ve signed up to dozens of social network sites. By organizing my data in this way, Dopplr created a story for me, a representation of an aspect of my life.”

I remember in class when I discovered the third party tool ‘inmaps’ on LinkedIn which showed me a graphical representation of my own LinkedIn network. It was intriguing and I imagine is offered in the belief that seeing your network can help you to use it better. Read more…

Project of the Self

September 10, 2012

Stuart Hall, (MacNamara, J. 2010) refers to identity as the ongoing ‘project of the self’. He says instead of thinking of identity as an already accomplished fact, we should think of identity as a ‘production’, which is never complete, always in process. Michel Foucault (MacNamara, J. 2010 ) suggests we engage in this production of identity by creating ‘ narratives of the self’, aided these days by what he calls ‘technologies of the self’. Chief among these technologies of course are media.

Stuart Hall [BBC UK]

The ancient Greek aphorism says  know thyself but in light of Foucault’s comments and today’s media society philosophy these days might advise  – show thyself.

Jordan McDonnell  knew he didn’t want to follow the usual rules about resume writing.

In order to stand out among others in the workforce, he decided to post his own story on Slideshare. The presentation titled.  “This is NOT my resume”  discusses more than his work experience and education. Jordans’ ambition was to create a resume that would go beyond the ordinary and capture his own unique personal biography. Social Media affords us all the opportunity to make our presentations of ourselves as fun, exciting, engaging and successful as Jordan’s. By his own account he has received extremely supportive attention.

However where some see social media as saviour some see it as the devil. Read more…

Personality is Key

September 4, 2012

The Internet is part of our everyday lives, and who we are guides how we use it.

According to Myers (2007), the self is the most researched topic in psychology. “Our sense of self organizes our thoughts, feelings and actions”(Myers, 2007, p. 25).

When you complete the sentence, “I am ________” you are essentially defining or describing your identity, how you see yourself, your personality.

Studies linking personality to social media offer some insights into how our personality affects the way we approach and interact with and use the social media technology. Results from a number of studies (Correa, Hinsley, de de Zúñiga, 2010) and (Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Wainapel, G., & Fox, S. 2004), have identified that Extraversion in particular is positively related to social media use. Findings also indicate that extroverted individuals reported higher levels of social networking site use.  Interestingly though, Amichai- Hamburger, Wainapel and Fox’s study revealed that Introverts report that they locate their “real me” on the Internet, while Extraverts locate their “real me” through traditional social interaction. Read more…

Hail Marshall McLuhan

September 1, 2012

Marshall McLuhan famously said  “The media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the massage.

Even though they were penned before the invention of the world wide web and its associated technologies these words can still serve as thought provokers for those of us who have or are thinking about becoming members of the media – the social media that is.

Whether you like it or not, and whether you intend to or not, from your first public post you will have an impact. Read more…


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