Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Identity crisis?

Wagner James Au has an interesting blog post, Web 2.0 Is The Bridge Between 1st And 2nd Life Identity, suggesting that:
a tremendous level of Second Life activity really takes place within Web 2.0 systems which weren't made with the metaverse in mind. In this mesh of various Internet identities, we reveal different aspects of ourselves on different mediums, depending on the social circles who follow us there. It's a phenomenon we're only beginning to understand, one that Gartner's Adam Sarner dubbed "Generation V" and Botgirl Questi evocatively illustrated on her blog
I left a comment saying that when I recently introduced a limited level of Twitter support into the Second Friends Facebook application I left myself with a small, but very real, identity crisis.
The problem is that I tweet separately as both Andy Powell and Art Fossett and I couldn't work out which one I should link to my Second Friends profile.

It seems to me that the picture is going to get increasingly "confused", especially with expected growth in alternative virtual worlds, alts, etc. There is very little that I do with my first life online identity (email, blog, twitter, etc.) that I don't now also do with my second life online identity and I suspect that this is fairly typical. Art Fossett has a blog, an email account, a Twitter account, and several other outlets. He doesn't have a Facebook page, but only because I chose to surface that particular aspect of his online identity thru the Second Friends Facebook application.

As I join other virtual worlds I anticipate doing so as Art Fossett - at least, that is what I have done to date. I have other virtual world personas - but none of them feel as much a part of me as Art Fossett does. All of which leads one to conclude that Art Fossett is not simply Andy Powell's Second Life avatar but a more general persona which happens to surface most obviously in Second Life currently.

So, back to my dilema about which Twitter account to link to my Second Friends profile... in the end I decided to link my Art Fossett Twitter account to my Second Friends application, figuring that the application is really about linking my Second Life persona(s) to my real life Facebook page - there are other tools for linking in my first life tweets.

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