Identity "Crisis"

(a review of the literature)
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Readers of this blog (thank you!) should also be reading most, if not all, of the blogs listed down the right margin out of habit, just like I do.  Regardless… Once in a while I feel compelled to single out their words about an important issue.

The issue of the moment (get ready to be unsurprised) is yet another battle in The Fake War: the argument precipitated by the statements of Facebook’s CEO, followed by the actions of FB, regarding the identity of their account holders and the disposition of information.  It has particular impact on the Residents of Second Life for a number of reasons; chief among them being the occasional vague references from the likes of M Linden (CEO of SL) and Hamlet Au about some form of “integration” between SL and FB… as if a mere population increase will solve SL’s problems, rather than exacerbate them.  (That began before Facebook dropped the nuke on privacy — see the list of articles at the end of “Vaporworld” for background).

Along comes Wallace Linden, fresh out of the test-tube, with his inaugural piece on the the official Second Life blog: “Will the Real You Please Stand Up”.

A lot of us have — here are some of the best minds in the SLogosphere, doing just that:

Dusan Writer: “Linking Second Life to Real Life Names”

Snickers Snook: “Real Life, Second Life. Blurring the Lines.”

Honour McMillan: “Connecting Real Life and Second Life – a Personal Opinion”

Dale Innes: “The real me is having a nap, tyvm”

Dio Kuhr: “I am Spartacus — linking real life identities to SL personas”

Emily Orr: “oh, I’m scared of the middle place, between light and nowhere”

and Botgirl Questi, with appropriate humor: “The REAL STORY Behind the Wallace Linden Controversy”

Department of Redundancy Department:  In my “Vaporworld” post below, and in comments scattered around the Web, I have used the phrase the identity in your wallet.  It’s a deliberate reference, not just to your driver’s license but to the other contents of your wallet: cash and credit cards.  The drive to link “real” identity to pseudonyms is what the latest jargon calls “monetization”.  It’s quite simple: data-mining hits a brick firewall if the account name can’t be matched to purchase activity.  Therefore, the data being mined has less resale value, and neither the miners (EquiFax and their ilk) nor their clients (Facebook, ad nauseum) like that very much.  You need look no farther for the motive of the anti-“fake” side of The Fake War.

Speaking of monetization…  Remember this?  Second Life Affiliate Program, which you can use to place an ad for SL on your blog or other website, and receive a whopping U$D 5 kick-back for any Premium memberships initiated by a click-through from your site.  I love the irony that not one of the blogs about SL that I’ve read since that program began displays one of those ads.

Heh heh

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6 responses to “Identity "Crisis"

  1. oh you cuddly lil critter….

    Thank you for the mention and the link. You really ought to include Emilly Orr's piece on the subject as well.

    I like the idea of “identity in your wallet” especially as you can take the metaphor a little further and look on it as referring to all the baggage you bring with your physical space identity> You can argue that the real life bagge is represented quite nicely by all the odds and ends that you may or may not have cluttering up a wallet or purse: things like spare change and reciepts from past transactions; pictures of kids and lovers; or that generic starlet picture you never bothered to remove from the damn thing when you first bought it…not to mention various mini-doses of emergency pharaceuticals and/or a single-pack prophylactic appliance (which if you would check, you'd notice that it had actually passed its expiration date in early 2003).

    But seriously…when you take on a new psuedonymous identity, it comes with only the baggage we chose to apply to it…or that we allow to manifest itself.

  2. Late entry, but still incisive and worth the read: Feldspar Epstein writing at the Metaverse Journal; “Will the Real You Please Stand Up: precedence in communications”

    Feldspar makes a point I forgot to: that, in spite of the OMG'ing in the comments, Wallace himself tries to reassure that it's not already fait accompli. Unfortunately, Wallace inexplicably appears oblivious to the Lab's general tendency to pretend to solicit reaction when their mind (to use the term loosely) is already made up.

    Did he not read any of those from the other side before he became a Linden?

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