Whole Through the Presence of Others? Integrity and Participation in Blogs, Social Network Sites, and Eportfolios


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A presentation at a meeting of the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research on February 27th, 2009 in San Francisco.

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  • Whole Through the Presence of Others? Integrity and Participation in Blogs, Social Network Sites, and Eportfolios

    1. 1. Whole Through the Presence of Others? Integrity and Participation in Blogs, Social Network Sites, and Eportfolios Darren Cambridge Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research San Francisco, February 27, 2009
    2. 3. Blogs and SNS are Popular <ul><li>39% of Internet users read blogs </li></ul><ul><li>8% write blogs </li></ul><ul><li>54% of those authors have never published their writing anywhere else </li></ul><ul><li>35% of adults have a social network profile </li></ul><ul><li>65% of teens do </li></ul><ul><li>94% of college students are on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of users and billions of page views each day </li></ul>
    3. 4. Being popular matters because <ul><li>It suggests intrinsic motivation, which we’d like to understand and tap. </li></ul><ul><li>There are social practices related to use beyond academic settings we need to take into account. </li></ul>
    4. 5. Blogs, SNS, and Eportfolios: Personal <ul><li>90% of blogs have a single author </li></ul><ul><li>70.4% classified as “personal journal” and 76% “document personal experiences” to “log your being” or as “catharsis” </li></ul><ul><li>Egocentric: Social networks organized around people rather groups organized around interests </li></ul>
    5. 6. Blogs and SNS: Social <ul><li>87% of blogs allow comments </li></ul><ul><li>51.2% link to other blogs and over 1/3 of posts contain links </li></ul><ul><li>Average college student has 150 – 200 friends on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>85% of teens have written on someone’s “wall” in an SNS, and 82% have sent messages within the system </li></ul><ul><li>Eportfolios? </li></ul>
    6. 7. Personal focus on social space: Why? <ul><li>Mediated voyeurism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of control of personal information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire to access others’ that seems “unguarded” and “authentic” while limiting demands of interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exhibitionism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social validation: “a culture that finds its real in the media” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-clarification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship management </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Relationship management <ul><li>“ Interaction at one remove” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased interactivity than static webpages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More control and less intrusive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building bridging social capital </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong correlation between intensity of SNS use and bridging social capital (weak ties) for college students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SNS use has higher impact impact with students with low self-esteem and low satisfaction with college </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mirrors higher participation rates for minority and low income adults </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower transaction costs </li></ul>
    8. 9. Control in Connection <ul><li>The blog might be understood as a particular reaction to the constant flux of subjectivity, as a generic effort of reflexivity within the subject that creates an eddy of relative stability. Infinite play, constant innovation, is not psychically sustainable on an indefinite basis. In a culture in which the real is both public and mediated, the blog makes ‘real’ the reflexive effort to establish the self against the forces of fragmentation, through expression and connection, through discourse. (Miller & Shepherd, 2004) </li></ul>
    9. 10. Fits into the open spaces of daily life <ul><li>Short </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average blog post is 210.4 words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mean length of “About Me” is 157 characters ; median is 36 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frequent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time between last and penultimate post mean in 5 days; mode is 1 day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60% of adults access SNS at least several times a week ; 37% access every day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average college student logs in at least once a day </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brief </li></ul><ul><ul><li>59% of blog writers spend 1-2 hrs/wk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average college students spends 20 minutes/day on SNS </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Database Lowers Transaction Costs <ul><li>Data collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unstructured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ firstly, a dataset, a list of things” (Jarrett 2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides structure; guide’s the reader’s experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis of search in blogs and SNS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic selection and arrangement vs. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interface as a composition with an intentionally meaningful selection and arrangement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Number of fields completed predicts number of friends but amount of information in them does not </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>Network Self </li></ul><ul><li>Creating intentional connections </li></ul><ul><li>Symphonic Self </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieving integrity of the whole </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Integrity <ul><li>Values, commitments, and actions cohere and interconnect </li></ul><ul><li>Across personal, professional, and civic roles </li></ul><ul><li>Over time </li></ul><ul><li>Made consistent to a systemic understanding of identity </li></ul>
    13. 14. Symphonic Demands of Adult Life
    14. 15. Environments for Growth <ul><li>“ Finding a thread in my life” </li></ul><ul><li>In both personal and professional domains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning as attitude toward life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by inviting environments rich in content and people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology as a means to guide and support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communicated by the portfolio as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>But not situated in an environment that is rich in content not her own of other people </li></ul>
    15. 17. Public Displays of Connection <ul><li>Blogroll and friends lists as messages (Donath and boyd, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional performance of identity rather than a transparent representation of a social network beyond the system </li></ul><ul><li>Network as implicit validation of profile information </li></ul>
    16. 19. danah boyd as suicide girl <ul><li>“ impression management is an inescapably collective process” (2008) </li></ul>
    17. 21. Participation <ul><li>Copy and paste as a key literacy practice (Perkle 2008) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Embedded code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse of other-created media and functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neither fully production or consumption </li></ul><ul><li>“ Materially connected”: meaning and functionality dependent on connections </li></ul><ul><li>Compare to “authorship” and “ownership” and “control” </li></ul>
    18. 23. Some Questions <ul><li>How do we mediate between the brevity, frequency, loosely-structured conventions of blog and SNS genres and the more intensive and complex conventions of symphonic portfolios in a way that embraces connection? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we help students craft public displays of connection as intentional self-representations through their eportfolios? How do we determine when they’re successful? </li></ul><ul><li>If we embrace participation as a meaningful means of self-representation and reflection, how does that change how we think about evidence and ownership in eportfolios? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the appropriate balance between coherence and control and malleability and interconnection ? </li></ul>