Social Web 2.0 Class Week 3: Identity, Online Matchmaking


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Week 3 slides from the class "Social Web 2.0" I taught at the University of Washington's Masters in Communication program in 2007. Most of the content is still very relevant today. Topics: Identity, Online Matchmaking.

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Social Web 2.0 Class Week 3: Identity, Online Matchmaking

  1. 1. Social Web 2.0 Implications of Social Technologies for Digital Media Shelly Farnham, Ph.D. Com 597 Winter 2007
  2. 2. Week 3 <ul><li>Identity and Online Match Making </li></ul>
  3. 3. Identity <ul><li>Material, social, mental aspects of self sustained over time </li></ul><ul><li>The embodied self </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One body, one identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One place at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple roles, but one at a time usually determined by social context </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Social Identity and Social Context <ul><li>Social Identity (identity in social context) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Friend, daughter, secretary, judge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group membership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Male/female, race </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Situational effects on behavior, depending on social identity activated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Party, school, knitting club </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Impression Management <ul><li>Self-presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any behavior intended to create, modify, maintain impression in minds of others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define nature of social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gain material or social rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>self-construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>self-enhancement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trade off between </li></ul><ul><ul><li>desire to present best impression to achieve social goods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ingratiation, self-promotion, intimidation, exemplification, supplication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to be accurate, accountable </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Classic Self-presentation Behavior <ul><li>Public claims of ability on a future task is a function of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal expectation of success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience will learn how well they did </li></ul></ul>Schlenker 1975 JPSP, 32 1030-1037.
  7. 7. Disadvantages of Online Identity <ul><li>No centralized, physical presence </li></ul><ul><li>Limited awareness of, or control over who is your audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interacting with multiple social contexts at same time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity asynchronous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>persists in your absence, so potential access by wrong audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Online role/situational conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>difficulty keeping role identities separate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress of having incompatible roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distrust of anonymous/minimally identified others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fraud, cheat, impersonation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trolling </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Advantages of Online Identity <ul><li>Anonymity/Pseudonymity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expose sensitive issues in way can’t do offline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative life style/sexuality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interpersonal stories </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Broadcast profile enables access to others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Without having to go to bars, job agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use sophisticated matchmaking systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identity play </li></ul><ul><li>Fraud, cheat, impersonation </li></ul><ul><li>Trolling </li></ul>
  9. 9. Self-presentation Online <ul><li>Constraints in presentation medium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FtF: Dress, body language, paraverbal cues, car, home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online: Profiles, home pages, blogs, text, music, avatars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conventional signal vs. assessment signal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unknown audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-presentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Often insufficient information about audience for effective self-presentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teenager presenting self as cool by drinking beer to friend vs. parent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fetishist presenting self to fellow fetishists vs. work environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role/situational interaction expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People somewhat uncomfortable without knowledge of age, sex, location, race, SES </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Situational expectations (party vs. school) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harrassment concerns – don’t want to reveal I am fifteen year old girl </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity theft – don’t want to expose my credit car number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question of authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does the person have sufficient expertise to be making knowledge claims? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If person is not help accountable by being anonymous, tend to distrust --- with reason. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Profiles
  11. 11. <ul><li>a/s/l </li></ul>Profiles – what matters?
  12. 12. Profiles – what matters? <ul><li>Unique identifies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name, birthday, email, home address, phone, web address </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social identities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sex, age, race, SES, citizenship/nationality, language </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roles and memberships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>School/employmnet, social roles, voluntary membership groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interest and activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hobbies, interests, activities, sports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preferences/tastes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Musical, movie, books, food, dislikes, likes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intelligence, interpersonal style (e.g. introverted), affective style (e.g. cheerful) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Values and beliefs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Religion, political beliefs, ethics, spirituality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social standing/reputation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liked, respected, leader </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Profiles – what matters? Davis et al. unpublished paper
  14. 14. Profile features – What matters? <ul><li>Text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-ended personal statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog entries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul><ul><li>Audio </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Friend lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. In dating sites, what is important? Fiore & Donath, 2005)
  16. 16. Xbox Matchmaking Study <ul><li>Who do you want to play with, based on type of profile. </li></ul>(riegelsberg et al. 2006)
  17. 17. Xbox MatchMaking Study
  18. 18. Identity Crisis in Web 2.0 <ul><li>Digital identity: “….a person or thing represented or existing in the digital realm which is being described or dealt with”. (Kim Cameron) </li></ul><ul><li>Patchwork of identity one-offs </li></ul><ul><li>Susceptible to criminalization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phishing, Pharming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need unifying identity metasystem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliable way to establish who is connecting with what </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hard to create standardized identity layer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web sites want control of identity, prevent spillover to other web sites </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Laws of Identity (Kim Cameron) <ul><li>User control and consent </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal disclosure for a constrained use </li></ul><ul><li>Justifiable parties </li></ul><ul><li>Directed Identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Omnidirectional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unidirectional </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pluralism of operators and technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Human integration (ceremony) </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent experience across contexts </li></ul>
  20. 20. Fraud -- Phishing
  21. 21. Identity Fraud -- Phishing
  22. 22. Identity in an Age of Web 2.0 <ul><li>OpenID ( Http:// ) -- opensource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authentication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ACL (Access control list) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RBAC (Role based access control) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single sign (SSO) on across multiple properties </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Plaxo <ul><li>Online address book </li></ul><ul><li>People essentially subscribe to each other’s contact info </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Syncs with common email systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Updates automatically distributed </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. MyBlogLog <ul><li>Profile for conversation in blogosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>so readers are as discoverable as authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster awareness around audience, and conversation </li></ul></ul>
  25. 30. Match Making <ul><li>11% internet users gone to dating sites </li></ul><ul><li>37% of single internet users </li></ul><ul><li>17% of those who have used dating services entered long-term relationship with someone met there </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pew: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Personals web site drew 40 million unique visitors in U.S. – ½ # of single adults. Mulrine 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>The top five online dating sites in Dec. 2005, were Yahoo Personals,, Spark Networks,, and, according to comScore. </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo's was far and away the most popular, with 24.04 million visitors, compared with 3.6 million for second-place Match. </li></ul>
  26. 31. Determinants of Attraction <ul><li>Proximity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeated exposure “mere exposure effect” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Physical attractiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Birds of a feather…not opposites attract </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reciprocation </li></ul><ul><li>Matching hypothesis – pair off similar in physical attractiveness </li></ul>
  27. 32. Social Matching Online <ul><li>Matching goals </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dating, expertise, gaming partner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Types of systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search/sort/match systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mainstream (, yahoo) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subpopulation (, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality matching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Semi-automatic matching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matchmaking algorithms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graduated privacy and communication </li></ul></ul>
  28. 33. Xbox MatchMaking Study <ul><li>What you care about depends on kind of player you are. </li></ul>
  29. 34. Xbox MatchMaking Study
  30. 35. Reputation information study <ul><ul><li>Explored what reputation information in a profile people cared about the most in selecting a chat partner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Found they cared the most about ratings by friends, then about similarity to self. Cared less about overall measures of rank/ratings. </li></ul></ul>(jensen et al. 2000?))
  31. 36.
  32. 37.
  33. 38. Myspace
  34. 39. MySpace
  35. 40. eHarmony
  36. 41. Team projects (3 or 4) <ul><li>The term project allows you to apply what we discuss in class to a real-life situation or issue that you want to explore. </li></ul><ul><li>Assume your team (of 2 or 3 people) is hired as a consultant for another company that wishes to explore how to use social technologies to enhance user’s experience of some form of digital media (e.g. text, pictures, music, video). First, you will review related technologies, discussing advantages and disadvantages of each in terms of theory underlying design of social technology systems. Then, you will identify your client’s target users and their particular social and informational goals. Finally, you will storyboard and wireframe a social software system incorporating your understanding of underlying theory, your target users, and current trends in the field. Your system may either newly design or redesign your client’s current system. </li></ul><ul><li>You will be expected to present your project as a power point presentation, and in part as a written spec, with the assumption that your client company is the audience of both your presentation and your written spec. </li></ul>
  37. 42. <ul><li>Week 3: Teams formed </li></ul><ul><li>Week 4: Submit a 250 word abstract of client’s problem </li></ul><ul><li>Week 5: Provide written draft of literature review </li></ul><ul><li>Week 6: Provide written draft of technology review </li></ul><ul><li>Week 7: Provide written draft of assessment of target users </li></ul><ul><li>Week 8: Provide powerpoint draft of storyboard & wireframe </li></ul><ul><li>Week 9: Provide powerpoint draft of intro, lit & tech review, </li></ul><ul><li>and assessment of target users </li></ul><ul><li>Week 10: Provide final draft of written spec, and present project in class. </li></ul><ul><li>I will provide feedback at each stage, so for week 10 you are expected to update the final draft of your powerpoint presentation and written spec incorporating the feedback provided. The written spec should include the bibliography. </li></ul>Schedule (3 or 4)
  38. 43. Developing Client Problem <ul><li>Specifying the client problem to be solved, 250 words max. </li></ul><ul><li>Due next week. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VJ Central is a web site where VJs go to share knowledge, resources and collaborate. They approached our team because they believe that while VJs are posting some videos, they are not using the site to collaborate by building on each other’s content. They are interested in improving how their users share video clips that they created through the site, potentially using creative commons licensing. Our task is to explore issues of sharing videos clips that are specific to VJs, and storyboard a tool that a) allows users to find relevant content from others based on similarity in style and musical interests with a social rating system b) download and modify it, and then c) repost it, such that for any piece of media they can trace how its use has evolved. </li></ul></ul>