#change11 Hidden in public

In this week’s article I recognized my “selves” #3 and #4 (participatory and asynchronous), and I think that asynchronous participation is one of the major new affordances of digital learning.

But while Bonnie looks “beyond the traces and trails we leave behind”, I am still grappling with the effect that the sheer mass of such traces has on our public open visibility. Isn’t it almost like anonymity, when our traces are spread among so many others? Aren’t they fading like the (bare) footprints of his childhood that Roy mentioned in the recent NLC hot seat on online identity? Does this mass and entropy afford a new kind of hiding?

And on the flip side: What becomes of the accessibility of the traces and artefacts that we may want to preserve, when they are buried among masses of newer ones which gradually obsolete the context-dependent meaning of the past ones? Without at least some fracturing, large collections of context-connected resources become just unaccessible, which almost, in a way, destroys their openness.

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3 Responses to #change11 Hidden in public

  1. x28 says:

    Your careful plausible wording will certainly be useful for me when arguing with the skeptics. And your response was already the reward you mentioned! Thank you very much.

  2. Bon says:

    Really good points, about the new kind of hiding.

    I do think the traces and trails matter, only that focusing on them tends to lead to a conversation about privacy and uses of info by others, in institutional or transgressive ways. In other words, how does your data expose you to risk? And from the privacy/risk perspective, you’re right, I think a lot of openness stuff just slides by in the wash. If you have huge success, chances are greater someone will notice you and decide to do something nasty with your images or info or whatever. If you’re unlucky, that may happen anyway. But it’s not really the openness that’s the risk, IMO…best practice not to be the low-hanging fruit of privacy, but judge the risk with the rewards. Many of us get value out of our open practices that outweigh – at least statistically, as I haven’t yet had the experience of being unlucky – the perceived risks. So my interest is in how openness opens us to more peer-based relationships more than how it opens us to risk…because to me, that part’s more new.

    But I hadn’t thought about your flip side…though I realize I live it. You’re right, stuff gets buried so fast. And in a sense maybe we need two types of lens on our sharing: one that is focused on our networked publics, and helps build the kinds of connections we want, and one that has more of a self-curation focus, that looks at what we and our circles may want in the long run, and takes the extra time not just to share but to tag and coordinate in ways that remain visible and accessible to us?

    Thanks for making me think. 🙂

  3. thinking just the same about hiding, traces, finding ~ same but from another perspective. The expression “hiding in plain sight” comes to mind (“finding in the dark” less so); also “tripping over”)

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