Tag Archives: digital footprint

DigCit Toronto 18

As excitement builds for first Digital Citizenship Summit Toronto on Saturday October 27th, I look forward to participating, sharing and networking at the event.

Digital Citizenship is an ‘old‘ but important concept –  brought to life at the birth of social media.  Areas of consideration and discussion included your digital footprint, staying safe online, building and participating in online communications etc.  Educators shared ideas and resources regarding approaches to embed Digital Citizenship into the classroom. In the educational context, current work expands to digital leadership, using digital tools to solve problems, expanding understanding (global perspectives) and to move society forward in positive ways.

Context: 

I can remember the early adopter days 10-12 years ago.  Everyone, at least in my mainly educators circle,  was focusing on the potential – new connections, sharing blog posts and resources, kicking the tires on new ideas and approaches, developing your PLN etc.  The future looked bright and rosy.

When you consider how things have evolved,  the complexity is overwhelming! While I do think the ‘solid base’ I described above is still there, one must contend with Influencers, bots, fake news, the far left,  the far right, alternative agendas, promotion of “the negative”, privacy challenges etc.  We owe it to today’s youth, our students, to learn to navigate this digital landscape safely and positively with an eye for opportunity and “doing good”.

Check out related blog posts by other conference organizers Jennifer Casa Todd and Tina Zita

If this topic interests you, consider attending the first Digital Citizenship Summit Toronto,   this Saturday (October 27th, 2018). I hope to see you there!

~Mark

 

 

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Digital Footprint – Reflections

As I reflect about the Digital Footprint concept, I find my thinking about this changing over time. I am gravitating to relating to this notion in two components.

1. The ‘size’ of the digital footprint reflects how much your name is ‘out there’ – fairly easily to search, and shows in a variety of contexts (twitter, blogs, comments etc.) — a frequency factor of sorts.

2. Your digital legacy — the ‘quality’ of the foot print, the lasting impression of who you are, what you stand for and how you contributed to the online environment. What will people think about you based on being ‘googled’ or ‘binged’?

And now a question: What are your thoughts regarding this way of thinking about your digital footprint?

~ Mark

Have you checked your digital footprint?

On mornings when I eat breakfast by myself, I usually do a little reading to get the day started. Gone are the newspapers and magazines. My reading is done on the computer. How much reading get done depends on my ‘blast off’ timeframe, but I always do some. On a typical day,  I would

  • check work email for any time sensitive items
  • log into Twitter, read new tweets and usually I will post something about my upcoming day as well
  • next stop, read the daily blog post at  Off the Record – a great start to the day.
  • then, time permitting,  check headlines and areas of interest on web based major newspapers
  • on weekend mornings, I also catch up on the wide selection of  blogs I read

Recently I was reading a Twitter post about Library Learning Commons. I decided to Google the person referred to in the tweet to obtain a little more information, which was easily obtained. Then, a fleeting thought zips through my mind … I haven’t Googled myself lately, I wonder what comes up.

So, I Google my name, then my name and location, and finally my name and role.  Well, I was amazed at what was listed among the Google listings. I new from trying this exercise earlier from a digital footprint perspective that there are many Mark Carbone’s that come up in searches. Looking at the listings specifically about me, I expected to see references to:

  • my blog
  • Twitter
  • ISTE and other educational forums on Ning that I participate in
  • and maybe Facebook

I was surprised to see a number of other references that referred to participation in other online forums. Surprised meaning you don’t think about the quantity and depth of checking and indexing that occurs in the online world. Some examples include:

  • Listings of comments that I posted on various blogs (via BackType.com)
  • Linked In
  • Comments on public Facebook pages (music groups in this case)
  • My Twitter activity was fed to a CIO dashboard listing of CIO’s on Twitter

Reflecting on this, I guess I should have anticipated some of these ‘extra references’. After all, there is a public component to many of these web 2.0 services. One doesn’t necessarily think that their actions (comments) will become searchable items accessible by today’s powerful search engines. Based on what I observed, my digital footprint has definitely expanded since I last reviewed it. With my level of participation, this is it be expected, and arguably a good thing.

New to social networking? When using social networking tools as part of your activities, you will want to be aware that your activities my not be as private or as limited as you may think. Social networking tools and today’s search engines are very powerful. Your online activity becomes part of a more permanent digital imprint that is part of society now. Enjoy, learn and benefit from what these tools can offer. At the same time, this points to the need for safe, ethical, responsible online activity and good digital citizenship.

~ Mark

What’s in a Digital Footprint

As we spend more and more time online, one leaves a digital footprint – digital connections to our name which are part of your online presence. 

Personas is a component of the metropathologies, currently on display at the MIT museum by the Social Media Group. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one’s aggregated online personaliy. In effect, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.

Here’s how it works:  You enter your name, first and last only, no middle initials, titles etc. and Personas will dig through the Internet to search for information and attempts to characterize the person by fitting the information against a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from the total data set found. Each step of the multi-stage process is visualized. The final result is the representation of the seemingly authoritative personal ‘online’ profile (based on the data set).

Personas is a great example of data mining to build profiles from extensive quantities of information. As amazing as this process is, it is also an example showing inconsistencies and inadvertent errors that occur, mainly due to the lack of ability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. In other words, if I run the process using ‘Mark Carbone’ the final profile presented will be based on the collective data for all of the  people with the name ‘Mark Carbone’, not just me. 

The algorithm fits the collected data against 23 categories, so it’s fairly comprehensive.  The categories include one called ‘illegal’ and I would bet that this would make many of us squirm a little …  I road tested a few names, including my own and this category exists for all the names I tested. None the less, this is a great example a powerful data mining tool.

As an example the representation of ‘Mark Carbone’ looks like

 personas_example

 

This is a very interesting technology. Click here to try  your name.  I am sure you will enjoy checking out Personas.  Have fun with the profiler.

~ Mark