March 8th, 2007

Identity In A Digital World


I got up to ask a question here at OPA, and I introduced myself as Scott Karp of Atlantic Media and the Publishing 2.0 blog. After the session, someone who I had just introduced myself to earlier came up to me and essentially re-introduces himself, saying, “I didn’t make the connection that you’re THAT Scott Karp,” i.e. who writes Publishing 2.0.

This mis-identification was my fault because my name tag says “Atlantic Media,” which until a few minutes ago wasn’t disclosed on my About page — that lack of disclosure, honestly, was a holder over from my early days of blogging when it was less obvious to me how to manage my blogging relative to my work for Atlantic Media. What’s obvious to me now is that full transparency is always best (duh).

In any case, in addition to that re-introduction, I also noticed that somebody sitting in the room here had Googled me.


Looking around the room, wondering which of the laptop users was looking me up, I was struck by what an odd experience digital identity has become. Through the anonymity of RSS subscriptions, there are people I meet all the time who know me but who I don’t know. Rather than meeting me in person to find out more about me, when I’m here in the same room, someone can choose to Google me instead — of course, I’m jumping to the conclusion that I haven’t met the person who Googled me.

Jeff Jarvis had a related odd experience when a presenter here played a video of Jeff:

My video post for Comment is Free was shown at yesterday’s Guardian and my McCain PrezVid show on today’s presentation (see the post below). Gee, maybe I can stop going to conferences and attend virtually. But then, I wouldn’t have heard the laughs I got today. Gotta have an audience, eh?

Comments (4 Responses so far)

  1. Scott Karp / Publishing 2.0 : Identity In A Digital World Brad Linder / Download Squad Zooming in on Google Maps — Filed under: Web services , Google How often have you wished that you could look in your own bedroom window using Google Maps, only to realize that you just can’t zoom in far enough

  2. The same thing happen to me at an event a few months ago where I got up to ask a questions and a Google employee asked “Are you the Natasha from ThreadWatch?” and I was like “Ah, yeah?!… am I on a watchlist (lol!)”. But your post stuck a cord with me because I just signed up for an event via Upcoming that touts itself to be “an anti-social networking project that involves discovering the identity of another without being discovered.” I’ll let ya know how that turns out.

  3. Funny post, Scott — I just had a flashback to the post I wrote about you way back when, the one where I “outed” you as working at Atlantic. Man, you were mad. Glad that’s all behind us now :-)

  4. [...] good nano-detail on the BBC, Jeff Jarvis has blogged Jeffrey Rayport’s superb opening session, and Scott Karp talks about meeting real-live people after only knowing them through RSS feeds before. That’ll be [...]

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