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Your Title Here what im going to look at

My field of study is virtual identity, and the world or person people create online. It will show why people choose to social online rather than in the ‘real world’ and how they feel about this. It was also show the positives and negatives of online identities. Is spending too much time online harmful to people. Is it healthy to have a life online instead of offline? Is there a way to show people’s real life identity and their offline identity? Graphic and new media design can contribute by making a visual gallery of the people and who they are. I spend a lot of time online, and I know that it can be used as a safe place for people to be themselves. There is a lot in the media about the pro’s and con’s of online identity and I want to explore these. People create a world inside the computer rather than socially and I want to learn why?

I plan on speaking to people who spend a lot of time online conducting questionnaires and asking people to submit something that describes them. With that I will also do research into people that spend time online for different reasons and also what the media and people who don’t understand think. I also plan on using my visual skills and web design skills to create some sort of online gallery. Practical skills: will evolve using dreamweaver, HTML and CSS coding, as well as photoshop and other similar visual based programs. Theoretical skills: will evolve researching into certain areas and following up my results to lead me on to new things. It will also evole conducting some experiments to gain primary research to help me with my final piece. I am working on producing something that show’s who people really are and who they create online. I want to see if there is a big difference between these ‘two’ people. I want to create a gallery where people can upload information into a gallery so people can view who they really are online and offline.


Your Title Here research

There is a massive area surrounding online identity mostly in the media. Often there are many dangers highlighted and people are made to fear or the safety of their online identity! There are a lot stories of people have had their identity stolen, or personal details such as credit card details stolen. There is also a massive scare factor surrounding children online. There is also the idea that it is easier for paedophiles to get in contact with children and trick them into meeting up. Although the internet offers people to make new friends and meet new people there of course is still many dangers that perhaps that person isn’t who they say they are. There are lots of tips and hints of how to protect yourself online one example is the following: ‘• Make sure the information held about you is accurate – you could be unfairly refused a job, benefits or credit, or a place at college. You have a right to see and correct the information that all organisations hold about you. • Protect yourself on social networking sites – anything you put on the sites may be publicly available so make sure you use strict privacy settings if you don’t want everyone to see your information. Think about what is appropriate too – a friend may not want to be ‘tagged’ in your photo album so use common sense to avoid upsetting anyone. • You can stop unwanted marketing – if you are receiving electronic direct-marketing messages, phone calls, faxes, emails, or texts, there are ways that you can make sure this doesn’t keep happening. • Read the small print – before you sign up to a new website or buy a product make sure you check how the company will use your information, including whether it will pass the information on to third parties. • Make sure your wifi connection is password protected – not doing so puts your personal information at more risk from hackers who could take your personal data to commit fraud or use your connection to download illegal or inappropriate material. ‘ Taken from Telegraph stay safe online the ICO’s advice - http://www. telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8286936/Stay-safe-online-the-ICOsadvice.html

Although the media is mostly prints stories with scare factors, there is also a lot of good with having a strong online identity. You can make new friends and meet people that you wouldn’t meet in the real life with similar interests. It can encourage hobbies and interests and help people gain more knowledge. It can get you in touch with family or friends your lost contact with years ago. But there is always the threat and danger if you do not look after yourself online. As long as you don’t give out personal details such as your credit card details, or telephone or address then you should be safe and fine online. Also when shopping online, make sure that you only buy from secure websites and use trusted methods of payment such as paypal.

I think that people can make a really strong online identity. Some people can get so caught up online or in games that then ends up becoming their lives. I want to look to see if this is compensating for something that they don’t have in real life and why people might prefer to be more social online than offline.


Your Title Here Research

There are so many ways to have your identity stolen and it is getting more and more common and although a lot of it happens online it also happens offline too. There are so many ways that it can happen I looked into a couple of the most common ways that your identity can be stolen. Example of ways to have your identity stolen.

Skimming ATMsThis is where there is a fake front put on ATM machines which look exactly like the real one. When you insert your card and the machine is able to steal your card details of the magnetic strip on the back. There are also cameras installed to capture your pin code as you enter it. The sad thing is that the people behind this scam will most likely have emptied your bank account before even realised. And its the same for the shoulder surfing scam. There are lots of people involved in this that will follow you. Eventually when you use a cash machine someone will look over your shoulder and take note of your pin and later someone of that same group will rob you so they can get hold of your card.

You have recently started a new job, and an email arrives asking you to photocopy your passport page and send it, along with a money order for £200, as part of a security check needed for you to continue working. A “psychic” puts a letter through your door, promising untold wealth if you call her and do a reading over the phone – for £15 per minute, plus a £250 cash sum. You get an email from a friend you haven’t seen in a while – sent from his genuine email address – saying he is on holiday abroad and had been robbed of his passport, chequebook and credit cards. He cannot pay his hotel bill and asks you to wire him £1,500, or he might face jail. An email arrives saying you have won millions on the Spanish lottery, but that due to some processing difficulties you have to pay £400 before lottery officials can release the funds to you. Taken from http://www.aboutidentitytheft.co.uk/about-advance-feescams.html These scams prey on vulnerable people, such as the elderly, are usually considered the population group most likely to fall for such a scam, however it is possible for anyone to fall for it! Some advice to avoid falling for these scams are :

Advance Fee Scams This is where someone will contact you asking for money either because they need help or they want to help you. Some typical scams: The wife of a “well-known” doctor on the African sub-continent emails you that her husband has died, and that he left over £3 million. As you share the same surname – although the surname isn’t mentioned – you can help her get the money to England – provided you send her an immediate processing fee payment of £200. In return for your help, she’ll give you 10, 20 or 30 percent of her late husband’s money.

Never respond or click in the message to any suspicious emails. Delete them. If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from someone you actually know, check it out with them first. It’s probably the result of someone hacking into their account. And never agree to meet anyone in person, unless you know them – and confirm that it really is them Never send any amount of money, no matter how large or small, without confirming the identity of the recipient. If you notice any suspicious activity on any account that has a password, reset it immediately. Taken from: http://www.aboutidentitytheft.co.uk/about-advance-feescams.html

Identity theft of the decreased. It is becoming more popular to steal the identity of someone that has died and it can be really easy, as easy as taking a letter from a door step. It is particularly horrible form of identity theft as it causes alot of stress to a grieving family and can be hard to resolve. There are some ways to help protect the deceased. One way is to get that they are deceased put on their accounts so that if something happens banks or other businesses are alerted to this.

Website Goods Scams Website goods scams are websites that sell expensive branded products for a cut price. However the product never actually comes and you are unable to contact the original place you bought the product from. It could be fake tickets or counterfeit products but they just want your money, and it could lead to having your identity stolen. Some ways to spot a fake website: Websites that don’t provide phone numbers of other contact details, with the exception of an email address – which they may never answer to. Sites that don’t accept credit cards, asking instead for payment by Western Union or bank transfer. The URL address looks funny. Sometimes bogus companies use names that look similar to the original, hoping that unsuspecting customers will not notice anything different – Tifany & Co, for example, instead of Tiffany & Co. Does it look too good to be true? If everyone else is selling UGG boots at £150 and up, why would a company suddenly offer them at a mere £65? Do the goods look a bit odd? Some sites sell counterfeit designer goods that are bad quality or just don’t look right – although they claim they are genuine. Others brazenly sell “copies” of brand-name items, although they have no permission to do so. Taken from : http://www.aboutidentitytheft.co.uk/spotting-website-


Your Title Here Survey

Survey I thought the best way to see how people felt about online identity was to directly ask them. By posting a survey up on the Internet I would get a group of people who use the Internet to take the survey. I had 10 questions altogether and used a website called ‘Survey Monkey’ to create it. 1. Do you have a strong online presence? (Do you use alot of social networking, blogging websites or gaming networks where you have online accounts?) I picked this question because it sets the tone of the survey. It also gives me an idea of people that have a strong online presence. 2. Do you feel that you and your identity are safe online?

5. If you answered yes to the previous questions. That you DO feel your online identity is different from your real life identity please give a short description as to why you feel this is?

9. Have you ever created a fake account on any social networking website, blogging or gaming networking websites to pretend to be someone else?

This is just to sum up why they feel this way. It will be interesting to see if people behave differently, I predict that if they did feel differently it would be because they would have more confidence online than offline.

Again related to the previous question, I am interested to see if anyone has manipulated an account and pretended to be someone else. I am interested to see the two results to question 8 & 9 to see if more people don’t worry about people not being true and then making fake accounts themselves.

6. Do you feel more confident online? (do you feel like you can talk to people better or be more yourself?) This question was expanding on the previous one. It is a little more detailed. I wanted to know if it does give people more confidences as they are hiding behind a screen.

This one was to see if people feel safe online considering it is everywhere how unsafe it is to put up personal information on the internet! I wanted to see how many people this affected. My guess would be that most people wouldn’t feel safe as we are made by the media to feel unsafe and with things like peoples card details and identities being stolen, I would think this would weight heavy on peoples minds.

7. If you answered yes to the previous question, that you DO feel more confident online please give a short description as to why?

3. If you answered no to the previous question, that you DO NOT feel safe online, please give a short description as to why?

8. Do you feel uneasy trusting people online, as they may not be who they say they are?

I wanted to see why they didn’t feel safe online if they didn’t. I will be interested to see if the media and their warnings have anything to do with this?

This is just to see if people are happy to trust who people say they are. It expands a little on question 2 (Do you feel that you and your identity are safe online?) It is so easy to manipulate and create fake accounts so really you will never know who you are talking to.

4. Do you feel that your online identity is different from your offline identity? (Do you behave differently of feel you are a different person when online?) This question is mostly aimed at people who spend alot of time online. I want to see if people do act different online compared to real life.

I just wanted to know why they feel they feel more confident. I guess it would be because they are hiding at home rather than face to face. But it will be interesting to see.

10. Do you feel that having a strong online identity is important to you? Do you feel it is a good thing or a bad thing? This question I put as you HAD to fill it out. I want to see what people’s general opinions of online identity are. I wanted to compare the responses.


Your Title Here Survey Results

I posted up my survey on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and also some blogging websites such as Tumblr. I had 26 responses in the end. Some of the out comes surprised me and some confirmed what I originally guessed.

The first questions outcome didn’t surprise me as I posted it online on social networking sites, so the fact that 23 out of 26 people had a strong online presence wasn’t shocking. Almost all the people that filled this out said it was to do with money and spending money online.

The second question shocked me slightly. 20 people out of 26 or 76.9% of the people didn’t feel worried about being online. They felt that they were safe online 53% of people that answered this said that they did feel that they were different online than they were offline. I wasn’t to surprised at this result because I thought there might be a 50/50 type split here between people who spend alot of time socialising online and people who just use the Internet casually.

Most the people that answered this said that they felt this way because they felt that they could be themselves and didn’t have to think about what they say.


Your Title Here Survey Results

73% said that they were more confident online. I wasn’t surprised by this as I felt this was I assumed that people that I spend time with online would also feel like this.

I was surprised to see that only 43% of people said that they had trouble-trusting people online. I would of thought it would be much higher.

Most of the people that filled out the question why do you feel more confident online said because they could be themselves and they had more time to react to things.

80% of people have never made a fake account, which is what I was expecting especially with the previous question being so low!


Your Title Here Survey Results

This last question people said it was generally ok to have a strong online presence and to socialize online as long as there is a healthy balance between real life and online life.


Your Title Here Experiment

I wanted to look at people’s Virtual Identity. How they are different online to what they are in real life. How people get consumed into living on the Internet. For my experiment, I asked my followers on my blog: ‘I study Graphic Design New Media at Uni. This current brief we get to pick what we want to study. I have decided to look into virtual identity and i know that you are all proud of your virtual identity, i know am so i need some help from you guys to do my research. Read more if you want to help. I want to look at how people create an online persona. I know that on Tumblr, most people can relate better to people on here than in real life. What i want is a photo of you. No one will see this except my lecture when i hand it in! And then a photo or graphic or a character or something that you feel symbolises your online persona/virtual identity. And then to write three things to describe you and then three things to describe the person you are online. If you are interested in helping I WOULD LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER. Please message me if you are interested. I wanted to look at the image based identity. How they view themselves online and offline. I only had three responses, but they were quite intresting to look at and each person submitted something different.

The first picture is of me and my boyfriend, pretty recent, only about a month old. Three things to describe me: 1- 1- Very academic. I complain about school and work, as do most, but it really is the element I am most suited for and the area of my life I feel the most pride in. 2- 2- Socially inept. I hate crowds, I dread having to be in social situations, I have no idea how to react when meeting people, and get nervous when I have to call anyone. I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year and find every reason not to join in when he goes out with all his friends. 3- 3- Passive to the max. I will not start an argument and am incapable of being in a screaming match. You have your opinion and I have mine, if you upset me, I’ll reason out my emotions in my own time and then we can figure out a solution for both. I will not argue with you, that makes a fool out of everyone. The second is my internet self. I love the freedom to do what I want without the prospect of people judging 1- 1-Sailor mouth: I have no problem cursing. I curse in real life, but only in the accompaniment of my closest friends. Online, I couldn’t care less, the only people who see me online are my closest friends, so why should I show prudence? 2- 2- I want contact. In life, I will find a way to avoid people, yet online, when I see people reblog me, like my photos, or comment, it recognizes my opinions as being important. Basically, I like the online communication because it’s fueled by genuine interest in the person, not societal obligations.

In real life, when you say hi to a person, it’s usually because you come across them and it would be rude to ignore them. online, when you say hi, there is no one forcing you, it’s out of your own desire to communicate. Basically, I like the online communication because it’s fueled by genuine interest in the person, not societal obligations. 3- 3- I don’t really comment much. I have a fear of rejection, so by not posting original content or adding my input, I’m able to avoid rejection. In normal life, you can’t just take someone’s words and use them as your own, you need to add your own input. Online, you simply quote someone else, no questions asked. If someone doesn’t agree with what you said, just delete the post, now what proof is there you said it? In real life, you have to live with the words that you say. Real life: Hyper, Fun, sweet.

Internet: Crazy, funny, kind.


Your Title Here Experiment

1) “I think like a like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.” ~Vladmir Nabokov 2) I want out. 3) I don’t know how to be.

1) I feel pretty sometimes. 2) I feel like I belong. 3) I feel like I could be someone someday.

These responses were very helpful and they matched my survey results in that people seemed to feel more confident online. It was interesting as people weren’t sure how to take my question and asked what I meant and how to submit photos and I told all of them to run with it and take it in their own way, which I was pleased to see they each submitted slightly varied responses. Some submitted a very detailed piece of writing and quite artistic photos, whereas others gave very simple bullet points and simple photos.

This idea of being someone different online to whom you really are offline makes me think of the film ‘Avatar’. This is where a man who is disabled goes to a different planet and his subconscious is put in an avatar’s body (a creature that is blue and massive that is made to live on the planet they are on). There is a scene where he first ‘becomes’ the avatar and he has the use of his legs again and he is overly excited to be able to walk and run again. He then gets carried away and becomes the avatar and starts living his life as this avatar rather than in the real world.

It’s a shame that I couldn’t get more people to submit work. Some people showed a slight interest but they weren’t happy to submit photos of themselves. This seems to be a big thing for some people that I have noticed when being online. Some people are happy to post pictures of themselves and give out information, where as other people wont show any photos or personal information. I have always wondered when people have been reluctant to submit photos if it’s a confidence things. If they are unhappy with themselves the perhaps they do not want to post photos online as online they are a different person.

This is closely related to what I was looking at with my experiment. I wanted to see if people can get this submersed into a game or an identity that they almost forget the outside / real world.


Your Title Here

Book : Alter Ego: Avatars and their creators. This is a book written by Robbie Cooper who spent 3 years traveling to places such as Korea, China, France and Germany photograpghy people who use virtual world games. He documented a photo of the person and then teamed that with a picture of the character that they play online (their avatar). He wanted to compare the real person with the person they had created and how they interacted online. Robbie got the idea when in 2003 he was photographing the CEO of a company. The man he was photographing told him that he used online games to play and keep in contact with his children as he didn’t get to see them often, and in the virtual environment he got to speak and play with them every evening. Robbie Cooper said on his website ‘His description of this banal but emotional important exchange, taking place in the vivid fantasy of the game, got me thinking about the nature of the game itself; it’s a world of surface appearances and symbols. Within that, their interaction had been reduced to text; it was a technological extension of psychological models – the imaginary, and the symbolic structure of language.’ This book is very relevant to my ideas and the theme of my work. I want to look at a way of showing a visual representation of someone’s offline and online identity, as well as looking how they behave online and offline and if there is a difference why that is! It is very much like the experiment i did with the two photos. I find this book really interesting. It’s great to look into someone else’s life and who they are online. I was hoping to create something like this with my experiment I did, but unfortunately I didn’t get much response of variety of applicants. Its interesting to look into the differences between some peoples offline and online lives. Here are four examples.

Kimberly says that her avatar most the time looks like her and wear what she wears, although at times she has envied her avatars clothes such as a pair of boots her character made. Her online persona is no different from her offline one, Kimberly sees it more of an extension. She then goes on to mention how she always wanted a tail as a child, so she gave herself one in the game and she wrote some code to make it wag.

Jason uses the game to get about and do extreme things that he cannot do in real life because of his physical disabilities. He has little movement in his hands and uses a virtual keyboard. He plays games because he gets to interact with people, he doesn’t get judge for what he looks like. It allows people to get to know him and not feel uncomfortable about the way he looks. It brings everyone together as they are all on a common ground. He uses the game to be treated like an equal and in the game he isn’t disabled.

Choi Seang Rak says that he only plays at home because his colleagues wouldn’t understand. His avatar is logged in 24 hours a day, seven days a week. and she sits in the market place, buying and selling items while he is away at work. Lineage II (the game he plays) is a microcosm of the real world it is complete with competition for a social status, ostentatious displays of wealth, political intrigues, and a complex economy He also goes on to describe how he has made spreadsheets and charts analyzing the inner workings of the game to find the best places to hunt, most

Lucas wants to keep up with the best players on the game. For a while he would play for up to 12 hours a day, but his real life started to suffer including his health, social life, schoolwork. He says that time goes by so fast you don’t see what is happening in the real world and it isn’t helped by the fact you can order a pizza from within the game. He says that is isn’t healthy to get too involved in the game and to keep things in perspective.


Your Title Here Ideas

My initial idea was to create an online gallery where people post photos of themselves and a a picture of who they are online. However from looking at my experiment I can see that people do not like and can be reluctant to post pictures of themselves. So this idea might be too personal and not that fun.

I then looked at some websites in which you can create avatars that look like you. I focused more on very simple ones that would be better suited for a website.

I was thinking of a way to make this idea possibly more fun and entertaining and taking the really personal side out of it. I looked at some popular anonymous websites which people are happy to post secrets or embarrassing things about themselves as it is anonymous and people don’t know who is posting what. This also poses some issues as it does lower the level of trust, as you have no idea who is who and what is true. However it does still give a space where people can express themselves and get things off their chest without fear of being found out. Then it gives good reading material for people who come to read the websites. Sometimes it can be inspirational, heart wrenching or just hilarious. Three Websites that do this. 1.postasecret.com – people post up secrets, lets people express things that perhaps they couldn’t before, lets them get it off their chest. 2.fmylife.com – people post their embarrassing failures. Sharing their miseries gives other people a real giggle. 3.damnyouautocorrect.com – people post up when their phones change spellings of things. Some post are exceptionally funny, and this is just for entertainment purposes. By making something anonymous this could tempt people to post stuff and confess more personal details. However I still wanted to make the website visual and image based.

These are a selection of example websites I looked at where you make yourself an online avatar and you can make it look like you or who ever you want. My idea was to create a website where you post an avatar that looks like you and some facts about yourself and then a avatar that represents the online you and some facts about that. It keeps it anonymous and fun. However you let it free for people to lie and create any old crap. It is also not possible to take this idea any further than an concept with the time I have and the lack of skills.


Your Title Here

Ideas

My idea is to create an online gallery and I have made some mock up ideas of how they might look. It’s a simple design and is designed to go up as a website. I think that this idea could be fun and interactive.

You then start to create your character. At first you create the ‘real’ you and on the first create page you select very simple options.

The last page is the gallery where you can review your post and also see other peoples. You can scroll through and read them as well as show your own.

However the issue that people could lie and just mess about on a website like this is still a problem and also the fact that it is only a concept. I then started to think about how you show your identity offline and perhaps using that online and mixing the two together. Then I started to consider if I perhaps stepped away from using imagery and making it visual and perhaps more informational like a lot of offline proof of identity.

This is the home page where it gives brief description of what the website is about and what to do on it. It’s a really simple design so it can be easily navigated and easy to use.

You then go into more detail, selecting what you are going to look like, from hair colour to what your eyes look like. Once you have completed this you then go through the last two steps again but this time creating your online self. This is meant to let people express themselves and say if they do feel differently online or offline.


Your Title Here Ideas

I started by going back and looking at form of offline identity.

Eamples of ID cards:

Birth certificate DNA Dental Records Bank statements finger prints And the best way is via photographic ID Driving license Passport Student ID Employee ID There are also a lot of forms you have to fill out to prove who you and show people what you do, such as CV, applying for bank accounts, getting your passport or driving licence. Then I started to think about perhaps having an online form in which people can fill out to prove who they are online like a online CV. A CV or curriculum vitæ provides an overview of someone’s personal life and qualifications. In most cases it is used to seek employment and is the first thing a future employer will see. It can be quite personal and this is something that I was thinking about. Perhaps someone could create an online CV for their online identity. There is also the idea of creating an online passport, but I have the same issue with my first idea and getting people to submit photos. However I could combine the two into an identity card, you can use a photo or yourself or a character you play in a game. There would be questions on the card that would fill in more personal details like the CV.

Looking at the cards we can see that each one has a title, photo and important information laid out in a bullet point style so the information is clear and to the point. Each card although not all of them serious, shows that there is some level of design that has gone into it and a colour scheme and in some cases such as the driving licences the colour scheme makes it easy to tell the different between a full licence and a provisional one. It would appear most of the time the photo is on the left hand side, and persons head is centred and showing the face only. The font is simple and clear so it is easy to read there are no fancy fonts or artistic ones. This also keeps it looking professional. Keeping these points in mind, I looked at my own ideas and drew some example of how I would like the card to look.

My final idea is to create online Identity cards. Looking at the ID cards i found i can see that they have block colours, but are mostly white. There is the title of where the cards are from and the place the people work or the institute they go to. There is also a photo usually found on the left hand size the size of a passport photo. There are also information that is need for the place where the cards come from ie. expiry dates, D.O.B, place in the company. On the cards i want to include, the title of where people ‘live’ on the internet. A website title or game title etc. Then the name of the person. Could be the real name or username or a game name. Then what they do online such as blogger, or gamer or could even include what their roles are in a game for example secret agent. Then a few bullet point style facts to keep in the theme of the ID cards but facts that you are proud of to advertise yourself in the style of a CV. And lastly a photo or picture. Can be a real photo or your avatar or a picture of a character.


Your Title Here Final ID cards

These are my final cards, i asked some people on Tumblr to submit some information. Because you don’t have to be truthful or submit personal photos or information, which was the problem i thought doing it like this would get more people interested. All you have to do is tell me who the online you is so it can be a photo of you and your name, or could just be your username and avatar picture. I rounded off the edges as it makes it look more professional and this seemed to be the shape of most the ID cards i looked at. I kept a large part of it white space with black text and just a slight decorative area at the top and bottom to frame it.

My final piece is really simple. I wanted a away in which people could show their online identities and by going backwards to the simple idea of having an identity card you can quickly and easily show your online identity.


Your Title Here  

My project for the 'Your Title Here' brief.

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