I just took a walk with Dizzy, during which we chatted some more about online identity. One of the things I realized from our discussion is that most people don't even have an online identity that they might want to manage. Sure, there are freaks like me who've had large personal websites for ten years, and recently many more people have "gone amphibious" (leading a dual real/online life) with the emergence of blogging, but the vast majority of people do not express their identity online. However, as more people do more things online -- comment at blogs, edit wiki pages, send messages to public email lists, post to forums, participate in logged chatrooms, sell things at Craigslist or Ebay, review books at Amazon, post photos to Flickr, keep a blog, etc. -- they will leave enough traces to have an online identity whether they know/like it or not. At that point folks may realize that their online identity is something they probably want to consciously express, share, manage, and control. But not before.
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal