Week 1: Digital Identity 2020

WEEK 1 STARTS June 2nd

Welcome to the first week of #DigPINS – Digital Identity

Hey – Welcome to week 1 – This week we invite you to engage with ideas around digital identity. We have activities, readings, and a video call this week. Each week we encourage you to blog about your thoughts from that week’s interactions and to engage with one another in our Slack channels.

If you did not get a chance to review week 0 materials that is okay but for this week you should be sure that at minimum you have access to Slack and this blog. More info on that is found on the digital tools page of Week 0.

Set goals for yourself

Having a clear goal is part of being successful in this kind of learning community. Yogi Berra once said, “you can observe a lot just by watching,” but we’d argue that you’ll learn more if you set some targets for tools you’d like to try out, topics you’d like to explore, or activities you’d like to do. So we encourage you, in these early weeks, to spend some time thinking about your goals for the next month of #DigPINS. You can share those goals on your blog post, in the backchannel, or privately with the facilitator or some other cohort members. A goal could be as simple as gathering in community with others in online environments to see what that’s like.


#DigPINS starts with an exploration / reflection on one’s own digital identity(s). Together, we will think about and discuss the digital identities that we have or would like to develop. We are not going to encourage a “right way” to form a digital identity. Rather, we will each share what spaces we occupy online and we will discuss what has worked for each person, what hasn’t, what fears we may have, and possible ideal identities for given contexts, as well as what we would like to avoid.

Some of the guiding questions include:

  • Who are you online?
  • What social traces do you leave?
  • How would you like to start / continue curating or shaping your digital presence and identity?

This week think about how you are going to get to know the others in our group. When we share physical space we don’t need to think about this as much or do as much. We send subtle cues about who we are by the way that we dress, the way we hold ourselves, the way we decorate our spaces, etc. In an online space we need to reach out and show who we are. 


Major Content for this Week:
  • View this welcome video from facilitators, where we talk about you (our cohorts) and about our own digital identities:

  • Sync Video Call – We have two dates for a Zoom call across the cohorts (thank you everyone who filled out the Doodle poll). To keep the calls balanced in terms of numbers we have divided the group in two. The two times we have settled on which meet almost everyone’s availability are:
  1. Tuesday, June 2nd, 4-5pm Cairo time
  2. Wednesday, June 3rd, 6-7pm Cairo time

Some of you are available at both of these times – so please pick the one that suits you best! Be prepared to join breakout rooms and occasionally turn on your camera to chat with people from around the globe.

This will be different from most Zoom sessions you’ve been on because it uses “liberating structures”that are meant to enable equitable and fruitful conversations by working in small groups. There is a handbook for folks trying to do them virtually. 

  • Digital Identity Analysis – Where do you feel “at home” online? Which spaces do you check every morning and every night? What are some places you “visit” frequently, but feel like a stranger when you’re in them? Which spaces do you visit for work, which for social/personal purposes? As a way to analyse, think, and talk about your digital identity we are asking you to make a Visitor and Resident (V&R) map and share it with the group or more broadly on Slack and Twitter if you so choose. To learn about how to make a Visitor and Resident map check out these video and reading resources – Visitor and Resident Typology and Video on VR Mapping. You can choose how you would like to make it but I recommend that you just draw it out on paper and then take a picture of it to share it with us. You may already have more than one digital identity if you maintain an identity for a business or project – feel free to map whichever identity you feel you would like to explore. At minimum share it in our Slack #1-identity channel but if you are looking to share more broadly post it on Twitter using our hashtag #DigPINS or on your blog, and use the “category” of “Week 1 posts”.
  • *Optional but very cool – If you are looking to go even further with exploring your digital identity some of the originators of the V&R mapping have moved away from V&R and started a new mapping process they are calling the Digital Practice Triangle. How does the triangle compare to the 2×2 matrix?
  • Readings – these are the two suggestions for the week

Why Academics Need a Digital Persona – Laura Pasquini
In Praise of Living in Public (this article is a great introduction to the idea of context collapse) – Bonnie Stewart

  • Blogging –  Write a blog post (by the end of the week or even into the start of next week) with the #DigPINS community as your intended audience (although you may have other audiences in mind and remember this blog is public and will be syndicated at discuss.digpins.org and here at https://auc.digpins.org/blog/). What to write about?
    This week’s post can be a response or reflection to the readings, the visitor/resident activity, a conversation from Slack, or anything else you find related – maybe something happened in your life this week or in the news that you find is related to “digital identity”. If you are having trouble picking a topic maybe think about posting to Slack to ask for some ideas. You can reflect in many ways (writing is only one), maybe, consider a video response – there are no word limits, but remember your audience probably wants something in the middle (not too long or too short). Part of “blogging” is also reading and commenting on others’ posts so don’t forget to look at others’ posts as a way to get inspired, learn from/about them, and make them also feel “heard”, and remember the posts from all of the cohorts from all five schools is at discuss.digpins.org and for AUC cohort are all at: https://auc.digpins.org/blog/. Once you create a new post and publish it, don’t forget to promote it in Slack (private AUC channel or week 1 channel) or on Twitter and add #DigPINS (also, tag me if you like @bali_maha)– no one knows that you have posted unless you tell them!
Ongoing Activities
  • Slack – By now you should have access to our Slack team. To get started introduce yourself with a few sentences around who you are and why you are interested in #DigPINS in the #common-room channel in Slack.
    Note that Slack will be our main mode of communication. To get the most out of this experience you should check it daily.
    If you feel comfortable, the best way to stay in contact is to download the app and make sure the notifications are turned on.
    Some things you could/should use Slack for:
    – Posting quick informal thoughts on readings or concepts
    – Responding to others’ quick informal thoughts
    – Sharing other articles, videos, or podcasts that you come across
    – Promoting your blog post each week
    – Being notified that others have posted blog articles
    – Asking and answering questions
  • Twitter – think about a twitter handle and sign up for twitter if you don’t already have one. Not sure what you want your twitter handle to be? Maybe bring that up for discussion in Slack. Remember that Twitter is a public forum.

We only have so much time and #DigPINS is designed to be a quick and low-time commitment kind of experience. Digital Identity is a huge topic and if you are looking for more information this curation of articles, tools, repositories, platforms, and security and privacy resources by Lee Skallerup Bessette from a recent workshop that she led at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute is a great resource.