I was asked a few weeks ago by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis to create a keynote video for their current round of Flat Classroom projects. While I’ve done plenty the last few years on storytelling, I was interested I trying something new.

Being immersed on ds106 and the starting point of having our students creating a “domain of their own”, I got interested in the frame of “Manage your own online identity rather than have it managed for you”. I also wanted to tap into questions I have about the not so sharp line between what we do online and (is it really cliché to say “offline”? “f2f”) the “other place”. I wanted to get away from the typical identity banter of fear and theft.

So I had the idea to create this video as a conversation between three of me- Alan.offline (away from the computer, outside), Alan.online (me always appearing Max Headroom like on a screen), and some version fo Alan that is both (me holding a piece of technology).

Even more luck, was that I arrived at UMW and Andy Rush offered to help film, edit, and produce the video. He did it all, and had some great ideas for how to shoot the scenes.

This is now showing up on the Flat Classroom Ning where there should be some good student discussion. I expect to learn more myself.

I also appreciate the assistance of Martha Burtis who let me sit in on a session of her Identity and Citizenship in a Digital Age class. I got a good amount of materials, though ended up using just one clip in the final – I learned a lot more about their experiences in Tumblr communities:

“You can show what you love online [in Tumblr], common interest unites you.”

“If there is something that exists in the world, then there is a group of people who are into it on Tumblr”

“They’ve claimed this little piece of the internet”

not to mention learning about cleverly named tools created, like Missing e. Or connective power of BNF (Big Name Fans).

Okay, I wish we could redo those few scenes where I am glancing at my script, but overall I am really pleased with the video, and it was great working with Andy as he used this project to dive into Final Cut Pro.

I put a collection of resources mentioned and more at http://cogdog.wikispaces.com/flatclassroom2012 https://cog.dog/show/2012/03/22/we-digital-selves-us/

Thanks again to Julie, Vicki, and crew for inviting me in.

Featured Image:

Like father, like son

Like father, like son flickr photo by DocChewbacca shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Thank you for this, Alan. May I borrow the expression “blown away” by this? I certainly am.

    I’m thinking of the audience of your presentation. I wonder what it feels like for someone who doesn’t know -hasn’t met- as I have the people mentioned and in this video. I am also thinking of a student of mine who told me in class that he hates social networks. Maybe I should show him this video and learn about myself from his reaction to it.

    What is certain is that the way you tell stories is so personal, so full of life that few people could be indiferent to this message.

    And one last thing. I’m totally honoured to be quoted in the same presentation where Gardner is quoted!!

  2. This post and the video stuck themselves into my brain last weekend when I first saw them, and they have been a catalyst for my thinking over the past few days. I have shared them with many of my colleagues, both the f2f kind and the online kind. Even though I see my online self and f2f self as continuous, many people only know me in one of those two worlds. Lots of people in my f2f world move into my online world with me, but you are one of the few who have come from the online world into my f2f realm!

    Great work, great questions, great thinking. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Donna- our connection in Thunder Bay is even more impressive because our online presences had passed more in a glancing way, yet the generosity you showed in making suggestions for places to go and meeting for that lunch is one of the catalysts for my thinking here. And I always smile at your stories of moose encounters!

  3. Thanks for including me in this Alan. I am honored, but beyond this mention, thank you for reading and commenting on my work and being a great mentor.

    Alright all the mushy stuff is over now. Thank you.

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