My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet

When I was last in DC, I had lunch with Daniel Solove and we were talking about book publishing. He had been thinking of making his book downloadable under Creative Commons and I was like DO IT DO IT! This is the kind of book that is sooo relevant so many different audiences who would never hear about it through traditional advertising. My thought is that if it were available online, it could whet folks appetite before buying it (cuz printing it out is painful and reading it online is not wonderful either and your Kindle doesn’t support PDFs). Introducing…

The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet

This book examines the darker side of personal expression and communication online, looking at some of the social costs of what I’m always rambling on about as “persistence, searchability, replicability, and invisible audiences.” Our reputation is one of our greatest assets. What happens when our own acts or the acts of others sully that? What role does the technology play in enabling or stopping that? How should the law modernize its approach to privacy and slander to address the networked world?

While this book is written by a professor, it’s written in extremely accessible manner and should be devoured by parents, marketers, technologists, teachers, HR professionals, policy makers, and anyone else who might have a stake in the world of reputation. I also found excerpts helpful for students who are trying to make sense of the costs of their practices. Oh, and it’s a fun read.

If you hate reading from the screen, just go and buy the book. The author and his publisher will thank you.

(Oh, and go Yale University Press! You’re batting well in the CC/open-access publishing baseball game!)

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3 comments to The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet

  • Reading now…

    also, was talking to the publisher of YUP the other day, he’s really cool! He seems to have a great handle on the future, and is doing a good job steering a nice path between nonprofit and trade.

    looks good after the first few pages!

    p.s. please send me that table of contents???

  • Also, it’s pretty easy to convert PDFs to Kindle-mats. I wish I had a (free) kindle or sony reader… yay shiny things. Not the same, though.

  • Damn, now I have to buy one. It’s not the printing out of the online freebie that hurts… it’s finding a stapler big enough to put it together!
    I’m fascinated by reputation and digital identity, multiple identies and the values which are potentially created by both.

    Re free downloads: I have a white paper on Reed’s Law and how multiple identities make the long tail just a little longer, which I’m presenting at BlogTalk on March 4.
    http://fasterfuture.blogspot.com/2007/08/reeds-law-and-how-multiple-identities.html

    The question I struggle to answser is: Is there more value created in having one consistent id which carries your reputation where ever you go, or more in the additionaly value to Reed’s Law which emerges when you allow your ID to mean different things among different communities?