Thursday, June 17, 2010

Examining Online Identity

I have had the chance to review a blog of fellow classmate, Amanda, who has spent the last two months, roughly, researching the concept of online identity. Her blog Musings of a College Kid reflect the time and efforts she has made in pulling together her sources and her thesis.

Development, Focus and Cohesion
Two months can harbor a great deal of change, especially in research. Heather's blog accurately records her thesis' development through the transitions of her posts. She originally focused on shorts stories which illustrated the challenges facing immigrants adapting to new culture. Springing from this topic, her posts slowing began integrating more research sources which examined more the identity crisis, the duality, and actual presence of online identity. Throughout her research process, she seemed very focused on the themes of her thesis. She was able to integrate a greater amount of psychological research to support her examination of online identity while still maintaining integrity to the developing themes.

Post Variety, Media, Personality, Interactivity, Community, and Links
Heather did a great job at integrating personality into her blog. Her background is very fun, while it doesn't overpower the body of the text. Her posts throughout the month of May lacked media, however, and they, as a result seemed a bit bland. She made a complete 180 in June, however, and began integrating catching pictures for nearly every post. Having made that simple change, her blog started to really pop and draw greater attention to the themes she developed. She did not use any video clips or media related to that particular vein, but each research topic lends itself differently to various forms of media.

She has a great variety of posts. She reviews books, looks to specialists, and connects with other bloggers to bring a new dimension to each post. In doing so, Amanda demonstrated a open attitude to look to others beyond a classroom setting and try to engage in issues discussed now. She has been a very active participant in the blogs of others as she has been one of the most consistent participants in the blogging-world, and her posts often receive a fair amount of return comments themselves, such as her post Events.

Each post includes impressive links, referring to articles and other forms of information. She has provided easy ways for readers to follow her line of thought, while including the sources she references. Her sidebar also provided links to other relevant sources, especially articles features on a Diigo group, which is beneficial to others searching related topics.

Sum Up
I have been impressed with Amanda's efforts to provide a cohesive examination of online identity. Her blog is easily understood, filled with great resources and experiences, and is filled with her own voice throughout the posts.

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