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This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2006 (Index of presentations)

Identity, Anonymity and the Wiki

Author Judith Donath
Track Wiki Social Science
License Heckert GNU.png GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the author
Judith Donath is associate professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Asahi Broadcasting Corporation Career Development Professor of Research in Education, and director of the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her work focuses on the social side of computing, synthesizing knowledge from fields such as graphic design, urban studies and cognitive science to build innovative interfaces for online communities and virtual identities. She is known internationally for pioneering research in social visualization, interface design, and computer mediated interaction.
Identity is very lightweight in most current wikis. Many allow anonymous editing; others request log-in, but do not authenticate the provided identity. In this talk I will discuss the pros and cons of different approaches to identity in a collaborative environment, including such issues as faceted vs. unified identities and how new interfaces that highlight author identity can be designed. Different approaches are best for different purposes; the goal of this talk is to stimulate thinking about the range of possibilities and to help system designers understand what is best for their particular situation.
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