â€œAn increasing amount of our social interaction with other people (and people-like agents) will be occurring online. Visualizations of these interactions can have a huge impact on how legible these social environments are, what behaviors they encourage, and how appealing they are.â€?
Judith Donath, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, makes this observation in a visually rich tome entitled Elsewhere Mapping.
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She goes on to suggest â€œA Conversation Mapping can construct a rendering of each participant from the history of that personâ€™s interactions in the environment. Such a depiction is meaningful: it can help make each person stand out as an individual. Persistent history is the information worldâ€™s version of a body.â€?
I love this last statement! It offers a very interesting explanation for the popularity of a wide range of online behavior. If virtual existence is important to me, and I’m convinced that my continued online existence is contingent upon the creation of a persistent and significant online presence, I will do everything I can to make that happen. Continue reading Persistent History: I Post Therefore I Am