Links of interest – September 17, 2010

danah boyd had an interesting post earlier this week on a different side of the question of online identity: do your name your child something that’s uniquely identifying (meaning they have to learn about managing their online identity very early), or something more common (where there could be a number of people with that name.)

As someone whose first name – Jennifer – was the most popular name for girls in the entire decade I was born, but whose last name is a lot less common, at least in the US, I sort of split the difference. But it did mean I started using other user names in places where I didn’t necessarily want to use my last name pretty early on, because knowing my first name and last name and general area of the country was, for about a decade, a pretty easy way to dig up my address.

Not So Distant Future has a great post about who we should be including in the conversation when we talk about education – more specifically, a letter to NBC about not having included actual teachers in their upcoming series.

The copy this blog has a post on some common myths and misperceptions about copyright - fairly complex ones. The link in the first paragraph to a previous post on a similar topic is also well worth reading.

I’ve been fascinated by web usability for a long time, and there’s a recent new detailed post about why some of the things that have been common wisdom in usability may be changing (or not true in the first place). With links to data and studies and other useful things of that kind. It gave me a kick to go plan the redesign of a site I maintain for a community education organisation for better usability. Jessamyn, who linked to this post as well, also has a recommendation for a document from Usability.gov .

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2 comments to Links of interest – September 17, 2010

  • godot is going to be pretty instantly identifiable– i have a rare last name to start with, and he’s going to have a first name that’s from an entirely different language family. i am not sure how i feel about that, and if i should modify his name or not.

    although, if enough people think like that, shortly the entire planet will be named wei li.

  • Jen

    What my sister did is that my nephew’s first name is not terribly common, but his middle name is a lot more so, in case he decided to suddenly change his mind about what he wanted to use as an adult.

    I figure that people who don’t get given the name as a baby can do the same thing, really – pick a name that they’d prefer to be called, and use it in all the places where people might look at it, and treat it as a nickname or translation of their name, whatever they prefer. But I also think it’s a sort of interesting question.

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Hi, I’m Jen

Librarian, infovore, and general geek, likely to write comments about books, link collections, and other thoughts related to how we find, use, and take joy in information.

I'm the Information Technology Librarian at the University of Maine at Farmington, the small liberal arts college model campus in the University of Maine system.

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