Tuesday, October 9

09/10/12 - Discarding Titles

I've been dancing around a few research ideas since I first planned to apply for a PhD. I started off with a continuation of my post-grad masters dissertation title: "Exploring the Validity and Accuracy of Digital Identities in Blogging Communities" - I eventually put this idea to rest, I wasn't happy with my first piece of work on the subject and wanted to draw a line under the whole affair.

Over the past few weeks I dallied in ""Exploring the efficacy of Gamification for encouraging positive online behaviour" as mentioned in one of my previous posts. I was very enthusiastic about this idea for a while, now I think I have cold feet about how applied the whole idea is - it would certainly involve the process of setting up the "game" to examine how effective it might be - and I'm generally uncomfortable with conclusions drawn from experiments in lab settings.

So, I've been thinking over the past few days and have come up with a list of a few topics which I'm interested in and would like to explore, and then some titles and subjects which knit them together:

  • Future/near future technologies
  • Digital Identity
  • Gamification
  • Social Media
  • Video Games
  • Labelling
  • Representation
  • Mass Media
  • Moral Panic
Gamification, social media and identity obviously go nicely together in the title I named above. Future/Near Future technologies, video games and representation also go quite well together - something along the lined of "Examining the representation of near future technologies in Video Games" would be a great topic to explore - I just don't think I could justify the time spent on it. Perhaps when I'm a bought and paid for researcher I might be able to run with it, but not right now. 
So, I've been thinking of going with Digital Identity, Mass Media and Moral Panic. I've got a good basis in digital identity, and have a decent reading list already drawn up (which needs significant expansion, true, but it's a good place to start). I think I'm leaning more and more towards something along the lines of:

"Examining the Representation of Digital Identities in the Mass Media"
It's a start, I suppose. 

Wednesday, October 3

03/10/2012 - Security Breach! Warning!

Experienced a very "Digital Economy" relevant event today. In fact, it's a bit of an internet rite of passage really - I got hacked. Well, in truth I probably got "phished" and subsequently all my followers on twitter received a message telling them of an exciting new promotion, or a video which contains them. Most of my fellow internet patrons are clever enough not to follow the link and just send me scolding messages or correct the grammar - so, thankfully, I reckon the damage will be minimal.

Nonetheless, a standard internet clean-up has begun. Changed all my passwords, revoked all app access to Facebook and Twitter, restored my phone to factory settings, ran full anti virus and ad-aware scan on my computer. Sent out numerous apologetic tweets and messages.

I've never been hacked before, not in my email, game or any other accounts. I have to say I feel like an inner circle of mine has been penetrated (steady yourself). As far as I'm aware this is a fairly standard reaction - I'm more angry at myself really. I've just started a doctorate course which focuses heavily on internet security, privacy and identity, and within a fortnight of my first day I'm already letting the side down. Epic failure.

So, if you're one of the unlucky people to have received a message from me in the past few days: please ignore it. And if you receive one from this point on, please let me know - because I'll need to take further action to plug the hole.