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Summary: Daniel Solove’s The Future of Reputation, Ch. 1-4

  • Discusses the “Birth of the Blog” and whether those participating are participating as journalists or diarists
  • Identifies a problem with “diarists” as those who are blogging are “getting younger and younger” (24)
  • Questions the strength of online connections stating that “Frew social network sties allow users to distinguish between close friends and mere acquaintances” (27)
  • Idea that there will come a point when we’re unable to control how much or what information is online
  • Steven Nock defines reputations as “a shared, or collective perception about a person” (30)
  • Notions of fragmented reputations, which are often created by others
  • Reputation as preserving social control – ensures accountability for actions and encourages people to adhere to social norms
  • “Dubious data” – rumours circulating that have no foundation in truth but are none the less taken as fact
  • Raises the question of how aware we are of the consequences when putting personal (or other) information online
  • Blogs taking the place of physical diaries – this raises questions in our course about continuously linking technology to its predecessor instead of looking at it in an “isolated” way
  • Gladwelll’s The Tipping Point – social epidemics, change arriving in one dramatic moment which is the tipping point
  • Gladwell identifies people on social networks who are “connectors” – those who exist in multiple different social circles – also referred to as “super nodes” (hubs linking many clusters of people)
  • Inherent link between trust and reputation – discusses the difficulty of trusting someone because of today’s tendency toward anonymity, but what about exploring digital/online reputations through creeping (Facebook creeping)?
  • Revealing private facts when first getting to know someone can be distorting – Goffman suggests that “people need time to establish relationships before revealing secrets” (69)
  • We expect our public selves to be more “buttoned up” than our private selves
  • Issue of “cyber cops” (keyboard warriors?) and shaming
  • Disruptions or perceived ignorance of norms can lead to shaming (dog poop girl, using too much free wifi)
  • Shaming can help enforce norms/law, but can also cause alienation, and in some instances risk the development of an oppressive society
  • Argument that shaming not necessary, tend to internalize norms on our own

See summary of Solove’s The Future of Reputation, chapters 5-8 here.

Works Cited

Solove, Daniel J. The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet. New Haven: Yale UP, 2007. Print.

About babblingbitty

My name is Emily and I am currently completing my Masters in Rhetoric and Communication Design. I have a strange (or adorable) obsession with my dog, and am a horribly cliche Instagrammer, snapping pictures of food at every opportunity. I’m a (proud) feminist, but internet shy. I love to lurk and observe, but am lacking confidence in participation. In my spare time I lose hours of my life in Minecraft, spend time with my partner and try to get outdoors for at least fifteen minutes a day. I am also an avid baker with the unhealthy habit of eating icing with a spoon (but you only live once, right?).



  1. Pingback: Summary: Daniel Solove’s The Future of Reputation, Ch. 5-8 | New Media Genres - February 25, 2013

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