Digital Identity Focus Group Whole Interview
Chapter details: This is a focus group discussion between four students: Jenny, Warren, Sebastian and Rob, talking about how digital identity affects them as students; differences between Twitter and facebook; advantages and disadvantages of having an online presence; how they decided on their email address names, and Googling themselves
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Transcript:

Participants

INT = Interviewer

J = Jenny, Interviewee

R = Rob, Interviewee

W = Warren, Interviewee

S = Sebastian, Interviewee

INT:       Alright, so just to get us started off, what kind of information already exists about you on the internet? Who wants to kick us off on that one?

J:             A lot because if you promote any form of product of your own on the internet, you're going to feed material in to attract people to your site and you find links popping up from all sorts of places and then if you start adding a blog and maybe you add other sites and your university activity as well as your private activity, so all kinds of surprising things pop up.

W:            Yeah you don't necessarily have to have a website     although a lot of people do more and more, the second you begin your first journey online, whatever age that is and however that experience unfolds, you begin to leave footprints, however long those footprints last, the second you load up a browser you're beginning to leave footprints. Even if it's just something as innocuous as registering for an email account or setting up a website or joining some form of social network, you instantly begin to leave a trail and so particularly in the connected age that we're in now you're talking about kids joining primary school and being given email accounts and their own web space. From the ages of six and seven and maybe even younger onwards, children are building up, and into adults and whatever, are building up a digital identity online.

It's different when you're maybe, I would say probably about 20 onwards because maybe when you were a child the internet wasn't as accessible so you didn't have an identity from there but you're talking about people now who are maybe gonna live 80 or 90 years, are going to have 80 or 90 year's worth, potentially, of a digital life recorded about them. So I think it starts from day one, those first footsteps and that's where it all begins.

INT:       So it sounds almost like there could be a lot more out there than you would ever be aware of about you.

W:            Oh absolutely, if you've got a particularly unique name obviously it's a lot easier but you just have to use a search engine and type your name in and you begin to see exactly how much information is there. It's everything, sometimes you don't think that it's going to appear but if you upload a CV for a job and then a few years go by and you use a search engine on yourself you might see that CV pop up. If you register for a dating site, a few years down the line and you're happily married and whatever and then your partner does a search on you suddenly finds your profile, do you see? There's a whole wealth of information and not just by name, even just your IP address builds up a picture of you and your activities. So I think there's a whole wealth of information out there.

J:             There's an annoying aspect to the actual precision of the identity profile, though, which is there are a number of sites, they can give you all the information on a particular name and you find out that you're mixed up with other people's names and it's really annoying. There's your identity in there but it's a kind of mish-mash with blurred edges. I find that particularly irritating actually because all they've done is automated searches and they've just pulled in, haven't they, and they haven't graded or qualified the data in any way, they've just pushed together everybody with that name even if there are variations on spelling. Have you found that?

W:            Definitely and I think it's key to enforce from quite an early part of the experience of being online to enforce the culture of owning your digital identity and being really conscious of how you present yourself online, not just thinking ahead to how your professional career is going to unfold but just generally, how you're found online. It's very difficult to fully own your digital identity, in fact I don't think you can properly, I don't think even own is necessarily the right word, perhaps being in control of where it's going because it can, it can … if you're not careful somebody else can come along and own your identity and all of a sudden you lose it.

A friend of mine works for a technology company and uses Twitter very, very heavily as part of his daily goings on and as a result his Twitter identity has become so respected within the community that the company has taken it upon themselves to say to him, 'Right you're speaking on behalf of the company, therefore you need to think more about how you're saying it' and they've almost taken ownership of that aspect of his identity, it's no longer his which rightly or wrongly is happening more and more as people talk about what they do, where do you draw the line between personal and professional? As I say he lost out quite a well established identity to somebody else and as I say ownership of it can be quite difficult.

INT:       That's one of the things I wanted to talk about, about how you personally manage your own online identities. So is that an issue for you? Do you have a personal, more student-based identity and then more of a professional one? Do you have different kinds of online identities and accounts?

J:             I think that definitely goes on, yes. Certainly a lot of the tutors do, they have their broader ID within their teaching community but they only reveal certain profiles to tutors and they'll say that quite happily. I think that definitely does happen, I won't put my phone number online if I can avoid it and certainly not where I live and any of that kind of sensitive data and also I think there's an issue with as you get older if you have people let's say who become enemies and you don't want them to find you that is a Big Problem in capital letters and I feel that it's actually restricting my ability to use the internet because I'm thinking if I put that piece of information on that site the person who I don't want them to have that piece of information could find that.

I think it's a very, very big problem for people who are, say, in police protection programmes or anywhere where they've had to move away form an area for a reason and really will have their lives restricted because the other side of the coin is I love using facebook and as a student facebook has been the most, wouldn't you agree, the most important part of the student identity I think is facebook. All students seem to communicate on facebook and if I thought that this person could get through the facebook privacy settings that I've set then I would not be happy.

W:            I think that students, accidentally, almost, unless they're conscious of it, generate quite a big footprint of things like facebook, particularly facebook in recent years. That seems to have emerged as the leader in social networks, I don't think there's any consideration on the most part as to how that footprint looks to other people. You get students with, 2-3000 photos of them, usually a good percentage of that is them drunk or having a good time rightly or wrongly. I think that certainly early on in the student experience when they're maybe not so aware of how they're going to try and professionalise themselves they don't care about it. They come to university with a fairly open profile, they're quite liberal with what they put on there, they're not too fussed.

There's no consideration about the risks involved, necessarily. I think they go one of two ways, they either continue not caring and there's this hideously open profile begins to build of photos videos messages, sometimes inappropriate facebook statuses, not necessarily inappropriate to a group of friends but to a wider audience, could be misconstrued, so that builds up. Or the alternative is they become much more savvy and much more aware of how they appear and they tighten things down, they become a bit more mature about things. They think a lot more about what they say and that's not a restriction of their freedom to say what they want it's just you have to think that text can't really convey the same kind of message as speech. If you write something down it's completely open to interpretation. If you say something you can say it how you mean it and so I think people, particularly students have to make that choice as to how they're going to start being a bit more professional about it or if they're just not going to care.

So you do get a split personality, I use my facebook profile in a personal way, there's a lot of photos of me on there but I don't really use it very much. My main persona now is through Twitter and that's where I'd say if you wanted to find out about me and what I do in any kind of way I'd say that's much more accurate than my facebook profile which tends to be a bit filtered, it's personal but it's filtered.

INT:       How about you guys, do you have facebook accounts?

S:            Yeah I've moved away from MySpace now mostly because it became dead, none of my friends were active on it anymore, they'd all moved to facebook and Twitter, I use pretty much daily. You've got to be careful of who someone would find, they might not actually find your identity but they might think it is you so anything they do could be in their head, could get it into their heads that you're like that but it could be completely the opposite of you, so it's quite difficult to … there's no way of signing, there's no signature to say 'This is me' or anything particularly, it's just got a name and a picture but anybody could create a malicious profile for you just by taking your picture from somewhere else and then destroying your reputation, effectively.

INT:       Has that ever happened to anyone you know?

S:            No.

INT:       It's just …

S:            It is a possibility that it's out there, there's no … you could use a specific number to say it is you but then you'd have to give that your friends and things as well, it could all backfire so I don't think there's a way round that.

R:            I have a similar problem, as someone who shares a name with quite a few people, quite a common name, including a couple of famous people, trying to put together a positive digital identity is quite difficult, trying to raise my ranking on Google etc, it's quite difficult to do that with so many other people sharing the same name.

INT:       With this raising the ranking on Google, is that a common thing that people do now? It's not something that I realised that people do but it does seem to be something increasingly that people are concerned about.

R:            It's certainly something that I've tried to do, I know a few people that have, I'm not sure how popular it is on a grand scale.

INT:       What were you motivations for increasing your ranking on Google?

R:            I took quite a bit switch in terms of my digital identity at the end of my undergraduate course, I decided that I'd kept quite a sheltered identity, which was made easier because of this shared name and then I decided that as I was looking for jobs and things like that that I would open it up and try to present myself on the internet. I found it quite difficult to do that just because of this name problem.

INT:       So when you have Googled yourself all these other people come up?

R:            Absolutely.

INT:       And then are you on the 17th …?

R:            Couple of hundred.

INT:       A hundred? Okay and what sort of things can you then do about that, is there anything?

R:            As a student having a page at the university helps quite a lot, Google tends to rank university pages quite highly, so having a page within the university's own social networks is quite good to have. Other than that I think I'm stuck with it, really.

W:            The point about trying to raise your ranking in Google, I've tried that myself and been quite successful. I think before I really made a significant to manage myself online I was only a few dozen pages, maybe, or something, into some results. Now despite the fact that I share my name with musicians, historians, artists, all sorts, I'm seventh, so I'm on the first page in Google and number one in Bing, which is the Microsoft search engine.

You can say to yourself 'Is that really going to make much of a difference ultimately?' but you say to yourself, particularly the way I look at it from my point of view is because I share quite a famous name with quite a few famous people, rather, if people are going to be searching for them I want them to find me because you can have these happy accidents where you're looking for something and actually find something else. If people are searching for that name I want to make sure that I'm there and that the profile that I present says, 'Employ me' or 'Find out more about me' or whatever.

So the fact that I've now managed to get myself onto that front page which most people start and stop at, if what they've searched for isn't on that page they don't bother clicking 2, 3, 10, 100. They just give up so to be there and to be on that first bit I think is vitally important. Obviously it's exceptionally unlikely I'll ever get to number one but to keep myself there I think from my point of view is important as I go to look for jobs and things in the future.

INT:       That's interesting, so it's not necessarily just because there would be somebody specifically looking for you, it could be for somebody else and you pop up and you turn out to be relevant to them as well.

W:            Absolutely.

INT:       Have you ever Googled yourself for any reason?

S:            Yeah there's another famous person who's also in the UK which makes it slightly different. I found one of myself in the UK and one of myself in America but it's quite a few pages in to find me, actually me. But if you add one word like 'blog' you can find myself, I'm one of the top two because no one else really has done one with the same name as me, it's quite easy to find me if you know how to but it's knowing how. If ever someone is actually looking for me, they're not going to specifically know to add one word and then it'll actually be me.

INT:       For you, Googling yourself and wanting to have a fairly high ranking on Google, is that the same motivation that we've already been talking about?

S:            It will be in the future because I'm still just going into my second year, I've not, it's not quite now that I'm going to be applying to companies, it will be towards the end of next year or after I graduate so it's not currently a massive issue, I can work on it next year. I've been trying to build a bit more of a professional stamp for myself out there by writing a blog and making a website within the university's hosting system.

J:             It used to be a bit of a joke, didn't it but I actually think you have to do it.

INT:       I've only ever done it in a jokey way with friends, 'Let's Google ourselves and see what comes up.' I've got an extremely common name, I think there are probably seven billion women with my name so I never ever expected myself to come up, it's not something that I've …

J:             If you have a product, if you're an author or a musician or an artist, people are gonna search for you on your name rather than the name of a song, necessarily or the name of a piece of work.

W:            I think it works the other way as well, so in terms of searching for yourself proactively to find out where you are is one thing but then there's also the searching for yourself to make sure of where you are because if you're not particularly careful with your presence but yet are easily findable then you could be found out, so to speak. Classic example is you have an awful day at work, you get home, you type in a facebook status slagging off your boss, your boss happens to be searching for the company, finds your name in a set of search results which is your facebook profile and thinks, 'Oh I'll just wander onto that … oh. So this is what you really think?' and people have lost their jobs over it.

I think as students who are quite naïve, and that's a sweeping generalisation, I wouldn't say that's true of all students, but I think some students can be quite naïve and maybe if they're on a placement or looking for a job they can sometimes say things out of check which if they were found by accident and then called upon it may not be able to explain it. So I think sometimes googling yourself just to make sure of where you are and make sure necessarily that you can't be found, you want to be buried on the 5600th result. So I think it works both ways, you can Google proactively to make sure you're the first thing to find but also necessarily to make sure that you're the last thing to find as well. It depends on the type of person you are and what you want to do.

J:             On top of that there's secure data that escapes. We were given a story in one lecture this last year about three or four people in the UK whose secure health records were held on a database, supposedly secure database that somehow got out and their entire health records can be Googled in India. So you actually do need to check also, I think, whether that kind of thing's happened so you can try and take some remedial action. Once it's out it's out. You can't get it back.

INT:       You can't?

J:             No.

INT:       I'm learning a lot right now, it's kind of terrifying [laughs].

J:             It is terrifying, you don't know what servers it's sitting on, you don't know who's got hold of it once it's out.

W:            Once a piece of information appears on the internet, more so now than ever it's very difficult to track it. As you say, if a piece of information leaks out in the UK, seconds later it could be stored, duplicated and syndicated across the planet and you have absolutely no control. You can control the original piece of information and remove it but then what happens to the thousands and thousands of other companies that have circulated since? Absolute classic example is a musician, her name escapes me now but she has a Twitter account and somehow or other, there's obviously debate over how it happened but a picture of her topless appeared on Twitter and within minutes it was taken down but it only took those minutes for it to be copied, pasted, emailed, linked, tweeted, facebook statuses and before you know it hundreds and hundreds of thousands of copies of this image are now freely available, a simple search to find them. So while you've taken the original away the damage is done, it's out there now, that's it, it's gone you just have to sit back and say 'How can I manage the damage that this is gonna cause?' rather than trying to prevent it because there is no way to prevent it.

INT:       Have any of you had any nasty surprises that you would be willing to tell me about today? Anything happened?

J:             No so far I tend to manage my profile quite formally, I don't, hopefully, post up any of those crazy photos, not that I get invited to those sorts of parties [laughs].

INT:       Has it changed over time, though, the way that you've managed your digital identity?

J:             Oh yes, absolutely, when I started to start promoting the art, which wasn't that long ago but within a few years I have become considerably more cautious so I'm not using the internet to anything like its full potential because of security issues and if there's any … I love doing competitions and things but if there's any marketing initiative or promotions or competitions, if they ask for my full date of birth I just log off because that is the one key piece of information for identity theft.

I'm actually intending to … or would like to start a programme of requesting that marketing doesn't include date of birth. Year of birth should be sufficient. Why do they need to know your exact birthday if they're selling you garden furniture? Why do they need it, they don't need it. I think there'll be a backlash against that eventually because full date of birth isn't necessary. All you're doing is making yourself vulnerable to having your identity hacked and people taking out mortgages in your name, bank accounts and all the rest of it and being asset stripped so you can't do it.

INT:       Yeah that's something that I didn't used to realise because obviously you can have that on facebook, can't you, and then it's useful because people know it's your birthday and then they haven't got an excuse for forgetting but then I found out that …

J:             If you don't put the year up or put a false year or put a false birthday.

W:            Well this is the thing you talk about this kind of thing and obviously as good people you're very honest but there's no written rule that says that you have to be honest online, in fact the internet, with all these stories of people being groomed and what have you is testament to the fact that people definitely aren't honest online. So when a site says 'What's your mother's maiden name?' for your secret question, if your mother's maiden name happens to be Jones you don't have to put Jones as the answer. The system's not going to turn around and go 'Oh well actually sorry we've checked and you're lying.'

It just has to be something that you can remember so if you want to put down a false date of birth, nobody's gong to … unless it's obviously something that's binding, something that absolutely has to be correct. If it's just for marketing, put down any date of birth, nobody's going to come back to you and go, 'Actually, when you bought that chair you said that you were 65 years old when actually you're 30 so therefore we want the chair.' No one's gonna say that.

It just has to be some information that's filled in so you don't necessarily have to be honest with those things and in fact in some ways as you say in terms of protecting yourself from your real life identity being stolen, sometimes being a little dishonest or crafting some stock answers can then be to your advantage because then somebody who is probing for information about you is only going to find false information about you so when it comes to stealing your identity they're going to have a much harder time.

INT:       Is that something that you'd tend to do more for filling out answers when you're buying something or would you also do that with online profiles and identities that you create?

S:            Even just for signing up for email accounts you wouldn't necessarily put … why they need your date of birth is beyond me, really. You're just using an email account, they don't exactly filter your email to say you're not allowed past 18 if you're under 18 or whatever, there's no rating on it.

J:             They don't need your date of birth.

S:            Why would they need it? So I don't put the correct one or I put it a year out or a day out or whatever just so at least I can be slightly similar to my age but no actually me.

INT:       Okay but then in terms of you've talked about your facebook and how you used to have a MySpace; I'm interested in why people want to have those profiles, especially in terms of creating an image of themselves, so how far is that important to you in terms of presenting a certain picture of yourself? What kind of picture are you trying to present, what kind of things do you include and leave out or indeed obscure or fictionalise about yourselves?

S:            I didn't really originally create a social networking account to put myself across at all, it was just a means of contacting people mostly, I'd contact people abroad as well, it's not just people I'm still in contact with personally.

INT:       So how did you decide what to include when they ask you to fill out different bits of the profile if it wasn't that important to you how you looked, it was more what you were looking for, how did you fill it out?

S:            Any optional information I left blank originally and as I've progressed I've filled bits in, thinking a bit more because a) there wasn't either anything to fill in at all or there was no need for me to fill it in but now because I want a bit more of an identity out there that is me but that's only really since I've been at university that I've thought, 'Well this is the last step before actually going into the world of work for me.'

J:             If you sign up to professional and recruitment websites, recruiters are starting to search on key words so when you do your profile description for a professional identity you need to put in those key words of areas of work that you're interested in specialising in or that you want to move into. It's starting to become more of a technical thing that you have to work out, 'How do I …?' you've actually got to think about how you create a professional identity whereas going back to the original point, the social side of it, the purely social side, you want to put information up there that attracts people with the same interests as you and people you want to hang around with and communicate with a lot, I think.

W:            I think facebook's reached a critical mass in terms of whether you want it or not you kind of have to have it.

J:             I'd agree with that.

W:            Because most of your friends have it and you're almost ostracised if you don't, events tend to be organised through facebook, if you're not on facebook are they gonna go that extra mile to include you or do you just have to find out through word of mouth? So I think you're forced, your hand is forced into having it, however much you choose to use it you're forced into it. That's not necessarily a good or bad thing but I think if you ask people who have had a facebook profile for several years why they got it in the first place, through to why do they have it now I think you get two different answers.

I signed up to facebook because at the time, I think I'd just left school or I was in sixth form at school so it was new, everybody was on it, there were lots of cool things to do. The internet's quite a boring place despite its great expanse of websites. You go on and think, 'What do I do now? Oh there's facebook, let's go on there and I can have a farm, I can tag photos, I can poke people and chat and it's all very cool.' Then you start to move on from that community of people to your next community which for me was the world of real work and then on again to university and you start to look at your hundreds of friends perhaps and you start to think to yourself, 'When was the last time I even saw this person? Are they even on the same continent anymore?' In fact in some cases are these people still alive, sad to say.

And so the purpose changes and in fact I had a bit of a facebook identity crisis, I suppose, a few weeks ago where I went through with my virtual machete and just cut loads and loads and loads, dozens, about 120 people out of my facebook profile, I removed them as friends because these are people I haven't seen for a long, long time. People have just added me because we happened to be in school together so I'm no longer interested in being friends with people because I happen to have sat in class with them ten hours a week with them. I'm much more interested in having friends that I'm interested in hearing about so my purpose has changed.

J:             Would you close your facebook account down, could you live without it? I nearly did do when they had the privacy rules crisis but actually you have to be on facebook, you can't … if you're not on facebook, you don't exist at the university.

INT:       Two really interesting things I want to follow up on, so first of all, what is this privacy rules crisis?

J:             They opened up all the settings by default, didn't they?

W:            Facebook tried to be very democratic in its approach to how you can control the privacy settings for your information. They wanted to be quite granular so they could say, 'I want groups of people to see this particular information and groups of people not to see that particular piece of information and I want to be able to share this status with these people, these photos with that person and such and such.' It grew and grew and grew in its complexity and in fact the small print of their privacy terms and conditions grew so long that there were more words in that statement than I think there were words in the entire US constitution. Some 5500 words or something like that. To a teen, let's say, who sits down and signs up, they're just gonna hit 'I agree' they're never gonna read all of that. Especially …

J:             Nobody reads them.

W:            No, yeah, even if it was one page most people would probably skim over and go 'Usual stuff.' But to have so many things to consider and who owns your data and all of this. So basically facebook suffered a massive backlash within the community, people went, 'Oh I'm fed up with this, this is absolutely ridiculous' there was a lot of negative press and so Mark Zuckerberg, the head of facebook said, 'Okay we get something's wrong, we'll try to rebuild this from the ground up.' So a couple of times now they've taken a new approach at managing privacy, the latest approach they've taken is in its infancy is to say whether or not it's been successful or not I think but I think as it grows in its popularity the more and more these questions are asked of how do you limit your privacy.

There's a fantastic South Park episode called 'You have zero friends' which perfectly, perfectly highlights the plight, if you like, of being on facebook. You're sat there and you're in a bar with Bill and you say, 'You're on facebook, I'll add you later.' Fine okay, you and Bill become friends and that's great, you like each other's statuses, whatever but then you're on your phone to your parents that night and they go, 'Oh Auntie Jane added you on facebook, why haven't you accepted?' and then all of a sudden because you have this profile you're torn.

Yeah you wanna be friends voluntarily with all these people and then you're obliged on the other hand to be friends with certain other people. You don't necessarily want to share with Auntie Jane all of your drunken Friday nights out that you would want to share with your other friends, perhaps your housemates. And so this gets incredibly complex and you end up making some fantastic arguments with people over things, removing friends or blocking people, whatever else. It can be a complete minefield at times with privacy settings.

J:             But was the problem caused when they tried to wipe the board clean and they said, 'All information will be open by default' in other words the people who you don't want to see certain things will just, unless you choose an alternative privacy setting, the information is public and I think that's what caused the problem, wasn't it?

W:            Yeah I think it's along those lines, they changed it one way or the other, I can't remember for definite but yeah they basically said 'Right you're gonna have to opt in to your own security or opt out of it.'

J:             That's right, it was opt in to the security but on top of that and for a page design which is normally so clear and easy to use and instant, to actually go in and amend your profile was very complicated and even for us IT and CS students it required a lot of brain power to do it so your poor man in the street trying to manage that situation, they did have a lot of criticism and rightly so.

W:            You get to the stage where something becomes so complex you think 'Why bother?' and I think a lot of people say 'Can I really be arsed with this? No.' So I won't bother.

J:             But we can because we've all decided, haven't we, that actually particularly as a university student or college student, you have to be on facebook because all of your peers are.

W:            I'm saying that some of them just give up with privacy settings altogether and say, 'Do you know what? If it's there it's there, this is too complex, I couldn't care whether or not this is …'

J:             And that's in terms of pure data; your bank account details, your passwords, your secure information and your digital identity is only as secure as the people managing the servers who run those companies. It only has to get out once like those people's health information and there's a problem. I don't do online banking, I will sit here and say online banking is not secure. I get criticised for it and I won't change my mind.

INT:       This idea of if you're not on facebook you're dead as a student, what do you think, is that the case?

S:            Well yeah because your mobile phone, yes, it can do everything really to contact people but people don't use it as a phone anymore, they won't send you a text, they won't give you a call. Calling seems to be the least popular way of communicating with someone so you'll get a facebook message instead and obviously you can't express yourself quite correctly through texts so you can be completely misinterpreted even if it is ... even if you're saying it as a joke or something to you and to certain other people it's a joke to one other person it might be completely not a joke. To be able to communicate you do get left out if you don't have it. Even with it you can be left out, you've just got to actively keep trying to put yourself out there.

J:             It's got everything, private message function, it's got the instant chat function, you can post something straight on everyone's wall and what you're saying about mobile phones is absolutely true, they're simply moving to the portable PDA. I personally think the desktop is on the way out, the PDA, looking at facebook while you're working from building to building, personally, is, I think, the way it's going for managing the digital identity and communication rather than waiting til you get to the lab or waiting til you get the laptop out.

W:            I definitely think it's true that mobile phones as phones has taken a back seat in terms of their core functionality, I think if somebody could have a device that was connected to the internet, not dissimilar, you might say, perhaps, to the Apple iPad in that you can't make calls from it but it does have a 3G data connection; how many students think 'I'll phone somebody to see what they're doing'? They send a text message or they email, they use some form of client, whether it's a Twitter client, facebook, email, whatever.

The student's right hand has been replaced, I think, for the most part, for those that can access that technology, their right hand's been replaced by some kind of access device, whether it's a phone or whatever. It's become vitally important that they have that. If I was to lose my phone now, if it was to break I would definitely feel lost, completely lost. Nothing might be going on in the world but I would feel like something was and I was no longer a part of it because I no longer had access to it everywhere I went.

I think students now, I think the first thing they do when they come out of the lecture or even in a lecture is facebook, text messages, Twitter, whatever. So it's become the communication method of choice for a lot of people and that's not to say that that's right or wrong, it just has. So as I say, from very early on in student life, you either buck the trend and say 'No if you want to contact me this is my number, phone me or this is where I live, come and knock on my door.' Or you embrace it and you give in and say 'Wash over me, I am yours, take me' and become part of this culture of connected people.

INT:       There we're talking about how being a student might affect your digital identity in terms of it's possibly more of a thing for students, more of an essential item that you have to have rather than if you were not a student, perhaps, it's slightly more of a community that relies on it. But also, what effect do you feel the digital identity will have on being a student, on your life as a student in terms of your day, how you get things done? What kind of difference do you think it's made for you?

R:            I sort of skipped the whole being an undergraduate with a facebook account and only joined really at the end of my undergraduate into my postgraduate years so the getting invited to events scaled down a bit as friends moved away and things like that so I missed out on this bit of digital identity. But it is still true that a lot of events that I get invited to do happen through facebook and without that facebook account I wouldn't get invited to them. I know people in particular that have a facebook account just so that they will receive invites to things rather than using them specifically.

INT:       Obviously facebook is one of the major ones, we've mentioned Twitter and MySpace and things like that; are there any other big social networking sites or any other places where you have digital identities that are important to you?

J:             LinkedIn is a good one, when you start working.

W:            Yeah I think that tends to grow more as you reach the end of your degree programme, I think you tend to think 'Suddenly in two month's time I'm not gonna have a place to live' or 'My student income, my loan' or what have you and you start to build that professional profile but I think when you're in the throes of your degree, then the middle part, if you like, I suppose the big player really is only facebook and marginally Twitter.

J:             Yeah I would say the two.

W:            It's got a different …

J:             They have different functions, yeah.

W:            My experience has been that the other social networks are either designed for a much younger target audience, your Bebo, things like that, Habbo Hotel, which is a different spin on that kind thing, they're much more for a younger audience, Key Stage 3 – 4. I think once you reach this age and beyond it's facebook or bust. There are no social networks for older people except professionally which would be LinkedIn so from sixth form, say, onwards, you can be a musician and an arty creative person and make use of MySpace's fantastic features there or you can use facebook or you can just not. There is no third way, I suppose, in that respect.

J:             Musicians use YouTube, don't they? YouTube and MySpace. I'm surprised, I was quite taken aback at how very rapidly facebook has grown in dominance in the last twelve months but I'd also say from the point of view of managing professional identities that there's a very strong presence of journalists and media celebs, look at people like Stephen Fry on Twitter, they really make big use of it. In addition to the industry sector professional sites that you can get, which are very good quality, those people, those industry professionals, whether they're teachers or writers or whatever area they're working in, they make very heavy use of Twitter. It's big business now for promoting a product or a service, Twitter's very powerful.

INT:       Do you all have Twitter accounts?

J:             Yeah.

INT:       So is that something you update everyday, what kinds of things do you write about? I don't use it so I've got no idea what people do with that and why, really, so I'd love to hear about it.

W:            There's the rub, what do you say? How often do you say it? There are no … this is the confusing but brilliant, perhaps, thing about Twitter which a lot of people don't get and those that do get it straight away in that there is no prescription.

J:             But there is a Twitter etiquette.

W:            Yes, there's def-

J:             Which is don't: 'Put the kettle on, soaked tea bag' don't do that, but I found Twitter fabulous for things like 'I'm trying to install this application, I've got stuck here' tweet it and you'll get answers, it's absolutely wonderful.

W:            Yeah over Twitter's growth period there has been this unwritten etiquette formed, like you say, of don't sit there and write 'Went to the toilet, gone shopping, fed the rabbit' people aren't interested in that or people may be interested in that, somebody may find that absolutely thrilling but most people aren't really interested in that, Twitter's much more of an engaging thing, you tend to … I think you get two types of Twitter user, a content generator and a content responder and you do get people who fall into the middle ground but people like Stephen Fry generate a lot of content, a lot of followers.

I myself tend to fit into both categories, I tweet a lot but I also respond to a load of tweets, replying to people and then you get some people that just sit there and follow people, never say anything, they're only interested in watching and listening to what other people have to say. There's statistics out there to say that x% of people generate … 10% of Twitters users generate 90% of the content, that kind of thing so you've got this other subset of users just sat there watching everything go on but you can share everything, whether it's a thought, an idea, something interesting that you've found, something interesting that you've seen.

With mobile phones now you can take a picture, record a voice, a video and upload it instantly or as far as data can go and it's there, it's out, the Hudson river crash, for example, the first media outlet for that was some guy stood by the river going, 'Oh look, a plane's just crashed.' Picture, Twitter, out there. So yeah, it's not quite as rich, maybe, as facebook in the whole social networking in the facebook definition of such a thing but in terms of sharing …

J:             It's very immediate, isn't it?

W:            It's very immediate.

J:             For political feedback, it's fabulous. When any politician, particularly when they had the leaders' debates on television, I had Twitter on because the feedback coming in both from opposition spies to party supporters to general public you're getting it right there, you haven't got to wait until the following morning's broadsheets to come out, it's instant political feedback and it's very exciting. Twitter is very exciting from that point of view.

W:            To expand on that point, Twitter has this organically grown notion of something that people just thought of doing, of tagging tweets. Hashtags it's called, so at the end or at some point in your tweet you can add a hashtag which is a series of characters proceeded by a hash into your tweet and then other people talking about the same thing can also add the same hashtag and then you can search for that tag and find all of the tweets that have included it.

So for example the election or if there are local events going on, for example towns and cities tend to have a hashtag about them and people maybe say 'I'm sat on this road, there's a giant set of road works going on, tailbacks for miles, might want to avoid it.' Add the hashtag for their town and then anyone sat in the office with Tweet deck, which is an application for it open can say 'I'll go a different way home tonight' or they can respond back and go 'I feel really bad, hope it clears soon' that kind of thing. So the hashtags are a great way of tracking people's opinions on topics as they happen.

There's hashtags for everything, literally anything you can think of. The World Cup is the big one at the moment, Twitter have gone above and beyond and proactively supported the hashtag idea and have taken it forward so that now if you want to filter out tweets about the World Cup you can because if you don't follow football but you happen to follow people on Twitter who do follow football your Twitter feed, as it's called, could become full of football feeds but if they're all tagged with World Cup hashtags, it filters that out, 'I don't want to see these tweets.' You can be much more creative with the things that you see, unlike facebook where you either block a person or not, it's all or nothing, now there's much more flexibility coming in with Twitter, but it's a different kind …

J:             Do you think a Twitter identity is much harder to manage than a facebook one, because if you imagine you get these opposing political ideologies, so you've got some people saying very upset and very rude things so they might say 'This politician is a liar because…' that can go into your digital identity search, can't it, and cause problems for you.

W:            Definitely I think Twitter has shown that it is not invulnerable to the old notion of 'don't talk politics at the dinner table' because no matter where you go and what you do you'll always find differences of opinion and the difference between facebook and Twitter from day one is that unless you choose to protect your tweets which means that nobody, unless you give them specific permission to can see what you say, your tweets are open and they're instantly searchable, anyone can see them, whether they choose to follow you or not, that information is out there.

You can be quite selective with your facebook so for example say you're a massive fascist, you can choose to only have fascist friends on facebook and then you can turn around and make really outlandish fascist comments and everyone will go, 'I like that, I'm going to comment and support that, it's all fine.' On Twitter if you say something like that you will attract differences of opinion straight away by virtue of the fact that it is so open, so you can tweet, like you say, during the elections you can say 'Nick Clegg, what an idiot' and then somebody will fire straight back and go 'How dare you say that, justify that comment' and you can get these arguments between groups of people quite openly on Twitter.

It's a different dynamic to facebook, you don't get that kind of thing on facebook because you do get arguments but they tend to be between friends, people that already know each other or people that know people of people that know each other whereas Twitter tends to be anybody. You say something and you can get somebody from the other side of the world commenting on it, so it's a different kind of … you meet some really interesting people, you meet some idiots as well but people try and compare it but I don't think there are many places you can compare Twitter to facebook, really.

J:             I'm surprised that my student friends didn't adopt Twitter more enthusiastically, I've got a few of my student friends like you use it and so on but an awful lot more of them don't who are quite happy with facebook yet I thought that Twitter would be an ideal student tool but hasn't really …

INT:       That's something I wanted to ask, what specific uses does it have for students and has it taken off?

W:            I think Twitter, when you first approach it, if you approach it independently, and you don't know lots of other people that use it, you have to imagine that it's a massive boulder at the top of a hill and you've got to set about the task of pushing that boulder so that it can start rolling down the hill. If you're on your own that's a very difficult task. If you've got lots of people who use Twitter, they can all help you get that ball rolling.

When I joined Twitter when I came to university it was because somebody had mentioned it in a lecture, I thought, 'I'll give that a go, I'll sign up' and I didn't know anybody else that really used it so I had this profile there for a couple of months just sat twiddling my thumbs in a virtual way thinking, 'Why am I here?' because I was just stood there trying to push this big boulder thinking 'Do you know what, there's better things I could be doing' but then you meet people in real life who say 'Oh are you on Twitter?' and you start to follow people and you make connections and you follow people that they follow and maybe you follow a hashtag. You think 'Oh these people are saying really interesting things about this topic so I'll follow them as well.' This tree builds up and all of a sudden before you know it your boulder's doing 100 miles an hour down the side of this hill, wow, you're kind of addicted to it, almost. It can become very addictive.

So I would say from a student perspective facebook is popular because people use it and people use it because it's popular. If you had to pick a social network to join you'd wanna join the one that all your friends were on so that's why facebook just grows and grows and grows and grows and shows no sign of stopping because at the end of the day there isn't really a big alternative, you'd go, your friends are there, it's self-fulfilling. Twitter hasn't quite reached that stage yet so if you join it, not necessarily any of your friends may use it so you join it and have to work hard to find your feet, I'm sure that maybe in time it will maybe reach the ubiquity of facebook, who knows. I think you have to work a lot harder which is why a lot of students think 'Well I don't really see the point for me.' I think it tends to attract more IT and Media-related students than perhaps English students.

J:             Yeah I'd agree with that.

W:            They get different things out of it but I'd say it's a lot harder for students to break into but when they do break into it, it can be very rewarding, I've had opportunities to go to places that I would never have been before and speak to people I've never spoken to before through Twitter. None of that's ever happened through facebook, facebook's never presented me with an opportunity, it's always been being invited to this event happened through Twitter. That kind of thing's never gonna happen through facebook, you can't really compare them. I think students in time will see how Twitter could benefit them but it's a very difficult process if you're not supported by an already established group of people.

INT:       That leads me onto to something else I wanted to ask you about; has anything positive like that, have any events or opportunities happened for you through an online presence? Not for you?

R:            No.

INT:       Why do you use, you said that you have a Twitter account, what sort of uses have you had for it, what was your motivation?

R:            I'm one of the followers, really, rather than the content generators, not to sound creepy or anything but I just like to see what's going on.

INT:       And there are particular people and subjects that you like to look for?

R:            Well after anyone graduated from my undergraduate degree I see what they're up to, that's my main usage of it.

INT:       Does it have any specific usages for you as a postgraduate student at all?

R:            Not really.

INT:       It's more of a personal thing?

R:            Yeah.

INT:       How about for you with your Twitter account?

S:            I've met a few people through it, I met you through it. Yeah, it's just you can put a hashtag in for your module and if anyone else comments using that hashtag you can see other people that you're studying with and then you can do and see them after a lecture and make friends with them in real life as well as on Twitter. So that can be quite useful when you can get near instant help like if you're stuck in a module and someone is following that hashtag, if you use that hashtag they might be able to help you with it or you can go study together or something.

INT:       Have there been any other positive events or opportunities that have come up for you on any other general social networking sites or digital identities?

S:            No it's only really been through Twitter.

INT:       Something else I wanted to ask, you mentioned about when you signed up for your email account, you didn't want to give them your date of birth and things like that but another area of questions I have is about creating email accounts and having different accounts with different servers and having different addresses. How did you choose your address and how many different accounts do you have for your emails?

S:            When I first made one I was quite young and so quite immature really and I made a really random one which I wouldn't reveal to anyone now. I just don't use it anymore either, I've migrated to one which contains my name and some other things that uniquely identify me so it seems more professional in some ways but it's also more logical to not just have some random words jumbled together that might form an email address. There are things that personally I use Google for mine, I've used Hotmail as well but I wouldn't really look into others because those have been perfect for what I've wanted them for.

INT:       What sort of things were you looking for when you were choosing which account to have? Does it make a difference?

S:            Ease of access mostly, really, because I want it sent to my phone as well, I'd like that to be instant and then for it to be both the same thing happen on my phone and on my inbox where if certain providers, they're not really that popular now at all, would only effect on whichever device you're looking on, so it would still be unread somewhere else.

INT:       Does having a certain account with a certain provider do anything to your digital identity? Are there certain that are particularly reputable in some way or aren't good?

S:            There are some comics out there who say what your provider says about you so if it's … you can say if you've got your own personal website and you have your own email address at that personal website that says you're quite capable of … that implies you're quite capable of setting up your own email address in your own domain but again there are some which are completely obscure and you think 'How … why did they do that?'

W:            I think the argument between what email address you have and what email address provider you have should be separate because you can have, taking for example, Google, Google provide email as their gmail service so an address @gmail.com. It's an excellent service, integrates well with a lot of things, accessible across the planet from a lot of email devices but also they host an application platform so if you're on your own domain you can use their gmail application to host your email. So for example my email address that I would use for professional correspondence is my name at my domain but Google is the engine driving that. So you could argue that they are my provider but you would never know that just from looking at the email address. I think that argument is kind of separate.

In terms of choosing an email address I think that's absolutely critical. When I was in school a friend of mine, it always sticks in my head, the first part of his email address was wuggawuggarichardbranson. Which in itself, it sticks in my mind now because it was such a ridiculous thing to put but you would never dream of putting that on your CV, if you're hired for a job at a Fortune 500 company and you put on your CV that that happens to be your email address, you're not going to get taken seriously.

J:             Did you hear about that guy, sorry to interrupt you, but his name was Mike and then he had RowSoft and Microsoft bought it from him, it was that good a pun [laughs].

W:            Yeah he registered the domain to sound like Microsoft.

J:             But what I wanted to ask you is, is there a status in particular email providers, are you cool for using a particular provider, for using Google over someone else?

W:            I think when a new service is launched, it tends to be launched to a very small audience, things tend to be invite only in some cases so I think that I remember years and years and years ago now when gmail was first launched it was an invite only service so if you could get an invite and have a gmail address that was cool, you were cool for having a gmail address. Now anyone can have one so it's not so cool.

Whether you pick Yahoo mail, Hotmail, your own internet service provider's Freemail solution, I would always advise people to go with a third party hosted email account, something that is not tied to a subscription because, for example, say you sign up with Virgin Media for your internet and then you move to a non-cable area you can no longer have Virgin Media, you have to go with a different company, well you may have told everyone that your email address is Joebloggs@virginmedia.co.uk but now you're no longer with them so you no longer have that facility, you have to move whereas if you use something like Hotmail it doesn't matter who you are, where you are in the world or anything you can just, that's the address, yours forever. I think my oldest email address I've had for about twelve years now, I think which doesn't sound that long but when you think about in terms of the bigger picture that's quite a long time to have one email address.

I think what you pick as your email address is more important these days than who provides it, it's what falls before the @, if you like, that defines how important … if you can get a provider to allow you to just be your name @ their service.com. If you have to be your.name.your date of birth bla bla bla combination of numbers_this and blabla@hotmail.co.uk that's not so cool. It's not so memorable for a start, people can't remember large amounts of information like that, it won't look good on the  business card, it certainly wouldn't look good on the CV so I think wherever you can get the most succinct name and whatever falling before the @, whether that's your own domain or whatever, that's what's most important.

R:            I've got one through the university, I've got one for work. I've got one for personal bits and I've got that embarrassing one from many, many years ago that I don't use anymore.

INT:       Are all these embarrassing ones because … I know that you guys said that you were young and you were at school but I know I had a rubbish one when I was at uni because I was just messing about with friends; have you had to change yours while you were a student at all or were you always quite sensible during your whole time at uni with your email addresses?

R:            Not since I was a student but I'm still considering changing my personal one, it's still a little bit silly.

INT:       A little bit jaunty.

J:             Can I also ask, do we find it a pain to manage more than one or two email addresses?

S:            There are services out there to make it quite simple, you can combine them all to appear to be in the same one so you can deal with them all at the same time.

J:             I was gonna say because I got fed up with all of that so I have everything, facebook, Twitter, the whole lot feeds into my main email address and I've got another one as a back up and I've got my uni one but I decided that I can't be bothered with chopping in and out of different email accounts because there's too much else to do.

W:            I wouldn't like to put a number on it, let's go with probably at least a dozen email accounts for various different purposes. I manage most of them through my Blackberry, as it happens, fantastic way of managing email, that's what they're built for. Do I find it a pain? Sometimes I do think to myself 'Wouldn't it just be nice if I just had one inbox' but then I don't necessarily want, as I say, I have a fairly professional email account which I would give out to potential employers and I would correspond with companies with, that's different, because of that reason, to the one that I would give to my mates, not because I don't want the two to ever meet, it just makes managing the two things very much easier.

I can set up a nice signature to go at the bottom of my emails, all of this kind of thing, for my professional account, that can be me. My personal one, I can chuck my mobile number on there and whatever else and I'm not too fussed about who sees that because I'd only ever email people who I feel comfortable about sharing that information with.

I think there's a big … it's actually something I wrote quite an interesting ... I think it's interesting, blog post about what's in a username in that there's a huge argument for obfuscation in choosing an email address in that you shouldn't … some people would argue that you shouldn't be identifiable by your email address, for example, the university or a lot of universities choose now, rather than giving somebody their name@the establishment, would give a user name, a series of random numbers and letters so that if that happens to just escape out onto the internet somewhere it's not immediately obvious that that translates back to you.

It's certainly a massive consideration in schools, very much so in schools, not so much in universities but particularly in primary and secondary education is that if you're gonna prescribe children an email address, what do you give them? Professionally I've even made the mistake myself, and I would consider it a mistake now, but I took a new intake in, I was a network manager for a school, so when I took a new intake of children in and put them onto the system, it would typically be their year of entry, their surname and their first initial and you might think to yourself 'Well that's what it was like when I was in school, there's nothing wrong with that.' But actually when you sit down and dissect that, there's so much you can gain from that now, for example, year of entry, if they're entering secondary school you can tell that they're going to be at least 11 or 12 so you take their year of entry you can work out how old they are from that. You've got their surname and their first initial so straight away on facebook type in that name and maybe search for some local information or what have you, you can very easily find an unsuspecting pupil.

A lot of information can be given away in a very short space of time if you like so yeah you have to be, there's a big argument as to should you be identifiable by your email address, how much information do you convey just in a few characters, is it embarrassing, is it professional, there's a lot to consider. I think as you get older you tend to think about that more than a young child and you go, obviously, through university and through application processes for placements and future employment, that's when it becomes crucial, you start to think to yourself 'Right, that email account I signed up for when I was 13, that's probably not gonna cut the mustard now with the big companies.'

INT:       You mentioned something else there about an email signature so do you all have signatures that come up on emails? I feel like such a philistine talking to all of you because all this stuff I've only just started to discover, 'Ooh I can make that happen!' You mentioned that you have one for your professional emails, is that an address of your work place or is there anything else? I know that some people put quirky quotations from Einstein and things like that in there.

W:            Signatures, depending on who you are, can be seen as quite pretentious or quite informative. I think there are some people who I receive emails from occasionally and I would say that their signatures are pretentious.

INT:       Why's that?

W:            It will be their name, all their letters after their name, every single one of them, their full address, then their website perhaps and any contact numbers and then a disclosure statement at the end and so before you know it if you're just responding to a quick email going 'Yeah see you at 5' which is one line, all of the email more or less is taken up by their signature and you just think that's absolutely insane. For me a signature should be perhaps a quick end to an email so 'Regards from' your name maybe a few social media links so for example I might include my Twitter link there. If people are gonna write to me they know my written address so they don't need to necessarily know my work postal address, that's superfluous information.

J:             If you read a book called Google Hacking, and the name of the author escapes me. but he's a well known security expert in the US and he explains precisely how you create the SQL search parameters, including things like if you search on the file extensions or you search on the word password, anyway in the book it tells you how to set all these things up, you wouldn't put any of that stuff at the bottom of your email because hackers can use that kind of information. They will target vulnerable employees in companies, they will garner all of this identity information and then they can home in on someone in a coffee bar and befriend them.

This is how they do the industrial spying, they use people's identities that have been unknowingly gathered together from all this information. Now as far as I'm aware the only constraint on being let loose on Google to do these grey and black cat searches is that Google will actually block you if you overstep the mark, which I forget exactly what, but there's an awful lot you can find out with fairly innocent search parameters put in there.

W:            When I said that this guy's signature is pretentious, for run of the mill email yeah it is. If I was approaching this person in a professional capacity I think that that signature would be useful because I could identify their credentials perhaps from it. I think if you're going to use one email address for correspondence you should have lots of signatures and you tailor your signature depending on your target audience or you have several email accounts then and you have just one signature for each email account. But yeah I wouldn't necessarily send an email to my dad with all my qualifications, where I work, he doesn't need to know that, he already knows all this stuff, why does that need to be at the end of an email? Instead I might just have a quick signature that says 'Regards' my name and number, easy.

INT:       How about you? Do you have a signature?

R:            Certainly where I used to work it was company policy to have a full signature with all your letters, your full work address and everything else, we had even a template generator to do that for you, you had to have that in your email, otherwise consequences. But in my personal email I don't have one, I just tailor it as I need to. If I need to send something professionally then yes I put my work address or whichever but I don't feel the need for it.

INT:       How about you?

S:            At uni, we've got to have one, they don't enforce it because they can't but it is expected to have your name, your number and the course you're on, which I think is fine because that helps the person who receives it because generally you're going to be emailing someone from within the university with your university address, initially at least and then it's easier …

J:             It's pretty secure.

S:            It makes it a lot easier for them to identify you if they need to look up information on you they've got the information there, they don't have to send another email to say what your ID is.

INT:       I think I've gone through all the main points that I definitely wanted to cover; have any of you got anything else that you want to say or anything else that you think is important about digital identity that hasn't been brought up?

W:            Digital identity is something that is only ever gonna get more important, it's never gonna get less important. How universities, schools, colleges, whatever, tackle the education of their charges about digital identity is a discussion that needs to be had because unlike well established things like sex education there is no prescribed manner, yet, fully prescribed manner to teach people about it. I think students, when they're coming to university need to be much more aware of the permanence of what they do online and they need to start thinking maybe even years before university, as I said initially in those first footsteps online, it's a lot for a young person to take in and young people invariably are gonna go, 'That's not gonna affect me for another ten years, don't have to worry about it' but to try and foster this culture of being not careful, that makes it sound like it's dangerous but just thinking about your actions and how … basically apply the same rules as you would to society, you're gonna walk down the street fully clothed and not swearing. If you were to walk around naked and swearing you'd probably get called on it so it's the kind of thing you should apply to online as well, if you're gonna walk around online saying lots of things that you wouldn't necessarily like to repeat, having lots of pictures taken of you that you wouldn't necessarily like to be seen don't do it, basically. That's how I'd sum it up, people need to think a lot earlier and a lot more carefully about digital identity otherwise it will come back and bite them.

INT:       Just to sum up, get an overall conclusion from all of you, if I can go round and if you can tell me the overall impact that you feel your digital identity is having on you and your life, particularly as a student.

J:             I feel that a digital identity is something you don't have control of. I'd like to see a global policing initiative, we have the World Health Organisation, we have other global organisations, I'd like to see a global policing organisation for security of sensitive information and digital identity.

S:            Before I came to university I was quite blasé about how I came across on the internet but since then I've realised that tightening it down and refining it a bit more and thinking a bit more about what I'm going to put out and how it's going to be seen or used, I've done that a lot more, it's been better. I think it matures you quite a bit as well because you realise looking back you can always say, 'I wish I'd done that' but if you always start looking forward and say, 'If I do this now then I won't have to look back and think that.'

W:            My digital identity has given me some amazing opportunities, I've found friends, accommodation, study advice, a whole range of things that I would never have had before or certainly not as easily, perhaps. Managing it can be difficult from time to time and certainly posed some interesting questions but I would say that as a prospective student, or anybody, really, I would say that having a digital identity is nothing to be scared of, it's definitely something to embrace and can be really, really rewarding if you're careful with it. Yeah I don't, as I say, I'm immensely proud of what I've managed to achieve so far and I think provided I keep applying the same logic as I have been it will help me further.

R:            I don't necessarily think that I've got anything out of my digital identity whilst being a student but my hope is that in the future that certainly it's been positive and when I come to apply for jobs and things like that that it will be used in a positive sense, there's nothing there that's too embarrassing or too outlandish.

INT:       It sounds on the whole, I'm getting the impression from all of you that it's something that can be immensely positive as long as you manage it, otherwise it can end up galloping away so you need to try to keep hold of the reins almost, to use a terrible horse riding analogy, if you'll forgive me for that.

J:             That's fair enough, yes.

INT:       Alright well that was excellent, thank you very much.