Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites

Kerry Mallan, Natasha Giardina


Wikis and social networking sites (SNS) are arguably two of the most popular tools used by young people as part of their everyday social interactions. We propose that the concept of the wiki may be useful for understanding the kinds of virtual identities that are constructed, visually presented, and narrated in online contexts, such as MySpace. The term Wikidentities is used in this paper to encapsulate the kinds of identity work which may occur through SNS. We argue that wiki-like behaviour has consequences for reconceptualizing identity as something that is mediated by (rather than at odds with) technology. Our research opens up ways for considering new forms of agency for young people appropriate to a high-tech era that encourages collaboration, negotiation, and risk.


social networking sites, wikis, youth

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