Joined: Aug 19, 2001
|Posted: 17-07-2007 23:08  |
This was passed to me by way of Richard, in case any of our players would be willang and suitable.
PUBLICATION: Book: Being Virtual
JOURNALIST: Davey Winder (freelancer)
DEADLINE: 25-July-2007 13:00 (GMT)
QUERY: INTERVIEW CANDIDATES WITH INTERESTING TALES TO TELL ABOUT LIFE ONLINE URGENTLY SOUGHT
I have been commissioned to write a book for the Science Museum in
London, to be published globally by Wiley, with the working title of
who you really are online. As the title suggests, this will be an
exploration of identity in the 21st Century, with a particular emphasis
on virtual identity as exhibited online and focussing on such questions
as what is identity today, how do we present ourselves online, who is
the real you, what dangers are there when real and virtual worlds
The book will be written largely through the eyes of real people who are
out there living virtual lives.
Some background on me. I have been writing about the Internet, and in
particular the community aspects of it, for nearly 20 years now. Ever
since I was struck down with a serious illness, Viral Encephalitis,
which left me in hospital for a year and in a wheelchair for a further 8
years. My wife left me, taking my very young children with her, I lost
my job, my house, my car, my independence and my identity. It wasn't
until I was introduced to online bulletin boards (FidoNet to start with,
then Prestel MicroNet, Usenet and Cix) that I started to live again.
Finding freedom and a new life online. I immersed myself in this world,
eventually writing about my experiences and becoming a successful
freelance journalist. Now, fully recovered, with 20+ published books
behind me and as Contributing Editor of the highest circulation PC
magazine in the UK, PC Pro, I have been fortunate enough to win the UK
Technology Journalist of the Year and IT Security Journalist of the Year
awards. I remain a highly enthusiastic and somewhat evangelistic
commentator on life online. I wanted to write this book because the
virtual world still excites me, more so than ever as it is now on the
verge of becoming mainstream with people from all walks of life
discovering the same freedoms and friends that I did 20 years ago. That
said, I do not want the book to gloss over the darker side of life
online, and will be exploring the dangers as well as the delights it has
However, I will be doing so in a balanced and genuine way, rather than
some kind of cheap and nasty tabloid expose.
I am rather constrained by time, and would like to have all my
interviews done by the end of this month (unfortunately I am unavailable
between 14th and 22nd July due to family holidays and bad timing).
If you need to verify the book commission, please contact Andrew
Kennerley (AKennerl@wiley.co.uk) who will be happy so to do.
I am looking to interview, by email only, people who are happy to talk
about their experiences in the virtual world. This is a chance to get
your self into the spotlight and your business along with it - but
remember this is not a dry business book, it is aimed at the consumer of
technology and the average Joe with an interest in modern life) so if
you have a story to tell now is the time to tell it. Anonymity can be
provided, if sought, by the way.
In particular I am looking for interview candidates that can satisfy
the following criteria:
Teenagers using virtual worlds to create a social circle rather than the
Teenagers flirting with virtual friends.
Mums swapping an average first life for something more exciting in
Middle aged men reliving their youth online.
Older folk, the so called 'silver surfers' who have discovered the
freedoms of virtual lives. Indeed, the older the better - I would love
to talk to the oldest person with an active virtual identity.
Gender benders, the people who change sex when in the virtual world.
People who have fallen in love with another virtual character and got
married online, but have never met in real life.
People who have fallen in love with another virtual character, met up in
real life and either gone on to get married or have been disappointed to
discover the real person could not live up to the virtual one.
People who have experienced, from either side of the situation, the
break up of a real world marriage as a consequence of a virtual affair.
People whose virtual identity takes a darker path than that of the real
world, prompting them to become virtual Mafia bosses, thieves, violent
criminals and so on.
People who have found virtual worlds to be an enabling technology,
freeing them from the physical shackles and real world prejudices of
People who have set up business within a virtual world.
People who have found work within a virtual world.
People for whom one virtual identity is just not enough, and juggle
multiple virtual personas.
People who have been the victim of identity theft and are prepared to
talk about the experience from start to finish.
People for whom the virtual existence begins when they switch the
computer off and are faced with 'real life' as it were.
People who have learned the hard way that there are real world
consequences for virtual actions, and equally people who have been
surprised by unexpected but pleasant consequences also.
Lawyers who can talk about legal liabilities for the behaviour of an
People who discovered the Google Effect: that everything you have ever
done online is ultimately traceable back to you, maybe resulting in the
loss of a job, the failure of a job interview, the break up of a
relationship, a costly settlement of a legal case, and even the
attentions of an online/offline stalker.
Someone who can explain the rebirth of the conman, how the fraudster can
use a virtual identity to con a real victim out of very real cash.
Someone who can talk about the moves to digitise your identity in the UK
(and beyond) with regard to the National ID Card scheme, the benefits
(to government, security and the individual) as well as the drawbacks
(privacy issues, whether it will actually work, how flaws can be
exploited by crooks and terrorists).
Please feel free to pass this request on to anyone you think might be
interested in participating in this book project...