Between the Lines: Reevaluating the Online/Offline Binary

Find out more about the outputs of the workshop at our Medium site! 

A workshop held in conjunction with CHI 2015


Call for Participation
This workshop brings together scholars, designers, developers, and practitioners who engage with people’s practices of self and identity management online and offline. The goal is to unpack implied assumptions and articulate what “online” and “offline” really mean. This involves exploring and explaining how these terms are used, when, by whom, and why. In addition, we will explore what—if any—leverage the different conceptualizations bring, and discuss the value of thinking about “online” and “offline” as more than conventions that describe human-embodied face-to-face interaction, as opposed to digitally mediated contexts. Overall, the ongoing debate that scholars in different spheres have had about online/offline becomes newly focused when we address what this means through the lens of self and identity. This workshop aims to engage and refresh our thinking about this topic while drawing together threads from different fields and ways of thinking.

We invite 2-4 page submissions for this one-day workshop in the CHI Extended Abstracts format that describe ongoing research efforts and/or ask questions that challenge the binary of the “online” versus the “offline” self. Submissions will be selected based on originality, quality, and ability to promote discussion during the workshop.
Submissions and questions should be directed to Sarah Vieweg ( by January 5, 2015. At least one author from each accepted paper must register and attend the workshop and at least one day of the ACM CHI 2015 conference.

Important Dates
Deadline extended
Submissions due: January 19, 2015 to
Notification: February 13, 2015
Workshop date: April 18, 2015

Workshop Activities
Our specific aim is to develop a framework for research and design, and to elaborate that framework for publication. Throughout the day, we will revisit this goal, and continually update a live document with content that contributes to the framework.
The morning will start with brief presentations by each participant; organizers will take note of the overarching concepts and ideas presented. The following segment of the workshop will involve the group coming together to identify common themes that arose regarding elements that can provide a foundation for a framework. This will lead to 3-4 breakout groups that focus on establishing research questions, thinking about data types and sources, listing relevant theories, and discussing assumptions and propositions.
We will consider how to view identify formation, reification and/or transference vis-à-vis technology, units of analysis to focus on when we aim to understand identity, and/or the complexities that emerge when we blur the lines between on- and off-line. In addition, probing notions of “norms” as they relate to identity, and considering if and how technology design is focused on “normative” expressions of identity.
Once we have a working set of themes and questions, in the afternoon we will build the foundation for a framework providing guidance for how to research representations of self and take them into account in design. Collaboratively, we will then organize the live document into a paper outline to lay the groundwork for a publication, and discuss authorship and potential journals to target.

Accepted Papers
College Students’ Online and Offline Communication Practices

Madeline E. Smith, Northwestern University

SE Asian Ubicomp and Alife: Roaming and Home with TechnoSphere 2.0 Computational Companions

Jane Prophet, City University Hong Kong

Helen Pritchard, Queen Mary University of London

Appearing Out of Line: Maintaining Varied Identities

Shamil Zainuddin, NCR Corp.

Graham I. Johnson, NCR Corp.

Jocelyn Sie, NCR Corp.

Conversations In, Through, and Around Media Objects

David A. Shamma, Yahoo Labs
Barry Brown, Mobile Life at Stockholm University
Frank Bentley, Yahoo Labs
Saeideh Bakhshi, Yahoo Labs

Managing Online Availability from an Individual to a Societal Perspective
Jessica R. Cauchard, Stanford University

The Spatial Self: Designing for Location-Based Identity Performance on Social Media
Raz Schwartz, Cornell Tech
Germaine R. Halegoua, University of Kansas

Ephemeral and Rememberd Selves: The Social Costs of Online Memories
Mark Handel, The Boeing Company
Irina Shklovski, IT University Copenhagen

The Collision of Online and Offline Expectations in Computer-Mediated Communication
Martin Pielot, Telefonica Research
Nuria Oliver, Telefonica Research

Online vs. Offline: Implications for Work Identity
Marta E. Cecchinato, University College London
Rowanne Fleck, University College London
Jon Bird, City University London
Anna L. Cox, University College London

Information Technology (IT) and the Self: Conceptualizing IT Identity
Michelle Carter, University of Washington
Varun Grover, Clemson University

Rethinking Self-Disclosure: Online and Offline
Nazanin Andalibi, Drexel University
Andrea Forte, Drexel University

Workshop Organizers
Sarah Vieweg, Ph.D. is a scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute. She researches identity management via social media among youth in the GCC.
Oliver L. Haimson is a PhD student in the department of Informatics at University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on how people represent changing and faceted identities on social media.
Michael Massimi, Ph.D. is a user experience researcher at Facebook. His research focuses on technology use during major life events and transitions.
Kenton O’Hara, Ph.D. is a social scientist at Microsoft Research, Cambridge and a visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. His work explores everyday social practices and experiences with technology.
Elizabeth F. Churchill, Ph.D. is Director of User Experience at Google. Her research focuses on social technologies, interaction design and mobile/ubiquitous computing.

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