The Stagecraft system is an alternative take on online presentation. At the heart, Stagecraft is a social networking system that allows a single user to control multiple online self-presentations. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn are built around a paradigm of "one user to one identity." On these sites, users create a single account and present information that reflects how they want to be perceived by that site's entire audience. Stagecraft is built on the idea that this one-to-one model does not adequately support the myriad of roles and identities that people assume on the Internet.

Stagecraft has been designed as part of an investigation into creating social presentation software focused around role identities. The project has included literature reviews, user surveys and studies, as well as a working prototype exploring some of the technical and interface issues surrounding this alternative approach.



We created a scenario to demonstrate some of the designed functionality of Stagecraft. Meet Melissa, a 25 year old librarian who lives in Berkeley. She loves to travel, read, write, cook, and explore local restaurants. She enjoys reading fantasy novels, and adores the Harry Potter series. A few years ago she started playing World of Warcraft, a fantasy-based role-playing game.

She spends a lot of time on the Internet talking about her interests. However, she interacts under a few different pseudonyms for various reasons.

First, log in and see all her identities...
login: melissa
password: victor

Background for all her identities:

Melissa posts as 'MellyMel' when talking to her college friends and a few close colleagues at the library. She shares bookmarks with them and also comments on their blogs. She has also met a few friends online with her MellyMel identity, but is pretty cautious with how much personal information she divulges.

Melissa does all her social bookmarking here:

Melissa loves to write reviews for restaurants and places she has traveled, but does so under the name 'DeweyDamsel.' She feels the a little more comfortable with expressing her opinions and collaborating with strangers online under this alias. She is the same traveling librarian foodie she has always been, but simply feels more comfortable being out there under an alias.

Melissa uses these two sites to write about travel and restaurants

Melissa is such a huge fan of Harry Potter that she started writing creative fan fiction as 'Hermione4Eva', a name derived from one of the main characters in the series. She and other Harry Potter fans create new stories by replying to each other's posts in a LiveJournal community. While most of her friends know she loves Harry Potter, very few know about her fan fiction, and she'd like to keep it that way. She has also developed a following of fans, but she doesn't want them either to know too much about her personal life or to connect this nom de plume with her other online identities. It adds to the illusion that she is Hermoine and affords her some privacy.

Here is where Melissa will write her newest story:

Melissa plays a lot of World of Warcraft (WoW) under the name 'Glaze'. She became interested after she found out that her Harry Potter coauthors play the game. Although some of her coauthors are in her WoW guild, she doesn't want her fan fiction followers knowing about her character, lest they approach her in the game. Plus, she is a little embarrassed about her devotion to the game and would like to keep her coworkers and friends in the dark about her character.

Melissa converses with her guildmate in a World of Warcraft LiveJournal: