New social media has led to an explosion in personal digital data that encompasses both those expressions of self chosen by the individual as well as reflections of self provided by other, third parties. The resulting Digital Personhood (DP) data is complex and for many users it is too easy to become lost in the mire of digital data. This is unfortunate as these digital representations of self are not only valuable to the individual as a means of self-reflection, but also have great information value as a community, business and social policy resource.
The ability to represent and edit personal digital data in a meaningful form is crucial to the empowerment of individuals and communities and that it could also generate significant benefit to government and business. This ‘meaningful form’ should include a filmic, narrative structure that is easy to comprehend and edit and that allows for a simply comparison of one digital life with another. In short, we aim to build searchable, personal film-like documentaries, ‘Reels’, from existing, digital data. ReelLives is an EPSRC funded project on ‘digital personhood’. The project will explore new ways to represent our digital lives in filmic form, offering individuals the chance to reflect on their online identities and to edit their digital selves (EP/L004062/1).