David White, & Alison Le Cornu, (2011)  offer a criticism of the binary digital native:digital immigrant framing of a web presence. However, they do not stop there, but rather they develop a theory of visitor:resident as a continuum of participation in their article Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. In this video, White complicates our thinking in several key ways; first, White calls into question the importance of “generation” in our thoughts about web presence. White’s video further delves deeper introducing the model of continua in contrast to binaries. White also introduces the importance of motivation in propelling a persons’ relative residency or visitor status.

Therefore, if the simple binaries do not adequately open the conversation, what other possible models do we have at hand? Perhaps instead if we imagine the binaries as the ends of ranges and we imagine a node at which these several spectra intersect, then we can plot our “location” or comfort in the online environment — a multidimensional map. White indeed has mapping one’s participation as a goal of his method. White discusses motivation in relative participation as an essential element. “Participation” calls into question “presence” too. “Presence” suggests a product, perhaps, whereas “participation” suggests a process.

#D Coordinates

I begin with participation in the online environment since it seems implicit and necessary in any possible definition of “digital citizenship.”  Stripping the “digital” we are unlikely to recognize a person who does not pay taxes, does not serve on juries, does not vote, does not stay informed on issues as behaving like a citizen, perhaps visiting but not residing, not a citizen. Adding back the “digital” what then is analogous behaviors and responsibilities in the online environment?

My social media presence is linked by the familiar icons at the bottom of the page. LinkedIn is my professional persona. I am less active with it of late, but I do read articles on a nearly daily basis.  Twitter is exclusively for ONID, though I have found some interesting professional news on occasion. G+ is likewise related to ONID participation.  YouTube was initially only a library of content providers I followed. I tried to make a couple of videos to see if that was a storytelling format that inspired my creativity. Perhaps if I stuck with it and messing about with the camera became routine and second nature… but for now that is all I have done. I have a Facebook page that is locked down tight and is solely used for managing Facebook Ads, and my work page. And that is about it for social media.

I kept a blogger site for years that journaled my workouts: Sisyphean Enterprises, but it is unkempt now. I have played a couple of online games, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Eve Online, my main Eve character is Haki Aldard. I messed about a little with DayZ as well.  The challenge of PvP is fascinating, not that I am any good at it. Alas, I cannot afford the cost or time to play now that I am living in Dillingham, Alaska.

I am susceptible to the existential notion of self — existence precedes essence. Accordingly, I am what I have done. My single greatest adult accomplishment is to have raised two kids, one of each flavor. My daughter just graduated from Columbia University and Lewis and Clark College with bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Engineering and Chemistry respectively.  My son is a Junior at University of Maine, Orono and working on an Environmental Studies degree. They are well launched.

I have as well cared for ailing parents, one who had Frontotemporal dementia. I supported my spouse’s successful cancer fight. Her blog, Riding a New Horse is here.

I graduated from Sheldon Jackson College, in Sitka Alaska in 1988. My connection to Alaska extends back to World War II.  My Grandfather and Grandmother lived in Kodiak during the war.  My Grandfather built the refrigeration on the Naval base. My Grandmother was the Postmistress.  My Mother was born in Kodiak in 1945.  Their lives took them to Southern California after the war, and it was there that I was born and raised.  But Alaska was always part of the family mythology. So, I chose to go to college in Alaska.  However, I met my spouse and her family lived on the East coast, and so before I was done with Alaska, we relocated to Maine. I worked 20 and change years at an elite liberal arts college. The last four years as an Assistant Director. I was completely burnt out and desperate to return to Alaska. Last fall I took a position with Bristol Bay Campus, in Dillingham Alaska. I no longer have a good work-life balance as I let hobby’s and interests go and instead prioritized work and graduate studies. This winter I realized, during the holiday break, I had too much time on my hands and so purchased some acrylic paints and started drawing and painting again. Painting gave me a creative voice in college of which I was previously unaware. Rather than a picture of myself I offer this attempt at sunrise over the Nushagak (if you care SoundCloud and LinkedIn offer a professional headshot, though now I am grayer).

A third grader could do better. If there is any consolation, it is that I have not put paint to canvas since 1988.  But, it feels good to be learning again.

I do not feel the affinity for lists, and so this is a struggle. However, among the many Chris offered I found these:

  • List the ways you don’t care to die
    • debilitating stroke
    • dementia
    • languishing disease,  e.g. Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s,


  • List the epitaphs you might like on your tombstone.
    • He left it a little better than he found it.
    • One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Of course these combined offer a relatively morbid sense of self.  Perhaps at this moment, late in middle-age, and anticipating early old-age that is entirely appropriate. However, most of my waking time is not spent fixated on my mortality and rather on what I can still do and make both professionally and personally.


White, D. [jiscnetskills]. (2014, March 10). Visitors and Residents. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/sPOG3iThmRI.

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved October 4, 2016, http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3171/3049

Creative Commons License
YAWP by Robert Heath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.rdheath.com/blog/?p=457.