My Farewells: Final Reflection

The title for this module is certainly no hoax, as I have indeed been living and working on the web. The journey has been a great one, allowing me to learn so much about the digital world. All five topics required me to research concepts and ideologies beyond my own experiences and scope. However of course within this blog platform, I’ve been able to express my views freely and exercise my creativity skills.

I’d say the best topic was Topic 3, reasons being it discussed authenticity regarding ones online professional profile, which I never really understood the importance of before the module. Nonetheless, within all the research, I came to understand that building an online professional profile ties in closely with building your own online brand. Francesca particularly made a good point about this, inspiring me to take my LinkedIn account for instance, more seriously. I remember making a LinkedIn account purely for the purpose of this module, being that it was highly encouraged. At first I didn’t fully understand the use of it, however now, I’ve been able to connect with many people I know, even coming across a few job offers in my search for an internship this summer. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this module, and particularly this topic, has opened my eyes to the world of professionalism. This is definitely beneficial for me since potential employers can view all my skills and experiences.

In Topic 1, when learning and discussing White’s (2008) typology about digital residents and digital visitors and how this evolved from Prensky’s (2001) typology on digital natives and digital immigrants, I concluded I laid somewhere in between White’s (2008) more modern typologies. Though I use the web via social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter), I do also use the web for other more specific tasks (i.e. booking a plane ticket). However now, I do proudly say I am a digital resident and therefore ask this question: for how long can a digital visitor use the web before they do agree that they’re a digital resident? In my opinion someone who uses the web for specific tasks, however very frequently, should qualify as digital resident.

I must say however, my activity on Twitter as of recent has been low. I hardly tweet anymore! However, I do plan to tweet more once my exams are over and my summer commences. To conclude, this module has been one of a kind and very insightful into the digital world. Remember, I only discussed five topics. In this world of rapid technology, I’m certain there’s an infinite number of topics you and I could explore. I do therefore plan to continue to blog and build upon my brand on this platform, as well as on my other online identities (i.e. LinkedIn). Whether it be my professional experiences or a review on techy gadgets, this won’t be the last of me. Thank you for reading!

If you wish to connect with me on LinkedIn my URL can be found in the About Me section, and on this page you can follow me on Twitter.

References

Get ready to be astonished with these future technologies – Amazing new inventions.. 2015. Get ready to be astonished with these future technologies – Amazing new inventions.. [ONLINE] Available at:http://trendingpost.net/trending-technology-news/get-ready-to-be-astonished-with-these-future-technologies-amazing-new-inventions/. [Accessed 14 May 2015].

Advertisements

Topic 5- Reflective Summary

Topic 5 marks the last and final topic of the module, (what a journey it’s been!). This topic put many things into perspective regarding open access; more closely its benefits and limitations to both authors and users. Though all previous topics were interesting and relatable week by week, this topic hit a high standard of attention- grabbing. As Francesca mentioned in her post, she has experienced denied access plenty of times, which I am sure many of us have also. This topic however allowed me to understand more about why open access is/isn’t free. During my research I therefore explored and read the many pros and cons on open access and narrowed it down to those I felt were most relevant i.e. the economic advantages.

Nicole asked an interesting question when she commented on my post, on whether I thought frequent producers had the same advantageous views as users of open access. I really do believe so, since the more knowledge shared, the more people can learn and build upon existing, easily-accessible materials. So whether or not you’re a producer/author, we have all been impacted by the benefits of open-access, and may well continue to be.

Tatiana’s post was highly insightful, where I learnt that a market survey predicted that 90% of all online content would be retained behind paywalls by 2016. Though it’s just a prediction, I was quite shocked of the prediction being 90% (particularly high!). If this is to ever be true (or close), it would be terrible in my opinion. I’ve spoken so high of the amazing impacts of open-access (which I do believe overweigh the negative impacts), and to imagine that open-access materials could be affected is a nightmare. Over all, I strongly believe that knowledge equals power. For the world to develop, we need to share ideas and concepts, so I hope that as time goes by, many more authors won’t be as reluctant to share materials freely. Furthermore, that more people will make use of open-access. Thank you!

Comments Link:

http://francescacharnley.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/topic-5-pros-and-cons-of-free-online-materials/comment-page-1/#comment-16

http://tatianasieff.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/imagine-if-this-blog-cost-you-10-to-read/

Topic 5- Open Access: Pros and Cons

Open-access-21

What exactly is “open access”? The video below will explain this all in a nutshell.

As mentioned in the video above, open access has aims to allow anyone access to the information they need whether or not they are associated with a university/college. The breaking of these barriers are efficient in encouraging innovation and helps immensely with education. I, being a university student for instance can benefit from the free expense of open access materials. This allows me to keep more money in my pockets and have no limits regarding the materials I need. However this may not necessarily translate as the best thing for an author and the free materials they offer.

When content producers make their materials freely available online, this means the end user doesn’t have to pay to read an open access article. The author on the other hand has the responsibility of paying for the costs of publication. And as you can imagine, in times of funding cuts, this can hugely discourage researchers from going open access. However, yet again this free access means an author’s work can reach a much larger audience, being more widely read and reachable to readers. This can convert into an increased number of citations for the author.

As you can therefore imagine, universities (and organisations) must save millions of pounds, allowing them to allocate money elsewhere for the benefit of students. Most of all, this open access means students can potentially benefit in their academics by producing quality research when using open access materials. However poor quality publications are deemed to be a major disadvantage of open access, where according to critics, such publications face less selection and less peer review by students. This is terrible for authors who pay to publish material, only for it to receive little to no appreciation or feedback. Nonetheless there are some overall social advantages of open access, such as information for development and innovation. For instance open access to information for nurses or those studying nursing can increase their knowledge and motivation and contribute to better care.

Overall, though it is evident that there are some negative effects of open access, there does seem to be more benefits in my opinion. One benefit that particularly stood out to me was the economic advantages:

“In England, the Open Access Implementation Group has determined that the public sector has already saved £28.6 million by open access, and that each 5% increase in open access publications will save the public sector an additional £ 1.7 million”. (Olijhoek, 2012)

This goes to show how beneficial open access is, not only for a university student like me, but for society and the economy. Thanks for reading!

References

Adam Geib. (2013) | Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access | Available at: http://www.edanzediting.com/blog/advantages_and_disadvantages_open_access#.VRsI-_nF9bX. [Accessed 31 March 2015]

Benefits of Open Access for Authors | Open Science. 2015. Benefits of Open Access for Authors | Open Science. [ONLINE] Available at: http://openscience.com/benefits-of-open-access-for-authors/. [Accessed 31 March 2015].

Open Access – YouTube. 2015. Open Access – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B579LlMi0Q4. [Accessed 31 March 2015]

Open Access: Not just a matter for scientists | Open Access Working Group . 2015. Open Access: Not just a matter for scientists | Open Access Working Group . [ONLINE] Available at: http://access.okfn.org/2012/05/17/open-access-not-just-a-matter-for-scientists/. [Accessed 29 April 2015].

Topic 4- Reflective Summary

In this weeks post, I chose to discuss ethical issues in which social media usage causes in the workplace. This was rather interesting as I learnt many new facts and explored ways in which the issue of increasing social media usage in organisations could be closely regulated. Aaaliyu made an interesting point when he commented on my post regarding companies perhaps finding procedures/steps (such as the ones I recommended) costly or in fact unnecessary. I don’t completely agree that these costs are detrimental to a company’s operations- lets recall that the time consuming usage of social media in the workplace has cost the American economy alone $650 billion annually. Therefore I must again mention that short-run costs yield long-term benefits, meaning a workplace will certainly profit from procedures put in place. The only way these steps may be seen as unnecessary is if a company isn’t affected by social media usage (e.g. small companies).

I came across a colleagues post (Francesca), which was particularly interesting as it highlighted the ethical issue of “catfishing” in which social media usage can cause (namely Facebook). Though Francesca’s post is completely different to my own, steering more towards personal usage of social media (as suppose to in the workplace or school), this overall topic shows how broad social media and the ethical issues associated. I was therefore able to learn that if you are an active social media user, you may be affected whether or not you’re aware. I for instance, could unknowingly have my picture stolen to be used under a different name, which is the basis of “catfishing”. This of course is wrong and unfortunately there seems to be no real solution. The MTV series Catfish still continues and is on its 4th season. This topic has certainly provided the most variety of posts; bring on the next topic! Thanks for reading.

Comments Link:

http://jackpearce94.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/ethical-issues-raised-by-educational-use-of-social-media/comment-page-1/#comment-19

http://francescacharnley.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/topic-4-online-identity-theft/comment-page-1/#comment-10

Topic 4- Ethical Violations in the Workplace

ethics

Before reading this post, I kindly ask that you briefly learn about employee social media use inside and outside of the workplace in the video below.

Over the years there have been many benefits that social media has brought to the corporate world. For many companies across the globe, social media has allowed new ways of connecting with potential and current customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. This, in turn offers companies the opportunity to efficiently speed up the pace of business, through effectively instituting messages that a company may want to convey and strengthen a company’s relationships with customers. However, unfortunately companies do face risks in its use of social media.

Social media when not well managed opens the door to many risks, for example conflicts of interest, breach of confidentiality and misuse of company resources. However, I feel as though the main risk that I consider to be significant is the misuse of work time. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying that “time is money”. If you recall from the video above, the notable facts stated that, “40% of businesses in a recent survey reported having to discipline employees for misuse of social networking in the workplace” and further, that this usage has cost the American economy $650 billion annually. Could we then imagine what the global cost is? These figures have been on the rise since the year 2000 which in a sense is understandable due to little to no use of social media within companies 15 years ago.

Overall, companies must try to implement useful time management. With 3 out of 4 employees currently accessing social media once a day or more while at work, this phenomenon means that a certain level of monitoring and auditing is needed in organisations. Companies can of course filter their networks to completely prohibit the use of social media, however employees aren’t kids and a high professional level of trust should exist. The following steps could aid in tackling time management issues of social media use in the workplace:

  • Developing a workplace policy based on the company’s philosophy, mission statement and code of conduct i.e. allowing for social media usage, only if work-related or during lunch breaks.
  • Provide workplace ethics training to employees i.e. training employees to resist social media usage during work-time.
  • Designate an external referee in charge of handling employees’ informal concerns pertaining to workplace ethics i.e. receiving feedback from employees on their views of the policy- how different is their work performance?

References

Managing the Workplace Ethics of Social Media. 2015. Managing the Workplace Ethics of Social Media. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/managing-the-workplace-ethics-of-social-media/. [Accessed 20 March 2015].

How to Handle Ethical Issues in the Workplace | Chron.com. 2015. How to Handle Ethical Issues in the Workplace | Chron.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://smallbusiness.chron.com/handle-ethical-issues-workplace-10157.html. [Accessed 20 March 2015].

Ethical Issues in Social Media | vrevzine. 2015. Ethical Issues in Social Media | vrevzine. [ONLINE] Available at:http://vrevzine.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/ethical-issues-in-social-media/. [Accessed 20 March 2015].

Topic 3- Reflective Summary

This weeks topic was really interesting as it had me thinking of my own authenticity online, in terms of a professional profile. Nicole made a very good point when she commented on my post. She questioned whether or not I agreed that our true personalities become overshadowed online by steering towards a ‘professional’ lifestyle. I didn’t completely agree since in retrospective professionalism comes with growing older, particularly when one has aims of being employed after their degree. I do then believe that being professional can be part of someone’s personality, along with being funny or confident. People know when to act a certain way in certain situations; so if this means following news broadcasts on Twitter to instantaneously receive information on recent news which may help in internship applications, then so be it!

Nonetheless, upon reading a colleagues post (Cherrie), I was able to reflect upon the actual impacts of developing your own online professional profile. “Branding”, the key word of this topic (in my opinion). Though in my post I mainly spoke about the do’s and don’ts of maintaining and developing an authentic professional online profile, it was insightful to read Cherrie‘s post since she essentially explained why. I for instance didn’t have a LinkedIn account before starting this blog, however part of doing so has practically developed my person brand online. Furthermore, learning in Hayley‘s post that 52% of employers now use Twitter to view potential candidates, makes it all the more important for everyone to manage and monitor their “brand”. I feel as though this captures the real essence of authenticity. Being realistic enough to know that employers are potentially watching you and taking this in mind to present yourself suitably. Though I do understand that Twitter is less professional and serious that LinkedIn, social media is evolving and very much converging also, which employers are making use of. To conclude, I feel as though this has been the most challenging yet insightful topic so far making me eager to start the next topic! Thanks for reading.

Comments Link:

http://cherriesun1.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/topic-3-building-a-professional-online-profile/

http://hhayleymatthews.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/topic-3-online-professional-profiles-its-all-about-the-brand/

Topic 3- Building your Online Professional Profile

Untitled

What comes to mind when you hear the word authentic? Well anything along the lines of reliability and honesty is correct. When we associate authenticity to the digital world regarding online professional profiles, this builds upon the notion of how one represents themselves online i.e. via LinkedIn. In Topic 2, we spoke about the benefits and limitations of having multiple online identities in which I concluded that the benefits outweigh the limitations, if used for correct purposes. It’s therefore up to oneself of whether they wish to build genuine profiles, or not. So how exactly do you develop an authentic voice?

To post, or not to post? That is the question. For those who want to develop their online professional profile, it’s vital to post content you will not later regret. Being too authentic; posting things with no thought or regard for how you represent your personal brand can lead to further consequences e.g. affecting employability. Therefore mistakes should be avoided where possible since everything you and I post online can be traced back. Our actions leave a trail of “digital breadcrumbs” that can be found (Hutchinson, 2014). It’s important to furthermore notice that privacy settings cannot always cover all liabilities. However in some cases we may be involuntarily tagged to inappropriate Facebook photos, which I have experienced. Luckily Facebook users are able to un-tag themselves from such photos, allowing for some control on such platforms.

The number one key to developing authenticity is consistency. It’s important to be true to yourself and your brand through all profiles you may use (i.e. Facebook and LinkedIn).  (Admin, 2014) states “When it comes to hiring, it is common practice for recruitment heads to use social media as a supporting tool in the whole process of sourcing candidates”. Therefore, when developing professional online profiles, we should all aim to post content in-line with the persona we have developed.

Overall, since organisations are nearly always looking through professional networks to review candidate profiles to support recruitment, candidates need to take note of this trend and act upon it. Considering social media, networks such as LinkedIn are increasingly emerging as branding tools for individuals (Admin, 2014), we must therefore exert control over the content that represents us.

Check out the video below on the top five to-dos on your LinkedIn profile. And if you don’t have one, why not make one today!

References

Keep your professional networking profile updated | Tjinsite. 2015. Keep your professional networking profile updated | Tjinsite. [ONLINE] Available at: http://content.timesjobs.com/keep-professional-networking-profile-updated/. [Accessed 06 March 2015].

Professional authenticity: Can you be too authentic online?, Business. 2015.Professional authenticity: Can you be too authentic online?, Business. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.firebrandtalent.com/2014/09/professional-authenticity-can-you-be-too-authentic-online/. [Accessed 06 March 2015].

Tips to Create Professional Looking Online Profiles (Part 1) | UTPA Career Services. 2015. Tips to Create Professional Looking Online Profiles (Part 1) | UTPA Career Services. [ONLINE] Available at:http://utpacareerservices.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/tips-to-create-professional-looking-online-profiles-part-1/. [Accessed 06 March 2015].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8WZxYFaSmI

Topic 2- Reflective Summary

Before proceeding onto my research of online identities and privacy, I wasn’t sure of what the actual pros and cons were. The only thing I could think of were childish scandals of fake Facebook profiles which were the hot topic during secondary school. During the time, a friend of mine unknowingly had another Facebook account. Could you imagine! Nonetheless, upon research I realised that there is a larger scope on the topic of online identities and can be taken at many different angles. I was aware of this mostly when reading my colleagues’ posts. In my post, I mostly referenced online identities by means of personal profiles versus professional profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn) and their impacts, however after reading Andrew Ghiacy’s post, I learnt more interesting takes on online identities. I learnt that through E-commerce, we practically create an identity for ourselves. I now have many more identities than I knew of i.e. Asos, EBay etc. Nonetheless, after outlining personal versus professional profiles, we could perhaps refer to this additional online identity as a leisure profile. Anyone agree?

My goal for future blog posts mentioned in my Topic 1- Reflective Summary was to aim to branch out on my research. I feel as though I did achieve this through learning about online identities and the pros and cons associated. Although I gained an understanding on how I interact and present myself online I do I wish I touched upon more social cons i.e. cyberbullying, as this is something that I’m sure many people have experienced. An article published last year states that ‘Cyberbullying is on a rise’- which I could have explored further. I will therefore aim to find research on current or even previous news to help me with arguments for future posts. Other than that, this was a very interesting topic!

Comments Link:

https://andrewghiacy.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/a-double-blog-life-the-arguments-for-and-against-multiple-online-identities/#comments

https://francescacharnley.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/topic-2-multiple-online-identities/#comments

References

BBC News – Cyberbullying ‘on rise’ – ChildLine. 2015. BBC News – Cyberbullying ‘on rise’ – ChildLine. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25639839. [Accessed 25 February 2015].

Topic 2- Online Identity and Privacy

A survey conducted in September 2014 highlighted key findings, stating that multi-platform use is rising. “52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites” (Duggan et al 2015). With Facebook still being the most popular use of social media (figure 2.1), many people are now branching out into other social media, perhaps for other social or professional purposes. This same survey for instance states that “the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%” (Duggan et al 2015). Social networking services such as LinkedIn is rising with users, which could be a possible reason for the slow growth of Facebook.

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.1

Firstly, having more than one online identity provides a layer of privacy. Though I, for instance have a Facebook and Twitter account that people know of, I also have a YouTube account, using this mostly to watch and comment on videos. Since I have no subscribers, and my YouTube name isn’t my real name, I can be seen as an anonymous user. I am therefore an active participant in the YouTube community without fear that my professional portfolio or career will be impacted.

A second benefit is that people can have control over professional appearance. Some elements of one’s personal identity may differ from a professional identity for the purpose of controlling who sees what. A prime example would be the informal and formal differences of Facebook and LinkedIn respectively. My professional updates on LinkedIn i.e. a profile specifically for experience and education, will not need to be on a personal platform. Likewise professional profiles will not see irrelevant detail about my personal life i.e. holiday pictures.

A disadvantage however of having more than one online identity is that it will require you to maintain separate accounts on different websites, which essentially doubles the amount of work into maintaining an online presence. I personally find myself having many tabs open on my laptop because of this, due to the mixtures in keeping in touch with friends and using professional pages and portfolios to help look for jobs and market myself.

Overall I think the benefits of multiple online identities outweigh the limitations if used for correct purposes, as the internet allows for many opportunities both in the social and networking sense. Who is to say you can’t also find valuable people on personal platforms like Facebook and Twitter?

References

. 2015. . [ONLINE] Available at: http://balticlogic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Managing-Your-Digital-Identity.gif. [Accessed 17 February 2015].

Should I Keep My Personal and Professional Identities Completely Separate Online?. 2015. Should I Keep My Personal and Professional Identities Completely Separate Online?. [ONLINE] Available at:http://lifehacker.com/5898370/should-i-keep-my-personal-and-professional-identities-completely-separate-online. [Accessed 17 February 2015].

Social Media Site Usage 2014 | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. 2015. Social Media Site Usage 2014 | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/. [Accessed 17 February 2015].

Topic 1- Reflective Summary

Before starting this topic on digital residents and digital visitors, I decided to read White’s (2011) Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. journal to gain an insight on what these terms meant and how they are relevant in today’s world in order for me to translate this onto my blog. I did at first find it difficult to distinguish the differences between White’s (2011) typology against that of Prensky’s (2001) notion of “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”. However by putting the word “digital” aside and focusing on the other key words, (visitors, residents, natives and immigrants), this allowed me to logically understand the terms better, as well as how they’ve deviated from one another as years have gone by.

Luckily for me, as I began to familiarise myself with the topic, this stimulated my mind. I was able to conclude that in my experience, I would say I was both a digital resident and visitor, since although I used social media practically every day, I did use the web for other goals and tasks. Directly relating this topic to how I live and work on the web therefore made Topic 1 very interesting in my opinion, since these were thoughts I had never made prior. In further readings, regarding blog posts from peers on the UOSM2008 module for this topic, I could see that many of us could relate. Leigh Ravenhill for instance spoke about a “visitor mode”. A behaviour which I see myself steering towards at times. A prime example would be when I was purchasing a smoothie maker. I made it a priority to read reviews on its functionality and overall performance to convince me whether or not to purchase it, in which I later did after reading good reviews. 

Overall, I’ve learnt that, in times of difficulty I shouldn’t only limit myself to one resource (Whites (2011) journal), which I did in this instance. Though I got there in the end in terms of my overall blog post, for future blog posts I will aim to branch out on my research. This may allow me to discover more unique concepts or more simply give me greater understanding of the topic. Nonetheless, most importantly to read more of what my other peers thought about this topic in their post, to not only discover who mentioned similar things to me, but possibly others who may have had completely different views.

Comments link:

https://leighravenhill.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/topic-1-digital-residents-and-digital-visitors/

https://jackpearce94.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/the-concept-of-digital-visitors-and-residents/

References 

Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement | White | First Monday. 2015.Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement | White | First Monday. [ONLINE] Available at:http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049%20https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~tefko/Courses/Zadar/Readings/Selwyn%20dig%20natives,%20Aslib%20Proceedings%202009.pdf. [Accessed 08 February 2015].