Living and Working on the web- Final reflections post

Before starting this module, I believed I was fairly proficient with online systems and assumed myself a digital expert, but it didn’t take me long to find out that this simply was not the case. Upon completing my first self-assessment I discovered quickly that my digital literacy was far less advanced than I had expected, particularly in regard to my personal online identity on social media. Considering the same self-assessment now it’s clear to see just have much I’ve grown in my digital aptitude, and I owe it all to UOSM2008!

  Rating at start of module Comments Rating at end of module Comments
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information

 

3 I feel I am fairly competent at accessing online information, but less skilled at management and evaluation of online material.  5  This module has provided me with the opportunity to access and evaluate new online material with each new weekly blog topic.
Participating in online communities

 

 

4 My online participation is mainly centered around the use of social media sites and online networking platforms.  5  I have begun to participate in a greater number of online communities, in particular, the use of LinkedIn has allowed me to connect with professional communities.
Building online networks around an area of interest

 

 

1 I have very low experience of building online networks around an area of interest as I primarily access user-created content.  5  Over the last 5 weeks, my created blog posts were all centred on areas I considered interesting. I can now take this experience and continue to blog around other areas I find thought-provoking.
Collaborating with others on shared projects

 

 

3 I have mostly formal experience with collaborating with others, through group presentation work usually as a form of assessment.  5  While I continue to do group work projects, I have improved my communication experiences with other online users via blog comments.
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)

 

 

2 I have very limited experience of creating online materials, but particularly the creation of images and videos.  5  With the use of Piktochart and Powtoons, I am now highly skilled in making  text based info-graphics, images and videos
Managing your online identity

 

 

2 Although I regularly visit different social networking sites, I rarely update information about my online identity.  5  I have now established myself as a “digital resident” by preserving an online identity
Managing your online privacy and security

 

 

3 I try to ensure that my online identity is tightly controlled with high privacy settings.  5  As I am now aware of the publicity of my online identity I have placed strict controls on my profiles and created multiple identities to remain private. 

Digital learning

Each week the presentation of a new topic allowed me to research a new field of digital learning, allowing me to both expand my understanding of a particular research area, while also presenting me the opportunity to pick a side for debate based on my reflections and online experiences, and the contrary opinions of my peers. The contributions of these topics has been essential to my online growth. Not only has it improved my communication skills with others, but it has challenged my ability to formulate an argument and reflect on my own considerations in a concise manner. With each passing week an aspect of my digital persona improved such as the creation of a multiple identity following the privacy concerns highlighted in week 2. Another aspect of growth has to be aware of the ways that online content may be misconstrued in a digital format as displayed with the Justine Sacco case, therefore, I have made sure that I am wary of all online content that I post in order to remain ethically safe, as discovered from topic 4.

blogging journey.png
Figure 1

Social media Growth

While improving my digital learning, the module has provided me with the opportunity to improve my social media capabilities and progress my digital identity which I knew was severely deficient. The first way that this was achieved was via the creation of a twitter account. Twitter has allowed to improve my social connections with friends and family, while also providing the opportunity to follow company accounts to advance my professional capabilities. Another way to improve my professional prospects has been via the creation of a LinkedIn account. As I am graduating this year I am faced with the daunting task of looking for a job, however, with a LinkedIn profile I am able to connect with professional communities and display my credentials appropriately, making me desirable to employers. This was a trait I picked up from research of authentic professional profiles of topic 3.

social media improvements
Figure 2

Final Word

This module is certainly unlike anything I’ve taken during my time at university and I’m extremely glad that I did. It has allowed me to explore areas of online interest, consider challenging debates through the comments of my peers, and advance my creative abilities through the regular creation of infographics. Now that I have the tools and experience, I feel I can channel these into personal blogging around an area of interest. The reflections of this final post has taken me on well-ordered journey and looking back all the way to topic 1 (which seems so long ago), I can safely say I have established myself as a “digital resident” as my online identity only continues to improve.

Word count: 543

References:

Ronsom. J (2015) The New York Times magazine, How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s life

David Alderman, WordPress week 3 post- WordPress https://davidaldermansite.wordpress.com/category/topic-3/

David Alderman, WordPress week 2 post-https://davidaldermansite.wordpress.com/category/topic-2/

David Alderman, WordPress week 4 post https://davidaldermansite.wordpress.com/category/topic-4/

David Alderman, WordPress week 1https://davidaldermansite.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/topic-1/

Image references

Figure 2- self made using piktochart

Figure 2- Self made using Piktochart

Video- self made using Powtoons

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Topic 5- Reflection

This week I explored the notion of open access, allowing content to be viewed freely without subscription costs. When reflecting on the support of open access personally, I found that for students such as myself, the ability to easily access a plethora of research without payment is hugely beneficial to academic research. This theme was highlighted repeatedly in the blog posts of my peers also.

In my post I also highlighted that the reason that some content producers avoid open access is because they may perceive their work to be less credible under these terms. This was a point opposed by Rebecca in her blog, however, who suggested that open access posts may be viewed as highly respectable. When questioning Rebecca about the differences between our posts, she suggested that as open access becomes more widespread, the perception of pay wall credibility will decline and open access will flourish even more.

When reviewing Philips blog, he stated that some companies offer a voluntary payment service that allows content to be paid for at the user’s discretion. Initially this appeared a positive middle ground for the open access/ paywall debate, but I wondered if it was sustainable as it offered a choice for payment. Philip assured, me however, that voluntary services such as “patreon” are sustainable because content users will give generously to causes they are passionate about.

Finally, Cherie commented on my blog, suggesting my views on the use of “creative commons” as a flexible opportunity for content producers to reserve some content rights. When researching creative commons, I discovered it to be a reciprocally beneficial process to both content producer and viewer that expands the public domain while also allowing for the selectivity of rights for creators. This is a process I certainly feel will progress in the future and could resolve open access issues.

open access reflction

Word count: 306

Image reference: self-made using Piktochart 

Topic 5- Open access- The Advantages and Disadvantages for content producers

Open access refers to the ability to freely use and redistribute content that has been created by another person, without having any concerns over copyright restrictions. The digitisation of research materials has led to an improved ability to retrieve content efficiently (Wilinsky, 2006). Despite this renewed convenience, many published works are behind pay walls with expensive subscription prices. The high cost of academic work has seen journal prices outpace inflation by over 250% over the past 30 years (Shockley and Eisen, 2012).

 

The figure below demonstrates the 4r’s of freely access resources, suggesting the ways that the conent may be used.

free access four R's
Figure 1

According to Wiley et al (2012), There is a perception among some content creators that once a publication has been made freely available, the material loses some credibility, while publication charges will also have to be paid for content to be made available (Lepitak, 2013).Considering this, it is easy to understand why some authors are against open access content. However, According to the open access information source book, freely available content fundamentally acts as way to maintain a level of high quality learning while reducing the cost of education. This is extremely important in improving knowledge gaps between classes in the U.K., but may also improve education opportunities in developing countries.

open acces pros and cons
Figure 2

 

 

In the later stages of the Ted talk below, Jack Andraka notes the emergence of a “Knowledge class system” that permits only the financially elite to improve their educational desires while economically underprivileged groups must be deprived of knowledge, something considered as a basic human right. Therefore, He strongly advocates open access because not only does this create greater equality for publication access, but it ensures that the resources are relevant. In some cases, even if content can be afforded, often only the abstract can be reviewed before the purchase has been made. However, the abstract may not accurately reflect the rest of the material in the research, causing money to be wasted by some researchers (Open access.nl).

From an individual perspective I strongly support the use of open access content because as a student I regularly recognize the frustrations associated with denial of access to research that may personally benefit the quality of my academic work. Additionally, with greater content access, the credibility of a publishers work is sustained through increased citations and an improved sharing of academic wealth.

Word count: 393

References:

Wiley, D., Green, C., & Soares, L. (2012). Dramatically bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free LearningCenter for American Progress.

Lepitak. S (2013). Should online content be free? Is anything really free? How should authors be rewarded for their work? Is traditional copyright legislation fit for purpose in the digital age?

Shockley. N and Eisen. J (2012) “Open access explained!” YouTube video

Forbes article (2013) Education finally ripe for radical innovation by social entrepreneurs.

Open access.nl Pros and cons of open access

Open access scholarly information sourcebook (2010) Benefits of Open Access for research dissemination

Willinsky, J. (2006). The access principle: The case for open access to research and grant. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Andreka J (2013). YouTube video, Paywalls vs. open access:

 

Image references:

Figure 1- self-made using piktcohart

Figure 2- self-made using piktcohart

 

Topic 4-Reflection

This week I considered ethical issues faced by both employers and employees when using social media in relation to social media content. For employees, unethical social media use was recognised primarily through exposing confidentiality via social media posts. Whereas, for employers, immoral actions were recognised by unfair dismissal of employees due to innocent social media posts. This presented a moral dilemma as I considered at what point the unethical behavior moves from employee to employer, but suggested that work-related issues should be discussed with occupational superiors before discussing them on social media.

The openness of topics 4 allowed many different areas to be explored by other blog users, presenting a wide array of areas for discussion. Ausaf and Scott both presented similar themes when commenting on my blog, suggesting that through self-regulation of online content, in order to preserve our professional livelihood, we may in fact be becoming inauthentic online. I suggested to both Ausaf and Scott that much like in our day-to-day lives we must have control over our actions and adaptability to different people and environments, just as we do online. Therefore, it is not deceptive to use multiple identities, it instead allows a safe place for free expression without scrutiny.

Patricia’s blog individually stood out to me due its unique take on ethical social media use. Patricia highlighted that ways in which business promotions attempt to deceive users through social media endorsements for products that fail to meet expectation. This sparked my interest as I believed that this was no new phenomenon and had been taken on by traditional advertisers for a number of years (e.g. via television adverts). Having suggested this to Patricia, she presented an understanding that social media endorsements are more unethical than typical media forms because social media advertising is both targeted to user tastes, creating a greater desire for products. While, due to the two-way interactivity of social media endorsements, users may be less aware of attempted misleading by promotions online.

comments.png

word count: 328

Image reference: self-made using Piktochart

Topic 4- Ethical issues for business social media use

Ethical issues concern the conduct of moral principles developed by behaving in a correct and honest way. This week, I will discuss the ways in which unethical misuse of social media by business employees may negatively damage business reputation, while also addressing how misinterpretation of social media content by such employees may lead to unjustified job losses.

Picture1
Image 1

On one hand, it appears that employees exposing business confidentially on social media is entirely unethical. For example, a Lacoste employee lost his job after he posted a picture of his pay-check on Instagram to show his frustration at his low wage compared to the high costs of living. Johnson (2016) states that as a representative of a company it is within the moral duty of employees to promote the reputation of the business, rather than tarnish it. The same applies to employees that speak negatively of their employers on social media, subsequently damaging the business name and often leading to justified dismissal of employees from the company ( Rapacon, 2016).

Picture2.png
Image 2- created by David Alderman

However, there is a case that social media platforms give a voice to less powerful individuals and it is through such systems that waves of support can form and change can result (Guardian, 2014). Therefore, by employees displaying genuine negative comments on social media they may simply be voicing a true and free opinion that would otherwise be unheard.

Greenwald (2014) makes the point that social media behaves as a tool for “Mass indisrciminent surveillance” that removes individual privacy, making social media less a tool of expression, but rather a site of constant monitoring. This suggest that despite the freedom employed by social media platforms, due to risk of job loss, negative company comments (even if meant harmlessly), should not be displayed on public sites, particularly due to the ease of misinterpretation on social media as seen with the Justine Sacco case.

job loss
Image 3- Created by David Alderman

 

The TED Talk  below emphasises how misinterpretation and the publicity of social media can have detrimental effects.

Ethical considerations concerning freedom of the speech on social media by employers seems to raise a moral dilemma. It seems easy to say that negative posts on social media by company representatives are always unethical. This is particularly true when the reasons for expression for the negativities is not considered such as, employee mistreatment, freedom of speech, or simply a comment made jokingly that was misinterpreted.

Personally, I feel that employees shouldn’t discuss work-related topics on social media. Issues regarding work satisfaction should be addressed formally with company managers instead. From this consideration, I can also recognise the importance of multiple identities as discussed from topic 2.

Word count: 439

References

Greenwald. G (2014), TED TALK, why privacy matters

Johnson. T (2016) How social media can damage company reputation

Rapacon. S (2016) CNBC, How social media can get you fired

Ronson. J (2015) how one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s life

Ronson. J (2015) TED TALK, how one tweet can ruin your life

The Guardian (2014) Twitter abuse: easy on the messenger editorial

Williams. V (2015) 8 insane social media posts that got people fired

Image references

Image 1 – Dilbert daily strip (2014)

Image 2- self-made using Piktochart

Image 3- self-made using Piktochart

Topic 3- Reflection

topic 3 pic

This week’s topic combined conflicting ideals of authenticity within a professional online profile.

Rebecca and Scott both posed similar questions on my blog in reference to my notion of “self-branding”, suggesting that through self-promotion of our “best self”, we are not remaining authentic. This made me consider what online authenticity truly involves. After some contemplation, I proposed to them that online authenticity should not involve remaining consistent in all facets of our online persona, but instead, make use of the multi-dimensional aspects of our personality, behaving adaptably in order to show traits of our character where appropriate (e.g. remaining formal in professional online settings). Scott agreed with this suggestion, making reference to the themes of topic 2, multiple identities, in which we adapt and express different values throughout our online personas, something I certainly believed.

With these considerations of adaptability, I gathered an understanding that it may be important to incorporate personal and professional profiles in order to improve employment prospects. On Oliver’s blog, however, he stated that personal and professional profiles should remain separate. I suggested to Oliver that potential employers may benefit from combined professional and personal profiles in order to present yourself as a well-rounded and social individual. Oliver reminded me of the Justin Sacco case, suggesting that it becomes easy for innocent displays on social profiles to become misinterpreted, so it may be more practical to separate these profiles, but this is dependent on the industry a person wants to work for. Oliver’s ideas were something I grew to agree with, as fundamentally employers will look for professionalism in your online profile before anything else.

With these reflections, I came to realise that I could benefit by improving my professional online identity, namely, by setting up a LinkedIn profile to advance my employment networks. Overall, this topic has helped me to understand the most important components of a professional online identity that will help me when applying for jobs after graduating.

Word count: 326

Topic 3-Creating an Authentic online Proffesional profile

A theme of last week’s post highlighted the damage that can be caused when our digital profile is not established professionally, hindering employment opportunities. This week, however, I will explore the ways in which an authentic professional profile can be produced online in order to improve recruitment prospects, and how to overcome authenticity issues.

In the modern era, Online employment is very much a two way process, with job-seekers creating a digital profile that works to improve their chances of employment, while companies begin to remove traditional forms of advertising, attracting young people to their company through social media outlets in an efficient and cost effective manner (Tapscott, 2014)

Creating a professional profile

One of the best ways to develop a professional online presence is through the creation of a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is centered on the professional presentation of individuals, allowing members of the site to “Link” to other users, network with professionals, and ultimately discover new employment opportunities (Carruthers, 2012). The growth of the site has meant that around 85% of recruiters use LinkedIn before looking at any other recruitment tools (LinkedIn, 2015), therefore, the way that a person presents themselves of on the site is hugely important.

Figure 1

new-piktochart_172_9a33c6c33cfc8abdc7e8a7d74ef0a63fed37c67c

It may also be useful to establish a professional online persona on other social media sites, ways to do this successfully are outlined in the figure below.

Figure 2

Proffesional socail media

Being authentic and professional

Authenticity indicates originality and being genuine, this may prove difficult to display professionally due to the multi-dimension aspects of individuals, often causing people to fake authenticity in order to seem professional, or allowing their social activities to disrupt their professional persona (Hensen, 2011). In order to remain authentic and professional, a balance must be created in all facets of our digital self. This balance involves displaying features of social engagement where appropriate, managing our professional online self competently, and ensuring we adhere to strict online privacy settings (Hanson, 2011)

This video below summarises the important of authenticity with responsibility, Njeri Watkins highlights in the video that written online language can be easily misconstrued, so we must be mindful and in full control of content that we display online in order not to tarnish our self-image.

Summary

I feel it is vital to view your professional online persona as your own “brand” that encapsulates the most positive aspects of self-presentation across a variety of online platforms, but that is also reflective of your offline-self. When combined these factors are key to remaining authentic online both on social sites and when using formal networking sites.

Word count: 419

References 

BBC (2013) Job hunting: how to promote yourself online

Carruthers. R (2012), Southampton Careers service, managing your digital footprint

Hanson. M, (2011), The Guardian, Managing your professional reputation on social media

Hensen. A (2011) Building online trust: 7 tips for being authentic online

Huffington post (2016), your online identity: Your strongest brand or your worst nightmare?

LinkedIn (2015), why is having a good LinkedIn profile so important?

Ohio state university career services, Building your professional online profile

Ronsom. J (2015) The New York Times magazine, How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s life

Tapscott. D (2014), five ways talent management must change

 The Employable (2014), how blogging can help you get a job

Watkins. N (2015), YouTube, Developing your professional online identity

Images

Figure 1: self-made using Piktochart

Figure 2: self-made using Piktochart