It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later…

The fact that I am typing these words not only signifies the end of the module UOSM2008 but also the end of second year! It’s amazing and scary, how time flies when you’re one, having fun, and two, growing and developing.

UOSM2008, in my opinion, has been the perfect intersect between academics and individual expression. After coming back from a lecture stressing over how to compute a paired sample t-test on SPSS, it was welcoming to be faced with a new weekly topic, which allowed me to divulge into areas that no other module offers. From online identity to open access, UOSM2008 has enlightened me on topics that I was unaware of, and most importantly how to live and work on the web.

Moreso, the ability to use a number of materials to support my posts has been an element that I will embrace in the future as Moon (2001) states that a “journal that is multidimensional will draw from a range of texts, quotations, pictures, relevant media items and so on” (Watton, Collings and Moon, 2001)

Through this module, I now know more than ever, what the Internet and digital evolution has to offer. As I get older and the employment door is looming, I’ve realised the importance of not only being a consumer of the Internet, but a producer. This is prominent in the way in which I use social media now, compared to prior to the module.  I’ve come quite a way from celebrity retweets to linking my online profiles and also retweeting things that matter on a global scale and what reflects my professional interests.

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Most importantly, I would like to highlight is that it doesn’t stop here. After completing this module, I aim to take knowledge I’ve gained through my posts, peers posts and commercial awareness and regurgitate it into my working life and future projects. My online profile is definitely still under a considerable amount of construction however and I intend to connect with more people on LinkedIn.

Topic 5 was the most insightful simply due to response, as I realised the value of others comments. Comments from Hayley and Sarah provided me with further information into the topic and it was great to know that my post created some form of buzz and interest. Additionally, Topic 3 was insightful in regards to content and knowledge as I realised the importance of an authentic online profile. After Topic 3, I’ve made it my mission to use my year in industry to further my connections and online identities.

Furthermore, consideration will be made for future presentations in regards to platforms such as Prezi, as this was one of the elements I enjoyed when reading Leigh’s blog posts and Tamara’s.

Throughout it all, the one thing that has stuck with me to this day would have to be Monica Lewinsky’s video.

If you wish to follow me on my journey of implementing the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt on this module, the following links are provided:

LinkedIn

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Twitter

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Personal

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About me

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References:

Monica Lewinsky video: http://www.ted.com/talks/monica_lewinsky_the_price_of_shame?language=en

Watton, P., Collings, J. and Moon, J. (2001). Reflective Writing: Guidance Notes for students. [PDF] p.10. Available at: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/fch/work-experience/reflective-writing-guidance.pdf [Accessed 7 May 2015].

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Topic 5 Reflection

And just like that, the final topic is over.

Topic 5 was probably one of my favourites topics so far as there was a variety of things that could have been spoken about and I particularly enjoyed reading experiences both online and within this module of people’s experience with online materials. I really enjoyed Hayley’s post as she used Prezi to give a brief insight of what open access is and I think I will definitely consider using Prezi when doing presentations in the future.

Through reading other people’s post, I’ve learnt that using media to support your argument or the argument of others provides something different for readers.

Reading into this topic was intriguing as I went in with a bias view of being a user of free online content. However, with better understanding, I can see where it would be a disadvantage for producers. For example, researchers whose research can be time consuming and expensive may be frustrated when their content is exposed for free on the web. Despite this, I still believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and Irinie’s post touched upon this showing the economic benefits of open access.

I touched upon the music industry and I think it is a industry that is in too deep to overcome the threat of open access materials. Audiences are used to downloading music for free and has somewhat become a social phenomenon.

Conclusively, I think that as digital media continues to develop, the more we as users get used to it, the more producers of traditional media will see it as a disadvantage. Instead of seeing open access material as a threat, producers should use it to their benefit. A recent article I read predicts a different kind of future for Open Access. Read here

Comments

1. Hayley 

2. Irinie

[1] Article on future of Open Access: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/04/12/90-online-content-be-held-behind-paywalls-three-years-media-company-survey-suggests

Should online content be free or should we pay a fee?

What excites me about the web, and I’m sure many others is its openness and ease of access. Something that I’ve mentioned a number of times in my posts, is how the internet is an instrument for freedom of expression and overcome the hindrance of time and space. But what happens when this ‘free’ and ‘open’ side of the Internet isn’t so free and open?

As a student, I think that free online content stipulates many advantages. Open Education Resources (OER) such as Khan Academy and Wikiversity are being used by students like myself to support self study and enhance learning and also reduces the cost of learning. (Wiley et al)

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An online report from YouGov provided interesting facts on free online content and the younger generation (Hern 2014):

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Diagram I created based on facts from YouGov Survery

Those within this generation are main drivers of consumer sovereignty, they’re used to accessing what they want, when they want. Great examples of this and an advantage of free online content are Spotify and YouTube. Both sites, which tend to be supported by ads are symbolic of modern day culture.They personify what the web is all about as exposure to wider communities is formed with no restrictions.

However, producers of these materials may disagree. On 30th March, Jay –Z, along with a number of other A-List celebrities including Rihanna and Madonna launched ‘Tidal’, a music streaming platform that allows audiences to access new musical content…but at a cost. The main focus of the platform is to “restore the value of music in the eyes (or ears) of listeners”(Dredge 2015), which means making users pay for the content and steering them away from free providers that have an affect on the royalties they receive such as Spotify.

Moreover, the newspaper industry is one that has acted against free online content, with many requiring a subscription. With advert revenues rapidly falling, many newspaper companies feel forced to charge for online content to also make up for the loss in sales of the physical version due to impact of free content (Gordon 2013).

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Whilst I agree that producers should at least receive some form of compensation for the content they put on the web, I think there are other alternatives to adding a fee. For example, producers can require users to register in order to view content as this data is valuable to companies and can allow them to personalise content.

References:

A. Hern, 2014. Half of all British children believe online content should be free: study Available: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/27/half-of-all-british-children-believe-online-content-should-be-free-study [Accessed 30th April 2015]

O.Gordon, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24759239 [Accessed 30th April 2015]

Wiley et al, Available here: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED535639 [Accessed 30th April 2015]

S. Dredge, 2015 , Tidal: 10 things you need to know, Available here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/05/tidal-10-things-you-need-to-know-jay-z-madonna-music-streaming [Accessed 30th April 2015]

#TIDALforALL YouTube video, Available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYYGdcLbFkw&spfreload=10 [Accessed 30th April 2015] 

 

Topic 4: Reflection

This topic has been the most challenging one for me thus far, not only in terms of writing the post but also with commenting on others. Compared to topic one where we were given two terms, which allowed for easier understanding and interpretation. Ethics is not like this. As ethics is relative and therefore varies depending on culture, time, beliefs etc., it was hard to get a full grip on this topic.

Nonetheless, I’m always up for a challenge and carried out my research. Initially I was completely off topic and was talking about ethics and the Internet very vaguely. However, after further research and a very insightful TED talk by the one and only Monica Lewinsky, I realised there was a lot of angles to this topic and that there was more to social media and ethics than what meets the eye.

Participating in this module, and this topic in particular has made me more aware of not only how audiences can use social media in an unethical way but also businesses. Sarah’s post was very interesting as she used recent twitter examples that were relevant to the topic and also introduced a term in regards to social media ‘hijacking’ which intrigued me as I hadn’t noticed it before.

From this topic I have learnt that as soon as we sit behind a keyboard and log in, we become responsible for our actions online, both as individuals and companies. Whilst the issue of fake reviews, endorsements and hijacking may be on the rise, I don’t think it is something that will be resolved, as many companies see the opportunities that social media provides. Social media gets people talking, whether it’s in a good or bad way. As some might say, bad press is better than no press.

Comments

Sarah and Leigh

Topic 4: Ethics and the Internet

Prior to the digital revolution, options of being heard were limited to the ‘Speakers corner’. In the 80’s, chances that you could influence someone were small, as you had to be educated, whereas now, all you need is the Internet and a “click that reverberates around the world” (Lewinsky 2015)

Today, social networking sites can be our Speakers Corner,as a cultural gatekeeper no longer controls us. Social media gives lenses into a large scale of influence and we discover the influence that each of us have.

Due to the openness of the web, social media distorts private/public boundaries when an individual’s personal opinion and information enters the public domain. As mentioned in my response in Topic 2, the boundaries between personal and professional life also becomes blurred as companies respond to the proliferation of mobile devices and make use of social media and employees too can access personal sites at work.

 A 2011 DLA Piper survey found social media is used for personal and work related activities by 95% of employees

Statistics such as this raise ethical challenges for companies. Every time an employee uses social media irresponsibly (which after this module I hope none of us will!), it reflects badly on the company and undermines the company’s commitment to ethical practice and poses a risk to their integrity. (ibe 2011)

The 2011 Nestle case is a great example of this. An employee in charge of the Facebook ‘Fan Page’ responded offensively to negative comments made my environmental critics.The actions of the employee violated Nestle’s principle of integrity and commitment to “avoid any conduct that could damage or risk Nestlé or its reputation”. Random members of the public also joined the Fan Page specifically to criticise Nestle.(ibe, 2011) Read more here

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Conversely, American Red Cross carefully illustrate how to rectify a post that may not initially reflect the integrity of the company.

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*I have to say, well played American Red Cross

Despite this, in order to encourage internal work-related discussions amongst employees, Serco Group have developed what they call an ‘internal Facebook’, where staff can discuss work related topics rather than resorting to twitter and ultimately deals with the risk of integrity. (ibe, 2011)

Conclusively, as social media expands, what would have in the past been forgotten in a matter of hours, is magnified across all platforms and is something businesses must consider when integrating social media.

References:

Lewinsky 2015, Available: http://www.ted.com/talks/monica_lewinsky_the_price_of_shame#t-315225 [Accessed 21st March 2015]

Nestle Article (2010), Available: http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/nestle-mess-shows-sticky-side-of-facebook-pages/  [Accessed 21st March 2015]

Nestle Images(2010), Available: http://www.joergweishaupt.com/online-marketing/facebook-online-marketing/nestle-meltdown-on-facebook-shows-sticky-side-of-social-media.html [Accessed 21st March 2015]

IBE 2011, Available: https://www.ibe.org.uk/userassets/briefings/ibe_briefing_22_the_ethical_challenges_of_social_media.pdf

[Accessed 21st March 2015]

American Red Cross Images (2011), Available: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/social-media-disaster-recovery-it’s-all-about-the-response-016373

[Accessed 21st March 2015]

Topic 3: Reflection

As a student, seeking a 12 month placement as part of my degree, this topic was very interesting to me. Now more than ever, the need to remain professional both in person and online has intensified. Here is where I really enjoyed May’s post. She used statistics to further her point which made it easier for me to see the correlation and the impact that a professional online identity has on employability.

As this module develops and more topics arise, I am finding it more difficult to get straight to the point. Due the topics being relevant to modern day and in the ‘now’, the amount of content on the internet is overwhelming and can sometimes be hard to breakdown but is insightful at the same time.

When I continued to read more about the topic, I realised that yes it is important to be professional online, but at what stage do we lose our actual personality amongst the urge to be ‘professional’? Dependent on the job role, some employers may want a more charismatic, energetic candidate, whilst others may want someone more serious.

Despite this, as I mentioned in my initial post and as Irinie mentioned in regards to consistency, bloggers such as the likes of ‘BeautyCrush’, ShirleyBEniang and Patricia Bright personify the successes of having an authentic professional online profile and personality at the same time. They are respected and approached by both companies and subscribers.

From this topic, I can take away the importance of using a variety of resources to justify and support my argument. I’m also aware of how each topic is a continuation from the previous one, allowing me to further my views broaden my knowledge. Most importantly, I look forward to seeing more sides to the argument.

Comments:

May’s Post https://maybulmanontheweb.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/professional-online-identity-danger-or-opportunity/comment-page-1/#comment-12

Irinie’s Post https://irinieopoku.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/topic-3-building-your-online-professional-profile/

Topic 3: Authentic Online Professional Profile

In regards to employability, meaningful change is about to happen. As technological determinism prevails, we live in an era characterised by media activity, accessibility and diversity with new freedoms for the audience. Don Tapscott (2014) states, “A new generation of young workers is entering the workforce and bringing a new culture”.

Networking, social capital and reputation building are important stages to constructing an online professional profile. An important element of this is through humanising your ‘brand’ online to attract new audiences. When you hear ‘authentic online professional profile’, you automatically think of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. However, today, there are a variety of ways in which you can translate your skills and professionalism, more creatively than an online CV.

As Jetsetshow (2010) suggest, there are seven ways to build an authentic online profile:

  1. Have a plan, personal or professional?
  2. Craft your identity
  3. Think Long-term
  4. Site basics
  5. Use the same photo on all social networks for easy identification
  6. Be consistent
  7. Engage with others.   

In particular, blogging has become a social phenomenon and is a perfect platform to develop an online professional profile. Through consistency, uniqueness and engagement, a number of bloggers have been able to develop online professional profiles. For example, blogger and YouTuber Sammi ‘BeautyCrush’ has gone from creating a blog/YouTube channel, to over 1 million subscribers and collaborations with companies such as Mulberry and Braun. Companies now invest in bloggers and see bloggers as an asset to their company to target new audiences and relate to them.

Beautycrush Instagram

Beautycrush Instagram

Take this module for example, the university have acknowledged the importance of living and working on the web, it’s impact on employability and how to develop an online profile. This module will provide me with knowledge that will make me stand out amongst a bunch of candidates all with the same degree. Additionally, blogging allows for many work-related skills to be developed such as determination, creativity and motivation.

Through YouTube, blogs and personal websites, we discover the influence that each of us has. We recommend things to each other, express our opinions and this demonstrates influence.

Through authenticity, online professional profiles can lead to exposure to many prospective companies and audiences. The Internet allows us to push boundaries and overcome the hindrance of time and space that we experience in the real world. By following the steps mentioned above, an authentic online professional profile can easily be developed.

References:

Tapscott, D. 2014,’Five Ways Talent Management Must Change’ Available: https://agenda.weforum.org/2014/10/don-tapscott-talent-management-millennials/ %5BAccessed 7 March 2015]

Jetsetshow, 2010, ‘7 steps to Building your online identity’ Available:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UlcOX1fZW4&spfreload=10

[Accessed 7 March 2015]

https://instagram.com/thebeautycrush/