Final Reflections on UOSM2008


Wow, it has really come to the end! Check out my self-test2 (1) to see the improvements I feel I have made over the course of the module.

One of the things I think I will definitely take away from this active module is the importance of online communities. If you don’t participate in your chosen interest than how can you expect your network and personal development to grow? This module has definitely taught me how how engaging with others on their blog posts means they’ll return the favour and you build a common ground.Although followers can be important, they’ll only be loyal if you keep up the engagement and mutual interest.


One of the most exciting things about this module was the building of professional profiles as we saw in Topic 3. This was definitely fruitful as I realized how important being young and using my digital age to be able to create a digital footprint and be noticed by employers. This then lead to being sent the following message you see on the right !

It goes to show just how vital your online presence is and to what extent it can propel you professionally. Having followed all the tips from Topic 4 – Social Media Ethics, I was able to “botox” my LinkedIn and lure in a recruiter!

I definitely believe that this module has really enhanced my creativity, professionalism and awareness of online issues and debates. Following from this module, I will:

  1. Keep my LinkedIn growing by connecting with students and employers.
  2. Try to amass more Twitter followers by engaging more in topical interests.
  3. Keep blogging because I 100% enjoyed it!
  4. Jump on the Instagram bandwagon. I love cooking, food, desserts and all things yummy so I thought that this would be a good place to share and  get tips from fellow food lovers!

Special thanks to everyone that contributed to my blog and helped spark discussions on those 5 diverse topics and to Lisa, Nick and Sarah for the constructive feedback. I have definitely learned so much about myself, my capabilities and living and working on the web!




Reflecting on Topic 5

Here is a PowToon of my reflection on this topic:

My comment on Kemi’s blog looked at the future of libraries. Perhaps their role will decrease in society and will change to them offering advice on journals. This therefore won’t make them extinct but instead will improve their profile by working together to provide OA content. I think there will always be a need for libraries and OA might actually evolve easier within them.

Peter Coles (2012) highlights how open access is crucial in maintaining confidence in science. As he states, “to seek to prevent your data becoming freely available is plain unscientific” and, one might add, immoral, as Mike Taylor (2013) explains here from hindsight. My 2nd comment looks at just that – free music doesn’t necessarily mean no value. How will the music industry change? Whilst artists releasing free music (like Miley Cyrus did with her album Dead Petz) gives them great exposure and builds their relationship with fans, is this a sustainable form of artistry? Perhaps only established, well-marketed and successful artists can afford to do so, as those starting out might need some sort of income to be able to make a profit from their material before offering it all for free. This echoes the idea of OA in the educational sense, with publishers looking to be well established when publishing material to paying sights.


While scrolling through other people’s comments, I came across a Computer Scientist’s approach to the the subject. This Past student talked about how developers that  choose open source software but subsequently choose the wrong security package, can potentially have devastating consequences on their material, something that I hadn’t really thought about. I guess this could be linked with the entertainment’s industry’s problem of piracy.

I would be interested to know how many actual journals go down the route of YouTube and Spotify of providing free access supported by advertising and paid-for-advertisement free subscription models. I think this could really help LEDC’s contribute to cutting-edge research and enrich their knowledge and fuel insightful contributions.

If we take Spotify’s royalties model, it seems that OA has a definite future in benefiting artists and consumers:


To me, it seems that the pros of OA outweigh the cons.

The Pros and Cons of Open Access

If we look at today’s society we can learn almost everything from courses at the Open University to free apps and websites on smartphones. But does OA foster a more open scholarly communication system or is it simply a less reliable and reputable source of journals?OA+Benefits+2014 (1)

Check out my mindmap on the pros and cons of Open Access. The left-hand side is for arguments against, and on the right are arguments for 🙂 (I’m new to mindmapping online so if someone knows a better website, feel free to tweet it)

I also made a haiku deck on OA and some of its biggest factors affecting us.

The problem of accessing material was recently highlighted by Dr. Gary Ward in a press conference for the Federal Research Public Access Act. He argued that with increasing, cutting-edge research, it’s important that both students and teachers have easy online access so that teaching and learning material isn’t outdated before even finishing a course:

In my role as educator, I often find myself teaching my graduate and medical students what I have access to rather than what they most need to know. Just as one example, in a recent lecture I was preparing for our medical students… I was only able to access about two thirds of the articles that I needed in order to make sure that I was providing these budding young doctors with everything they needed to know about the subject. I can tell you that’s extremely frustrating to me as an educator and it’s clearly not in the best interests of my students. This problem isn’t unique to the University of Vermont. Every academic institution faces this problem – from the best-funded private institutions down to the small liberal arts colleges and community colleges. It’s just a question of degree.

– Dr. Gary Ward, Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Co-Director, Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University of Vermont.

If it weren’t for Southampton paying journal subscriptions for me to gain access to, I would really struggle to write essays and have good, reputable, academic content in my work. I support OA because everyone can read the latest research. This isn’t only limited to students though:

• A patient looking for information on a treatment his or her doctor has ordered or on a trial of a drug that could treat a disease
• A small business startup researching the latest related technological developments
• Any one of us interested in understanding climate change (which had a lot of hits since Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar win speech).

For me, Open Access promotes sharing knowledge for the public good. It has a ginormous inventory of reliable, scholarly sources in a library of reliable sources due to peer reviews. However, this Guardian article argues that quantity vs quality is becoming an issue in OA:

Academic research is not something to which free access is possible. Academic research is a process – a process which universities teach (at a fee).

For those who wish to have access, there is an admission cost: they must invest in the education prerequisite to enable them to understand the language used.

I found the video above to be helpful in explaining how OA works and what the goals behind it are. However, as pointed out in my haiku, charging users is not the only way to make money: you can make even more money from advertising than by simply charging users a fee. Free content = more people will view it = even larger ads fee. A YouGov survey suggested that more than half of users don’t know that ads subsidize free content ! Some no-fee OA journals have direct or indirect subsidies from institutions like universities, laboratories, research centers, libraries, hospitals, museums, foundations, or government agencies. This also extends to “auxiliary services, membership dues, endowments, reprints, or a print or premium edition” as stated by Peter Suber. Some even rely on volunteerism or a combination of these means to make profit showing that not only one demographic in today’s society benefits from OA material.


Reflecting on Topic 4


My comment on Tom’s blog echoed Elizabeth’s post on the ethics of advertising and the issue of consent. How far are we lying to our followers if we’re endorsed to promote a product? Is it ethical to put a well known public figure on a shampoo bottle in order to boost sales? Sam’s post also dealt with the issue of content and how plagiarizing content could lose you a great deal of income. This is something I hadn’t previously thought about, albeit something very true and current.The best way to deal with this, as outlined by Sam, was to report the person copying your content and investigation will be launched into them.


This Zuckerberg quote above highlights Anna-Clare’s post about the fact that we’re almost too scared to post anything without it offending someone in some way. Are employers out to get us? Can I say I hate a cheap sandwich? Will this lead to me being perceived as a mean spirited individual who is materialistic? Having said that, we can’t blame employers for not hiring candidates who are oblivious to their own controversial comments and inappropriate photos. It really does take two seconds for an employer to look you up online as I discussed in my comments to Sam.

Abby’s powtoon presentation however focused on the ethics of social media in Education, something which I hadn’t quite reflected on prior to reading her blog. Her PiktoChart diagram equally drew up big conclusions: the issue of cyber bullying, harassment and phishing – something that isn’t necessarily as directly linked as in the ethics of social media in business.

quote-Andy-Grove-privacy-is-one-of-the-biggest-problems-183691_1Michele summed it up well. Regardless of freedom of speech, of personal opinions and beliefs, our digital footprint is well marked with a simple Google search. Respect your company’s values and your own can go a long way into avoiding getting you into any trouble. Keep your LinkedIn professional, keep your Facebook private. Sense and Sensibility have more of an influence than you may think. It’s a shame we seem to have lost so much privacy over the years, which explains the growing popularity in anonymous users as we saw in Topic 2.


Personal privacy is definitely something that needs to be tightened more than ever. To quote George Clooney:

I don’t like to share my personal life… it wouldn’t be personal if I shared it.

I do feel like there is a certain breach of privacy if, for example, an employer brings up some of my social media content in an interview. However, I feel like in our modern day society, we are fully aware of the repercussions of inappropriate content and its affect on our professionalism. Everyone has an opinion, a personality and a character that defines them, it just depends on how and which social media account they choose to best represent themselves on.

Topic 4 – Social Media Ethics

First and foremost, what is the definition of ethics? Let’s take a look at what the trusted Oxford Dictionary says:

ethics definition

Glenn Greenwald’s TED talk gives us various arguments in favour of online privacy. Two arguments that he outlines were that of Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Eric Shmidt (there’s a 30 second clip below where he reiterates his stand on the subject). They both are in favour of full online transparency with Schmidt emphasizing that what you post online is a reflection of who you are i.e. “good” people have nothing to hide should they be “exposed”.

Firstly, while Greenwald seems to think that by putting any potential hazardous online activity under the microscope may aid in stopping terrorism, there is a knock-back effect on journalists and activists who aim to fight, leading us all to suffer. Privacy is a basic human right and what we post doesn’t necessarily equal a good or bad person.

I disagree with Eric Schmidt that those who fear transparency, “have something to hide”. We saw this in Topic 2 and Topic 3 where some choose to keep their social and professional profiles apart intentionally for “personal branding”. However, his opinion is this New York Times article reiterates his stand on “filtering” content:

We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media — sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment. We should target social accounts for terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and remove videos before they spread, or help those countering terrorist messages to find their voice. Without this type of leadership from government, from citizens, from tech companies, the Internet could become a vehicle for further dis-aggregation of poorly built societies, and the empowerment of the wrong people, and the wrong voices.

Zuckerberg takes a different stand. He believes that  a lack of privacy has become the “social norm” and that the rise of social media and blogging has evolved people’s attitudes since the beginning of Facebook’s creation.

In 2013, Ikea spent $654,170 on private investigators to spy on employees. This resulted in Virginie Paulin getting fired for not being sick enough to warrant a year’s medical leave.

Here is my video on the ethics of using social media in business:

There is yes or no answer to the debate on social media ethics. What needs to be established is where the boundaries lie and how comfortable one would feel working in a environment that favours transparency over privacy.



Schmidt, E. How to Build a Better Web The New York Times (2015).

Accessed 18/04/2016.

Litty, M. 6 Ways Your Employer Can Legally Spy On You (2014)

Accessed 18/04/2016.

Greenwald, G. Why Privacy Matters (2014) TEDtalks.

Viewed 18/04/2016.

Reflecting on Topic 3

Kate’s post commented on how being dedicated to a non-profit task can help you stand out from the crowd. Tom’s post flagged just that, he managed to attract an employer by setting up his own website due to the nature of his degree. Every job opportunity recognizes different values – some still relying on traditional CVs and Cover Letters as I discovered this week in The University’s “Change Your World Week”. There was a LinkedIn Lab session as perfectly highlighted by Melinda’s tweet which helped to “pimp” the online “brand” that I present to recruiters. This proved fruitful as when speaking to the staff, they showed me how to alter my profile in order to appeal to online LinkedIn jobs, however the careers centre also highlighted the fact that paper CVs and Cover Letters are still very much in demand and how trivial online achievements come in handy in  the “Personal Interests/Additional Information” section.

An interesting discussion reignited a debate on Tom’s blog which made me think. Despite Twitter and Facebook helping authenticity, recruiters and online presence, they can be detrimental to one’s image which goes back to discussions in Topic 2. Should we be anonymous when posting about private/personal/social matters or should we try to link platforms like Melina suggests in order to prove we are active online as “digital residents” and therefore authentic?

Abby’s post also talked about the idea of personal branding. This really depends on what field you’re planning on going into. I may be in my final year at university but I’m still unsure of what I want to do once I graduate. Therefore I don’t really have a concrete “personal brand” built yet. I don’t know how to market myself on LinkedIn either when it asks me to choose “my industry”. LinkedIn isn’t very user-friendly in this respect to those like me who are uncertain of their career path.Changing my chosen industry however to each job application however is time-consuming and affects consistency.







My comments (which you can see here and here) reflect on the question “are employers being too nosy when looking us all up online?”  Azam’s blog post however saw him talk about an info-graphic which was very appealing to me. 24% of employers look at industry knowledge and expertise as well as professional experience when screening candidates which I believe to key qualities in recruiting.

Topic 3 – authentic, online, professional profile development.

What is an ‘authentic online professional profile’? Well, Google seems to mention the words ‘personal branding’ in the results returned. For those who already have some sort of social media presence, this normally includes checking you’ve got everything right (a good checklist here) and polishing up existing profiles rather than starting from scratch. Lisa Johnson Mandell  talks about injecting a little ‘botox’ to establish an authentic personal brand.

A study has shown that more than a fifth of 18-34-year-olds are now recruited on social networks (Haggerty, 2013). Check out my mini movie on the facts and figures presented by the  JobVite survey from 2014.


So if 93% of recruiters review our social profiles before making a hiring decision, what can one do to make their online profile both authentic and professional? (Some of you may find this link useful when thinking about this question.)

The first step is to try to ensure no negative documentations of you can be found online. I mean inappropriate photos, extreme opinions or comments that can be traced back to your profile, even rants on a social network might be enough to put an employer off as it suggests a bad attitude (Cooper, 2011). I personally believe in developing a fine line between personal activity and professional as outlined in Topic 2: Online Identity. This article details a list of employees that got fired for expressing themselves over social media… so think twice! Also, you may want to check out the LifeHack Google Chrome extension that adds privacy reminders to Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail every time you’re about to post something that could be risky –Internet Shame InsuranceThis video shows just how important professionalism and personal accounts are when job searching.

Justine Sacco
You might not remember where/what you posted on a night out… but your social media does. And so does your potential employer…

The second step is carving a positive professional online presence. One of the key attributes employers look for is evidence of a presence on a business network such as LinkedIn (Cooper, 2011). We can also take on advice given to business to keep their profiles authentic and apply it to ourselves to ensure we get the most out of our online presence.

Other notable tips include:  Making sure that your profile is complete, keyword-rich, typo-free and that you are representing yourself honestly and in a positive manner (Hyams, 2012). By upgrading your LinkedIn account, you can also benefit from commenting in discussion boards, engaging with professionals and following articles posted by companies in the relevant field you want to go into. In this way, your profile will develop authenticity and you will improve your job prospects.

However, we don’t need to limit ourselves.  For example, if you are trying to get a job in the film industry consider signing up for video services such as Vimeo and using them to exhibit your material.

Networking is also really important according to the World Economic Forum. By starting employment early, you’re already engaging with the people you want to noticed by. By keeping a network of past and present colleagues, you have a web of contacts that could get you a future job!

Another option is to use social media to find a way to stand out from the crowd. An example of this is The Twitter Job Hustle experiment, a clever campaign by Bas van de Poel and Daan van Dam to get a job at a leading advertisement agency. It sure worked!

The power of social media in the recruitment process is becoming undeniable. In February 2013, Enterasys recruited over Twitter. The key element of your personal brand is deciding who you are and what it is you want to be known for.









Jobvite, (2014), Social Recruiting Survey Results, [Online], Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016]

Cooper, C. 2011. You’ve been Googled: what employers don’t want to see in your online profile. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Haggerty, A. 2013. Evidence mounts in favour of social media job hunting as survey reveals one in five are recruited on social networks. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Harris, L. 2013. Building online professional profile. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Henry, A. 2014. How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Nevins, T. 2013 Social Data and Mobile Diminishing the Significance of the Resume [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7Mar 2016]

Silverman, R. and Weber, L. 2014. The New Résumé: It’s 140 Characters. [online] Available at:[Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Tapscott, D. 2014 Five Ways Talent Management Must Change Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016]


Reflective Summary – Topic 2

A lot of insightful comments were made this week with different interpretations to the topic in hand.

I saw that a colleague’s blog post highlighted Ludovic’s theory on how what you post online through different identities, doesn’t necessarily define who you are when you go offline. He also points out – a website which stores all your identities into one place. Another colleague also discussed this idea of offline and online identity – are you or the other? She also picked up on website, Social Mention.

It appears that these collaborative sites to store identities are underused – I personally wouldn’t use them and I’m not sure how many people fell the need to filter all their accounts into one page. Through more research, I also found this blog. The author talks about how even before the Internet existed, people have always adapted their behaviour with regards to whom they’re addressing. That is to say – you wouldn’t necessarily confide in your work colleagues about your personal hobbies and you wouldn’t interact in the same way with your folks as you would with your closest friendship group. The point the author makes is that, although these things aren’t secret, we don’t go around publicizing every detail to anyone that will listen. We subconsciously tailor the information we pass on to the audience we’re addressing and the same can be said about what we choose to post on the web and where. There are many sides to a person offline, I believe the same can be said for the way they choose to represent themselves online too.

The 7 steps video seems to also be something a lot of my peers view in a negative light. The general view of it being how encouraging multiple identities and “using the same username for all social media sites” is risky due to the security and professionalism issues that entail.

However, we all seem to be in agreement over the fact that multiple identities is perhaps necessary in order to filter different aspects of life we want shared. Researching personal issues, commenting on videos/social media posts are best gone through different accounts in order for it not to hinder the way you want to brand yourself professionally and personally. It seems Facebook is the leader for all things personal and professional. Even some of my Southampton modules have Facebook groups/events where teachers and students collaborate on projects together, so perhaps some online identities are merging together to create a whole new wave of identity?

My comments can be found here (where a very interesting discussion erupted on mental health and online identity) and here (where we discussed the controversial outing of violentacrez).

Interestingly enough, there appears to be a  Southampton Uni course which focuses on the power of social media and its impact… perhaps some of us UOSM2008 students will be bringing along some of our knowledge!

Topic 2: Online Identity


Identity is a slippery word.

Krotoski’s article tells us about how Facebook is cracking down on those “fake” profiles where the use is not “authentic”. How do we define authenticity online though? Is it genuinely through the amount of photos you post? Where you “check-in”? Does all of this show that you are active and therefore “real”? Huffington Post revealed that in fact, 80 million users didn’t exist. But why delete fake profiles? Isn’t it better to have more sign-ups to a site even if they are fake? Doesn’t that boost investment, attract more users and build an even bigger empire?  Well, Facebook argues that “the move is intended to make [it] a more attractive place for advertisers, by making it easier to target advertising at genuine users.” Separating professional and personal online presences is something I engage with, limiting Facebook to private social interactions and using my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for professional purposes. This separation of services allows me to control my online presence, with privacy settings playing a key role in what I want to be shared and with whom. However, as someone who is more of a Digital Resident, it is definitely difficult to keep these two identities separate, something which Costa and Torres (2011) have also noted.

Meghan Casserly argues that Twitter for example, is quite effective as it sorts all your relevant interests into one place, creating a “niche audience”. In essence, social media can help our identity be compiled into our own slot on the web.

The Internet Society videos show that by signing up to an online service each time, you are in fact leaving a “partial identity” behind. An example of this is online banking, which monitors your behaviour and is automatically alerted if there are any suspicious transactions.

This brings us to the Zuckerberg vs Moot argument:


I watched a video on Poole’s argument. Christopher “moot” Poole created 4chan in 2003 as a message board for people interested in Japanese culture, anime and cartoons.

Anyone can come in to contribute, there are no structural barriers,” said Poole. It’s also ephemeral: “There’s no archive… posts that are created fall off within minutes.”

As a result, users have what he calls “fluid identity,” where there’s no risk of failure, so experimentation flourishes.

“The cost of failure is really high when you’re contributing as yourself,” he said. “Those mistakes are attributed to who you are.”

Anonymity, allows people to be creative, and search things they might not usually do. Multiple online identities offers a sense of “protection” and a layer of anonymity. The use of a pseudonyms or invented personas allows people to discuss sensitive topics they might otherwise not be comfortable/able to. For example, someone suffering physically abuse or struggling with their sexual orientation, might use an anonymous persona to seek advice or help. However, there is a dark side to its security and privacy.  This article touches on cyber-bullying, identity theft and catfishing, some of the most problematic areas of online presence today.

However, the issue of identity is further complicated when you consider using different accounts to register for services and portraying yourself as a different person in different spheres. I take Ludovico‘s point of view: if you start to divide up your online identity in different ways, will it not blur your offline identity as a whole?

There are a range of definitions of identity, not all of which make sense. For me, identity is a set of assertions made by yourself that you can allude to. In a way, everyone only has 1 identity but we expose different scales of our claims depending on our circumstances. Kieran Healy’s blog argues that “nobody puts their membership in AA on their CV” yet it still a part of you, you alone choose how to manage it – be it successfully or not.

The New York Times wrote an article pre-Facebook era alluding to the fact that identity and having a secret are in fact quite closely related, and not just for superheroes 😉



Carey, Benedict (2005) The New York Times “The Secret Lives of Just About Everybody”

Casserly, Meghan (2011) Forbes “Multiple Personalities and Social Media: The Many Faces of Me”

Healy, Kieran (2010) “Actually having one Identity for yourself is a Breaching Experiement”

Krotoski, Aleks (2012) The Guardian “Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?”

Ludovico, Alessandro (2014) “Multiple Identities in Social Networks”

Reflective Summary on Topic 1

White and Le Cornu have a pretty nice way of explaining the specific purposes of a visitor’s view of the web by using a metaphor of the web as a tool-shed.

I had a look at a fellow colleague‘s blog where she further expanded the metaphor and I quite liked her vision:  The purposes of a Visitor on the web can be regarded in the same way when we think about “places”. When you think of a visitor, this could be someone taking day trips or weekend breaks to a city with only the necessary baggage, leaving no trace behind (much like online identity), and residents packing up and moving to a new city, building new social relationships, taking up new interests and building their lives in this new environment which acts just like a digital resident. The two authors are right not to label these categories as a dichotomy. I would agree that the vast majority of people are somewhere on the continuum between Visitors and Residents of the web, perhaps commuting to the city during the week for work, but not going there for personal reasons, or vice versa. We are always leaving something behind whether we intend to or not. The very fact that we’ve been there has created a mark, a trace, voluntarily or not.

Immigrants to a place with a language that is new to them can develop fluency in the new language, but they frequently maintain an accent that distinguishes them from the native. This is definitely seen in the way people type, the differences in courses of action when dealing with a situation – Visitors would google or wikipedia something whereas Residents may first seek their existing knowledge, social circle, or even primary sources before consulting the Internet.

I think it is also important to note the dangers of these two categories for professionals. We may be both Resident and Visitor — “an individual might take a Resident approach in their private life but a Visitor approach in their role as a professional.”However, there is a dilution of boundaries. Students who try to live the duality of Visitor and Resident may find that their Resident personality is found by potential employers creates an unintended crossing of professional boundaries.

My comments can be viewed herehere and here. I believe the latter is still awaiting moderation for some reason.