Topic 6: I’m now a Statistic and other discoveries from UOSM2008…

I created the video below to highlight the key points that this Module has taught me, but 45 seconds simply wasn’t enough time to cover everything, and so below is a ‘proper’ post to make sure that I haven’t missed anything important!

Prior to participating in this Module I had only ever completed ‘traditional’ modules, which focussed around weekly lectures, essays and assignments. After 3 years of this format, I found the remote teaching and the bi-weekly topics hugely refreshing. Most importantly though, despite only meeting the rest of the class twice, once at the beginning of the Module and again towards the end, I really felt like we engaged much more than a traditional class.

Enjoying a Module is all well and good, but what have I actually learnt?

In all honesty, far more than the length of this post will allow so I will try to keep it brief!

I’ve learnt that blogging is hard work and takes some serious commitment. Prior to this I always thought all those rather glamorous looking beauty and fashion bloggers had a pretty easy life, but gaining and maintaining followers, keeping content interesting and relevant and developing your own distinctive style all takes time and dedication. Having a set timetable every two weeks built up a routine which I discovered was very important!

I’ve finally embraced Twitter (sort of!) Before this Module I had an account, which could be described as dormant at best, it’s now active, but not prolific. So this is definitely an area for further improvement and development. Being able to Tweet Lecturers directly with questions was great though, especially for simple questions that needed a brief answer.

From my point of view, as a final year student, Topic 3 was of the most interest in regards to developing my Professional Profile. I’m rather proud of reaching 109 connections, a number which seems to grow most days. And in the process of this Module, I have truly learnt the absolute value that it can have. Breaking News: I’m now employed! I start my first proper job in late June, thanks in part to LinkedIn, so you could say that I’m one of the statistics I was so keen on in my Topic 3 post.

Even more interestingly I’m entering the field of Digital Marketing so maybe, just maybe, this Module had a far deeper impact on my life than I could ever have imagined.

Will I continue Living & Working on the Web? Definitely, it’s now an aspect of life that is totally unavoidable, so the knowledge that we have gained through this Module will be invaluable as we enter the ‘Real World’.

Will I continue Blogging?
Yes, I really think I will. I’ve registered another Blog Title on WordPress, so watch this space!

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Topic 3: Branding- Professional or Personal?

When I began this topic it hadn’t really considered my Social Media profile much beyond Facebook, I already had a LinkedIn account and it’s something as an ‘almost graduate’ that I have put quite a considerable amount of effort into, I’m aware of how important it is, and reading blogs such as Leigh’s showed me just how important this was. I felt the clearest way to convey this importance in my original post was through the use of an info graphic and those that read and commented on my post such as Andrew felt that it was really interesting to have our Social Media use quantified.

The biggest issue raised this week was the ‘authenticity’ of our Social Media profiles and how this co-exists with our Professional Lives. I personally don’t see my own use of Facebook as a concern when it comes to future employment but I know there are people who are far more prolific users than I am and that it is something that has concerned them. From browsing through other Blogs and comments I found that for many the solution to this was to make your ‘personal’ profile entirely private, and to create a ‘professional’ profile which could be viewed by potential employers. Arguably this could reduce the authenticity of the profile.

Because this is such previously unchartered territory, it’s a situation that is currently entirely down to personal preference, there isn’t a recommended ‘done thing’, and therefore it depends upon the desired employment sector and your previous use of Social Media. What is undeniable is that Social Media is an invaluable way to project and refine your CV to a limitless audience.

Blogs I commented on:

Sarah’s Blog

Leigh’s Blog

Topic 3: Hard Working Graduate Desperately Seeking Employment

As we all near Graduation and our entrance into the ‘Real World’ draws ever closer, our Social Media habits must adapt and change to reflect this. Instead of filling our newsfeeds with photos of last Wednesday’s Social people are starting to dedicate time to creating, updating and maintaining LinkedIn profiles. On average we spend nearly 4 hours per day on Social Media, this equates to almost half a working day (Nyman, 2014). So it’s not really surprising that recruiters are turning to Social Media in order to find candidates for vacant roles within companies. The info graphic shows just how many jobs are allocated through Social Media.

Social Media & Employment Inforgraphic

If you’re yet to embrace Social Media in a professional capacity, you’re already late to the party (BBC, 2013). With an online profile you can begin to tell a story about yourself to potential employers. Effectively it’s an interactive CV. BUT it needs to be done properly. It’s not just LinkedIn and the carefully constructed profile that you’ve created on here which will be scrutinised. Every other aspect of your Online Presence will be scoured by savvy recruiters, and even the nosy public.

The case of Justine Sacco shows just how important it is to maintain a professional Online Identity across all Social Media. An inappropriate tweet en route to South Africa resulted in her being fired from her job (Ronson, 2015). The general public leapt on her and she had to leave South Africa after hotels refused to accommodate her and her personal safety couldn’t be guaranteed. Even a Buzzfeed article featuring all her questionable tweets was published.

Obviously Justine Sacco is a pretty good example of how wrong things can go on Social Media, but her case is by no means a one off. Your Online Identity has been central to you gaining the job in the first place for some time, but it is now also a key factor in determining whether you remain employed. Activities such as Blogging can really help to boost your profile; they demonstrate traits such as creativity, dedication and motivation (The Employable, 2014). But before you jump straight in, Blogging is something that needs to be done ‘properly’. Potential employers are not interested in the incoherent ramblings of your inner mind. Make it personal, but make it interesting, intellectual and truthful.

I think the ‘authentic’ aspect of building an online professional identity is important, but has its limitations. Obviously things such as educational attainment and employment record should be honest, and are things which employers can and will check. We’ve all claimed on CV’s in the past that we love nothing more than country walks and a classic novel, when really at 18 we’re more likely to be in the local club downing shots. I don’t personally think this affects the ‘authenticity’ of our professional identity providing it doesn’t interfere in our ability to do the job at hand.

Building a successful online identity takes hard work, perseverance and dedication, but beware, it only takes one ill-advised tweet to destroy it all.

507 Words.

References:

BBC, 18 October 2013, ‘Job Hunting: How to Promote Yourself Online”, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 Accessed: 5/3/2015

The Employable, 28 October 2014. ‘How Blogging can help you get a Job’. http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

Nyman, N. 13/3/2014. ‘Using Social Media in your Job Search’. http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/ Accessed: 5/3/2014

Ronson, J. 12/2/2015. ‘How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s Life’, New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2 Accessed: 5/3/2015

Source of Info-graphic Statistics:

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

http://blog.capterra.com/top-15-recruiting-statistics-2014/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

Topic 2: Reflective Summary

Having completed my own blog entry on this topic and read entries from the rest of the class, it is clear that this is a topic that is determined much more by personal opinion than what we have covered so far.

I thought that Ben’s post summed up the dangers that I see with having multiple identities on the web, Catfish is a great example, it’s pretty entertaining viewing but it definitely makes you think (and question quite how gullible some people are!)

The general feeling that I got from most of the blogs was that most people felt the use of multiple identities could rarely be used for innocent reasons, something that Francesca and I discussed in the comments section of my post.

I found the idea of 4 Chan and Tor a pretty confusing concept, something which Andrew was able to explain to me in his comments section. Now having a greater understanding of it, I actually find it even more worrying than I did when I read about it originally to write my first post on this topic.

I think for me personally, if you’re putting it on the web you should be happy for people to see it. My internet browsing shows me to be a pretty dedicated shopper and a compulsive procrastinator, but there will be people out there who are searching for things far more dangerous than I am and do we really want this to be done entirely in secret and without any trace? I don’t really think we do..

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Blogs I commented on:
Andrew’s Blog

Jens’ Blog

Topic 2: Online Identity

A quick Google of my name shows the usual links to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc, all of which I’ve knowingly placed information into in order to build a profile. But there is also information that I’ve never placed on the internet; you can see that I passed my Grade 1 Ballet exam when I was in Year 2, not exactly scandalous and it won’t stop me from getting a job but it just shows that we have little control of what is written about us online. Regardless of whether we want to have an online identity, by the time we’re at University, the chances are we inadvertently already have one. A further Google search of “For and Against having an Online Identity” produces results almost exclusively claiming having an online identity can lead to you falling victim to Identity theft; our habit of over sharing personal information on Social Media can leave us exposed to identity and bank fraud (Smith, 2014). We could argue that having more than one online identity could actually protect us.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 17.03.13

This graphic is based on the ideas found on internetsociety.org. It shows how our individual identities on the web are combined to create what is known about our Identity on the Internet. I think that this show how hard it is to have a credible identity when we attempt to have more than one; the circles wouldn’t overlap in the same way. As Aleks Krotoski points out in his article, “the main value now lies within creating a platform that provides confidence that a person is who they say they are” (Krotoski, 2012).

Something that wasn’t raised by my readings was what the motivation was for having more than one identity? I use my online identity to communicate with friends, follow beauty blogs and aimlessly browse Amazon, I find it hard to comprehend why you would have the need to do this outside of your actual identity. In Japan there are sites such as 4Chan where you are totally anonymous to other users (Krotoski, 2012). However, with cookies, IP addresses etc, can you ever truly be anonymous online?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently announced that in the not so distant future “every young person.. will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends social media sites” (Jenkins, 2010). This presents the idea of ‘Reputation Bankruptcy’ (Zittrain, 2010). If you gain Reputation Bankruptcy, the good as well as the bad would be removed; what does it mean for society if we can effectively remove our past from the Internet?

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Reference List:
http://www.internetsociety.org/online-identity-overview#overlay-context= Accessed: 19/02/2015

Jenkins Jr, Holman W, 14/08/2010. “Google and the search to the future”, The Wall Street Journal. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704901104575423294099527212 Accessed: 19/02/2015

Krotoski, Aleks, 19/04/2012. “Online Identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?, The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity Accessed: 19/02/2015

Smith, Anthony, 24/10/2014. “Five ways to protect yourself against online identity theft”. The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/anthony-smith/5-ways-to-protect-yoursel_1_b_6040872.html Accessed:19/02/2015

Zittrain, Jonathon, 07/09/2010. “Reputation Bankruptcy”, The future of the Internet and how to stop it. http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/futureoftheinternet/2010/09/07/reputation-bankruptcy/ Accessed: 19/02/2015