Blog Posts

Topic 6 – Goodbye UOSM2033…

When I began UOSM2033 back in October, it seemed odd to me that there could ever be a lecture, seminar and exam free module that worked so well for students. However, as each week went on, my confidence and knowledge of topics grew immensely. I have made a Prezi, linked below, that summarises my background prior to starting Living and Working on the Web, including the self test comparison!

The realisation hit me around Topic 3 that everything covered within this module would be so beneficial to me in future years. Being only in my second year, I feel accustomed to take this new found knowledge into consideration for many years to come when delving into future careers. Many changes have already appeared that I believe will assist me. Even simple things, such as privacy on social media accounts, that would have otherwise gone unaltered. It’s vital to be clued up on digital skills – we are now part of the new digital generation who will be under the watchful eye of the employer, whether we like it or not.




I believe blogging is the main vital skill that I have picked up from completing UOSM2033. Being able to write fluently about a given topic with research reflects expertise to any future employer, and demonstrates initiative within a hobby that isn’t just “socialising with friends” or “listening to music”. I will most definitely be continuing with blogging in future weeks – I feel now the module has almost ended, it seems strange to not continue posting blogs.

Looking back over the various topics, I would have to say topic 3 was my favourite to research and write. I enjoyed learning whilst researching – acquiring skills as I wrote for future use.




In conclusion, this module has proven to be of huge benefit to me. I have obtained confidence and guidance as well as crucial feedback from peers on the module. Hopefully, the future will bring an increase in modules such as this, it’s been enjoyable and far less stressful when compared to other courses! The fear of assessment disappeared and was replaced by the innovative and fun form of blogging – a handy skill that has turned into a hobby.


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Reflection on topic 5 – open access online – what does it mean? What have we discovered?



Personally, outweighing the advantages and disadvantages of open access appeared to be such a difficult task. With very little prior knowledge of content producers and the concept of open access, it was insightful and helpful for me to research around before beginning my topic 5 post, and write this in a basic and simplified way.

The majority of blog posts helped to add to this newly found knowledge – Joe and Emma’s blogs in particular shone light on the situation in varying contexts to those I had researched before hand. I feel as though the criticisms of open access were clearer and broader to me once I had read everyone’s posts – it helped to fit the puzzle pieces together on such a new idea. I would have liked to have gone into some points in more detail and perhaps given more examples of the disadvantages in certain contexts. In his blog post, Joe focused on piracy issues regarding movies online – a medium through which I wouldn’t have thought to venture into – however his blog post flowed really well.
Emma’s blog mentioned the benefits of paywalls – something vital that I now wish I had evaluated within my own blog post.

The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy with coursework deadlines etc – so I feel as though topic 4 and 5 have been slacking. I’m looking forward to concluding this module and putting my head together, (hopefully) coming up with something that’s thought provoking for the final post – topic 6 allows for more time to plan, and with the lack of other module deadlines, I’m wishing for a brilliant post that will sum up the course nicely and gain me a good mark.

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Comment on Joe’s blog 

Comment on Emma’s blog 

Open access and the value of content – what are the implications and virtues?

Content producers can vary from academic scholars, to people you see on the street. Whenever something is uploaded online, such as an article, in many cases these have ‘open access’, in other words they are free for everyone to see, and re use. This video sums up open access in a simple, informative way.

With the exception of certain published works, which usually have fees attached to them, content posted online is slowly starting to become freely available, because of ‘digitization’ (Shockey and Eisen 2012). This can have many advantages and disadvantages. I have summarised a few of these in a diagram shown below.


Many people, including publishers, will benefit from the discussion surrounding their work through open access online. It’s surely a huge step in the right direction for anyone wishing to develop their content further online. Technological advances have also allowed for many in developing countries to become accustomed to research. As Wiley et al (2012) state, “we have now been given the ability to achieve the amount of education we desire – online, it is now available at almost no cost whatsoever”. Students within the realms of higher education, like myself, are usually able to access online content with no qualms when writing. The basis of research itself is also becoming dependent on the availability online – when conducting a fresh study based on previous research, having the key to this information is vital.

However, many disadvantages are apparent.
Worlock (2004) argues many people do not believe open access is “economically sustainable, and if relied upon, could damage the market”, because publishing businesses “may experience difficulties due to reduced revenues”. Another issue of open access online is that some disciplines, such as science, are barely even ‘open’. Many vital texts are excluded from the availability of free content online, making it difficult for researchers and students alike. Finally, due to the nature of the internet, work can be uploaded onto the internet with ease, claiming it’s true . The effects of this can be harmful on students or researchers. Unfortunately, it’s impractical for us to judge the quality of hundreds of thousands of pieces of material. This is possibly an adjustment for the future – stepping up the quality control measures by introducing specific checks.

To conclude, there are many positives of open access content online – by getting work out into the domain of the internet, it can be passed on from person to person, increasing your reputation in your specific field. It will be interesting to see how this issue develops further in the future.


A wordcloud I created summarising key terms surrounding online content


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  • Wiley, Soares, and Green. “Dramatically Bringing Down The Cost Of Education With OER”. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.
  • Worlock,. “Nature Web Focus: Access To The Literature: The Debate Continues”. N.p., 2004. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.
  • Youtube,. Open Access Explained. 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.


A reflection on the ethical issues discussed within Topic 4

Initially, topic 4 seemed to be a little more appealing to me, due to the personal relevance of the specific field. It appeared to be easier to write and source when compared to previous topics, which I think shows how interesting and relatable the topic was to me.

The overall issues that were summarised in various blog posts from other students are shown in a table I have created below.


Ethical concern Issues that can arise
Behavioural targeting Invasion of personal privacy online
Teachers using social media Being ‘pushed’ offline due to career
Lack of internet use/ ‘digital divide’ Left out of social, educational groups
Catfishing Loss of privacy and identity
Having a profession online Overexposure and stalking from public


Everybody’s varying views on the ethical issues that can arise online provoked me to think in more detail about whether we ought to consider these as ‘issues’ at all, and perhaps how we can avoid them. As I mentioned briefly in the topic 4 blog post, these ethical concerns would not have existed twenty years ago. The issue is that the more we advance within technology, the more issues we then create for ourselves online.

I have linked below to Allie’s blog post, which included the theory of ‘behavioral targeting’, a term I had never really heard of before. It refers to when someone’s online web-browsing history is studied, and the results are turned into personalised adverts. This is an invasion of privacy for the individual – and something that can be considered majorly off-putting online.

To summarise, topic 4 has shown that there are a wide range of ethical issues that are predominantly present online within business and educational use. It is impossible to say that these issues will ever disappear, and it’s unclear as to whether these issues will ease or increase over time, as the realms of social media broaden. I would like to think that privacy issues will not be such a significant and underlying factor to our social media use in future.


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Tom’s blog post

Allie’s blog post 

Business, social media and children… A recipe for ‘ethical’ disaster?








Business based social media accounts can be a risky affair. I’m sure all pages are created with good intentions, however various ethical issues (which are seldom given any degree of thought before making said accounts) can arise. Ethics are considered to be moral principles (BBC, 2014). The main ethical issue of interest that I will be discussing concerns working with children, and the following repercussions that can occur regarding social media use for business.

One personal implication of working with children is random ‘friend requests’ on Facebook. In many cases, the friend requests I receive are all from children under the age of 13. As quoted on the NSPCC website, “around half of 11 and 12 year olds have an under age profile in the UK” (Lilley and Ball, 2013). We are dealing with more than one ethical issue here – what will the child’s parents think if they see that I have accepted the friend request from their 10 year old son, as well as the fact that he has gone behind their back and created a Facebook account under age? O’Keeffe et al. (2011) says that “social media offers today’s youth a portal for entertainment and communication” – so we need to be careful how they use this ‘portal’.They may feel comfortable contacting you, and may need to talk to someone confidentially. The appropriate way to deal with this would be to speak to the child privately when you next see them, or speak to a manager. The Guardian (2014) reiterates that social media “has given a voice to people who have often felt excluded and powerless”. One child recently messaged my company’s Facebook page wanting to speak to someone about coming out.




Another implication of working with children is the distribution of images on social media. Posting images of children online requires signed consent from parents. Even then, you have to ensure that all the pictures have been deleted from the original source. Furthermore, it is essential that you check the privacy of the picture you have just posted on the page – you could be placing the children involved at risk.


How about the other side of the story? What happens when pupils you work with are able to view your profiles and updates? Imagine the further uproar that could’ve been caused had Justine Sacco’s famous tweet (NY Times, 2015) been posted by a teacher.



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Lilley, C. and Ball, R. (2013) Youngerchildren and social networking sites: a blind spot. [London]: NSPCC.

“BBC – Ethics – Introduction To Ethics: Ethics: A General Introduction”. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

Children And Teachers Social Media. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

“Implications Of Children Using Social Media”. ISYS6621: Social Media for Managers. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

O’Keeffe, G. S. and K. Clarke-Pearson. “The Impact Of Social Media On Children, Adolescents, And Families”. N.p., 2011. Print.

Ronson, Jon. “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’S Life”. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

“Twitter Abuse: Easy On The Messenger | Editorial”. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

Reflecting on Topic 3 – how do we become authentic online?



It’s safe to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed researching around the subject of authenticity online for topic 3. LinkedIn appeared to be a common denominator when exploring around other blog posts on the page, something that also popped into my mind straight away when reading the designated question for topic 3.

It was insightful to read everybody’s views on how to create an authentic professional profile online – many focused on the negatives and what not to do, whilst others focused mainly on the positives, informing us on what to do to ensure the authenticity of the online profile.

As linked to below,  Kevin’s blog included the term ‘personal branding’, meaning literally how you brand and market yourself online. I hadn’t come across this term before. It’s important to the topic of online authenticity and will definitely be something for me to look into further.

The whole process of creating a genuine and professional online profile is something that can be achieved in many ways, via various different platforms. Many similarities on these platforms, however, include the need for a sensible username, concise/relevant information and something that makes you stand out from others etc etc – the list goes on.

In summary, topic 3 really challenged me to engage with a side of the internet that I have never really ventured into. Although I had a basic knowledge of the sites used to create professional profiles, the research and sources given allowed me to find more insightful quotes and facts to include within my post. I will keep a track of the sources used for future referencing when creating a professional profile online, ready for when I graduate.

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Virtual College,. Managing Your Professional Digital Profile. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.


Links to comments –

Hannah’s blog post

Kevin’s blog post



Topic 3 – Linked in? Or linked out?

Being authentic whilst online, meaning unique/genuine (Oxford dictionary, 2016), is key when building successful professional profiles. One common form is LinkedIn – adding connections in order to showcase your experience and impress potential future employers. I found this image below informative yet quirky (




I have outlined the differences between using a Facebook account and a LinkedIn account below.




It’s vital that we have platforms like LinkedIn that provide a large domain in which to display professional skills, qualifications and business information. How you use it determines the authenticity and how successful you are. It’s important to give a sense of personality but where do you draw the line between personal, and too personal? An engaging BBC video featuring Michael Weiss (2013) describes how having relevant information in the correct context, in the correct amount is key – you shouldn’t include too much nor too little about yourself in order to engage the reader quickly.


Online professional profiles have the edge over Facebook when it comes to actively seeking employment. Often, flaws arise from using Twitter etc to promote/seek business. Many people don’t realise the boundaries of online professional profiles, and seemingly overstep the mark. An example of this would be the Justine Sacco case, in which she posted an infamous tweet, resulting in her being fired and vilified.





Some insightful social media statistics are shown below regarding the recruiting process (Jobvite,2014). This highlights how essential it is to portray yourself and your company in a positive light. Just like Justine Sacco, it only takes one tweet for your career to be ruined – keep the boundaries clear.






When browsing online, I found plenty of examples of negative publicity generated on social media.






Personally, I acknowledge the clear boundaries between professionalism and personal life online. Looking to the future, I would hope the online sites providing these career opportunities could’ve doubled in popularity, and therefore demand.

Finally, in order to develop authentic professional profiles it’s essential we have a suitable username/email address. The importance of blogging is also something to mention – writing informatively about topics of interest sets you apart from other candidates – showing you’re passionate about engaging audiences in an insightful/intellectual way (The Employable, 2014). Discussing personal issues is out of bounds, however showing characteristics of your personality is an important factor for potential employers to get to know you better.

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“Authentic Definition”. Authentic. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

BBC,. Job Hunting: How To Promote Yourself Online. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

Digital Care,. How To Create A Professional Linkedin Profile. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Facebook And Being Friends With Your Boss. 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Facebook,. Facebook Logo. 2016. Print.

“How Blogging Can Help You Get A Job”. TheEmployable. N.p., 2014. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

“How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life”. NY TIMES (2015): n. pag. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

LinkedIn,. Linkedin Logo. 2016. Print.

“Social Recruiting Survey”. Jobvite (2014): n. pag. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

A reflection on Topic 2

Topic 2, regarding having multiple online identities, was very interesting to research. The majority of blog posts that I looked at included references to MTV’s Catfish – a good starting point when talking about the negative aspects of having different ‘personas’ on the internet.

I think it’s interesting to see everybody’s viewpoints on the subject – many people argued having more than one online identity to be a positive thing – having two email addresses allows for personal contextual barriers online between companies and yourself not to be crossed. It also lets you determine the level of private vs personal information you are willing to give away with regards to family etc.

On the other hand, many posts strongly believed that having more than one online identity was a negative thing, arguing that it puts off potential employers, and leaves yourself at risk of having your identity stolen.

Reading the blog posts definitely bulked up my knowledge on the whole topic of your identity online – it’s an ongoing debate with no set correct answer, it’s more of a personal choice which varies depending on the context. It’s fair to say that before partaking in this module, this topic in particular, I was unaware of the sheer amount of research surrounding having multiple online identities, as well as the positives/negatives it can hold.

Overall, topic 2 has proven to be thought-provoking and insightful for me, and I know that the content covered will be extremely useful to refer to in the future within and around this module.

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Here are the links to my two comments:

Joe’s blog post

Nicole’s blog post


Topic 2 – Should we have more than one online identity? It’s becoming more common than you think

Having an online identity is arguably a very recent notion in today’s society. (2011) gives the definition that your online identity is “the sum of your characteristics and interactions – it is not the same as your real-world identity because the characteristics you represent online differ from the characteristics you represent in the physical world”. I have created and inserted an image below explaining the different forms of social media through which I, personally, exhibit my identity online.




The image coincides with’s definition on account of the fact that each form of social media represents me differently to how I portray myself in the ‘physical world’, thus confirming the fact that having more than one online identity is now a common thing….

A short ‘Tedx talk’ video on Youtube of Jim Broscovich (2011) should hopefully outline some key points clearly. I particularly like the way that Broscovich links this to the term ‘fluid identities’- when online, it’s not so much the number of identities, but the way we use them. I would argue this is positive – we are expressing ourselves in various ways, transforming within different paradigms. As Broscovich says, “the average number of online identities each individual holds is now greater than one” – possibly something never expected when the internet was created in the 20th century. Having multiple online identities allows for adaptation and a ‘contextual barrier’, deciding how much personal information you wish to give away on a certain domain.



On the other hand, by having multiple identities online, there are various issues that are bound to arise. I feel as though privacy and identity fraud are the main  drawbacks of the recent phenomena. Costa & Torres (2011) belive that in the present day and age, having access to various sites allows us “to easy-publish photos and documents,” as well as “participate in discussion, and create personal spaces”. They argue “the concern is that individuals are exposed – we can even argue that despite being more connected that ever before we are equally much more vulnerable.”

And this is true. We are more vulnerable. Creating fake Facebook accounts in order to ‘catfish’ someone, for example.



This is all new – and it’s frightening to think of the damage that can be done in the future . But isn’t it true that the majority of us all have multiple online identites? Does this mean that a large proportion of us are ‘catfishers’? The answer is no. Having multiple online identities can refer to any number of things – two seperate email accounts, or two twitter accounts. It’s not how many online identities you have – its how you use them. The internet is growing day by day, and the opportunities are endless.



topic 2222.jpg



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  • “An Overview Of Identity”. N.p., 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
  • Costa, and Torres. “To Be Or Not To Be, The Importance Of Digital Identity In The Networked Society”. (2011): n. pag. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
  • NPR,. 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
  • Youtube,. Catfish: Meeting The Girl In The Pictures. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
  • Youtube,. Tedx – Digital Freedom. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

A reflection on topic 1

When originally looking at the topic of digital visitors and digital residents, the subject
interested me due to the sheer familiarity of it. The idea of being a digital resident/visitor has always played on my mind and has been present in everyday life, although not
knowing an exact name for the theory to quite put my finger on. I grew up watching my mother thrive on
the internet, whilst my dad lacked the social prevalence to push forward and become an
everyday resident.

Reflecting on the work of others has accustomed me to the fact that being a resident or a
visitor is not something that you can necessarily place in a box,
although one may assume this is how the internet works in terms of today’s culture.
There is in fact a ‘spectrum’ on which we should be placed – something which can also be
seen floating around in discussions on other blog posts. One piece of research that
particularly interested me was that of Prensky – and his theory of the online accent that
some digital visitors hold. It’s an interesting comparison and contextual link between visitors to another country who hold a native accent, linking this to the internet and newbies
who are unfamiliar within the realms of online living.

To improve my next blog post I would like to include strong criticisms and questioning
undertones to my evidence – trying to bulk up the number of sources I use as well as
linking this to specific images or videos.

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Comments left on other student’s blog posts

Arthur Boulding –
Really interesting post -I enjoyed the references you made to Prensky’s idea of an online ‘accent’ that the digital
immigrants hold, a theory that contextually fits well within this topic, and something I
have often thought about (loosely) but never quite put a name to. I also picked up on the
fact you have used personal references to the visitors/residents spectrum about yourself,
which gives the blog post a personal feel that’s relatable to the reader. Your connotation of the online property market opened your blog post nicely, getting readers to think broadly
and inviting them to view the relevant content following on from an original idea you have created.


Allie Sadler –
Really enjoyed your first blog post Allie –your stance on the topic generates thought about whether the theory and its relevance
ought to be reviewed. I agree with you that personality should possibly be a more deciding factor, if the labels were to be given. I think you have thought about this in depth –you’ve made it critical in a non-critical way –adapting rather than harshly scrutinizing existing theory, such as that from White, and
relating it back to your creative idea of ‘digital no-man’s-land’. It’s difficult to find anything to critique within your post, all ground has been
covered well, with criticisms and images being used in an innovative way to link to your
own ideas.