Final Module Reflection: “Goodbye is not the end of everything but merely the beginning of something…”

2015… 2015 has indeed been a remarkable year so far. Half way round the year I undoubtedly have a lot to say. Perhaps because it was the year that marked my two decades existence, or because it was the year my country had its first ever free and fair election or simply because it was the year I started this module: Living and Working On The Web!

Over the period of this course, the development of my own online professional profile has been tremendous. As this blog is been limited to a few words, so is my explanation but I have developed my own LinkedIn profile, WordPress profile, Twitter profile, etc. In fact evidences base for these development are shown below.

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In terms of comparing my current online activities with how I used these channels before, well the evidences speaks for themselves as you can see on image 3 that in 2012 I had only about 100 views whilst in 2015 I have over 500 views (a 400% increase) and indeed this is remarkable… This also proves the sphere of influence of my online identity, online professional profile, use of social media, publication and overall my digital footprint (referring to topic 2,3,4 & 5). It can also be seen that I have had a global audience in term of views of my blog, virtually from all the continents of the world!

Also with the aid of the self-test document, it is with pride that I say I have improved remarkably as before I had no experience with regards to participating in online communities and building online networks around an area of interest but now I am very experienced in those area. Attached below is the overall self-test document comparing my level of digital literacy before and after the module course.

UOSM2008 Digital Profile – Self Test

UOSM2008 Digital Profile – Self Test

I have learned enormously during this module and it has been of great interest to me as I have gained profound knowledge both online and offline. This module was astonishingly divergent from any module that I have ever done as all you needed was online. Although I am doing an IT degree, I did not fully grasp the potential of social media until I started this module.

“This module has led me to the realisation of the power of social media in our everyday lives. How it can be a catalyst in the architecture of your own rise or downfall.”

Below is a video that I have created summarizing my experience about this module.

Link: http://goanimate.com/videos/0r3PXVQzolJk?utm_source=linkshare&utm_medium=linkshare&utm_campaign=usercontent

Indeed I did not just lived and worked on the web in terms of this module. I went beyond that, I even dreamt of it (I’m serious), I constantly thought of it and it is with pride that I say this is the best module I have done so far in my university life. Henceforth I have taken the decision to make blogging part of my life. Do you think this is a good idea? Please let me know by taking part in the poll below.

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Topic 5: A reflective summary on FreeAccess+RestrictedAccess=OpenAccess

One of the key points I have learned from this topic is the structure that governs the production and distribution of academic journal articles. From Bartosz’s blog [1], the diagram he used delineates the situation and I finally realized how the structure loosely resembles other industries. The companies take the biggest profit while the author who is the main verve behind the work gets the least profit. Indeed this is the same in other industries like the music industry, which I believe it is quite wrong, immoral and unethical.

Another point was from Nicole Odofin [2] who had some interesting online survey facts conducted by YouGov (shown below). It said 50% of British thinks online contents should be free. It seems like this generation is just used to getting what they want at free of charge. Recently a paid-for music streaming platform called Tidal was launched but I personally think because of free platforms like Spotify that might hinders its growth.

screen-shot-2015-05-01-at-19-45-57

Also the survey revealed that younger generations are less concerned about piracy law and digital rights. As a student studying an IT degree and also with the recent revelations about mass governmental surveillance I find this quite shocking. Recently an article was published in which it argues academics are pressing for open access not just for undergraduates and postgraduates but also for college students.

The problem now is that if governments in developed countries decide to fund Open Access then less developed countries would be left behind. It doesn’t mean that developed countries should not move forward but I believe more can be done to help those lacking behind.

References:

[1] https://paszcza.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/open-access/comment-page-1/#comment-34

[2] https://nicoleodofin.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/should-online-content-be-free-or-should-we-pay-a-fee/comment-page-1/#comment-25

Topic 5: FreeAccess+RestrictedAccess=OpenAccess

Have you ever just went on Google Images, searched for an image of your choice and used it, not caring who made it, how or even when? Well I guess we are all in the same boat. There are lots of advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online. The focus of this blog post is to discuss and chew over the aforementioned issue. Below is a picture collage that I made to delineate what is been discussed [1].

FreeAccess+RestrictedAcess

FreeAccess+RestrictedAcess

Some of the advantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online includes popularity and enhancing the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Imagine a truly huge digital library — every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history… All free to the public! Well this is the dream of an inventor, philanthropist and digital librarian called Brewster Kahle. Attached below is one of his talks on TED [2].

On the other hand, the disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online include breach of copyright, which obviously leads to multiplier-effects like lost of wealth, information misinterpretation, etc. For example… (See image below [3])

What do you think?

What do you think?

Some ‘publishers’ have found that one can mock up what looks like a ‘journal’, stick it to a webserver somewhere, charge significant publication fees, and make a lot of money. [4]

Indeed there are lots of advantages and disadvantage to a content producer of making their materials freely available online. As we are now in the 21th century, a common ground needs to be established for example open access also content producers might decide to make their materials for subscribed users only. This will enable them to still retain their ownership, wealth and also minimize data misinterpretation and manipulation. Which is perhaps why an international survey study have concluded that 90 per cent of online content would likely be held behind a pay-wall in the coming years [5].

As Elizabeth Marincola said there are few things in life that are so arresting as a spectacular car accident… science, money and free flow of information. [6]

References:

[1] Me

[2] http://www.ted.com/talks/brewster_kahle_builds_a_free_digital_library#t-84690

[3] https://prezi.com/huh2gl6n7mvb/generation-open-advantages-disadvantages-of-open-access/

[4] Peterson, 2013

[5] http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/04/12/90-online-content-be-held-behind-paywalls-three-years-media-company-survey-suggests

[6] http://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=17821

Topic 4: A reflective summary on ethical issues of social media in the workplace

There are lots of ethical issues of social media in the workplace. From fault endorsement/advertising, to violation of rules, to fake reviews, and lots more. Indeed this week’s topic was a broad one in the sense that everyone approached it differently. There was no right or wrong answer but it all resulted in a better understanding of the topic.

From some of my readings, research and findings, I came across Irinie’s blog [1] and I have indeed learned subsequently since reading and commenting on her work. She highlighted both the benefits and downfall of the use of social media by cooperate organisations which led to the realization that sometimes the benefits can outweighs the downfall or vice-versa, hence it can be viewed as the ‘pendulum of social media’. She also made the point about how employees can be wasting time in the workplace by using social media by sorely blaming them, but I believe sometimes it can be the fault of the management, as they do not have rules and policy guidance in place. Things even got more interesting when I came across Leigh’s blog [2] as it enlightened me on how celebrities’ endorsement tweets can lead them to prison if they do not use the hashtag ad or spon. I found this interesting as it led me to some rhetorical thinking as what if the celebrity owns that very chain of product and they believe it is the best?. Francesca [3] also commented on my blog as she said, “You mentioned the case of someone who was denied a job because of a post they had made 20 years ago! Do you think that employers should be looking this far back into peoples past…” To which I replied by saying I personally think it is extremely ridiculous as people change so going way 10-20 years ago is appalling. But of course sometimes it can be useful, as you need to know about a potential’s employee’s history. Saber’s comment [4] was also a challenging one but I have learned more as it led me to some deep research. He asked about why don’t employees get sued when they sack their employees because of social media posts and this is because adhering to company values and preserving the integrity and character of the business is a twenty-four hour duty…

Overall this topic has been of great interest and I have gained profound knowledge from reading, researching and commenting on other people’s blog. This was because of how everyone had different views and understanding of it, which consequently led to a better grasp of the topic.

References:

[1] https://irinieopoku.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/ethical-violations-in-the-workplace/comment-page-1/#comment-19

[2] https://leighravenhill.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/business-ethics-endorsements-are-a-treacherous-path/comment-page-1/#comment-27

[3] https://aaaliyu.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/topic-4-ethical-issues-of-social-media-in-the-workplace/comment-page-1/#comment-16

[4] https://aaaliyu.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/topic-4-ethical-issues-of-social-media-in-the-workplace/comment-page-1/#comment-19

Topic 4: Ethical issues of social media in the workplace

As we are now young adults, hoping to enter the ‘real world’ of business in few years to come on. Some of us might even have secured a job or an internship this summer. We need to start behaving like ethical employees, so it is good to THINK before you post in the workplace (Think has been capitalized for a reason. Keep reading…)

Below is a poster that I have created [1]. “Before you post THINK”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 2.32.06 pm

One of the ethical issues raised by business use of social media that is particularly significant is that of integrity risk. When an employee makes use of social media wrongly whether from the company’s account or their personal account, it can lead to the exposure of integrity risk.

“While the decision to post videos, pictures, thoughts, experiences, and observations to social networking sites is personal, a single act can create far-reaching ethical consequences for individuals as well as organisations [2]”

There have been lots of stories about employees losing their jobs because of what they have posted online for example the infamous tweet of Justine Sacco [3] costs her to lose her job and pretty much everything. Another funny one was about how an individual was denied a job due to his activities posted online 20 years previously [4]. Indeed the inability to control the use of social media can lead to lots of ethical issues as a UK survey found bullying and harassment and discrimination were two of the top five risks of social media for the workplace [5]. Below is a comic social media in the work place video [6].

So companies can decide to monitor employee’s use of social media but will it even help? As employees might think their freedom of speech is been limited. But I think training employees on ethical use of social media might help, however it can be costly. To address the ethical issues raised by business use of social media, we all need to fully assess the risks and be aware of the challenges perhaps through guidance and policy implementation. Employers and employees need to realise the consequences of their action. We all should be mindful of The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity [7] which is a maxim, ethical code or morality that essentially states either of the following: One should treat others, as one would like others to treat oneself. One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.

References:

[1] Idea from: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Think-Before-You-Post-Classroom-Poster-Yellow-845499

[2] Deloitte, Social Networking and Reputational Risk in the Workplace, 2009

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Magazine&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article&_r=3

[4] Social media monitoring raises disturbing questions: An Ethikos interview with Kansas State‟s Diane Swanson, Ethikos, September/October 2011, pp.7-9

[5] DLA Piper, Op cit, pp.7

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UngGoZjr_cw

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

Topic 3: A reflective summary on climb online with self-branding

There are enormous ways in which you can build your online professional profile. As this was been discussed by all of my #UOSM2008 colleagues, what I really liked about this topic was how everyone approached it differently. Indeed there was no right or wrong answer but it all resulted in a better understanding of the topic.

As I was doing some readings, research and findings, I came across Olivia’s blog [1] and I have indeed learned subsequently since reading and commenting on her work. She gave an anecdote by using soon to be graduates like us and highlighted why we should be more sophisticated when it comes to looking for jobs online and also gave some tips. However she talked about the need for us to say who we truly are, show what we truly like doing, etc. and I raised the issue of it been wrongly interpreted as it might be a double edge sword, since you cannot guarantee how an employer might think or approach it. Things even got more interesting when I came across Andrew’s blog [2] as he kept emphasizing on the need to privatize our profiles on the Internet hence I replied as it is important to notice that privacy settings cannot always cover all liabilities. A comment which I received no reply. Sarah commented on my blog [3] saying how she really liked it etc. and also asked my thought on whether I believe there is a need for anyone to conceal their identity online just to secure a job to which I replied by saying no as it is better to not have stuff like ‘drunken photos’ etc. as you cannot guarantee how an employer might think or react to it.

Overall this topic has been of great interest and I have gained profound knowledge from reading, researching and commenting on other people’s blog, advices and tips that would be applied to the rest of my life.

References:

[1] https://oliviahandyside.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/topic-3-hard-working-graduate-desperately-seeking-employment/

[2] https://andrewghiacy.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/topic-3-how-to-create-a-professional-online-profile/

[3] https://aaaliyu.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/topic-3-climb-online-with-self-branding/#comments

Topic 3: Climb Online with Self-Branding

[1]

[1]

What comes into your mind when you hear the phrase online professional profile? LinkedIn right. You could not be more wrong. I am not advertising LinkedIn but do you know that LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet [2] I bet you even have an account with them. Okay now concentrate as I discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.

The attention span of a human being is fairly short hence I intend to keep this blog very short and precise. Below is a very useful video that I found [3].

An authentic online professional profile is a profile that is genuine, a profile that is original, a profile that represents you. It is more or less about advertising yourself i.e. self-branding.

“77% of recruiters said they used search engines to find background data on candidates. Additionally, 35% admitted they eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.” [4]

So here are a few tips to help you develop an authentic online professional profile:

  • Picture- it is said a picture tells a thousand stories so please make your profile picture as professional as possible, no drunken photos or funny pictures.
  • Stand out- you should identify your Unique Selling Point (USP) and that should be your asset.
  • Be current- keep all your profiles updated.
  • Balance it- good balance between work and play does the trick; too much gimmicks is not good so as a stiff, dull profile.
  • Be you- “if you need to conceal your true nature to get in the door, understand that you’ll probably have to conceal your true nature to keep that job”[5].

Below is a picture that highlights what employers look for the most in your public profile. [6]

pp

“It used to be that your resume was the determining factor in landing a job, but now social platforms are becoming the norm for both networking and finding work.” [7]

Indeed there are lots of ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed but just a few has been discussed here due to restrictions. To conclude, I am sure you all have seen the hashtag that was trending last week about #TheDress and this week it’s about “what advice would you give your younger self” by using the hashtag #DearMe so mine is this blog! #DearMe #DearYou #YouNeedToReadThisBlogBecauseItWillHelpYouInLife

References:

[1] http://youthvillage.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/professional-online-profile.jpg

[2] https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin

[3] http://youtu.be/XR_WPzzx86o

[4] http://www.global-workplace.com/interview-tips/

[5] http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/

[6] http://www.onlinedegrees.org/c/career/

[7] http://blog.hiredmyway.com/6-things-your-professional-profile-needs/