A Reflection of My Learning Journey

UOSM2008 has been an absolute pleasure to take part in and has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and share and assess work with my peers at an academic level. The online aspect of this module is current and is proof that education can and will adapt to the ever-increasing dependency of the internet – exciting times are ahead! To show just how much progression I have made via working on the web, I will be looking back at the self-test that I completed right at the beginning of this module, as well as my fortnightly posts.

So, let’s throw it back to one of the first questions posed in this module:

What in particular do you want to learn from the module?

‘I chose this module with the hope that it equips me with the skills to be able to create a professional but personable online profile, as well as provide me with knowledge about living and working on the web such as implications of online posts, freedom of access and certain actions that I didn’t already know.’

And that it did! This infograph explores the key aspects learnt in this process and how it has impacted my studies and views:



Having explored what the five topics have taught me, I’m going to re-test myself and compare my initial test to my knowledge now.

As you can see there has been great improvements made, I am far more confident on the web and as a digital resident (See I did learn something!), this is highly important for my future and the development of my professional online presence.


Before this module, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the web and how to effectively use it for job seeking purposes – but I was SO wrong. Topic three opened my eyes to how important it is to maintain a professional online profile, in particular, having an impressive and presentable Linked-in account.

Previously, my linked-in was dull and unrepresentative of me and my skills. I didn’t bother with a display picture and quite frankly my profile was lack-lustre, uninviting and sub-standard.

Having understood the importance of linked-in when job seeking, I have actively attempted to improve my profile, using the steps I created here.

Linked in before

These changes have seen instant success through a growth in connections and messages regarding employment perspectives.

I have also taken steps to engage in conversation with academics on social media, thanking them for their work and even having my own work acknowledged by internal and external scholars.

Without UOSM2008, I wouldn’t have even considered this useful form of academic interaction.


Although this course is sadly concluding, the lessons learnt mean that my progression on living and working on the web is only getting started! This video will show you how I aim to continue this journey.

It has been a pleasure UOSM2008, thank you all.


Word count: 495


Cornu, A. and White, D. (2012). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, [online] 16(9). Available at: http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049%20https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/%7Etefko/Courses/Zadar/Readings/Selwyn%20dig%20natives,%20Aslib%20Proceedings%202009.pdf [Accessed 10 May. 2017].

Electric Frontier Foundation (2017). Open Access. [online] Electronic Frontier Foundation. Available at: https://www.eff.org/issues/open-access [Accessed 10 May 2017].

Jobvite (2014). 2014 Survey: Social Recruiting. [online] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 9 May. 2017].

UN, I. (2017). Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx [Accessed 10 May. 2017].

White, D. (2011). Visitors and Residents. [online] Available at: http://daveowhite.com/vandr/ [Accessed 10 May. 2017].


A Reflection of My Learning Journey

Opening Pandora’s Box of Societal Issues. Topic 5 – Reflection.

Open Access has been my favourite topic to discuss on my blog. I found that the topic was a gateway that opened Pandora’s box of societal issues; and my inner Marxist absolutely loved it!

I particularly enjoyed reading Alex’s post, especially the inclusion of the statistic regarding journal prices outpacing inflation by 250% over the past 30 years. We both concluded that we are now in a ‘vicious cycle’ when trying to educate. Without Open Access, the restriction of information stops us as Digital Residents from growing and expanding our knowledge and enriching our identities (White and Cornu, 2011). This, and the rise in tuition fees maintains and in fact, increases the inequality within the education system and society as a whole.

However, after reading Ed’s post, I acknowledged that I may have gone full-on ‘Social Justice Warrior’ on this issue and only skimmed over the disadvantages of Open Access to really emphasise the positives. Thus, in this reflection, I aim to clearly provide both the advantages and disadvantages of Open Access to maintain my academic objectivity. This is seen below:



This being addressed, I still maintain my heavy stance that the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. As mentioned in my initial post, in a knowledge-based economy, it is detrimental to restrict information from those who cannot afford it; now more than ever, society demands us all to be informed and educated. Without Open Access this information is kept behind paywalls, disabling the majority from enriching insight into complex topics, and stops future content writers from accessing and improving existing knowledge.

This is an issue that will continue to be debated for many years, and I am flattered that my opinions on such an important topic has been shared and viewed by independent journalists and scholarly bloggers who specialise in Open Access as seen below:

Until next time,


Word count: 307


Baker, E. (2017). Open Access – An issue for the 21st century – Edward Baker Blog. [online] Efolio.soton.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.efolio.soton.ac.uk/blog/eb16g14/2017/05/07/open-access-an-issue-for-the-21st-century/ [Accessed 10 May 2017].

Electric Frontier Foundation (2017). Open Access. [online] Electronic Frontier Foundation. Available at: https://www.eff.org/issues/open-access [Accessed 10 May 2017].

Turner, A. (2017). Open Access in 21st Century. [online] Alexander Turner. Available at: https://marketing1840.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/open-access/#more-579 [Accessed 10 May 2017].

University of Technology, Eindhoven (n.d.). Advantages and disadvantages of Open Access. [online] Tue.nl. Available at: https://www.tue.nl/en/university/library/education-research-support/scientific-publishing/open-access-coach/basic-concepts-and-background/pros-and-cons-of-open-access/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

White, D. and Cornu, A. (2017). Visitors & Residents. [online] Digital – Learning – Culture. Available at: http://daveowhite.com/vandr/ [Accessed 3 May 2017].

Opening Pandora’s Box of Societal Issues. Topic 5 – Reflection.

Open Access – For Fair and Equal Access of Information

In a society that is increasingly transitioning away from the focus on industrial and agricultural prowess, and further towards a ‘Knowledge-Based Economy’; there has been a growing discussion on Open Access and the Advantages and Disadvantages it brings to a content producer.

But, what exactly is ‘Open Access’?  

This video and summary below perfectly defines this for us.


So, why the need for Open Access?

As previously discussed in Topic One, over the last 20 years, internet usage has exponentially grown and the rise of Digital Residents (White and Cornu, 2011) means that users are increasingly taking to the internet to expand their knowledge and enrich their identity.  Without open access, only those willing to pay for this information will be able to access it, which in-turn creates a knowledge gap based on wealth and class. As a working class, lower income, university student, this would personally adversely affect my studies and restrict me from expanding my knowledge and horizons; I would not be able to afford expensive reports that students of a more affluent background perhaps could. In fact, Marxist Marcuse (1986) would argue that the limitation in enriching information, creates a ‘one-dimensional thought’ amongst the working class, forcing poorer people in to unquestioning, uneducated citizens who only have access to trivial materialism (as seen below), thus, highlighting the danger of restricting information behind expensive paywalls. 


What about the rights of the content producer? I hear you ask… Despite the initial doubts surrounding rights, access and fees, Open Access focusses on ensuring that authors can freely distribute their work whilst keeping their rights and forcing other scholars to cite their work. As this video by Wiley explains ‘everyone can read it, and cite it and help give the exposure it deserves’ (Wiley, 2014) to help up-and-coming content producers get their work published. Furthermore, it also allows greater research and understanding, as users can use and build upon previous works with the help of a ‘Creative Commons Attribution Licence’ and make further advancements in their specialised field.

Of course, there are still arguments stating the disadvantages surrounding open access such as people failing to cite the content producer, and costs to make information open, however the videos and explanations explored in this post have hopefully made you more aware of the positives and have convinced you that open access is the way forward to boost this Knowledge-Based Economy in a fair and equal manner.

Word count: 404


Ashraf, F. (2017). Digital Visitors or Residents, Which One Are You?. [online] Living and Working on the Web. Available at: https://faazila.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/digital-visitors-or-residents-which-one-are-you/ [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Creative Commons (2003). Creative Commons — Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales— CC BY 2.0 UK. [online] Creativecommons.org. Available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/ [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) (2011). Deprivation and education : the evidence on pupils in England, Foundation Stage to Key Stage 4 – Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA). [online] Dera.ioe.ac.uk. Available at: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/9431/ [Accessed 5 May 2017].

ISET Policy Institute (2014). Knowledge Economy Visualized. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBC7bA-PeSI [Accessed 2 May 2017].

Marcuse, H. (1986) One-dimensional man: Studies in the ideology of advanced industrial society. London: London Ark 1986, c1964.

OEDC (2007). OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms – Material deprivation Definition. [online] Stats.oecd.org. Available at: https://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=7326 [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Shockey, N. and Eisen, J. (2012). Open Access Explained! – YouTube. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L5rVH1KGBCY [Accessed 5 May 2017].

The Pell Institute (2016). The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education Publications. [online] Pellinstitute.org. Available at: http://www.pellinstitute.org/publications-Indicators_of_Higher_Education_Equity_in_the_United_States_2016_Historical_Trend_Report.shtml [Accessed 5 May 2017].

White, D. and Cornu, A. (2017). Visitors & Residents. [online] Digital – Learning – Culture. Available at: http://daveowhite.com/vandr/ [Accessed 3 May 2017].

Wiley (2014). Understanding Open Access. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2HMouOV-Lg [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Open Access – For Fair and Equal Access of Information

Reflection – Topic 4

In my last blog post, I discussed the ethicality of personal data collection via social media, and the impacts this has on our privacy; as this was quite a while ago, I have created a quick summary to refresh your memory!


Having explored these factors, I reached the conclusion that perhaps this matter is neither completely ethical or unethical. As Sharon rightfully states, one of the Internet’s main functions is to share and access data online; which does not exclude our own private information. But, after our discussion, we concluded that despite her point made above, comments from Sir Tim Burners-Lee allow us to safely assume that whilst privacy wasn’t a main objective, it was an implied notion that was arguably, completely ignored by the greed of capitalist society.

Despite acknowledging the breach of privacy created by tools such as cookies used on social media, these devices can be helpful to both the consumer and businesses, especially at a marketing point of view. Therefore, as discussed with Patricia; we should be able to opt in or out of where our data is collected, and despite Sharon’s acknowledgment of new EU regulations which force companies to tell users their cookies are being used; there is still not enough overt choice in the matter, nor is there consideration or education on these issues. Thus, this issue is in a ‘grey’ un-defined area regarding its ethical nature.

Whilst we should continue applying pressure to the higher powers to protect our private data; there are some steps we can take to smartly avoid the prying consumerist eyes. Hence, I have taken the liberty of creating an infograph which explains how to avoid unwanted data collection:


This is an issue that will continue to grow in importance, and where it is a grey area in the discussion of ethicality now, if this growth of information collection continues; the unethical, dangerous aspects will certainly outweigh its advantages.

Word Count: 321


Ashraf, F. (2017). Big Brother is Watching You… [online] Living and Working on the Web. Available at: https://faazila.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/big-brother-is-watching-you/comment-page-1/#comment-16 [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017]

Buergin, S. (2017). Privacy – A luxury the Internet cannot provide. [online] Living and Working on the Web. Available at: https://sharonbuergin.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/privacy-a-luxury-the-internet-cannot-provide/ [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

Cellan-Jones, R. (2016). ‘Snoopers law creates security nightmare’ – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38134560 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Charlton, G. (2012). Just 23% of web users would say yes to cookies. [online] Econsultancy. Available at: https://econsultancy.com/blog/9609-just-23-of-web-users-would-say-yes-to-cookies/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2017].

Cookielaw.org. (2017). The Cookie Law Explained. [online] Available at: https://www.cookielaw.org/the-cookie-law/ [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017]

Durante, J. (2016). Do Pop-up Ads Actually Work? Here’s the Data You Need. [online] Smartbugmedia.com. Available at: https://www.smartbugmedia.com/blog/do-pop-up-ads-actually-work-heres-the-data-you-need [Accessed 22 Apr. 2017]

Hinds, A. (2017). What Are Computer Cookies And How To Protect Yourself From Them. [online] Yourprivacy.co.uk. Available at: http://www.yourprivacy.co.uk/computerprivacyandcookies.html [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].

Techterms.com. (2011). Cookie Definition. [online] Available at: https://techterms.com/definition/cookie [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Reflection – Topic 4

Big Brother is Watching You.

In an age where social media is a fundamental tool in everyday life, we rarely think about the plethora of ethical issues that are present on these platforms. To have ethics is to have ‘moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity’ (Oxford Dictionaries, 2017) – in basic terms, it is having the knowledge of what is right and wrong. One ethical issue that I find particularly significant is the issue of privacy on social media.

Social media has enabled us to freely voice our thoughts and has provided us with more information than ever before. However, this stream of information does not stop at a simple google search, or an articulate debate on twitter, but also includes a vast amount of our own personal information that can be exploited by businesses and fraudsters.

Think about it. How many sites have you willingly entered in your personal details? How many businesses now have access to your cookies and browsing history?

 Personally, I’ve lost count.

It has become second nature for us to accept terms and conditions without reading the 40-odd pages that may contain major breaches to our rights. A simple click of ‘I accept’ can strip you of your privacy; and as this video explains, leaves the door open for anyone to sell or take your personal details, without you even knowing! Of course, this can be seen as a cynical view, therefore, I have created a visual of the pros and cons of the online collection of your personal information via cookies:

Pros and cons

Moreover, breach of online privacy is not just limited to businesses. The ‘Snoopers Charter’ law would ‘require web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories (…) and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data’ (Travis, 2016). As Greenwald explains, it is common for people to retort that ‘there is no real harm that comes from this large-scale invasion because only people who are engaged in bad acts have a reason to hide and care about their privacy’ (Greenwald, 2014). But despite claims of ‘increasing national security’, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World-Wide Web, argues that it undermines our fundamental rights online and instead of protecting us, puts us at even greater risk.

Defining ethical practices is therefore difficult. Where intentions may initially be ethical; tailoring user’s online experience or safeguarding a nation, there comes a point where these agencies cross an ethical line. For me, this line has been crossed, our information is passed on like an online game of pass the parcel; and with government surveillance increasing, I would even argue that this mass privacy invasion is almost synonymous with the dystopian world described in Orwell’s 1984. After all, Big Brother is Watching You.

Word Count: 464 words


Cellan-Jones, R. (2016). ‘Snoopers law creates security nightmare’ – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38134560 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Evans, M. (2016). Cyber crime: One in 10 people now victim of fraud or online offences, figures show. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/21/one-in-people-now-victims-of-cyber-crime/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Greenwald, G. (2014). Transcript of “Why privacy matters”. [online] Ted.com. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters/transcript?language=en [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Liu, Y. (2012). The Pros and Cons of Cookies: A Google Story – Internet Marketing Inc. [online] Internet Marketing Inc. Available at: http://www.internetmarketinginc.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-cookies-a-google-story/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

LogicLounge, (2017). Do We Have Privacy Online?. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBs69y4pK9w [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Orwell, G. (1949). 1984. 1st ed.

Oxford Dictionaries. (2017). ethics – definition of ethics in English | Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ethics [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Techterms.com. (2011). Cookie Definition. [online] Available at: https://techterms.com/definition/cookie [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Travis, A. (2017). ‘Snooper’s charter’ bill becomes law, extending UK state surveillance. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/29/snoopers-charter-bill-becomes-law-extending-uk-state-surveillance [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Big Brother is Watching You.

Topic Three – Reflection

When I first started my reading for this fortnight’s post, I presumed it would be rather simple. We are the digital age after all, we know everything there is to know about the web and creating a professional profile – everything is fine and dandy, right?

Well… no. 

Whilst I was halfway in to my research, I found Branham and Farrar’s blog post, and this is where it really hit me; we really do ‘think less and less about what we write online’. We as the digital generation are so dependent on social media as a tool for communication, that we forget these online actions are not limited to our social groups, and can in fact be seen by everyone – including our future employers.

At first, I was convinced that employers ‘vetting’ our social profile was a breach of privacy; that we had to limit our thoughts and opinions out of fear that it would come back to harm our employment prospects. However, having read Cherie’s post, most notably her pros and cons list, I realised that my view was rather cynical. We should use our online profiles to enhance our credibility, and give employers a flavour of who we are. Mary’s comment on my post also helpfully brought to my attention the advice from Chris Smith (2017).  Smith sheds light on how we can maintain control of our content through privacy settings. I found this especially helpful, not because I wasn’t aware of these settings (as seen below); but that these settings can be used in our favour to maintain control over our ‘personal brand’.

Privacy settings copy

As a marketing student, I shouldn’t be afraid of such of a platform to shine! Carolina’s post really cemented this idea; having an authentic professional online profile will allow me to strengthen my own brand and differentiate myself.

Considering the interaction with my peers’ posts, I have created a new checklist which include additional steps that were not included in my original ‘step by step’ guide. This will help me further improve on my own authentic professional profile:


Who knew developing an authentic professional online profile could be so intricate?!

Word Count: 353

My comments can be found here:




Facebook, (2017). Facebook Privacy Settings. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=privacy [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

Farrar, D. and Branham, C. (2017). Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing. Available at: http://writingcommons.org/negotiating-virtual-spaces-public-writing [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].

Knight, C. (2017). Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed…. Available at: https://cherieknightblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/discuss-the-ways-in-which-an-authentic-online-professional-profile-can-be-developed/ [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

Poveda-Ocampo, C. (2017). LinkedWin: Developing your online profile. Available at: https://carolinaocampo.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/linkedwin-developing-your-online-profile/ [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

Smith, C. (2017). Facebook Privacy Settings: A complete guide to keeping control. Available at: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/facebook-privacy-settings-protecting-what-you-care-about [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].

Topic Three – Reflection

Online Recruitment: Creating an Authentic and Professional Online Presence.

In the last decade, online recruitment has significantly grown. With internet usage increasing, job seekers are now turning to online methods to find jobs; in fact, in 2014 ‘76% of job seekers used an electronic device with Internet capability in their job search.’ (BCG Perspectives, 2015). With competition also growing to capture the ‘top talent’, employers also are increasingly conducting recruitment via ‘web-based tools such as a firm’s public internet site or its corporate intranet’ (Kerrin and Kettley, 2003). Therefore, job seekers must create an authentic online professional profile to increase their chances of getting a job, now more than ever!

But what exactly is an ‘authentic’ online profile? According to the dictionary definition, to be authentic is to be true to oneself – so, a genuine, professional identity. This means that one must use their real name and real work experiences when creating a professional identity; steering away from the idea of ‘pseudonyms’ discussed in Topic Two.  The other keyword, is ‘professional’. This would seem obvious when job seeking, however, Branham and Farrar (2014) believe that people, particularly millennials, ‘think less and less’ about what they say and how they appear online, which can lead to problems when they begin their job search. Firms use the web to research candidates (as seen below), therefore, Bryant (2016) urges job seekers to ‘clean up their act’ online, to avoid being endlessly rejected in the highly competitive job market.


So, how do we ‘clean up’ up our online act and create an authentic professional online profile? This infograph gives us some key steps to get started:


Essentially, creating this profile allows the user to effectively market themselves, not just to future employees but also to future business partners and other likeminded individuals in similar fields. In this new digitally driven, competitive age, it is vital to utilise Linked-in, Facebook and other social media sites to paint yourself in the best light possible. As Peter Bowes explains in this video, having a professional online identity serves as a ‘Personal Brand’, where you have the control to create your own personal image. As a marketing student, it is particularly interesting to see how important it is to always consider the image you are portraying online, and the future implications that each action across all platforms have on your brand image.

But I do question, how far can employers ‘dig’ for information before it becomes intrusive?

Word count: 400 words.


BBC, (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 [Accessed 9 March 2017].

BCG Perspectives (2015) Job seeker trends 2015: Channels, search time, and income change. Available at: https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/human-resources-media-entertainment-job-seeker-trends-2015/?chapter=2#chapter2 (Accessed: 9 March 2017).

Bryant, K. (2016). Engaging 21st century writers with social media. 1st ed.

Dictionary, (2017). The definition of authentic. Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/authentic (Accessed 9 March 2017).

Farrar, and Branham, (2014). Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing. Writingcommons.org. Available at: http://writingcommons.org/negotiating-virtual-spaces-public-writing (Accessed 9 March 2017).

Jacobs, D. (2013). Forbes Welcome. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2013/05/17/how-an-online-reputation-can-hurt-your-job-hunt/#2cf3f38a6695 (Accessed 9 March 2017)

Jobvite, (2014). 2014 Survey: Social Recruiting. Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf (Accessed: 9 March 2017).

Kerrin, M and Kettley, P. (2003) E-recruitment – is it delivering? Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies.

Online Recruitment: Creating an Authentic and Professional Online Presence.