About Me

Monday, 19 May 2014

Topic 6 - Summary #UOSM2008

Having started UOSM2008 with half of an IT degree my computer literacy was high, but my long-term management of my presence on the web was lacking.

At the start of the module I had a blog that I very occasionally updated, a twitter profile that had surges of activity, a LinkedIn profile with the bare minimum of details on it, and an About.Me with a picture of a turtle on it!

Now that I have completed this module my online identity is in much better standing, and I like to think that my chances of employment have increased as a result. I've also leant a lot about peer reviewing of work and the benefits that this can bring.

Personal Twitter
Sharing Ideas
The blog posts have allowed me to share ideas between peers and to get opinions that I would never have come across otherwise. A great example is some of the comments on Topic 2.

Many of the posts have close links with IT and therefore will be very useful for referring to in future interviews. This is especially true of Topic 1, which I have already spoken to members of industry about at a leadership conference I attended.

The feedback also allowed me to improve my posts using a Kaizan approach. This process of continuous improvement allowed me to develop my ideas each week.

My personal twitter page was purely used for social networking with friends and occasionally with business such as Gloucester Rugby RFC.
The new account allows me to interact with peers, share ideas and discuss different concepts and opinions.

My LinkedIn profile has been transformed.  I started to build my professional network through friends of friends and connect with university lecturers. Adding my g-mail account really helped find connections.

I also used Scribd to have a copy of my CV on the site as well. Endorsements have also helped to build the professionalism and credibility of my page. The best feature in my opinion is the jobs you might be interested in e-mails that I receive, these take into account your activity on LinkedIn and are tailored appropriately.

Tailored Job E-mails
I’ve transformed my about.me page, first of disabling my Instagram (not professional!) and adding LinkedIn and Blogger. I’m also attempting to build a website similar to Jon Philips's page using a bootstrap template with the help of w3 schools, this will hopefully help me promote myself online further.

As a general theme when developing my online identity I used the same profile picture to try and keep my online identity consistent

The social networking aspect has definitely aided my career prospects. When applying to Tesco, I liked their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page so that I could get the latest up-to-date information. When at the assessment centre I mentioned some of this information that had been publicised and it showed my increased awareness of the brand. In the past I had not thought of doing any of this, but by incorporating it into my everyday interaction with social media, it becomes less of a chore than checking the website every other day! 

To conclude I have learnt a lot from completing UOSM:2008, and have enjoyed the experience.  I will use the blogposts as part of my online identity in the future. The blog will now be incorporated under my existing blog under a separate tab. I've had peer feedback in courses before but I haven't been able to respond to comments, this has been the most informative part of the course for me.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Summary Post for Topic 5 #uosm2008


A common theme amongst the articles I’ve read seems to be that at least at some point during university people have been unable to access the journal/article that they require. This is worrying partly due to the fee’s that we pay as students (where does this money go?!), and secondly because if you are not a student at a university what chance have you got at accessing these high level materials?!

The summary section of most students posts encouraged the idea of open access (who wouldn’t!), but stressed that it’s going to be a bumpy ride along the way. I thought to myself after reading this, is there a half-way point that can be achieved in order to make the transaction to open access easier?

A potential idea that I thought of after reading:

Is that individuals could be granted access to articles if they had a need for them. The danger is if everything is made open, the vast majority of people will only read articles that interest them.

For example I might read up about the latest developments in cloud computing, but not on the latest techniques being used to find oil. By having access to individual parts at a time it might make the open access financial structure more plausible in the future. So for example if the a person is told to take a certain drug by the doctor the patient should have the right to read up on the drug in question.

Many peers mentioned that with open access there is a lack of quality control and therefore a lack of quality. Even if this is the case in the industry, hopefully the push from students will help overcome these preconceptions and that high quality articles will be made available to everyone.

To conclude if we go off the beaten track a bit, and individuals are unable to be inquisitive through reading up on subjects of interest, there is a danger that our natural urge for learning and innovation will be subdued by simply accepting that we do not deserve this level of knowledge due to our financial wellbeing.

Friday, 2 May 2014

#uosm2008 - Explain the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online

There are many advantages and disadvantages for a content producer to put their materials online. First of all content can be anything, from a simple selfie
 to an academic journal, screen-print IEEE XPLORE. During this blog post I will mainly be focussing on academic journal content.

This video [1] talks about open access and stressed about the unfairness that academic journals costs have outpaced inflation by 250%, hardly fair. But I’m sure they’re not the only business that does this for example of the price of medication. [2]


The advantage of making content freely available online is that the exposure is likely to be far greater and that a breath of people will be able to access your work, especially those in developing countries who need the knowledge most but don’t have the finances to pay hefty subscription fees, such as 15712,06 Euros! [3]

YouTube is a great example of content being distributed freely, people producing content for the masses with no limitation on who views it and how many times.

Another advantage are the morals of a writer, when they know that all there hard work can be shared with everyone not just those who are financially well off.


On the other hand you could argue that the producer of the content would want recognition in the academic world, and this often comes from being in high quality journals, which often have a high price tag.

Also if the user doesn’t have to pay to access the journal someone has got to pick up the publishing costs, this can often be the author. [4]

Quality is another issue that might worry content producers especially academics who need to publish their work. In paid journals there is strict quality control through peer review. However quality control varies in open access and is especially low in some repositories. [5]


In summary the views on open access are starting to gain popularity recently Harvard [6] explained its journals bill, which it claimed, was in the millions “We simply cannot go on paying the increase in subscription prices”. 

Unfortunately the change to open access will not be easy as mentioned in this article [7] “universities are locked into buying their products. Academic papers are published in only one place, and they have to be read by researchers trying to keep up with their subject”


[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L5rVH1KGBCY
[2] http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB105779249051280400
[3] https://www.bibliothek.kit.edu/cms/english/most-expensive-journals%20.php
[6] http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/apr/24/harvard-university-journal-publishers-prices
[7] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/academic-publishers-murdoch-socialist

Sunday, 30 March 2014

#UOSM2008 - Topic 4 Summary

This week topics of ethical issues raised by social media with regards to educational and business use has been extremely interesting.

For me the most exciting part was trying to distinguish between these two lines. Business often want to educate their customers in a business environment too try and encourage users to buy their products. In some cases they need to educate the user in order to increase the chance of a purchase of a product or service.

For the first time in this module I struggled to think of an ethical issue of social media within education. Thank you for the comments which kindly gave me some guidance of the sort of examples required.

As always, different members of the module each took a different approach on the title. The general feel that I got from reading others blog posts. Is that it is becoming increasingly apparent that some sort of guidelines/laws need to be put in place for both business and educational communities with regards to social media. By having these it will hopefully reduce the number of ethically unacceptable incidences. For example it is not acceptable, as discussed in depth, for a head of PR to tweet racist comments, but nor is it acceptable to tweet savage unnecessary abuse in response. As discussed in a previous blog post just because you’re on twitter doesn’t mean you can say what you want.

On the other hand many people discussed whether a one size fits all policy will work or not, the chances are that it will not, mainly due to the variety of users/points of views on social networks.

In my opinion there is always going to be a divide on what is considered a joke and what is abuse. This is more or less dependent on who is involved, any negative feedback I receive is always taken with a pinch of salt, and I never take it personally. But other people/organisations have global reputations to maintain and so taking abusive comments on the chin isn’t always an option.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

#uosm2008 - Topic 4 -Discuss the ethical issues raised by educational and business uses of social media


“Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share, or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.” [1]

Ethical issues with social media:

From researching the #hasjustinelandedyet [3] it shows that ethical issues such as racist comments can be easily spread to a global audience. This is an issue because it is the twitter platform that allows the spread of this non-ethical content. This article [4] looks at how twitter is stuck in the middle between freedom of speech and slander laws.

Ethical issues with Educational Use:

For me educational use includes learning about someone. This is what businesses often do while screening candidates online. Is it fair that information intended for social interaction, e.g. Facebook profile pictures, can then be used to asses if your are an appropriate candidate for a job?

Ethical issues with Business use:

From reading an by the Institute of Business Ethics [5], the main issue to be considered is Integrity of the businesses brand image and ethics. This is often compromised by an employee using social media in an irresponsible way, this is sometimes done through a company account and other times done through a personal account, but mentioning the company in question. Various examples can be seen here http://www.smartplanet.com/photos/10-brands-damaged-by-social-media-disasters/ [6].

On the other hand -> Positive Aspects of Social Media:

Social media services such as twitter give a voice to people who have often felt excluded and powerless [2]. Every tweet is public and every #hashtag is valid and so it is easy to get views across and into the public eye. #freedomOfSpeech

Personal Experience:

For me the worrying part is when brands pages apear up on my newsfeed saying that one particular friend and 24 of your other friends like the particular brand. An example from my phone can be seen below.

I worry that many of the pages that I’ve liked may be used as an endorsement to my friends too. The way in that Facebook defend this point of view is that it is like walking out of a shop with a branded bag. By carrying it you tell other people that you like it, and almost that you endorse it.

But shouldn’t consumers who click the like button have a choice about whether their name is used to promote a brand or not?

Just because I’m carrying a bag from Primark doesn’t mean I have to carry it in Primark bag?!

The majority of my Facebook group likes are down to people hijacking my account anyway, with multiple pages including Justin Bieber and One Direction, this could mislead people to thinking I like these bands.


[1] Ahlqvist, Toni; B├Ąck, A., Halonen, M., Heinonen, S (2008). "Social media road maps exploring the futures triggered by social media". VTT Tiedotteita – Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (2454): 13.
[3] http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonvingiano/this-is-how-a-womans-offensive-tweet-became-the-worlds-top-s
[6] http://www.smartplanet.com/photos/10-brands-damaged-by-social-media-disasters/