Reflection on UOSM2008

Final thoughts for Living and Working on the Web

A Reflection
Created using Canva

With Living and Working on the Web complete, what can I say I’ve achieved?

By researching the topics over the course of UOSM2008; presenting this information and discussing it online with others, I have gained a much better appreciation on how I use the internet and how I portray myself to others. My favourite topic being Topic 4, since my mum works in a primary school it seemed appropriate to research an area which could benefit the young children she works.

Below is a podcast, lasting 40 minutes, that Philip Archer-Lock and I did to summarise what we had learnt in each topic, produced by Philip (2017):

As explored in Topic 3, everything that you say online is permanent and can have long lasting effects on both your personal and professional life, like the case of Justine Sacco. With this in mind, I had been quite cautious when posting online before but throughout the module I have become more comfortable in posting onto online platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.

At the beginning of this semester, I created a new twitter account specifically for this module, which I have used to promote my blog and will continue to utilise for my future professional presence. I further developed my professional profile by creating a LinkedIn account, which has only been active since February this year, both profiles are shown below:

Now that I have a deeper understanding to the image that I portray to users online, I can stay in control of that through my social media, professional accounts and this blog. This is a key point that I be mindful of as I move forward into the professional world, otherwise I too will succumb to the unforgiving nature of social media and become a pariah.

My hope for the future is that I will continue to blog in order to expand my online presence in a professional setting. The aim is to create a political and economical blog which would show off a number of key strengths; my economics knowledge which I have studied during university, that I am staying up to date with current affairs, having a strong online presence and the skills I have gained through this module.

Below is a self-created PowToon video summarising what I have achieved in Living and Working on the Web:

Overall, Living and Working on the Web has made me much more proficient in a number of skills which I hadn’t been exposed to before, namely media creation. Additionally, the online profiles that I had before this module began and the profiles made during UOSM2008 are noticeably different, with my newer accounts being more professional and of a higher quality.

So, in answer to my initial question, I can say I have achieved a lot and I am happy with the progression I have made, being surprised at how much there was to learn regarding my own online presence. In relation to my initial self-assessment here is how it stands:

  Rating at start of module Comments Rating at end of module Comments
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information


3 As part of university work assessing the reliability of sources is crucial along with searching for the right information. 4 Although I had done this as a part of university work, this module has honed my ability to find the right information.
Participating in online communities



1 I don’t usually follow along in online communities other than in facebook/whatsapp group messages. 3 I still haven’t done much of this other than in context of the module, however I am becoming more comfortable in engaging others online.
Building online networks around an area of interest



2 I have put together a list of videos/links to easily find information I need on my interests, mainly youtube with a couple of different catergories and bbc good food. 3 This hasn’t changed all that much but when in a few topics came up I did group together information around an area I was interested in.
Collaborating with others on shared projects



4 Collaborating with others is something I have had experience with; presentations, coursework, shows and meetings. 4 The score hasn’t changed but I still feel that I have developed collaborating skills in different areas to which I was used i.e. podcasts.
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)



1 I have never made anything other than on paint but have not done anything with video editing or audio. 4 This has been the biggest area of improvement. I have gained a lot of knowledge in media creation websites such as Canva and PowToon.
Managing your online identity



3 I try to keep everything either professional or not easily accessible for anyone just to flick through. 4 Since the beginning of this module I have created new online accounts which I will be able to manage well thanks to UOSM2008.
Managing your online privacy and security



4 Checking privacy settings and the security of sites is a top priority of mine so I am experienced in managing this. 4 After Topic 3 I was more aware of the personal/professional crossover but this has not changed in relation to security.


Reflection of UOSM2008, YouTube video: Available here

UOSM2008 Review Podcast, YouTube video: Available here

Word Count: 498

Topic 5

Reflection on Topic 5

Created using Canva

The final week’s topic of open access had been a nice conclusion to the ‘Living and Working on the Web’ module and have felt strongly in favour for open access to become more prevalent in the academic world.

Through reading other’s blogs, it seemed that as a group we agreed that open access would bring more benefits than costs, not just academically. Harriet illustrated through her tweets with @andreift9 that open access can be momentous within the art community as well. I asked Harriet on her blog whether low quality content would be ever be a big enough issue (see comment on Harriet’s blog). Her reply focused on a point from Callum’s blog, where different options, green and gold, could affect the level of quality. The differences between the green and gold options is not something I had considered and is summarised below:

Created by Callum Rooke (2017)

In Caiti’s blog, covered the costs of open access publication in more depth and after reading this blog I decided to do more research into the publication charges associated. My comment on Caiti’s blog referred to a comment on the quantity of medical papers being published, since medical students are advised to use the most recent sources possible, I thought this might contribute to a diminishing average in quality.

Overall, this topic is incredibly relevant in the academic world and I believe that open access needs to the norm rather than the exception since it affects all people . Directly, it benefits university students, researchers and scientists but indirectly it benefits; the advancement of technology and science through increased publications and students in relatively poorer countries, who can now be taught more material since schools would have access to new content.

The pros and cons can be briefly summarised in the video below:

Self created using PowToon

Word Count: 296


Research Councils UK, (2015). ‘Review of the implementation of RCUK Policy on Open Access’. Available here: [Accessed on 12/05/2017]. Used in self made PowToon video

Topic 5

Topic 5: Pros and Cons to open access

the pros and cons of
Created using Canva

First of all, what is open access?

Open access refers to content that is digital, online, free of charge and free from almost all copyright and licensing restrictions (Suber, 2014). What this essentially means is that the content that is created under this ideology will be available to anyone that can access the internet.

Many websites that rely on user-generated content, such as YouTube and DevianArt, have open access in order for everyone to view the content created. Other sites, such as The Times, have begun to hold content behind a ‘pay-wall’ where the content is only available through a one off payment or a subscription basis (Lepitak, 2013). However, within the academic world the story is very different.

Below is an 8 minute YouTube video which describes the argument for open access:

In academics, journals are created by scientists and researchers who are paid by governments or universities with the purpose of discovering something new or even building on what is already available. Without open access both, especially the latter, is incredibly difficult if there is restricted access to other people’s work which might be relevant or even crucial to yours.

Open access does not necessarily mean that all journals end up being free but it would mean that academic work would be more widely available to the public. This could spur a massive jump forward in terms of scientific progress and that momentum would continue since more people could build on previous works. Additionally, lower income countries would be able to teach a lot more whereas before they were, as explained in the YouTube video above, only able to teach what they had access to.

However, open access comes at a cost. For authors wishing to publish their work, even in open access journals, they would need to pay a journal publication charge from their own pockets for it to be readily available to everyone. Additionally, authors would still be hoping their work has ‘impact factor’. Essentially, authors still want their content to be perceived as high-profile and will want it to be published in the most distinguished journals, most of whom do not have open access.

Overall, I think that the advantages of open access far exceed the downsides associated with it. If this were to become commonplace in the academic community, then scientific research would only benefit.


Hall, M., (2014). Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders. Available from: [Accessed on 04/05/2017]

Lepitak, S., (2013). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. Available from: [Accessed on 04/05/2017]

PHD Comics., (2012). Open Access Explained! Available from: [Accessed on 03/05/2017]

Skoll World Forum., (2013). Education Finally Ripe For Radical Innovation By Social Entrepreneurs. Forbes Article available here: [Accessed on 04/05/2017]

Suber, P., (2015). Open Access Overview. Available at: [Accessed on 04/05/2017]

Wiley., (2014). Understanding Open Access. Available from: [Accessed on 05/05/2017]

Wiley, D., Green, C. & Soares, L., (2012). Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning.

Word Count: 391

Topic 4

A Reflection on Topic 4

How To Behave Online
Created using Canva

With the number of internet users continuing to grow, considering that just over 3.5 billions people are able to access the internet (, there is an increasing pressure to ensure people use the internet ethically.

Within Phil’s blog he focused on how social media generates a ‘lynch mob’ mentality in cases much like Justine Sacco, which we have explored previously. In my comment on his blog, I asked whether there was anything that could be done to help prevent this kind of attitude since it seems to do more harm than good to many individuals and it seems from Phil’s reply that this will not pass any time soon.

Similarly, Caiti’s blog explored how businesses browsing the social media of its current and prospective employees can be problematic. This again links into the familiar situation where one post can suddenly be spread like wildfire and lead to the eventual dismissal of individuals. My comment here queried whether there was anything employees could do to help stop businesses from checking their social media.

Although these blogs concentrated on a different area to mine, it is still important to note that the ethics of social media use effects everyone, not only children. Making it essential to educate internet users on how to use it while being conscious of others.

Luckily, there is something being done to educate young students on the use of the internet, with schools teaching their students how to stay safe online. However, in Ellie’s comment on my blog, it seems that a lot more can still be done to help protect those most vulnerable on the internet.

With all that being said, I still feel like there is a long way to go to establish a safe environment for everyone and that internet users behave properly.


Word Count: 298

Topic 4

Topic 4: Social Media Ethics

Created using Canva

The advent of social networking sites has made all of us more connected and by doing so has allowed others to more easily contact each other. Some of those connections are positive but some are not.

The format of social networking we see today began in the late 90s with ‘Six Degrees’, a social networking site that allowed users to create profiles and connect with others through existing relationships or through mutual interests (Boyd et al. 2007). However, it wasn’t until 2004 when MySpace was launched that social networking really took off.

With so many children having their own phone, it’s no wonder that they are joining the world of social networking and are exploring the internet. Much like in Topic 2, it is hard to know who is online and the ability to post/comment online anonymously can create an environment where people can be abused. A study was carried out to assess what students in primary and secondary schools; used the internet for, how they interact with others and what about the internet is a concern for them. Below is data showing what technology students use:

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 18.49.38.png
Table taken from UK Safer Internet Centre study
Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 20.07.54
Screenshot taken from UK Safer Internet Centre study

Cyberbullying is a big concern for parents and teachers. With 40% of 7-11 year olds knowing someone that has been cyberbullied (Boyd et al., 2007) and 7 out of 10 young people aged 13-22 have been the victim of cyberbullying (Anon, 2015). Furthermore, 60% of children aged 13-18 were asked for a sexual image or video of themselves (NSPCC, 2014).

This kind of attitude to what is acceptable online is unfortunately a reality for young people but luckily there is some good news.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 21.14.07
Screenshot taken from study

The table to the left illustrates how many children were taught how to stay safe online whilst at school. Although this is not the case in every school, the fact that schools are beginning to introduce this is a step in the right direction. If this continues then this will lead to more young people knowing what to do to stop, block or report negative content that they find as well as help others who may be experiencing cyberbullying.

Hopefully, all children will be taught how to be safe online as part of their curriculum in order for cyberbullying to stop and attitudes towards what it acceptable behaviour online to change.

Below is a YouTube video on how to prevent cyberbullying:


Anon (2015) “Facts and statistics on bullying and cyber bullying

Boyd, D; Ellison, N. (2007) “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship“. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (Accessed 25th March)

Broadbent, H., Fell, L., Green, P., and Gardner, W. “Have your Say: Young people’s perspectives about their online rights and responsibilities, YouTube video: “How to Prevent Cyberbullying

NSPCC (2014) “Childline Review: What’s affected children in April 2013 – March 2014


Summit, Roy (2011) “Facebook domination vs MySpace fall: Data comparison” (Accessed 25th March)

Word Count: 392

Topic 3

A reflection of Topic 3

Standing out
Created using Canva

When considering on how to create an authentic professional profile, there are a few basic building blocks that remain relatively similar. However, as your profile begins to be more easily recognisable or even now that you are employed this is where some extra steps are necessary to maintain your profile and retain the image you have created for yourself.

Harriet made an excellent point on her blog about ‘oversharing’ which I had not previously considered and is in fact the crucial point in cases just as Justine Sacco, too much was shared to a public domain. My comment on Harriet’s blog and her subsequent reply led me to come to the realisation that oversharing is becoming a fairly big obstacle when creating a professional profile. We have all posted or shared something that we would classify as overly personal or revealing but on social media sites this is encouraged and I’m not discouraging it but having this visible to potential employers or current employers won’t yield productive results.

If I were to ever give advice on how to create a professional profile I would point them towards Brad’s blog. He explains pretty much everything you would need to consider when creating one and promotes the idea of creating a ‘brand’ through the use of different programmes such as Canva. Additionally, in our discussion on his blog we both explore the idea of making sure that you are noticed when being searched and that can come down to privacy settings or how well managed your profile is.

Overall, I think that creating a professional profile is easy but refining it into something to showcase is more difficult. This is only made more difficult when you realise you have a similar name to someone more well known.

Word Count: 295

Topic 3

Topic 3: Building a professional digital profile

Created using Canva

Regardless of whether you are just joining the professional scene or are already a part of it, having something that will make you instantly recognisable and makes you stand out from the crowd is essential. In the digital age, creating a professional online profile and building your ‘personal brand’ is quickly taking job hunting to a new level. So should you create one?

Below is a short video of why developing your personal brand is beneficial when trying to get a job.


When creating your profile you need to consider the image that you wish to portray, and usually the main element won’t change considerably between candidates so the details you add, or the ‘trimmings’ will be what sets you apart (Nissim, 2013). This can be done by demonstrating versatility in your hobbies and interests, which you can easily link to in your profile. So that blog or those graphics you’ve made for projects can add to your story.

Additionally, just like any CV you create, it will need updating and managing to make sure that it is authentic. There is no point creating a professional identity if employers do not trust it or if there are inconsistencies, the goal is to be as clear and concise as you can.

Therefore, choosing what to showcase, hold back and keep to yourself are things that need serious consideration and will only be obtainable through proper management of your online identities. One of the decisions that many forget about is what you are already showcasing without even realising, through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Ronson (2015) explores in his article, cases in which proper management between personal and professional profiles were ill-managed, in these instances, social media pressured firms which eventually lead to the loss of jobs. The infamous case of Justine Sacco, social media blew up after a tweet she had made began to go viral and even though Justine only had 170 followers, it became the number one trending topic on Twitter (#HasJustineLandedYet) during her 11 hour flight. This is still continuing today and is by no means the only case.

To avoid this, I would recommend separating your professional and personal profiles. It will stop employers from seeing drunk photos from your big night out and make them focus on the professional image you have put time into creating on LinkedIn or other professional platforms.


BBC news,. “Job hunting: How to promote yourself online” (2013) (Accessed 9th February)

Nissim, G. “How to build a professional digital profile” (2013) (Accessed 10th February)


Anon,. “How blogging can help you get a job” (2014) (Accessed 8th February)

Carruthers, R. “Managing your digital footprint” (2012) (Accessed 9th February)

Harris, L. “Using social media in your job search” (2014)

Jobvite,. “Social Recruiting Survey” (2014) (Accessed 10th February)

Ronson, J. “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life” (2015) (Accessed 6th February)

Tapscott, D. “Five ways talent management must change” (2014) (Accessed 7th February)

Word Count: 399


Topic 2

A reflection of Topic 2

Created using Canva

Before I had written my post for topic 2 I had already assumed that the debate over multiple online identities would come down to security, oh how I was wrong.

A part of the debate can be attributed to a security aspect, wherein hackers may be able to gain access to accounts and private information which can later be used for identity fraud (mentioned in the beginning of the “anonymity vs. identity” conference). This is something I was always conscious of when creating online accounts so focused in on this, however there is much more to the debate than this.

Something which we had touched on before in topic 1 is that there are differences in how we use the internet, thus keeping these identities separate became another part of this debate. Phil’s blog focused in on this and illustrated how far your online presence can spiral out of control. Phil and I discussed both of our points, both on my blog and on his, and after reading his blog and discussing it with him, I fully understand how having multiple identities and keeping them separate can benefit the individual.

Additionally, I had not considered the regulation of communities in order to facilitate having multiple identities, Carolina’s blog ended stating as such. In my comment on Carolina’s blog, she replies with the idea that people shouldn’t need to hide their identity in order to participate and there should be measures in place to stop people from being attacked. So if it is possible to properly manage your identities, then there would be no need to wear an ‘online mask’.

All in all, I think that this topic has shown me how narrow my train of thought was initially and how there is always scope to think from a different perspective.

Word Count: 300

Topic 2

Topic 2: Online Identity

Taken from

Over the last decade or two, the internet has quickly become the place for people to socialise, increasing the need to create a permanent identity online. On social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, you can choose who to ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ but how do you know these profiles represent who they are meant to?

Here is an example of using one account to create another.   Screenshot taken from

Many companies and websites are expanding on the idea of having one all inclusive identity, where it is becoming more prevalent to find an account sign up similar to that on the right.

There are advantages to having one online identity, people on the internet are confident that you are who you claim to be. This is especially useful if you are well known or part of multiple communities, where checking credibility benefits those linked to your accounts and the information you provide is reliable to those who want to use it (Costa and Torres, 2011). Additionally, with an ever increasing amount of platforms to join and create profiles for, it becomes easier to access all of them.

For those who are not very security conscious this can result in a vulnerability whereby someone would be able to hack into one account and have access to the rest, as well as your personal information and possibly more. So what if you have many accounts with differing pseudonyms?

This type of approach would allow users to be able to freely express themselves in many differing communities or even open up the discussion on controversial topics, since they get to hide their ‘true identity’. In the 1948 presidential election, a silent majority felt pressured to speak out in polls, so didn’t.

Taken from Forbes Magazine

However, the liberty to be able to speak freely would equally bring out the worst in people, through trolling and even spreading hate.

Above is a brief description of the extremes on the scale of online identities, anonymity and identity. The key word here being ‘scale’, I don’t believe that either extreme would be most beneficial, people will want a mixture of both. Having said that, I lean more towards having multiple identities since it will allow an environment of free discussion as well as keeping online identities separate, mainly for personal and professional uses, and will make it harder to gather information about you (Johnson, G., 2010).

Here is a link to a 30 minute conference on this discussion of anonymity vs. identity.


Costa, C. and Torres, R. “To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society” (2011) (Accessed on 20 February 2017)

Cunningham, L. “Harry Truman and the biggest polling error in presidential election history” (2016) (Accessed on 23 February 2017)

Johnson, G. “The Impact of Anonymity on Internet Safety, Security, and Content Integrity” (2010) (Accessed on 23 February 2017)


Cassely, M. “Multiple Personalities And Social Media: The Many Faces of Me” (2011), Forbes Article (Accessed on 23 February 2017)

Krotoski, A. “Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?” (2012), Guardian Article (Accessed on 20 February)

Word Count: 400

Topic 1

A reflection on Topic 1

Created by Author on

Having researched what it means to be a ‘native’, ‘immigrant’, ‘visitor’ and ‘resident’, I understand their strengths and weaknesses and the assumptions underpinning them. Before I started this topic, I made assumptions on how I would fit into Prensky’s digital ‘natives’ and ‘immigrants’ idea (Prensky, 2001). I assumed that I, along with many others on this course, would fall into the category of ‘natives’. However, after reading into the subject, I now realise I was looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

By reading articles and journals I now have a much better understanding on the subject of Digital ‘native’ and ‘residents’, a more inclusive framework surrounding people’s online capabilities, as well as the functions they serve to the individual. Additionally, reading other blogs assisted in reinforcing what I learnt and made me question the assumptions made (see comment I made on Emily’s blog), allowing me engage in discussions regarding relevant aspects crucial to this topic (see comments made on my blog by Emily and Brad).

This course has already opened the doors into a whole new learning experience, one in which I am not overly familiar with. Starting this blog and interacting with others has begun to broaden my overall understanding of what it means to be part of an online community to post, share and comment. Furthermore, I have been able to progress in my abilities to create visual aids either myself or through programs/websites as well as writing blogs, both being completely new to me.

As this course continues I hope that I continue to improve and fully appreciate my online presence, how that affects those around me and how others can benefit from it.


Prensky, M., (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants