This being my first attempt at blogging and the first blog I have ever had leaves me unsure of what to include in my introductory post, yet I am sure it will begin to come naturally within the coming weeks and months. I will update this blog regularly with my opinions based on research about a number of issues we face when presenting ourselves online and implications of a changing online world. A world where everything from social interaction to professional profiles are shared allowing a much greater access to information. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and challenging my ideas.
Living and Working on the Web was definitely a way of learning that I have never encountered before and it gave variance and freedom to my otherwise fixed timetable. I am a strong believer that working when motivated can produce much better results. The fact that I was left to choose when I wanted to learn as part of this module made it feel less like work and more like a hobby, even though what I have gained in terms of knowledge is huge.
I would say the thing I found most challenging was the small word limit to cover a sometimes very large topic; fitting all my ideas into 400 words seemed impossible! Yet, as I progressed I feel I found ways to condense my writing and add other media in order to convey my opinions. The topic I found most interesting would probably be Topic 5 about free online content as it allowed study into areas of my particular interest and by that stage I was more comfortable writing blogs.
As a first year student employment seems so far away yet in reality it will almost definitely creep up on me and this module has taught me the importance of having a strong professional online profile and being able to separate this from your personal social networks. I encountered statistics of an increase in employment due to online profiles alone during my research and I can see this way of recruitment becoming the norm. I have learnt that having a solid, professional online presence is vital to increase your employability in the competitive job market. For this reason I have created a new Twitter profile that I will use to share topics of interest related to my degree and a Linkedin profile that I will continue to update and develop.
I completed a self-assessment at the start and end of the semester to see how I had changed over the course of the module. It is obvious from the results that I’ve gained skills and confidence in not only blogging but in posting online in general. I have also learnt about the dangers of sharing views and information publicly in addition to the benefits. I have placed the table below and have shaded areas of improvement in green.
Overall I scored a total of 20/35 before and 25/35 after, showing a 25% increase in how confident I feel in those areas.
Confidence is just one of the qualities I have gained from the module as the following presentation shows:
This module has lead me to use several different websites for the first time to create images and media for my blog posts. By using a learning by doing approach, I feel reasonably comfortable creating infographics, Powtoon videos and Prezi presentations. I’m sure these skills will be very useful with the rest of my education and even into my career.
Ultimately, I have had a very positive experience taking this module and would like to thank all of those involved.
My Twitter – https://twitter.com/ChrisRSyder
My LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-syder
Cloud Image – http://www.sindoh.co.za/
When I read the Topic 5 question I thought there were many ways the presented question could be answered. To fit all opinions into a 400 word blog post was challenging and I feel only a couple of issues could be addressed. Others blogs seemed to either focus on open source academic papers or piracy online and how online users can access media for free even if it legally should be paid for. I discussed online advertising which is how the majority of online content is funded and the implications of content viewers blocking them and causing a rise in paywalls.
I received 4 comments on my blog from Davina, Tom, Kevin and Nickhil. Most commenters reviled they were users of ad block and now are more likely to consider their use of it more. Nikhils comment said there was a lack of depth that I feel I could go into with a longer blog post. Many of the people that commented on my post didn’t agree with my view that not all online content should be free as all information should be accessible yet I feel presenting information in any form is a service that needs to be funded, be it just to run servers to keep it online.
I commented on Kevin and Tom’s blogs. Kevin focused on educational materials and gave the view that materials should be open access as it provides a “superior learning experience”. He also gave the example of Khan Academy. Tom took a different approach and discussed artists opposing views on releasing free music and gave the argument that making content free would offer more opportunity to plagiarise others work. I think that the answer is not a simple yes or no but based on the type and value of content.
My Comments on Others Blogs
Comments on my Blog
As the internet became more popular, content producers started using it to distribute their material. Previously, this material, be it scientific papers, news or even media was paid for outright when it changed hands and this tradition has continued with web based content despite there being no variable costs to the distributor when displaying content online.
Income has to come from somewhere in return for the content being displayed as it takes time and money to be produced and this acts as an incentive to continue producing it. The majority of this comes from online advertising with $59.6 Billion being spent on it in 2015. This seems like a good system for distribution as content producers are being paid and it can be accessed freely. This is until ad blocking services became popular. The most popular service is “Ad Block Plus” which is an open source browser extension active on over 100 million devices. This service is expected to lose websites $41.4 Billion in advertising revenue in 2016 which causes content producers to financially struggle.
A new way of funding content had to be developed in order to keep content producers in the black. This comes in the format of paywalls which according to google are “an arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to the site”. Paywalls have been popular for years when distributing scientific papers yet these costs have dramatically increased in price with the average chemistry journal now costing an average of $4227 per year. There has been a rise in paywalls in the news industry with an increase in people reading news online rather than in physical formats as this gathers less revenue for media producers.
I think as piracy has allowed the public to access files on the internet for free, there is a lack of willingness to pay for material. I feel this is paired with the fact that without a physical good in hand, consumers may feel their money isn’t getting them as much. In my opinion, content producers should be rewarded for their content yet there are certain materials such as educational papers that restrictions to access may be holding back advances in knowledge. The solution lies where both consumers and producers can benefit, without there being heavy ethical drawbacks. Maybe educational content should be subsidized while others are left to find a way to fund themselves?
I enjoyed the freedom of this topic as I feel the task could have been taken in several ways. Upon reading others blogs I wanted to take a different approach to the task and present a very current issue that I thought a lot of other students could easily relate to. However, I do feel that more important issues were raised by other students, as privacy of online professionals in my opinion is not as important as the modern way in which the news is presented (as discussed in Tobie’s post). Although, privacy is an important ethical issue; it doesn’t matter if it is a celebrity’s privacy or any member of the public’s privacy.
I had a total of 5 comments of my blog post which is the most I have had. A couple that stood out for me were Wills comment and Claire’s comment. Will seemed to strongly agree with the points I made in my post and he made an interesting point about vloggers almost being seen as characters as the exposure of their lives in a way dehumanizes them. I guess this is why people see it more acceptable to invade their privacy. Claire discussed online celebrities being role models in the eyes of viewers and whether putting this pressure on YouTubers was fair on them. This was a point I hadn’t considered and in my opinion, when publicizing their lives online they need to consider the consequences as much as any other person.
I made a comment on Tobie’s post and also Nikhil’s post. Reading Nikhil’s post it became apparent of the lack of social media policy implemented by business’s in order to stop inappropriate content from being posted meaning maybe firms are to blame. Tobie discussed how news can be broadcast by anyone with a smartphone as many news broadcasters rely on first hand footage to report a story before they are even present at the scene. I stated that this can take away censorship and if this creates ethical problems.
My Comments on Others Posts
Others Comments on My Post
Today I’d like to talk about the ethics of professional use of social media, but not in a sense you might automatically assume. I will discuss people that gain income through their social media and the downfalls of doing so with regards to negative reaction from the public. Some of the most popular celebrities right now, especially amongst younger people, are known through the online social presence. For example “YouTubers” and the “Instagram famous” can make millions from sharing their social life, making it their main occupation. Yet, through making their social life available to the world they are left with very limited privacy and reactions to content can leave internet celebrities in trouble.
The 19 year old beauty vlogger, Marina Joyce, has an eccentric demeanour that drew attention to her making her go viral this year. Due to the way she acts in her videos and streams, viewers collectively sent out hundreds of thousands of tweets and contacted the police about potential drug abuse and other conspiracies. Due to this Marina and personal friends reacted in order to try and keep personal issues personal. A close friend, Karim Slimani, in anger tweeted “Someone’s PERSONAL LIFE AND PROBLEMS ARE NOT URS TO SHARE THIS ISN’T A F—ING TV SHOW”.
Zoella (Zoe Sugg) is one of YouTube’s biggest stars with over 10 million subscribers. She connects with fans using a wide range of social media platforms, one of which being Snapchat. What she thought was an innocent ‘Snapchat Story’ was thought to be inappropriate as her underwear exposed. As Zoe usually keeps a very respectable online profile this came as a shock to many fans and the story blew up in tabloid newspapers and on Twitter. As Zoe is in a relationship with another internet celebrity Alfie Days, they have claimed to feel “suffocated” with the lack of privacy they now have.
In my opinion, I feel that taking a career choice to be an internet celebrity denies a person much of their privacy because it is part of their job to expose their personal life for the entertainment of viewers. Obviously though, this should not be abused to the point where it is affecting the person creating content. This lack of privacy is rewarded though with a hefty salary, with Zoella earning around £50,000 (according to accounts obtained by The Sunday Times). This creates a question of whether it is worth sacrificing privacy for money.
Pewdiepie, the most subscribed YouTuber, has his say on the matter in a video below. (Warning of explicit language used during this video)
I feel that this week’s topic of authentic online professional profiles lead on nicely from last weeks as it went into more depth about a particular online identity that someone might choose to have and the best way to portray that. It was interesting to see that Linkedin was mentioned in nearly every other blog which shows how prevalent it is when marketing people.
When starting on this topic I was unaware of the extent online profiles were used during employment processes and reading others blogs as well of my research helped me understand why. There was a point I read about in Nik’s blog that I thought was important about fact that your available social profiles count towards an authentic professional profile. This is because a social profile such as Twitter, if contrasting with a professional Linkedin account can bring down the overall authenticity of a professional profile; another reason why privacy settings are so important.
I made a comment on Emma’s Blog discussing the implications of online personality tests during employment processes and whether the shift into an online world can fully overtake the need for face to face interviews. We both agreed that until meeting someone it is very difficult to get an authentic view of what they are like as answers to personality tests can be easily swayed to suit the interest of employers.
I also commented on Tobie’s Blog questioning the impact of a professional blog to improve employability. While I strongly agree it would add to an application it can be a time consuming profile for an employer to make a judgement on whether the author of the blog is fit for a job. Upon reflection though, I feel it depends on what industry a job hunter is in as one that relies heavily on visual aspects (e.g. media), a blog could easily display a portfolio.
In the last decade, employment from online social profiles has been on the rise. With 92% of employers using social media in the recruitment progress according to a study in 2012 by Jobvite, having an authentic online professional profile is becoming ever more important. It seems online professional profiles are replacing CV’s because headhunting potential candidates online can be a lot more efficient and also give a more genuine picture of a person. Websites such as Digital Profile and Linkedin provide a way of displaying qualifications, experience and skills, making the need for having a CV redundant. Due to the influences of this module I have created a Linkedin account that I will update as I complete both extracurricular and educational goals.
The websites above aren’t the only ways of advertising yourself for the job market. A blog or website is a great way to display your perks to potential employers; it gives you the opportunity to show a more personal side while still remaining professional. It can be a way of displaying in depth information about personal interest that’s available to employers if they are inclined to read it. Others have taken more extreme measures to advertise themselves on the job market with one example being 24 year old Adam Pacitti. He spent his last £500 on a billboard with a website “employadam.com” at a desperate attempt to get a job. As a result he received over 100 job offers which shows although his approach was obscure, originality is key to catching the eye of employers.
Google defines genuine as “truly what something is said to be; authentic”. I feel a genuine professional profile is one that contains a lot of information about a candidate and gives an employer a full picture. Yet despite this, I don’t feel aspects of social life must be included in order for a profile to be genuine; this goes back to the discussion of multiple online identities. Furthermore, I think multiple online profiles with a common image and information makes a person seem more authentic.
Issues can arise as a result of displaying yourself online to employers as if negative things are portrayed it can reduce chances of employment. For example, uploading pictures showing the consumption of alcohol is seen as a negative to 47% of the companies surveyed by Jobvite. Even tweeting about political views was seen as a negative by 18% of employers.