A Final Reflection on UOSM2008

At the start of this module, I was merely someone studying English Literature who had a penchant for writing essays. Over the past few months, I was challenged in what I was able to create content-wise and how to create it, having to write blog posts which included infographics and other media, something that is not common in my usual essays. I started with a self-evaluation across a range of points, and now here is my final self-evaluation of the same topics. The initial comments can be read here.

Reflection comments

While I made a new Twitter for this module, I quickly became a “lurker” more than an active contributor, only going on occasionally. Out of all social medias, I find Twitter the most difficult to adapt to, as it’s something that is more used on the spur. As a result, this – as well as an initial lack of use – meant that I would forget about Twitter more often than not.

Despite this, I have updated security and privacy settings on my accounts such as Facebook and my personal Twitter, and updated my LinkedIn account that I hadn’t touched much at all since I created it back in my first year at university! Something that I learnt from this module is that your online identity is important in terms of future employment, and as LinkedIn can be seen as an online CV I felt that it was necessary to start growing it. I will endeavour to keep this up after this module, as it can be crucial to future employment, especially with the rise of social media use by employers.

linkedin profile

While Instagram is mostly a personal platform, I found that it could also potentially help in creating connections with those who have similar interests, especially when you take note of the relevant hashtags associated with them. I have found that my more successful posts have been ones with an array of hashtags that aren’t just put in for the sake of it, and as a result have more interactions.

instagram interactions

However, sometimes posts will become popular as a result of people seeing it at the right time, something that I’ve learnt could happen when reading about the Justine Sacco case!

instagram interactions 2

As a final reflection, what I’ve learnt is that while I have a number of personal and professional profiles across social media platforms, it is most important to be authentic. It may be that I have multiple online identities, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t all authentic representations of me. What matters is how I present them, and how I use them, as they will all have an impact on my own life, whether it is professional or not.

Also, I will aim to keep growing my online identities professionally, as this module has taught me the importance of this online presence in terms of future employment! I believe that this module has given me a good headstart, and I hope to continue exploring these topics in an MSc in Web Science!

(Word Count: 500)

Introductions

Hi everyone! My name is Andy, currently a student at the University of Southampton. I have set up this blog to reflect on topics outlined in one of the modules I have taken this semester: UOSM2008 – Living and Working on the Web. Topics will relate to the online world we live in, and the identities that we present ourselves as on the web.

Rating at start of module Comments Rating at end of module Comments
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information  3  As an English student, finding references include both offline and online texts. Over time it is necessary to become well-versed in the evaluation of what is useful regarding the topic at hand.
Participating in online communities  3  While I don’t have a lot of communities online site-wise, there are various groups on Facebook that I participate in regularly, each pertaining to different interests.
Building online networks around an area of interest  2  While part of a variety of online networks, I find it hard to build up my own network around me.
Collaborating with others on shared projects  2  Having done group projects before, I can say that I am able to collaborate with others towards a mutual goal, however I much prefer working by myself.
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)  3  I have mainly used Adobe Photoshop in editing/drawing, and have also used audio/video editing software. I have limited knowledge on this however, only having done a few things before.
Managing your online identity  2  I have a limited online identity, most of which is on Facebook as the main social media platform I use. I feel that I could benefit in broadening the areas that I have a presence in.
Managing your online privacy and security  3  While I maintain security and privacy settings on Facebook, I realise that there are other platforms which I don’t have full privacy control over.

So why did I choose this module? 
As an English Lit student, I felt that as times change, so do the ways of literature. More and more often, you find people self-publishing novels, creating stories online, or – funnily enough – publishing blogs. In a technologically advancing world, I think that it’s important to keep up, and therefore to learn how to better manage an online presence on the web.

What in particular do I want to learn?
As mentioned above, I want to learn how to manage my online identity in order to make it the best it can be. In a world where people can find friends just based on a name, it has to be kept in mind what exactly people can find of you.

Which degree programme am I studying?
English Lit – just slightly different from this module, but overall I think they can hugely benefit each other.

Have you studied online before?
Not at all! This is the first time in which I won’t be studying outside of a computer; I must say as an English student this is quite the difference!