Reflective Summary

The Living and Working on the Web module is rapidly coming to a close, as is my time at University! Below is a prezi that summarises what I have learned while taking this module, and a vlog to describe how it has helped me in the real world. Overall this was an interesting and extremely useful course, a welcome break from English Literature.



‘Selling me’ video:

My Personal Blog:

My University Blog:  

Magazine Articles:



About me:

Youtube channel:




Retrospect – Topic 5 – Who’s The Dinosaur In The Room?

To be honest, this isn’t a subject I’d thought about before; like all of our community, when I’ve been completing my University assignments I have found it difficult or impossible to access key articles. So before looking into this topic I would have been 100% in favour of Open Access. Similarly, if someone had warned that this can effect quality I wouldn’t have worried (in English Literature we get extra marks for well-structured criticisms of published work, which is obviously easier if the quality of that work is poor).

However, having looked at the topic it became clear that the dynamics are different in different subjects. In my case – being an English Literature student -the goal of researchers is unambiguously to publish, publish, publish. But in science and engineering there is an inherent conflict between the desire to publish, and the realisation that publication can destroy value. This is a theme that no one else seemed to have picked up on so, I chose to emphasise it in my exchanges with Zia, Ben and Bartosz. Accuracy is also a difficult concept; in English Literature all that counts is having a well-structured and defended view – there is rarely a right or wrong answer. In science there is right and wrong – so peer review of published work is vital.

The theme that underpinned all of my postings was the concept of business models. I believe that with the right business models Open Access can work. Without it, it will fail.

And that is my “Dinosaur in the Room” – business models.

Otherwise, I have again learned much about my fellow bloggers. I note there are few scientists amongst us, and as a community I think we have taken a narrow world view as a result. Indeed, I suspect that the views I have taken would have been reflected by someone taking scientific subject.

Who’s The Dinosaur In The Room?

This week I’m using PowToon and ScoopIt to present my thoughts, backed up with some old-fashioned text.

The Open Access ethos equates to making material publicly available, so that it can be freely read and used. As highlighted last semester by Lucy Hewson, in the case of academic papers this enables academia and industry to use and build on such publications. However, as there are reduced controls on these dissemination routes, it can result in poor peer review and hence there may be an accompanying reduction in the quality of published work. Further, in the case of science and engineering, the funding body – a country or a business – will want to see an economic return on their investment. Here, the cost of turning a University’s idea into a product is generally so high that the investment will only take place if the core idea has been kept secret or patented.

As Unesco note, the conflict between publication and secrecy is reflected in the system of Intellectual Property, which seeks to balance the needs of the author/inventor and the needs of society.

So, does the system of intellectual property rights match today’s need? Patents protect inventions for up to 20 years and can cost £100,000 pounds. In contrast, copyright which protects music, costs nothing and lasts 70 years after author dies. Unsurprisingly, many regard current system as flawed, including the European Commissioner for Telecom and Media, Viviane Reding.

Indeed, it could be argued that internet piracy is a natural response to unfair legislation that has led to the accumulation of massive wealth by pop-stars, footballers, and alike. But as Viviane Reding highlights, we not only need changes to intellectual property legislation, but also the business models used to generate money from people’s work.

  • Perhaps music should be made freely available online and revenue sought from radio plays, product endorsements, concerts and alike; Ed Sheeran seems to reflect this view, as shown in this Guardian article.
  • Similarly, as highlighted by Calum Burgess last semester, the online game League of Legends is free to use, but generates income by selling optional clothes and alike for the online characters to wear.

So, for me, science and engineering need secrecy and intellectual property rights; otherwise companies will not invest. But the creative sector, the arts, media and social sciences need to embrace Open Access and develop new mechanisms to benefit from their work – this may mean pop-stars have to accept a reduction in income, but I don’t see them giving up their careers because they are destined to be very-rich rather than mega-rich.


Australian Open Access Support Group, Benefits of Open Access,

Calum Burgess, Spotify, USOSM2033: Living and Working on the Web,

David Willetts, Open, free access to academic research?, The Guardian, 1st May 2012.

David Y. Choia and Arturo Perezb, Online piracy, innovation, and legitimate business models, Technovation 27, pp. 168–178,

John Paul Titlow, Why 3D Printing Will Be The Next Big Copyright Fight, Readwrite, 2013

Lucy Hewson, Open Access for all, USOSM2033: Living and Working on the Web.

Stuart Dredge, Ed Sheeran talks Spotify royalties: I’m in the music industry to play live, The Guardian, 30th September 2014

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, The ABC of Copyright, 2010


Viviane Reding, Internet Piracy is a “Wake-up Call’ for Policy Makers, YouTube video

Topic 4: Reflection on Ethics

This topic was ostensibly about the ethical issues that are attached to business and educational use of social media. Oddly, at the end of the exercise, I’ve concluded that it is we, as individuals, who have the critical role in ensuring companies, individuals and educational establishments act appropriately. Companies respond to their customer’s demands – if their customers use the internet to call for change, then I suspect this will result in quicker action than any government or legislative pronouncement. We have a moral imperative to criticise the wrong doer. However, last semester Nabeel Siddiqui took a very different view, noting that ‘businesses, whether they are present online or physically, are not people. Morality and ethics are secondary concerns to most profit-seeking businesses.’ Personally, I agree with Din J’s views, who stated that the root cause of the problem is that ‘humans are known to be lazy and naïve’ In other words, we have the tools to improve internet’s morality – but do we care enough to do so? (Din’s blog also likened his ability to blog to an elephant’s ability to skip rope.)

As a result, the questions that I posted on Hayley Matthew’s and Leigh Ravenhill’s blogs were designed to check if they thought that they have a responsibility to ensure that employees (companies, after all, are nothing more than a collection of people) are challenged when they act inappropriately.

Otherwise, I find myself staggered by the variety of approaches our community has taken to the same question. That said, a common theme that cropped up was the need for companies to provide their employees with guidance on what is appropriate/inappropriate use of the internet. Again, I was amazed, this time, because my generation, that is supposed to be enjoying expanded freedoms because of the internet, is looking to be told how to behave. If we don’t know, deep down, what is right and wrong, then something is very wrong with our moral compass. So in a sense one of the key learning points I’ve taken from this module concerns human behaviour.  Humans have always wanted to look outside themselves for guidance on what is right and wrong, and we don’t seem not to have changed much.

Ethics, but whose ethics?

Each member of our blogging community has been asked to complete a retrospect after each topic. But we are also being prompted to share thoughts as we work, i.e. to share before, during and after.

Naturally I’ve taken to looking at what was produced last semester. I was really impressed by Sophie Collins’ use of Prezi, and decided the only way I can better it is to add sound – I’ve achieved this using an online tool which turns text into spoken word, where you can choose between different accents! Otherwise, having looked back, I’ve decided that I didn’t want to simply do an update of someone else’s work.

So, strangely, the way I’ve approached this question was inspired by Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking by the BBC. I love Top Gear and am now in mourning so I asked myself whether the views expressed by the public on the BBC social media sites should influence their decision, and if they did give in to public pressure, whether this was ethically correct.

My question is as follows:

Companies use social media to tell customers about themselves, their products and their values. But this is a two way process, the public can use this communication channel to criticise actions that they see as wrong, unethical or immoral. In some instances there can be a snowball effect and the voice of the public becomes so loud that the company has to alter the way it works.

In the first of these two presentations I’ll look at some examples of where companies have been attacked on their own social media platforms. And the second presentation will look at the ethical issues.


I’ve put together the following video to explore a moral dilemma, I’d be interested to hear your views:


Tools used:



Generic: z4WEyA

Last semesters work cited:

Sophie Collins,

Adam Stiles,

References used in case study:



Marie Claire,



Topic 3: Reflection on Creating an Authentic Professional Profile

For me, the key leaning point from this topic was the need to ensure that your professional profile showcases your personality, not just your skills. This was a point emphasised by Charles Hardy (the speaker on Aliyu’s video). I created my LinkedIn profile a few weeks ago, and looking at it now I realise that it really doesn’t show who I am as a person. To be honest, I should have picked up on this earlier – I recently went on an assessment day where they stressed that what the company was looking for was someone with a personality that fitted their culture. I’ve been thinking about recording a video for my LinkedIn account, which would certainly help add some personality – as Francesca was one of those who picked up on this theme I asked her if she would consider creating a video for her LinkedIn profile.

Another eureka moment occurred when looking at Tatiana’s blog, which mentioned that Huang et al. recommended creating an “organised visualisation of our person”. While this is definitely something I will try to do, it was actually the word ‘visual’ which triggered another line of thought – re: the need to maintain a consistent visual image (brand) across the different platforms we use.

I’m continually surprised how varied the views of our little blogging community are – one area of contention is the tendency to endow governments and companies with impenetrable motivations and morality; I find this a view a little strange as these organisations are run by people, not machines. Hence, I asked Ben if he felt that hiding our social lives would make us look too bland. It would be interesting to create a quiz around this theme (if the subject of the next topics allow).

The results from my blog’s questionnaire are below, I note that over half of the respondents have yet to set up a LinkedIn profile. I wonder if they think that the act of simply creating an account in the dying days of this course is enough to establish a professional profile.

Poll results

Boost Your Brand: Four Steps to Success

Let’s start with the basics – what does ‘authentic’ mean? – for me, (and the dictionary) it means real, genuine, original and accurate.

Hence, I am taking this question to mean, how should I go about showcasing who I really am?

You may be wondering, why is this important? The answer is simple, around 92 % of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates, and 31% use Facebook[1]. So your profile must be authentic.

Anyone wishing to establish an authentic professional profile will need to have a consistent message (or brand), use multiple platforms to build this profile, and remove anything that is inconsistent or inappropriate.

Bearing this in mind, my four step plan to create an authentic professional profile is as follows:

(Video created using GoAnimate, audio added using Audacity.)

Establish Your Own Brand: As the BBC video highlighted by Lisa shows, the first step is identifying what your potential employers are looking for – which will be a mix of technical skills, personality, passion and dedication. You need to find a way of describing how your attributes match those they are looking for. And this has to be short and snappy message. The concept of the elevator pitch is a useful one, shown here in this video: And remember, aside from your picture and name, your headline is what people see most often on LinkedIn[2].

Use Multiple Platforms: Clearly LinkedIn is the most well established professional platform, but this can be supplemented with a professional blog. It is also important to stand out on these platforms; last semester Sophie Collins highlighted the case of James Shamsi who not only had a video CV but posted his resume on Tinder. We should note that 94% if companies use social media to support their recruitment efforts[3].

You can even add videos to LinkedIn and you can apply the lessons that this course is teaching us to make yourself stand out.

Ensure Consistencies: This isn’t just about taking care when using Facebook. It is about ensuring that everything you post in the professional arena is consistent with your brand. Similarly, if you don’t have a (visible) Facebook account then this may look odd, and people may question why it is hidden. In a way this is the opposite of Topic 2 – clearly, if we have fragmented internet persona employers will question why. Ramierez found that 42% of candidate’s suitability was reconsidered based on the content found on their social web profiles[4].

Make the Most of What You’ve Got: Authenticity, in a sense, comes from time. If you have been keeping a fashion blog updated for five years, this shows that you have a genuine long term interest; similarly with LinkedIn, if you have a long standing account and are following key thinkers and key companies, with a range of professional people linked to you, this again emphasises your authenticity.

Take this short quiz to test the authenticity of your own professional profile:


[1] Asher Rospigliosi, Sue Greener, (ed) Proceedings of the European Conference on Social Media: ECSM 2014, link

[2] Laura Shin, Career and Money Secrets to Succeed in Today’s World, Forbes Signature Series,

[3] Jobvite, Social Recruiting Survey Results, 2003,

[4] Fernando Ramierez, Social Media Screening: a Candidate’s perspective, Recruiter,