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,

Topic 2: Reflection on Online Identities

After reading and reviewing other people’s blog posts, it’s clear that what constitutes a separate ‘online identity’ has a subtly different meaning for different people; some took this to mean that if their Facebook and LinkedIn ‘persona’ were different then they had multiple identities. I’d taken a different tack, assuming that an identity was only ‘separate’ when it was fragmented and disconnected (which really can only happen by design).

Both interpretations are valid, but if I’d recognised the different ways the questions was going to be approached then I would have presented a clearer rationale in my original blog.

Given my interpretation of ‘separate’, my blog expressed my reservations about the darker uses of such separate identities – and although no one challenged me directly – it is clear that I’ve been slightly narrow minded – as Nicole Odofin noted, professional bloggers need a private space to avoid their personal identities getting overwhelmed, while Saber Hamidi makes a similar point regarding TV personalities such as Christopher Poole’s TV interview. It is true that I’d be more interested in establishing different identities if I had a more newsworthy life.

That said, I still feel people are too keen to hide rather than exercise common sense – often expecting the law to provide an alternative to acting responsibly. Hence my question to Cheuk Sun, asking whether we are really clear enough about what is right and wrong to be able to legislate. And in similar vein I asked Bartosz Paszcza if he would be proud or ashamed of developing a tool that could hide your online identity.

Bartosz Paszcza also made an entry on my blog, challenging why I’m not more concerned about faceless government employees accessing ‘my’ data. I did have an inward debate when creating the original posting whether to include (and ridicule) such concerns by referencing a YouTube video: 

Perhaps, in hindsight I should have included it.