Signing Off on UOSM 2033 – The Last Post?

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When reflecting on this module, the main question I felt I had to ask myself was, how has this module changed the way I use the web? Somewhat oddly, I found that it was not as much as I had expected, However I found there to be good reason for this and I also realised I had learnt a huge amount about myself why I use the internet the way I do in both my working and professional life, as the Slideshow below demonstrates.

Before taking this module, I was always cautious with what I posted on my social media platforms. In my capacity as a sailing coach, I have always felt obligated not to post anything that would compromise my professionalism should any of my sailors find my online profiles. Indeed, many of the sailors I coach are children and are just starting to discover and utilise a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – all of which I have an account on. As such, everything I post has been considered before hand and I feel that I have been able to maintain a strong authentic online professional profile since establishing my business four years ago. Should a potential client search me on Facebook, for example, I would feel happy that the person they were seeing on the screen in front of them was a true reflection of the person they would meet in person. Amongst other things, this module has reiterated to me how important this is.

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Furthermore, this module has taught me how important it is to do exactly that – represent oneself authentically online. It has also taught me the potential negative consequences of abusing ethical standards online, aswell as a multitude of other new understandings. Consequently, my comprehension of the world wide web has changed and continues to change because of the material we have covered, perhaps best show by the following graph of my self test results.


The main thing I have gained through studying this module is the benefit of interacting with my peers. This is not something I have had the opportunity to do on a weekly basis in my academic life before and I found it to be wholly engaging and fulfilling. Comments from other bloggers often substantially increased my understanding of the topic we had been instructed to research.


Beyond this, I enjoyed the process of writing through the forum of a blog to the extent that it inspired me to carry on blogging in other capacity. Recently, I have started writing for a political orientated blog belonging to a friend of mine, ‘Foreword’.


This is something that I would never have considered doing prior to studying this module. The combination of increased online confidence and a better understanding of how to safely get involved in online communities that this module has given me has made me far more confident, well rounded and all round complete web user and for that I am grateful.

The module has been fun – I have enjoyed the lack of lectures and the challenge this presented in terms of managing my work load. I would welcome the opportunity to study a similarly structured module in the future.

Thank you Nic, Sarah and Lisa and Farewell UOSM 2033!


What is Religion? A Reflection

Topic 5 – The Final Reflection!


The Breadth of topic 5 has provided no end of material to discuss. Whilst I chose to focus my research on paywalls in the magazine industry, A quick scroll through the module home page shows the broad range of subjects one could have chosen to undertake for the final topic of the module.


Given the choices associated with this topic, I was able to find one that interested me greatly and since publishing my main post, I have been able to research the subject further. Indeed, public funded magazines are an example of how open access can work in practice. By relying on public funds, publication fees and institutional members, this strain of magazine cuts out subscription and licensing costs – an interesting development to my original post.

I chose to comment on Zac’s post as I found it to be relatable to my own. Zac raised some good points, but we had different opinions on why paywalls are set up. Whilst he felt it was competition based, I felt it was more an issue of quality and further research has shown this, with most high reputation outlets charging subscription fees, despite there being similar free material elsewhere (Yachts & Yachting and Scuttlebutt News is the best example I found).

Joe’s blog was very intriguing – It seemed strange to me that a producer would want their material pirated as this would nullify profit. Whilst I pointed this out in my comment, on reflection I do feel he makes a good point in that at the very least, their material would be seen by far more consumers, helping to make a name for themselves.

Technical issues meant I was unable to interact much with my fellow bloggers, which was a shame in the most engaging topic yet. However, small consolation was had in that this week was the first time my post attracted attention from outside the module.

Word Count: 308


“Open Access Magazines: University Library – University Of Bamberg”, Uni-Bamberg.De, 2016 <; [accessed 18 December 2016]

“Scuttlebutt Sailing News”, Scuttlebutt Sailing News, 2016 <; [accessed 18 December 2016]

“Yachts And Yachting Online – Sailing News As It Happens”, Yachtsandyachting.Com, 2016 <; [accessed 18 December 2016]

Media References:

“What Does The New Tri-Agency Open Access Policy Mean For Researchers? | University Affairs”, University Affairs, 2016 <; [accessed 18 December 2016].

“Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software – Canva”, Canva.Com, 2016 <; [accessed 18 December 2016].


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Joe’s BlogScreen Shot 2016-12-15 at 18.55.37.png

Read all About it! – Open Access in The Magazine Industry


For better or worse, our world is slowly being engulfed by the digital age and almost all written mediums are now making their way online. This has led to the advent of the ‘open access’ movement – essentially, making all scholarly material on the internet available to all. Peter Suber has described Open access as follows;

‘Digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions’

However, open access has relevance that stretches far beyond the world of academia. As an avid reader of several magazines, this blog post will explore the repercussions that open access has as far as the casual reader is concerned. The short presentation below sheds some light on some of the consequences that more open access material has had on the aforementioned industry.

As the presentation suggests, there are a multitude of factors to consider when assessing whether or not paywalls and open access have had a positive or negative effect or the magazine industry as a whole. However, some facts are known for sure;

  • As the magazine industry has expanded online, competition has increased
  • This increased competition is widely regarded to have had improved the quality of literature that is outputted

Open access has given rise to a new form of online reporting that has become the traditional magazines main rival and competitor – that which is free to use and circulate. This is in direct contrast with esteemed publications and new outlets such as offer short, easy to read articles free of cost. However this has its trade offs, adverts are far more common and the standard of journalism is generally inferior to that of its main rival.

Another undeniable truth is that ideas can be spread with far more ease and speed through open access. As explains, ‘This triggers new research studies; it acts as an impetus for knowledge.’ This could potentially mean that the increased competition that the magazine industry has faced has forced to ‘raise its game’, becoming more competitive in both content and pricing. Indeed, many outlets have lowered prices, with subscriptions now cheaper than single copies, as the industry attempts to build a consumer base and keep it. The below example from National geographic embodies this well.


Interestingly, magazines as an industry have declined gradually over the last few years as the market transfers to web. This is set to change though, as the graph below shows.


As can be seen clearly above, one of the ways that the business is returning to health is through the sale of online subscriptions. It seems then, that whilst Open access has it flaws, it may have helped rebuild the magazine industry in a way we previously haven’t considered.

Word Count: 431


“90% Of Online Content To Be Held Behind Paywalls In Three Years Media Company Survey Suggests”, The Drum, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

“Advantages And Disadvantages Of Open Access | Edanz Editing”, Edanzediting.Com, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

“Digital Magazine Trends And Challenges”, Mediaworks, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

“Open Access And Copyright”, Scoop.It, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

“Open Access Explained!”, Youtube, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

“Pros And Cons”, Openaccess.Nl, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

Solomon, John and John Solomon, “Subscription Business Model Series – Magazines”, Chargebee’s Saas Dispatch, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

“Thad Mcilroy – Future Of Publishing » The Future Of Magazines”, Thefutureofpublishing.Com, 2016 <; [accessed 11 December 2016]

Topic 4: The Penultimate Reflection

This week’s topic proved to be the most stimulating thus far. Despite being perhaps the most specific yet, there were still a multitude of case studies from which one could chose. A quick skim read of the titles of everyone’s blog posts serves as testament to this – they varied from parental control to the use of social media by teachers. This made for some very interesting blog posts that for the first time in this module were focused more on practical examples as opposed to theoretical discussion, something I felt the last few topics potentially had been lacking.

Personally, I chose to write about the use of social media by celebrities and the scrutiny they are put under. I found this to be of particular interest as it can be relevant to the lives of almost anyone with a social media account (incidentally, everyone studying this module!). It appears that others did too, and I enjoyed engaging both Allie and Gus in discussion about my post. This was something I haven’t done in previous weeks and certainly something I felt I improved on this week – It enabled me to defend my viewpoints and also add extra clarity to my post, as well as learning viewpoints from my peers that I might not necessarily have considered.

Regarding the posts of others, I found Xiaolu’s blog to be extremely thought provoking. The post discussed the ethical issues behind parents ‘spying’ on their children, a very precarious issue. Whilst her arguments were sound, I felt she missed a key point – over surveillance can often have the opposite to the desired effect, something I alluded to in my comment.

Will discussed the positive and negatives of scrutiny as a whole on the Internet. Overall, I felt he presented a very balanced point of view. I was also impressed with his use of interactive media, Something I will try to emulate in my final post.







Topic 4 – Big Blue Tick for our Online Celebrities?


Social media platforms have a great many uses – one of the more recent of these is the ability for the common person to follow their heroes on idols on sites such as twitter and Facebook, in order to keep up to date as best as possible with the lives of the rich and famous. Naturally, the places the latter group under a great deal of scrutiny – far more than any run of the mill social media user. This, to me, raises two important ethical questions:

  • Is this fair?
  • What are the ethical responsibilities for well known, influential individuals as far as their online presence is concerned?

Role Models

Celebrities are well aware of their position as role models to society. Whilst this is rarely a conscious choice, it nonetheless widely agreed upon that any individual with social influence should always strive to create as positive an influence as possible with their rhetoric in the hope that others, ‘further down the food chain’ might do the same. With more and more people joining social media platforms everyday, many would feel that this role is becoming increasingly vital.

However, many celebrities often fall short of these standards – Earlier this year, Burnley striker Andre Gray famously posted the tweet below;

Role Model or Rolling Over?

It goes without saying that this sort of behaviour cannot be condoned and strikes a very poor tone with the public – BUT isn’t this the sort of thing that can be found regularly in the deepest darkest depths of the Internet? AND isn’t the ordinary public where 99% of celebrities, particularly sportsmen and women, such as Andre Gray, originally hail from? Leading back to my first question, can our high ethical standards for those in the upper echelons of society be considered fair?

Jimmy Kimmel’s video below, whilst very humorous in its content, inadvertently provides us with a very interesting talking point.

Think for a moment – How would the public have reacted had a celebrity tweeted any of the ‘mean’ tweets mentioned in the video?

Drawing the line

Ultimately, a line has to be drawn between what can be considered acceptable and what cant. Personally, I am of the opinion that anything that would be considered offensive by the majority of a society shouldn’t be publicised by any publicly celebrated figure. Some, however, are able to flirt with this imaginary line in the sand due with guile. A certain Mr Tump could be perhaps be considered an expert…



Bennetts, Julian, “Andre Gray Apologises After Offensive Twitter Posts Surface On Day Burnley Striker Scores First Premier League Goal”, The Telegraph, 2016 <; [accessed 27 November 2016]

“Corrie Actor Sacked Over ‘Offensive’ Tweets”, Sky News, 2016 <; [accessed 27 November 2016]

“Here’s Who Should Be De-Verified On Twitter”, The Daily Dot, 2016 <; [accessed 27 November 2016]




Topic 3: Reflection

This topic has been by far the most enlightening and, consequently, my favourite topic to date. This is due to a multitude of reasons; Primarily, I found the topic to be very relevant to my personal life. As a third year, it goes without saying that the idea of gainful employment is becoming increasingly pressing and the possibility of furthering one’s chances of securing a job is therefore very appealing. As such, building on my already sound knowledge of online professional profiles was particularly intriguing – through reading and researching around the topic I was able to educate myself on the importance of keeping one’s online profiles consistently at a professional standard, the importance employers place on professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn and how one’s professional profile can extend beyond the realms of ones social media profile and into their personal life – Hillary Clinton and Dominique Strauss-Kahn serving as good examples of this.

Furthermore, reading the blogs of other students enabled me to further my understanding of this topic area. For example, in her blog Nicole made good use of statistics to empathise how important sites such as LinkedIn are to employers in terms of scouting potential new employees. This was particularly compelling, rather than relying on rhetoric, Nicole was able to add validity to her argument by using simple facts. Similarly, Harry included statistics presented in info graphics and also made good use of SlideShare to inform readers of his blog how they can build and better their online professional profile. Again, this was very effective as Harry was able to persuade readers how important an authentic online profile is, before succinctly helping them with how then can construct one for themselves, all whilst minimising word count.

The main point of resonation for me from this topic was again how important it is to keep everything we post online PC and professional. In such a competitive job market, one simply cannot afford to be anything less than both authentic and professional.

Blog Comments:


Topic 3: Professionals at Online Profiling?

business-social-mediaOur modern world presents a variety of challenges to the aspiring professional, regardless of their field of work or social sphere of influence. One of the more recent revelations that has a direct impact on aspiring and accomplished professionals alike (particularly of a younger generation), is the advent of online networking. These have been introduced with the aforementioned demographic as their primary target market and the importance of developing an online profile on such a platform is becoming ever increasingly vital.


LinkedIn is such a site that has fuelled the fire of recruitment, stoked by an ever-increasing number of aspiring professional employees. As an article by the CV centre explains,

‘Linked in is the place where HR managers and recruiters are now hanging out. It gives you the opportunity to connect with a company or person – like never before. They are also looking for YOU, so you had better stand out from the crowd.’

As alluded to in the article, the recruitment process of employers has changed drastically in recent years. As social media has grown, so too have different aspects within this sphere – no longer are job advertisements restricted solely to the classified section newspapers. Instead, the emphasis is now on the quality and authenticity of one’s online profile.

However, an online profile is not limited to professional networks. To the contrary, an online profile is made up of all of any individual’s social media platforms, such as Facebook and twitter. This makes the construction of a completely professional online profile more difficult to acquire, as the cartoon below demonstrates.


Given that all social media platforms contribute to one’s online profile, it is of paramount importance for ALL mediums to be consistent in their professionalism in order for the online profile to be considered authentic in its entirety. The video below further expands on this point;

Facebook vs LinkedIn

For example, if someone were to have a very impressive academic CV, they would likely be able to construct a very impressive LinkedIn profile, contributing to the overall strength of their online profile. However, if their twitter account (a far more casual social media platform) were far less professional in is presentation, this would detract from the authenticity of their overall online profile.

Recent global events have shown that an online profile can extend beyond social media platforms – Hillary Clintons private email server can act as a near perfect example. As our privacy becomes ever more limited, there is a strong argument that more private mediums, such as SMS and e-mail, also contribute greatly to the authenticity and strength of both our online and overall professional profile.



Guide, Social. “Social Media For Business: 2016 Marketer’S Guide”. Business News Daily. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016., CV Centre, 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016

“Forbes Welcome”. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

Ronson, Jon. “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’S Life”. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

“Job Hunting: How To Promote Yourself Online – BBC News”. BBC News. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

“How Blogging Can Help You Get A Job”. TheEmployable. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

“Five Ways Talent Management Must Change”, World Economic Forum, 2016 <; [accessed 13 November 2016]

Topic 2 – Reflection

Topic 2 was a very enlightening topic that educated me not only on the subject matter as a whole, but also on my own use of social media platforms and my online identities as a consequence.

Whilst I have never considered it a wise idea to present oneself on the Internet with anything less than what would be considered acceptable social behaviour in the physical world, I found it particularly eye opening to read the blog posts of others and learn the importance employers place on potential employees social media streams. Furthermore, it struck me how the popularisation of social media streams and the evolution of online identity on the Internet have resulted in a thirst for greater anonymity from areas of the online community. This could be for a number of reasons – many of the blog posts I read, such as Harry Kett’s, pointed to the fact that people may not feel that they can express themselves freely whilst also in the knowledge that their name will be attached to anything they post/write online.

I also enjoyed furthering my knowledge of ‘catfishing’ and the advent of online fake personas. Before commencing this topic I had always considered fake personas to be an almost exclusively negative thing. However, Tom Mackenzie’s blog post gave several instances where possessing a fake persona’s can be advantageous. For example, to engage in social media with a select group that may exclude certain individuals. Other blogs also provided good examples, including how important fake personas could potentially be for whistle blowers.

Most importantly perhaps, the topic made me reflect on my own use of social media and whether or not the online identities I have constructed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be considered at all negative. The fact I was able to do this after greatly expanding my knowledge of the subject extremely gratifying

Topic 2 – Online Identity – Are we Ourselves on the Internet?


The concept of online identity is immediately relatable to idea of identity itself. As such, in order discuss the positive and negative aspects of having multiple online identities it is of paramount importance to first ascertain what is meant by ‘identity’.

According to the Oxford English dictionary, Identity can be defined as, ‘the fact of being who or what a person or thing is’. It seems then that in practical terms, the vast majority of us can relate to having a multitude of ‘identities’ that we use in different walks of life. Though these may only be very subtly different from one another, it is undeniable that our outwards personality will change when surrounded with different demographics. For example, one may act differently when in a work environment compared to relaxing at home when relaxing with friends and family. This is neither positive nor negative – it is perfectly normal and if anything, a healthy reflection of the adaptable nature of one’s personally.


Whilst social media is an entirely different medium to everyday physical life, this does not imply that we need behave any differently online as we do in person. Given the above, it seems somewhat ironic to suggest that possessing multiple identities online be considered an entirely bad thing.

However, the important discrepancy lies when one considers whether or not the average person is truly representative of himself or herself when using the Internet under an online identity. Christopher Poole, founder of 4chan feels that this is not the case, as he argues that the identity one may have on social media streams cannot be considered ‘authentic’. Furthermore, a paper produced by the Internet society claims that one’s online identity and one’s actual identities are separate, owing to the fact that the characteristics presented in both worlds differ. Here lies the crucial point; if the online identity that you present is different to any of your real world identities, then it could be that having multiple identities can be detrimental.

Many sources suggest that this is the case. The online magazine wired suggests that the reason social media sites such as whisper and secret is due to the online communities ever increasing desire for anonymity, in order to not risk compromising their real life personas. Therein lies the crux of the debate, if one intends on presenting online identities, it is probably safest that they are just as socially acceptable as the identities presented in the real world, else they run the risk of damaging both online and negative personas.


“Online Identity: Is Authenticity Or Anonymity More Important?”, the Guardian, 2016 <; [accessed 28 October 2016].

“To Be Or Not To Be, The Importance Of Digital Identity In The Networked Society”,, 2016 <; [accessed 28 October 2016].

“The Online Identity Crisis”, WIRED, 2016 <; [accessed 29 October 2016].

“Online Identity: Is Authenticity Or Anonymity More Important?”, the Guardian, 2016 <; [accessed 30 October 2016].

<; [accessed 30 October 2016].