The Final Chapter

“In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.”

― Rose Tremain

I believe Tremain’s quote can also be applied to the journey through UOSM2008. When I wrote my introduction to this module and completed my self-evaluation task, I could merely speculate what the ending would be like 4 months later. Now the ending is here, however, and I truly feel as though it has been earned.

Every week was challenging, thought-provoking and extremely rewarding. Through the process of weekly blogging I have gained both knowledge and practical skills. In this final post, I will start by reflecting upon the knowledge I have gained followed by the practical skills.

In order to portray the knowledge I have gained, I decided to make this website which features each topic on a different page.

Along with an abundance of theoretical information regarding the digital world, UOSM2008 has equipped me with valuable practical skills. As Figure 1 illustrates, over the course this module my digital literacy has significantly improved.

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Figure 1

At the start of this journey I had stated that my evaluation of online content could be improved.  I believe I have achieved this by approaching a wide range of sources with a more critical outlook.  I also tried to comment on blog posts that shared different views compared to me, in order to enhance my debating skills.

With regards to participation in online communities, I had expressed a desire to improve my LinkedIn and twitter accounts. Topic 3 enabled me to put the theory into action and my LinkedIn profile went from what you can see in Figure 2, to what you can see in the slideshow beneath it.

LinkedIn before.PNG

Figure 2

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I made more than 100 new connections, included the transferable skills that I gained from each job, uploaded a more professional-looking picture, included a brief summary of myself, added links to certificates and projects, joined groups of interest, and recommended colleagues.

In addition, I created an about.me page which incorporates all the social media platforms that I am currently active on, as well as my personal blog. I also created a profile on vine, for a bit of fun and creativity. This can be seen on my twitter profile, which I also updated. As Figure 4 shows, I used the same professional photo as I used for LinkedIn in order to maintain consistency and authenticity. I also included a cover photo with a personal logo that I created, to give it an extra touch of professionalism.

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Figure 4

The topics on online privacy and security, made me re-think about my current settings. I concluded that I want to portray a more professional image throughout my social media networks. Thus, I used the same picture for facebook, and updated my privacy settings, as can be seen in Figure 5. I also googled myself in order to check my digital footprint, but thankfully found nothing alarming.

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Figure 5

By collaborating with colleagues and following areas of interest on twitter, I have managed to expand my network. I also tried to reach out to people whose work I had drawn upon for my blog posts, such as Sarah Santacroce. Moreover, I proceeded to tweet about relevant information such as an upcoming event or a relevant article.

As far as reach goes, by consistently blogging and sharing my work, I was able to significantly increase the views of my blog. As Figure 6 illustrates, this reach goes as far as New Zealand!

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Figure 6

Furthermore, by incorporating various means of presenting information, such as prezi, powtoon, haiku, or piktochart, I have learned how to portray information in a more interactive and engaging manner whilst enhancing my creativity. The powtoon I created for Topic 4 is a good illustration of this point.

On a final note, this prezi I created, presents how I will take these learned skills into the future. If anything, this feels more like a new beginning rather than an end!

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References:

Customer Data: Designing for Transparency and Trust. (2015). Harvard Business Review, from https://hbr.org/2015/05/customer-data-designing-for-transparency-and-trust

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On The Horizon, 9(5), 1-6.http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816

LinkedIn: numbers of members 2015 | Statistic. (2016). Statista. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i9.3171

 

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Topic 5: Reflection

This week we were called to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making work free to read and free to re-use, from a content producer’s perspective. Many bloggers expressed their admiration for open access from a student’s perspective (JodieEmmaAzamMichele), thus making it quite clear how indispensable it is for students’ educational progression.

Furthermore, many comprehensibly explained the structure of open access. I  particularly liked Annaclare’s video, which showcases the main points of open access:

Finally, many indicated the advantages of open access, like Ellis did in her Haiku deck.

However, what I personally found challenging (and believe a few others did too) was listing the disadvantages from a content producer’s perspective. This is why I found Abbie’s and Holly’s posts quite insightful.

Abbie mentioned the issue of publishers’ sustainability as a potential disadvantage. This made me wonder how this could potentially be overcome.

Holly also made a point of the copyright infringements which open access may incur. One of her solutions was to license one’s work, as I also did for my own blog.mil

However, I am sceptical as to whether the every-day person actually pays any attention to these licenses. Thus, I posed this question to Holly to hear her opinion on this matter.

After reading through my colleagues’ blogs, I created this Haiku deck which illustrates the advantages and disadvantages covered, regarding producers making their work both free to read and free to re-use. This process enabled me to construe the information in my mind and view the picture of “open access” as a whole.

 

Open Access or Nopen Access?

Open access entails online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g., access tolls) and free of many restrictions on use (e.g. certain copyright and license restrictions). It seems as though many people are in favour of open access, as can be seen just by all the twitter accounts regarding the matter.

This piktochart presentation, however, discusses both the advantages and disadvantages of freely accessible content, from the perspective of the content producer.

Overall, I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for a content producer. By making their work freely available online, they are able to increase their visibility, reach more readers, build upon other work and advance their career.

References:

http://sparceurope.org/oaca/

https://doaj.org/

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWorld_Bank_income_groups.svg

https://www.biomedcentral.com/authors/oawaiverfund

http://www.hindawi.com/waiver/

https://peerj.com/pricing/#waivers

https://shuttleworthfoundation.org/applications/

https://www.mozillascience.org/fellows

http://www.ascb.org/dora/

http://retractionwatch.com/2013/10/03/science-reporter-spoofs-hundreds-of-journals-with-a-fake-paper/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L5rVH1KGBCY

Images: http://whyopenresearch.org/gallery.html

 

 

 

Topic 4: Reflection

This week we were called to investigate one of the ethical issues raised by business or educational use of social media. I chose to go down the business path and talk about the ethical concern regarding users’ data. In order to include all my points, I created a powtoon video. I was extremely intrigued by all the research I did for this topic, and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the legislations which protect users’ data. I also enjoyed reading my colleagues’ blogs, as there was a variety of topics touched upon. In order to maintain consistency and to further my own train of thought, I focused more on the business-oriented posts.

Agnieszka’s comment, informed me that the General Data Protection Regulation I had mentioned in my video, was actually adopted 10 days ago. She also included this comprehensive infographic, which portrays the benefits of this legislation:

infographic-data-protection

In addition, Azam’s comment made me speculate whether it is up to users to detect the fine print in order to be properly informed, or whether companies should take on the responsibility to inform them. I am still unsure about giving a definitive answer to this question, however as I mentioned in my reply: companies will inevitably try to make it as hard as possible to find this information, and users will always tick the “I have agreed with terms and conditions” without having actually read the conditions. I also found the video that Amaar included in his blog post rather interesting because it seemed as though the majority of students did not care about their data being mined.

Another valid point that Azam made was the importance of building trust in customer-supplier relationships. Obviously, companies do not wish to compromise their customers’ trust. This is why I found the utilitarianism and ethical egoism theory in Theo’s blog post, to be rather absolute.

Theo included an interesting image in her post, which prompted me to find out about the “social listening process”, which is basically a strategy which companies employ by monitoring digital media channels to better influence consumers.

internet-privacy-spy-computer-magnifying-glass-s

Image 1

Last but not least, Stuart’s blog post reminded me that users’ data is not only analysed by advertisers, but also by employers. As we established in Topic 3, a vast amount of companies monitor their employees’ online activity. Thus, Stuart sparked an interesting debate on whether it’s ethical for companies to act upon employees social media data. This made me contemplate what I would do if I were an employer and came across a disturbing facebook status. I posed the same question to Stuart even though I myself, am still not sure of the answer.

What I did realise is that the topic of ethics is a grey area, and when combined with an uncontrolled environment such as the internet, the boundaries can become even hazier.

 

References: 

(2016). Retrieved 24 April 2016, from http://www.satisfactionstrategies.com/paper4.pdf

(2016). Milbank.com. Retrieved 24 April 2016, from https://www.milbank.com/images/content/2/3/23936/LND-New-GDPR-Briefing-Note-J-Harrison-April-2016.pdf?utm_source=Mondaq&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=View-Original

Infographics – data protection regulation – Consilium. (2016). Consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 24 April 2016, from http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/data-protection-reform/data-protection-regulation-infographics/

Social Listening Definition – at TrackMaven.com. (2016). TrackMaven. Retrieved 24 April 2016, from http://trackmaven.com/marketing-dictionary/social-listening/

Image 1: http://www.adlibbing.org/2011/07/19/social-media-background-checks-would-you-pass/

Ethics in Social Media: Consumer Data

This week’s topic is to discuss an ethical issue raised by business use of social media. Specifically, we will look at the use of consumer data, and just how ethical it really is. For the purpose of including all my points I have created the following PowToon video which demonstrates them.

References: 

The Huffington Post (2012), from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mateo-gutierrez/social-media-marketing_b_2206357.html

Customer Data: Designing for Transparency and Trust. (2015). Harvard Business Review, from https://hbr.org/2015/05/customer-data-designing-for-transparency-and-trust

Data Protection Directive. (2016). Wikipedia, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Directive#cite_note-mlawgroup-newdpr-1

Forbes Welcome. (2016). Forbes.com, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2011/11/03/ethics-and-the-5-deadly-sins-of-social-media/#43cf028737ad

New draft European data protection regime. (2016). Mlawgroup.de, from http://mlawgroup.de/news/publications/detail.php?we_objectID=227

Twitter abuse: easy on the messenger | Editorial. (2014). the Guardian, from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/24/twitter-abuse-abusive-tweets-editorial?CMP=twt_gu

Topic 3: Reflection

Writing a blog post on how to build a professional online profile enabled me to take my own advice and update my LinkedIn profile. This is something I had been putting off for a long time, as it seemed rather daunting. But after doing some research, and attending a LinkedIn workshop, I felt confident enough to start tweaking my profile. This is what it used to look like:

LinkedIn before

To see all my changes you can click here.

Something I found rather challenging, yet important, was stating all my transferable skills for each experience. I discovered that a good tactic for dealing with this is to research job postings and see which skills recruiters are looking for, then try and link these into your previous experiences. I also found that volunteering can be a great asset to one’s profile: it too equips you with transferable skills and it can give recruiters an idea of what causes you care for. This is why I expressed my concern with a particular study in Sam’s informative blog.

In her blog, Shriya talked about personal branding by mentioning the personal trainer Lucy Cronin. I thought this was a good example of someone who had used social platforms in order to create an authentic brand and to promote her services. However, it got me thinking about how personal branding could be established via a platform like LinkedIn, as I expressed in my comment.

Through reading Holly’s blog, as well as Tom’s comment on my own post, I realised that other social networks have a lot to offer as well. In my own post I talked about linking different accounts together, but Holly’s presentation gives a good idea of which platform can be used for what. For example, facebook can serve as a platform for personal branding and twitter can aid in direct communication with employers. In addition, twitter can also serve as a platform for creative marketing purposes like this clever campaign, as Vicky mentioned in her post.

With all these social networking platforms, however, it’s easy to get caught up, as we established in topic 2. I believe users first need to decide which platforms are suitable for them and whether they wish to have a single or multiple identities, then carefully create their profiles, and finally link them all together (e.g. via an about.me page).

10 steps to creating an authentic online professional profile

Nowadays social media is ubiquitous and serves as a platform for personal as well as professional networking. Whereas the recruitment process used to involve a CV and an interview, today users’ online presence comes into play, and the CV becomes the final stage in the process rather than the first. Even the numbers point towards this direction with 93% of recruiters stating that they will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision  (Jobvite).

The most popular professional networking platform is LinkedIn, with over 400 million members.  As illustrated in Figure 1, recruiters are extremely fond of LinkedIn, whereas job seekers seem to be more active on Facebook.

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Figure 1-Statistics from Jobvite

In this podcast, LinkedIn specialist Sarah Santacroce, underlines the importance of this specific platform. She states that it has a particular purpose, which is to connect with other people in business and to offer services. It’s not about selling products; Facebook or Pinterest would be more suitable for this purpose. Thus, digital portfolios are more relevant for some types of jobs than others, and different platforms serve different purposes.  It is evident, however, that having an online presence is considered beneficial by most recruiters. A healthy social presence also improves search engine optimization, which is of great importance seeing as 30% of Google searches are related to employment.

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Developing an authentic online professional profile is not an overnight achievement. It takes careful planning, maintaining and networking in order to create a successful profile. Users will most likely be required to act more as “digital residents” in order to keep their profile up to date. However, one must start somewhere, so after doing some research I have gathered the main tips on how to create an authentic online professional profile. This is primarily based on LinkedIn as it is the most used professional networking platform by recruiters. I was also lucky enough to attend a LinkedIn workshop which was held on campus, where I was given great feedback on my own profile. So without further ado here are 10 steps to building a successful professional profile:

  1. Google yourself and make sure your digital footprint is acceptable. Remove any inappropriate content.

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 Image Source: Jobvite 

2. Network by sending a personal message to people you wish to connect with. Reach out to people you have previously worked with and ask them to recommend and/or endorse you. Remember to also do the same for them.

3. Join relevant groups and follow people you look up to in the industry you are interested in.

4. Link your twitter account and personal blog to your profile. Make sure you do not have any inappropriate tweets like Justine Sacco. Your personal blog can demonstrate your creativity and can verify your authenticity.

5. Upload a professional looking picture, preferably with a neutral background. It should portray what you would look like in a job interview. No selfies or overly dressed up pictures allowed.

6. Include a professional summary where you summarise information on your current situation, qualifications, interests and your desired next step. Ideally somewhere between 150 and 300 words targeted towards the role of interest. Remember to keep it authentic by adding your personal touch. For some examples click here.

7. Add projects and certificates with links to them. You can also include the members that worked on the project with you, thus making it more likely for them to endorse you.

8. When stating your previous work or volunteering experience, make sure to include the transferable skills that you gained. This is crucial as employers may use these skills as key-words in their search for potential candidates.

9. Include your phone number and email address so recruiters know how to contact you.

10. Don’t go overboard! Make sure you only promote what you do best, in the right places. Sometimes saying too much can put off a potential employer.

References:

5 Templates That’ll Make Writing the Perfect LinkedIn Summary a Breeze. (2016). Themuse.com. Retrieved 8 March 2016, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-templates-thatll-make-writing-the-perfect-linkedin-summary-a-breeze

(2016). Retrieved 9 March 2016, from https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf

(2016). Socialmeep.com. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://socialmeep.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/social-recruiting-pocket-guide_infographics.png

Building online professional profile. (2016). Slideshare.net. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/lisaharris/building-online-professional-profile

How blogging can help you get a job. (2014). TheEmployable. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/

Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. (2016). BBC News. Retrieved 8 March 2016, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962

Jobvite Infographic: 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey. (2015). Jobvite. Retrieved 8 March 2016, from http://www.jobvite.com/resources/infographics/jobvite-infographic-2015-recruiter-nation-survey-2/

LinkedIn: numbers of members 2015 | Statistic. (2016). Statista. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=1

Santacroce, S. (2014). ‘Using LinkedIn the Right Way’ – Podcast – Simplicity. Simplicity. Retrieved 9 March 2016, from http://simplicitysmallbiz.com/2014/03/usinglinkedintherightway/

Topic 2: Reflection

From the beginning of this topic my stance was neutral, and it still is. However, by reading all the UOSM2008 blogs, I gained more insight on both sides of the debate. Thus, I created a poster which illustrates all the points made in those posts.

SINGLE

In my previous post I mentioned that both single and multiple online identities are appropriate given the right circumstances.  As Clayton stated, different platforms serve different purposes and it is up to each and every individual to choose which partial identity(ies) they wish to portray. These individuals must utilise their digital literacy skills in order to manage their online presentation (Costa and Torres, 2011). Anna-Clare’s comment made me think about how users can achieve this, and how private our online identity really is. For example, I found the Aaron Brown experiment, that Holly tweeted about, fascinating, which showed how a whole person could be “created” out of the blue. Ultimately, I believe that there is a contrast between anonymity and data security, and  whilst anonymity serves many purposes, it is crucial to understand that digitised information is traceable. Nonetheless, given that users employ the appropriate privacy settings, the benefits of multiple online identities are evident, as I mentioned in my comment on Michele’s post.

An interesting point was made by Kemi-Grace, who mentioned the Online Disinhibition Effect and how this can make people more hostile online. However, as I wrote in my comment on Kemi-Grace’s post , this Effect can also make people more creative online, thus is it not necessarily a negative effect in my opinion.

Finally, I was pleased to see that another blogger, Sam,  also mentioned the positive effects of anonymity on mental health. Having undertaken a module called “cyber psychology and e-health” whilst on exchange, I have done a lot of research on this matter, and I truly believe in the benefits of online therapies for mental health.

Overall, this topic has enabled me to think about both sides of having a single versus multiple online identities. It has also given me a reality check regarding online privacy and the potential perils surrounding this matter. Personally, I will endeavour to maintain a consistent online identity, leaning more towards the professional side in order to maximise my future employability prospects. However, I still appreciate the fact that some users will benefit from using more than one online identity.

References: 

Costa, C. and Torres, R., 2011. To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias-ISSN 1646-933X, pp.47-53.

 

 

Think you are anonymous? Think again.

As the “digital residents and visitors” topic taught us, most web-related subjects are not black or white. Similarly, having multiple online identities is not an absolute debate, but rather serves many purposes, given it is employed properly.  But what do we mean by multiple online identities?

In this context, its not about simply using different accounts for e-shopping or e-banking. It means portraying different personas altogether. When we talk about identity, we refer to who we are and what we do (e.g. name, DOB, likes, dislikes) (Internet Society,2016).  At a first glance, the idea of having multiple online identities might seem deceptive, manipulative or even dangerous. However, as I mentioned before, given the right circumstances it can prove to be a very useful tool. We will attempt to explore both aspects of this topic.

A major benefit of having multiple online identities is anonymity. This enables users to express themselves without fear of being judged which can be very important for the development of the self. Many empirical studies have shown that the willingness to self-disclose is significantly higher in the context of computer-mediated communication than in face-to-face settings, with anonymity playing a catalytic role (Bargh, McKenna & Fitzsimons, 2002; Chiou & Wan, 2006; Joinson, 2001).  Dr. Campbell taught the “Cyberpsychology and e-Health” module whilst I was studying at the University of Sydney, and his main research was how the web could benefit therapies for mental disorders. He always stressed that anonymity is the main reason why patients feel comfortable in self-disclosing crucial information regarding their mental health. Thus, having multiple online identities can protect people’s reputation, with regards to sensitive issues, such as health. Furthermore, it allows users to keep their personal and professional lives separate. The last thing anyone wants is their boss seeing a questionable picture of them.

But how safe are we from our bosses seeing that picture of us dancing on a bar? Moby stated in the documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply: “Anything that’s been digitised, is not private”.  This documentary emphasises the vast amount of data that is accessible on the web, that we willingly put out there, whether we know it or not. Just think how many times you ticked the box “I Agree” without reading the terms. Moreover, changing your name and picture does not necessarily protect you from people finding out your true identity. The popular TV show Catfish is a great example of this. If this presenter can find out who is hiding behind the computer screen, I’m sure employers possess much more intelligent software which is able to trace anyone’s digital footprint. In fact, comedian Jack Vale used social media to access information about close-by strangers and then pretended to be psychic.

 

“What if Andy Warhol had it wrong, and instead of being famous for 15 minutes, we’re only anonymous for that long?” – Juan Enriquez

 Juan Enriquez ingeniously compares the “digital footprint” to a “digital tattoo” and goes even further, talking about cyber immortality. I think this is a great way of thinking about our online presence and whether we wish to use one or more online identities, we need to be aware of the fact that we are not as anonymous as we think. Undoubtedly, our digital footprint is very important and our personal data may linger in cyberspace for years. Thus, being aware of the privacy settings for the online platforms  we use, is crucial. FotorCreated

To conclude the current topic, this Presentation displays the main pros and cons of using multiple online identities and also gives some tips on how to use them effectively.

References:

Featured image retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/woman-face-head-question-mark-241327/

Bargh, J., McKenna, K., & Fitzsimons, G. (2002). Can You See the Real Me? Activation and Expression of the “True Self” on the Internet. Journal Of Social Issues, 58(1), 33-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1540-4560.00247

Chiou, W., & Wan, C. (2006). Sexual Self-Disclosure in Cyberspace among Taiwanese Adolescents: Gender Differences and the Interplay of Cyberspace and Real Life. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 9(1), 46-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9.46

Joinson, A. (2001). Self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication: The role of self-awareness and visual anonymity. European Journal Of Social Psychology, 31(2), 177-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.36

http://www.internetsociety.org/manage-your-identity

Topic 1: Reflection

Although Topic 1 was about us dipping our toes into the blogging water, it had a great impact on me. At first I was more focused on creating a clear image of what “digital residents” and “digital visitors” are. I read through Prensky’s, Le Cornu, and White’s papers so I could understand their theories. What I came to realise was that the hard part was not the research, but the self-evaluation. Applying the theories you read about, to yourself and seeing how you fit the picture.

Judging from other blog posts, many people had difficulty pin-pointing where exactly they lie on the resident- visitor continuum. Annaclaregrace mentioned that she views herself more as a resident than a visitor as well, but for reasons different to mine. I found it quite funny how two people can reach similar conclusions about themselves but through completely different means.

Regarding the digital literacy of the older generation, Sam posed a very good question about the LinkedIn statistics I presented. Why? Such a simple question, yet one that I wouldn’t have thought about if it weren’t for Sam. He made me think why people my age group do not seem to make as much use of LinkedIn as 30-49 year olds. The answer I could come up with, is because our age group perhaps lacks the tools to take full advantage of this specific online platform.

But it is moments like this, when I truly believe in having an online presence, or “being an online resident” –call it what you like. People have the opportunity to exchange ideas, and generate new ones. At the end of the day, I believe that labelling ourselves as “residents” or “visitors” is redundant. The point is to utilise the tools we have, e.g. the web, and expand our knowledge.

My comments:

https://emmamartensson96.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/digital-residents-and-visitors/#comment-2

https://tomleese.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/digital-residents-and-visitors/comment-page-1/#comment-4