Archive | May, 2013

Digital Self-Branding Issues and Concerns: How can I stand out from the crowd online if my name’s John Smith?

20 May



  As one blogger from an online PR company notes, the name “John Smith” pulls up 33,369 profiles on LinkedIn ( Admittedly this is not a problem I face  myself, as I am among the lucky ones with an extremely rare name (as far as I am aware I am currently the only Anna Clancy-Stride online, and therefore my LinkedIn comes up on the first page of google results.) However, after some light research, I have come to conclusion that those with a more common name can work to create an individual & unique professional profile, and it seems there are a number of ways you can differentiate yourself from the other “John Smiths” around.

  Firstly, as branding consultant Kimberly Bordonaro suggests, you could use a variation of your own name in order to stand out from the rest. Thinking about this, I have a handful of friends who have taken to using their more unusual middle names instead of their surname on their Facebook or twitter accounts. Or perhaps you have a unique (yet still professionally suitable) nickname, or perhaps there is another abbreviation you could use. So if you were called Charlotte Jane Smith, perhaps you could create your online identity as C.J.Smith (

      A personal idea- perhaps it is worthwhile to create a Gravitar if you are trying to battle against a common name, to keep your various profiles consistent, interlinked, & to differentiate yourself. There is also the option of using a service such as Vizibility ( or BrandYourself ( to help you appear further up in the search engine results, but this is far from ideal as you would have to pay. Having said that, if you planned to start a business in your name it might be an option worth considering after carrying out a Cost/Benefit analysis.  (it should also be noted that BrandYourself and Vizibility offer their most basic services for free).


        What is more, Self-branding advisers emphasise the significance of linking your profiles together as much as possible, via an page or just by posting links to your other profiles on all of your accounts ( They place a lot of emphasis once again on connecting with influencers and networking in order to get your personal brand to be noticed above the other “John Smith’s” and improve your profile’s activity and therefore its’ search engine results.

    So to conclude, yes it definitely is harder for those with a more common name to stand out, but it’s not unachievable. There are many ways round to differentiate yourself, you would just have to be a little more creative and think outside the box…

References Advice from branding consultant Kimberly Bordonaro  Vizibility PRWeb   onlineidentity blog  U.S News, How to Improve your Online Identity.

Going Digital: Why a Successful Professional Profile should be Authentic and Actively Engaging

20 May

ImageSince the explosion of the internet, and more specifically social media, there have been fundamental changes in the way in which business is carried out.  We are moving in to what could describe as the “4th economy”, within which the internet plays a large part in the not only business transactions, but the recruitment process as well. With 75% of HR departments worldwide required to review their candidates’ online presence before interviewing, it is obvious that job-seekers need to be creating and maintaining a professional online profile in order to give them a competitive advantage. They need to be controlling their online image (removing dodgy facebook photos and promoting their professional profiles and blogs) in such a way that they create what Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic describes as a “self-brand”.

     As an article recently published by the Guardian stresses, it is important to not just simply regurgitate your CV when building your online professional profiles, but to create a dynamic and multi-dimensional picture of yourself as a whole – which also works to make your persona more authentic and original. There are a number of different ways that you can add depth and personality to your LinkedIn profile, for example by including recommendations from colleges (which also adds credibility), and by adding blogposts, or links to your twitter account, and regularly updating your information (Guardian, 2013). You could also upload a video CV onto Youtube, so the real-life you can be put across.

           With 70% of jobs found through personal connections, it is also important to use your online profiles in order to connect with influential others and network online. For example you can join and participate in discussions on various groups on LinkedIn which are related to areas of business that interest you, or you can request to connect with those (who might already be loosely connected to you) who are already involved in the field you want to work in (Linked In, 2010). Similarly you can follow and like companies of interest to you on Facebook and twitter, and therefore display your interest.

   Overall, although it should be stressed that the creation and maintenance of an authentic online professional profile is both effortful and time-consuming, the statistics suggest that your work will reap rewards through work to increase your employability.

Backchannel Communication at Live Events: A complementary function or a complete hindrance?

18 May



Last week in our curriculum innovation class we discussed  the dynamics of using  backchannel communication within a live event (that is a secondary form of digitized communication which runs along side a “real-time” primary form of physical communication).  This topic was particulary relevant that week, as it was during the time that we were taking part in the Southampton Digital Literacies Conference, during which the event organisers had encouraged participants to take part in forms of backchannel communication throughout the event. This meant that as students of digital literacy we were able to experience first hand the power such tools have to both enhance and detract from a conference. Here are some thoughts on how digital communication such as tweeting and facebooking can effect  a the outcome of a live event….


As Atkinson explains in his book The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever,Backchannel communication describes the use of digital tools in order to cultivate a virtual conversation to compliment a live event.   There are many opportunities that arise from carrying out backchannel communication during a live event such as a television programme or a conference. Firstly, as the video by SUSUtv about the CAA (Computer Applications in Archaeology) Soton conference shows, through promoting and stimulating conversations online through mediums such as Twitter, Facebook, & Vimeo you can help your event to reach a larger audience than perhaps would have been achievable through traditional mediums. For example, if you search on twitter for “#caasoton”, you can see that various other institutions (including CAA Perth Society!) from all over the world were engaging and communicating about the event held here in Southampton, and despite not physically attending the event they were able to virtually attend it via the live stream. I have personally seen how social media can promote and distribute an event amongst many individuals this week. I was amazed when on Thursday morning; the day after the Digital Literacy Conference, my Spanish Language teacher greeted me when I walked into class with “nice video Anna”. Although he had not been at the event himself, he had seen the video that Nikki, Francesca, Flo and I had shown at the conference as it had been retweeted by the ModernLanguages twitter account. I doubt that if the social media stream on sotonmooc wasn’t there he would have even known there was a Digital Literacy Conference that day!          Secondly, social media gives the audience of an event a voice, the traditional binary roles of the passive viewers/listener and the active speaker/performer are broken down as the audience can publish their feedback and consequent opinions/further research through online platforms, which can prove helpful for event organizers  This was illustrated through the way in which information was gained about the audience’s reaction to the CAA2013 conference using simple data mining techniques to draw from tweets and online comments. What is more, the conversations and feedback surrounding the event can also be stored in a social media archive which allows those who didn’t physically attend, or those who want to look back and reflect, to relive the event and its subsequent buzz when they so wish.
        As Lisa and Nicole Beale emphasize, (Harris & Beale 2012) social media event streams can also help to foster inter-audience communication, networking, and eventually lead to a real-life meet ups, as online participators can easily and quickly communicate amongst themselves without disturbing the event. Whilst the chances of you talking to everyone in a conference face-to-face are slim, online you can peruse through hundreds of tweets quickly and communicate directly with someone who interests you.
    Despite these advantages, social media can also be seen to hinder and detract from live events. Whilst some such as Janna Lavin think that social media can distract real-life participants form what’s actually going on in the event itself, others argue that it’s hard for virtual attendees to get a “coherent idea of what’s going on” (SUSUtv, 2012). They argue that due to the abundance of virtual noise surrounding the topic and event, it’s hard to sift through it and really understand what is happening at the actual event (SUSUtv, 2012.  Similarly a large amount of noise can lead to participants feeling bombarded by an overload of information, and even cause them to unfollow your event (Harris & Beale, 2012). It could also be argued that social media comments can act as a spoiler for people who haven’t been to the event but had planned to re-watch it later- which could be particularly frustrating in the case of TV shows and theatre productions (Kern, 2013.) Privacy is also a key issue with regards to these live streams, as many participants of events have been captured in photos or quoted on twitter without their full permissions being given. 


SUSUtv (2012) Social Media at a Live Event- CAA 2012 [online] Available at: [Accessed 26th April 2013]

Harri,s L. (2013) A SMiLE at the End and a SMiLE to Begin. [ online] Available at: [Accessed 22nd April 2013]

Kern, E. (2013) How Social Media is becoming as important a live event as the live event itself. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 23rd April 2013]
Harris, L., Beale, N. (2012) If you don’t have social media, you are no one: How social media enriches conferences for some but risks isolating others. LSE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20th April 2013]
Harris, L., Beale, N. (2012) “But who is going to read 12,000 tweets?” How Researchers can Collect and Share Relevant Social Media Content at Conferences. [Online] Available at:

Janna Lavin (2012) Social Media at Conferences: Misha Glouberman’s How-To [VIDEO] [online]  Available at: [Accessed 24th April 2013]

Myspace, Los Muchachos y La Moralidad

15 May


For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, I’ll give you an introductory description in case you want to tackle it… this article is a short description of some of the negative threats today’s social web poses on the younger generations of society, should they not receive the correct guidance and support regarding social media sites. 

Myspace, Los Muchachos,y La Moralidad

   Desde la explosión de la web 2.0 al principio del nuevo milenio,  las redes sociales se han convertido  en una nueva herramienta de comunicación, y siguen incrementando su uso día a día de forma notable.  Estas plataformas tecnológicas, que constituyen comunidades virtuales donde se puede crear un perfil personalizado e interactuar con otros usuarios (compartir blogs, fotografías, videos etc.), han revolucionado drásticamente la manera en que nos informamos, aprendemos, negociamos, y jugamos[1]. Sobre todo, han impactado las vidas de los jóvenes de nuestra sociedad, los “nativos digitales” que han crecido rodeados de pantallas y Smartphones. Ya que el 90% de los adolescentes estadounidenses han utilizado los medios de comunicación sociales, y alrededor de una tercera de ellos visitan su sitio de red social más de una vez cada día, es obvio que estas tecnologías, como Twitter, Tuenti  y Myspace, forman una parte fundamental  en las vidas de nuestras generaciones “Y y Z”[2]. No podemos negar los beneficios que traen las redes sociales, ofrecen comunicación continúa e instantánea  sin fronteras, la cual puede facilitar astronómicamente los procesos de aprendizaje, negocio y la socialización en general.  Sin embargo, paradójicamente estos servicios que tienen el poder de mejorar tantos aspectos de nuestras vidas también conllevan enormes consecuencias destructivas para nuestra sociedad y particularmente para los adolescentes. Al lado oscuro de esta arma de doble filo, el uso prolongado de los mundos virtuales por los chavales puede resultar en problemas psicológicos, y abuso emocional y sexual.  Por lo tanto, es indispensable que nosotros, como los mayores aconsejemos a las generaciones del futuro a usar estas aplicaciones de forma madura y segura.

        Así pues ¿cuáles son los peligros de interactuar en los medios sociales para adolescentes?   Como ya sabéis, la adolescencia es en muchos aspectos un tiempo de crisis. Además de las transformaciones físicas, es común experimentar sentimientos de inseguridad, ansiedad, soledad, y baja autoestima. Es una etapa llena de cambio, tus amigos son más influenciales que nunca antes, y siempre quieres proyectar la imagen correcta de tu mismo, con el fin de que encajes en el grupo. ¿Os podéis imaginar sufrir estas sensaciones tan intensas  y todas las vicisitudes de adolescencia con el ciberespacio y sitios como Hi5 al alcance de la mano?  Una investigación reciente de la AAP – La Academia Norteamericana De La Pediatría- ha sugerido que el uso excesivo de las redes sociales puede exacerbar todas estas emociones, y por lo tanto puede llevar a los chavales que ya tienen pensamientos sombríos al límite.  Como insinúa la investigadora Gwen O’Keefe, la denominada “depresión Facebook” puede ser más traumática e inquietante que la depresión fuera de línea, dado que los internautas tienen la oportunidad a revivir y reflexionar sobre sus momentos lamentables[3] .Ya pasaron los días en las que el solitario de la clase sólo tenía que aguantar comer el almuerzo sin compañía: con las redes, hoy en día hay siempre un recordatorio de su exclusión social: las fotos omnipresentes de sus amigos “felices” pasando el rato sin ellos, y el número bajo de “me gustas” en su estado de Facebook. Como se puede ver, el concurso de popularidad ha sido publicado para que todos puedan leerlo. ¿Tú piensas que este es moralmente correcto?

     Y ahora, Haz memoria: ¿recuerdas de tu adolescencia?  ¿Tu primer beso?  ¿O la primera vez que fumaste un cigarrillo a espaldas de tu madre? Cuando estás atrapado en limbo, no eres un adulto, y tampoco no eres un niño, la experimentación es algo natural. Si ponemos en la balanza las redes sociales, las cosas pueden agriar, especialmente con respecto a la experimentación sexual. “Sexting”, es decir, el intercambio de mensajes o fotos a través del uso de tecnología digital (que incluye las redes), puede tener implicaciones graves para los jóvenes, ingenuos, inocentes y curiosos[4]. Por ejemplo en el caso de Jesse Logan, un estudiante de un instituto estadounidense que envió una foto desnuda a su novio. Después de separarse su ex novio distribuyó la foto a través del internet,  lo que resultó en humillación social total para la joven y como consecuencia de recibir insultas como “prostituta” y “reina del porno” ,Jesse se suicidó[5].  Es indiscutible que estos actos (en los que uno de cada cinco jóvenes estadounidenses admiten participación), son auto-destructivos y perjudiciales para todos los involucrados. Lo que es más, puesto que es casi imposible de borrar las fotos del internet, tienen el poder de mancillar su huella digital y su reputación online para siempre.

               ¿Entonces, que sería peor de un ex-novio que está circulando fotos eróticas de su hija?  ¿Quizá si estas fotos fueran recibidos por un hombre desconocido de 40 años? A menudo los jovencitos se hacen amigos de gente que no conocen –algo que es relacionado intrínsecamente con la misión de popularidad que hemos mencionado anteriormente-,  y puesto que a los chicos les falta experiencia vivida y son impresionables, normalmente creen que cualquier persona con quien está charlando o ligando con es la persona que asegura que está en su perfil. La anonimidad del ciberespacio permite a los depredadores sexuales ser quienquiera que quieren ser.  Estos monstruos malvados y engañosos son maestros de la manipulación, y pueden camelar un niño para enloquecarlos completamente por la atención. John Raymond Zimmerman, el ex mánager de la banda de rock “The Getaway Plan” era un experto en este juego sórdido. Se aprovechó de Myspace y Facebook , y explotó su trabajo “guay” como un gancho para captar sus víctimas jóvenes . Las halagó con nombres afectuosos como “nena” y  “preciosa”, antes de que desatar al diablo dentro de él. En total, atacó a 55 víctimas, y todas provinieron de las relaciones que empezó en línea. La verdad es que estadísticamente hablando, las posibilidades de que un menor sea la presa de un depredador sexual son bastantes bajas, empero es esencial que nosotros como adultos, como cuidadores y protectores de las generaciones más jóvenes, debamos tomar el asunto del acoso sexual en las redes en serio[6]. Tu hijo o hija puede ser un blanco más fácil de lo que piensas.

     Bueno, aquí los tenéis, los tres riesgos fundamentales a los que se enfrentan los adolescentes cuando utilizan las redes, y todavía no he mencionado los problemas posibles de adicción, egocentrismo, el ciberacoso o el habilidad de distraer de los estudios. No les voy a cansar con más detalles, basta con las conversaciones serias ya, por hoy por lo menos. Hay que enfatizar que no quiero socavar, rechazar o descartar a las redes sociales completamente y reconozco sus aptitudes para enriquecer las vidas académicas y sociales de nuestros hijos como que promueven colaboración, comunicación, y creatividad: sin embargo estoy cuestionando la manera en que los adolescentes están usándolos en una manera auto-destructiva para actos no santos. Tras de haber descrito estas tres amenazas que presenta las redes, quiero instarte a hacer hincapié en la conducta responsable, te ruego que informes a, tus hijos, nietos, sobrinos y los hijos de tu vecina del lado lóbrego de los medios de socialización digitales. Ellos representan el futuro de nuestro mundo y así que es imprescindible que establezcamos unas reglas éticas que controlan el comportamiento en línea da estas generaciones “Y y Z” para que ningún adolescente sea perjudicado por el nuevo paradigma de la web 2.0.  Si nosotros, los vejestorios de la generación “X”, no guiamos y supervisamos a los jóvenes en las redes con respecto a su privacidad y netiqueta, ¿Quien lo hará?

[1] Prensky, M. (2010) Navtios e Immigrantes Digitales [En Línea] Disponible en: Páginas 1-6


[2] Common Sense Media (2012) Social Media: Social Life: How Teens View their Digital Lives. [En Línea] Disponible en:


[3] Sanz, E. (2011) ¿Existe la depresión Facebook? Muy Interesante. [En Línea] Disponible en:


[4] Cuatro (2011) Etiqueta: Sexting [En Línea] Disponible en:


[5] Huffington Post (2010) Jesse Logan Suicide: Parents of Dead Teenagers Sue School, Friends over Sexting Harassment. [En Línea] Disponible en:


[6] The Austrailian (2011) How Predator John Zimmerman Lured Teenage Girls Online [En Línea] Disponible en:



Living and Working on the Web

6 May

Just over a week ago myself and a few of my classmates from the Living and Working on the Web module took part in the Southampton 2013 Digital Literacies Conference (you can recap on the twitter feed for this event by using the appropriate hashtag which is #sotonMOOC). Attendees came from various institutions across the UK with the aim of discussing the issues surrounding learning via MOOCS (which for those of you who are unaware is nothing related to cows but however is an acronym which stands for Massive Open Online Course).
In order to give the participants a little taster of the experience of a mainly online-based course at the University of Southampton, my colleagues and I (along with the help of film and video producer Rob Porter who very kindly helped us out with the filming) put together a short descriptive video which we presented to the audience whilst they enjoyed their midday coffees and Danish pastries!
Talking about how the course focusing on digital literacy has improved our employability, helped with time management, and generally aided our learning experiences within the University, we almost unintentionally broadcast an advertisement for #UOSM2008! If you’re interested you can check out the link below. .. happy viewing!

SUV & Crossover Drivers

"Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car." E. B. White

Perpetual Tangent

I just know that something good is gonna happen. I don't know when, but just saying it could even make it happen.

Health & Family

A healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit

Exploring Citizen Media

Storytelling about citizen engagement online

Jasmin McVeigh

Living and Working on the Web, Blog of all things digital by University of Southampton Student and Artist


The world is interesting, why not talk about it?

Nia A Auguste

Diving into the deep sea of the Digital World #uosm2008

Florence Broderick

Exploring Online Identity

Exploring Online Identity