My Digital Literacy Journey

After graduating from polytechnic, I had a break. To improve myself, I applied for jobs using a document-based CV (Curriculum Vitae) – a job application instrument that my polytechnic trained me to do. Looking back, I realised how naïve I was!

 

I’m not saying that handing in a CV for a job application is bad, I’m saying that handing in a CV is not enough. Then, my social media accounts were spewing with my private life, with hardly anything business-related. Apart from the documents we send out, recruiters do look at our online profiles. Within minutes, employees are able to look up candidates’ social media accounts and conjure up an impression.

 

So like it or not, a professional digital profile is a requisite for employees today. With that in mind, I unified all my accounts with the same profile picture and description.

 

 

Square Face
Profile Picture used across my LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress accounts.

I created my LinkedIn account from scratch.

LinkedIn Before
Before
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After

 

Interestingly, a bulk of my past colleagues (from Viceroy Maldives) were on LinkedIn. After ending my internship, I came back to Singapore and lost contact with some of them. It was a delight being on LinkedIn, reconnecting with them now.

 

Connecting Naaz via LinkedIn

 

I revamped my Twitter account.

Previously, I contemplated creating a new account for this module, cordoning off my past personal tweets. However, I stuck to professionalizing my personal Twitter account, as I wanted to express my authentic views. (I did clean up my Twitter, deleting unprofessional information and following professional accounts of interests.) After all, if potential recruiters were to find me on Twitter, they can read my personal tweets to understand me and my lifestyle better.

Twitter Before
Before
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After

 

Twitter Newsfeed
Personal & Professional Tweets

With Twitter, I gather swift and short news from the accounts I follow, when they tweet or retweet information. Therefore, by using my old account, I would still be in the same information-sharing loop. Twitter was where I first learned of the recent heart-breaking terrors around the world. From #PrayforParis and #BeirutBombings, I could instantly access updates of the situations from a personal or reported coverage.

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Professional & Verified accounts I follow
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Business accounts following my Twitter

The world is indeed moving online.

 

When we meet people, we exchange contacts online.

When we do research, we type search details online.

When we consume goods, we read reviews online.

 

As much as there is an accelerated convenience living and working online, I personally believe that we need a pause in the technological advancements. I remember the Google Hangouts when the audio and Q&A section could not work. We were totally reliant on technology and had no alternatives but to restart the Google Hangout session. During times like this, we ought to learn to appreciate our lives offline.

 

Still, there’s no denying the good in Living and Working on the Web. With this module, I have learnt so much!

Self Test

In the self-test of my digital literacy, I made a significant improvement from 14★ s to 27★s. I made a video showing how I improved with this module. Check it out!

 

 

I’m working to continuously improve on my digital literacy, by expanding my online profile as a networking platform. There are so many more platforms where I’ve yet to create a presence, such as PathBrite, Weibo, Pinterest and more.

Let’s stay connected!Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 6.50.02 pmScreen Shot 2015-11-20 at 6.50.43 pm

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(523 words)

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Review: Let’s Be Open About…

I came across many petitions worldwide urging signatures to support OA (Open Access). Many of such constituencies can be found online, passionate for this movement.

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(Picture Source: The White House Petition on Open Access to Research)

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(Picture Source: EFF Action Petition for Online Access)

What fuels this need for the petitions?

A great takeaway from Kai Yuan’s post is that the ‘quality’ most people would associate with Non-OA access is subjective. What may be seen as valuable to an author may not be equally valued by another author! How exactly should research be quantified with a monetary value? There isn’t a fixed criterion to grade how content should be priced, thus creating controversy over pricings.

Moreover, Siew Woon introduced that people in desperate situations will resort to downloading restricted files illegally. Authors of CA (Closed Access) may not even get their due compensation. I’d reinforce that compensation doesn’t always come in a financial form. As from my Blogilates, Casey Ho example, the fame she received from OA kick-started her business. Therefore, knowledge circulated freely could benefit content producers in other ways too!

They both regarded OA as a privilege, especially to developing countries where poverty is significant. Restricting access to materials could cordon off this group when affordability is an issue. Does that mean that they cannot participate in worldwide research, neglecting their input and their intelligence that could be important?

As much as OA is advocated for, CA remains an option. Jun Wai made a point that some authors want to be ‘high-profiled’ through CA. Clinton has well proved that ‘nothing is free’, the decision should come from the creator of the content, whether they want to be compensated or not. He believes that activism should not power the authors’ decision towards OA, as some people will pay for online materials as they do for printed materials.

Whether content should be OA or CA, it really depends on the content producer’s  justification of his effort and reward.

Well, to each his own!

(315 words, excluding in-text citations and references)

Here are my comments for Kai Yuan and Siew Woon.

Let’s Be Open About…

Open Access literature is digital, online, free-of-charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Peter Suber

This translates to online material being shared worldwide without expectation of payment and redistribution is allowed. It’s hard to imagine a digital world without OA (Open Access) today. Most search engines lead you to free scholarly materials under a second.

Do you access free online material?

I’m sure you do, because this very module is dependent on OA materials for our readings.

NYT_paywall

(Picture Source: New York Times)

In an academic setting, tertiary education calls for research. We can’t afford pop-up paywalls on every journal. It is worst if we can’t find or fully utilize the information in restricted-access materials after purchase. (Hall, 2014)

(Video Source: HowToRuleTheWeb)

We ought to be thankful to content producers going against the popular notion that ‘nothing is free’. How will OA affect them?

Positively

  1. Good Reputation from Viral Distribution

Through a citation flow, when OA materials are repeatedly used in research, the content or the producer’s name may go viral. This is ideal for content producers, as it shows that their work is valued and trusted. These content producers will be deemed as ‘viral producers’ and may be headhunted by companies.

  1. Accelerated Learning

Needless to say, OA means that readers can reuse or redistribute content, integrating them into better research. This perfectly displays how knowledge isn’t static and can evolve from producer to producer. In the contemporary academic world, this mindset of having a broader research base can foster critical learning skills where people support or question different theories.

Negatively

  1. Under-credited Efforts

Ideally, free content circulated should be credited. What if it isn’t? Ethical issues such as plagiarism arise. It can be infuriating when their efforts are not unrecognised, becoming a cultural issue. (Ratcliffe, 2014)

  1. Quantity over Quality

Publishing costs are costly. With OA, publishers may incentivize content producers to write more in an attempt to cover the costs. Under these circumstances, quality in the research may be compromised.

Example: Blogilates, Casey Ho

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(Picture Source: Ogorgeous.com)

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(Picture Source: Hot Body Book)

Previously, she provided free fitness videos on Youtube. Today, she made a career out of the popularity of the videos, selling fitness content and merchandises. If not for OA, she may not be viral and may not have started her business.

The significant drawback for content producers providing OA is that their work is under-valued in the financial aspect. However, many intrinsic benefits can over-compensate this ‘monetary value’ of their work. They may see the satisfaction from pursuing their passion or gaining recognition worldwide as an achievement.

Most of all, I believe the most redeeming element of OA is the sharing efficiency that encourages broader and seamless learning on the Internet.

(438 words)

References:

Hall, Martin. (18 February 2014). Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders. The Guardian. Retrieved on 11 November 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/feb/18/open-access-key-issue-university-leaders

Ratcliffe, Rebecca. (27 October 2014). What’s the biggest challenge facing open access? The Guardian. Retrieved on 11 November 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/oct/27/-sp-whats-the-biggest-challenge-facing-open-access

Spark Europe. Open Access: Benefits of Open Access. Retrieved on 11 November 2015, from http://sparceurope.org/open-access/benefits-of-open-access/

Suber, Peter. (21 June 2004). Open Access Overview: Focusing on open access to peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints. Earlham College. Retrieved on 11 November 2015, from http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm

Wiley, D., Green, C. & Soares, L. (February 2012). Dramatically Bringing Down The Cost Of Education. Educause: Center for American Progress. Retrieved on 11 November 2015, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED535639.pdf

Review: Realities of Social Media: Trusted VS Tainted

Besides tainted social media marketing, ethical issues such as privacy, bullying, defamation and more were called to attention.

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(Cartoon Source: Pinterest)

Easter’s indication of lowered privacy’s effect between teachers and students could affect the professionalism at hand. Lowered privacy could foster a stronger bonding between teachers and students. With that said, there should be a line drawn. It isn’t ethical when the professionalism is compromised. It isn’t ethical with the abuse of personal information.

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(Picture Source: Ethics in Graphic Design)

From a business perspective, Yixin raised the issue of social media spreading the false perception of beauty. When managing corporate social media accounts, conflicting issues of popular content versus ethical content may arise. Marketers who measure success by the outreach and like count are likely to forsake ethical content.

Posting controversial content on a social media account may be acceptable, but posting controversial content on a corporate social media account isn’t. Consider that the influence of a corporate social media account will be much greater, with the high follower count.

Vanna’s post reinforced my view that bashing corporate competitors is highly unethical. Defaming competitors reveals that the company doubts its own strengths and tries to leverage their position by pushing competitors down. Not classy. Furthermore, customers are not oblivious to their unethical acts and may refuse to invest in the business in future. Like my example of the Singtel-Gushcloud controversy, customers will feel unimpressed with the brand after the cover is blown.

Ryan’s comment had me questioning myself. If I ever receive instructions from my company to post false or defamatory content, would I agree to do so?

With the experience I have had in content marketing, I was tasked to always search for evidences before posting anything in my company’s name to uphold truth in the brand. Most of this consideration is also tied to the strict Singapore laws on defamation, where consequences will be dire. Therefore, no, I would definitely decline to lie or downplay competitors as I value my ethics more than a job that demeans morality.

(331 Words)

Feel free to view my comments for Easter and Yixin!

Realities of Social Media: Trusted VS Tainted

Social media, which begun for the sake of convenient interaction on the Internet, has far evolved to what it has become today: a marketing tool.

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(Picture Source: Marketoonist.com)

There are many benefits that social media marketing can bring to businesses, such as improved brand loyalty and increased inbound traffic to websites. Corporate use of social media to market products is seen as a business opportunity to increase sales. (DeMers, 2014) However, with social media advertising, it appears that there is a problem:

Misleading Interactive Advertising

Businesses today are becoming highly saturated with online content. To stay ahead, they engage social media personalities with great influence on their target market, usually justified by the number of followers and the averaged likes count, to post about its brand in an ideal manner. These businesses will reward them with cash incentives or store credits. (Politt, 2014)

How is this unethical?

The social media users who are paid to write these advertorials accept the offers as a business deal, lacking consideration for followers reading these paid content.

Example: The Singtel-Gushcloud Controversial Campaign

Singtel, a telecommunications company in Singapore, tarnished its reputation when Xiaxue, a Singaporean blogger, exposed its ‘Blogger Engagement Brief’ for Gushcloud. (Cheng, 2015)

singtelgushcloudbriefone

(Picture Source: Xiaxue.blogspot.com.sg)

As shown in the picture, the circled point shows how Singtel has unethically instructed the bloggers of Gushcloud to downplay and defame their competitors. Followers of the Gushcloud bloggers would have been influenced to think likewise, affecting the competitors’ businesses. This could have breached the Telecomm Competition Code imposed on all telecommunication licenses in Singapore. (Tham, 2015)

Singtel has given a public apology and terminated its contract with Gushcloud, teaching Singaporeans a lesson on tainted social media campaigns and deceitful marketing tactics.

The marketing industry may resort to forced and false content marketing in a hurry to see the Return of Investment (ROI) from its social media campaign. This is unethical and marketers should see social media marketing as a long-term strategy instead. (Manjur, 2015) Building brand loyalty and trust is a crucial part of the business. This does not mean that interactive advertising should be forgone.

How then, can social marketing advertising be ethical?

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(Picture Source: Keep Social Honest)

The Chartered Institute of Marketing developed the ‘Keep Social Honest’ campaign to encourage ethical behaviours by marketers using social media. The 10 Commandments of Social Media is a guideline to be adhered to, for maintaining the integrity of social media.

Before marketers violate consumer trust, interactive advertising through social media should be properly supervised. (Brown, 2014) Companies should reinforce the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice in their contracts and be morally ethical in their campaigns.

(430 words)

References:

Brown, Thomas. (11 August 2014). The Befitting Brand: Ethical Use of Social Media in Business. Digital Marketing Magazine. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/social-media-marketing/the-befitting-brand-ethical-use-of-social-media-in-business

Cheng, Wendy (Xiaxue). (14 March 2015). The Big Gushcloud Expose 2. Xiaxue.blogspot.sg. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://xiaxue.blogspot.sg/2015/03/the-big-gushcloud-expose-2_14.html

DeMers, Jayson. (11 August 2014). The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing. Forbes. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/

Hendricks, Drew. (8 May 2013). Complete History of Social Media: Then and Now. Small Business Trends. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/the-complete-history-of-social-media-infographic.html

Keep Social Honest. (2014). Ten Commandments. Keep Social Honest, The Chartered Institute of Marketing. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://www.keepsocialhonest.com/?page_id=306

Manjur, Rezwana. (9 April 2015). Content marketing lessons from the Singtel-Gushcloud saga. Marketing Interactive. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://www.marketing-interactive.com/authenticity-panel/

Politt, Chad. (11 November 2014). Advertorials in the Age of Content Marketing and Promotion. Social Media Today. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/advertorials-age-content-marketing-and-promotion

Tham, Irene. (21 March 2015). Singtel’s controlversial campaign: Good wake-up call for social media marketing, say experts. The Straits Times, Singapore. Retrieved on 9 November 2015, from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singtels-controversial-campaign-good-wake-up-call-for-social-media-marketing-say-experts

Review: What Do You Mean… A Professional Online Profile?

To own a professional online profile is almost de rigueurin the digital age. As I read other blogs, I gathered that the use of social media to present yourself is widely advocated for. LinkedIn, especially, is put on a pedestal, when it comes to its potential for getting people hired.

The subject of relevance though, is a debatable one.

Jue Yin, in her interesting guide for an online profile, mentioned ‘relevance’ as a step in creating a professional profile. This means that candidates are to portray themselves desirably with respect to the job that they’re after. For instance, if a candidate were to be interested in an IT job, he should show his interest and proficiency of the field in his profile.

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(Picture Source: LindsayOlson.com)

I pondered upon this issue and wondered about Mark Leruste’s Youtube video “A Dream Job Would Be Nice!”. His video CV worked for him because he was looking for a job in the creative industry. The originality and entertainment he provided was valued in the field he wanted a job in. If Mark Leruste were looking for a job in say, engineering, it might not have worked out as well.

Renu’s post reminded me that actions speak louder than words. Instead of blatantly stating what my strengths are in my online profile, a better approach would be to put forth a piece of sample work. It is a humbling way to prevent overselling of oneself. Recruiters can see for themselves – how you solved a complex work problem; how you organized an event; how you blogged about current marketing campaigns. The behavioral consistency theory could prove substance and authenticity when you display said skills and knowledge. (Jackson, 2013)

The most powerful advantage of having a professional online profile today would be networking. This is particularly important for marketers as there will be greater opportunities, positive influences and increased business when we connect to potential business partners with our professional online profile.

I’ll be on my way to become a professional on the web now!

(329 words)

For my comments on Jue Yin’s blog, please click here.

For my comments on Renu’s blog, please click here.

  1. Required by etiquette or current fashion [French]

Reference:

Jackson, Susan E. (2013). Behavioural Perspective of Strategic Human Resource Management. Rutgers University. Retrieved on 6 November 2013.

What Do You Mean.. A Professional Online Profile?

Imagine yourself as a recruiter. You have received hundreds of document-based resumes. A video like this comes your way.

(Video Source: Mark Leruste, Youtube)

Would you shortlist Mark Leruste?

I would.

Reason being this short yet communicative video entertained and convinced me of his creativity and wit. Leruste’s clever display of his Facebook, Twitter and blog links in his video feeds social recruiters quick information, proving transparency towards his potential employers. This is especially instrumental, considering that 93% of recruiters use social media to support the recruiting effort. (Jobvite, 2014)

To me, Mark Lecruste has successfully created a professional online profile, attracting many employers through an interesting online representation. (Peter, 2013)

Gone are the days with traditional recruitment practices. Recruitment strategies today include ‘basic marketing concepts to understand and segment the talent landscape’. (Marven, 2014) Having an online professional profile for employment sake is increasingly popular today. Dan Schawbel (2011) believes that your web presence could ‘replace your resume’ in the near future.

The key to creating an authentic online professional profile is threefold.

  1. Authenticity

Uphold integrity and professionalism by providing a true representation of yourself stating facts. Falsification of your credentials or experiences should not be condoned! Remember that background checks are easily done.

  1. Branding

Have a look at this self-branding example by Adam Pacitti.

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(Picture Source: Adam Pacitti’s Twitter)

His stunt prompted recruiters into looking at his website, landing him many job openings.

You spend hours sketching the perfect resume, but how long does a recruiter truly consider it? Nik Nyman says ‘ten seconds’. Use infographics, crafts, videos and other creative ideas to sell your strengths. Stand out amongst the crowd, but be careful not to oversell.

To market yourself better, try using appropriate keywords in your websites. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will greatly aid you in directing worldwide recruiters to your profile. (Hall, 2011) This is an excellent opportunity, as recruiters on the Applicant Tracking Software will find your profile easily if you use the right keywords aligned to their employment needs.

  1. Network and Get Connected

How Social Recruiters Hire

(Picture Source: JobVite, 2014)

Integrating your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter into your online profile reveals a great deal about yourself. It reveals your connectivity and the way you previously showcase employers’ brands. (JobVite, 2014) Keep in mind that being transparent is not being discriminative or offensive, as seen in the consequences of Justine Sacco’s situation.

Social recruiting forms a challenge in terms of relevance to recruiters. Your social media accounts divulge more than you alone, but also your affiliations. Certain interests groups you join or certain profiles you are linked to may or may not impress potential employers. Recruiters want employees who fit in their company culture, so remember to tailor your profile to the jobs you want.

Start building up your professional digital profile today!

(440 Words)

References:

Dan Schawbel. (21 Feb 2011). 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume In 10 Years. Forbes. Retrieved on 5 November 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-your-online-presence-will-replace-your-resume-in-10-years/

Hall, G. (21 November 2011). 4 Tips for Optimizing Your Resume with Social Media. Mashable Asia. Retrieved on 5 November 2015, from http://mashable.com/2011/11/20/social-media-resume-tips/#Pgq_zbrc0Sqp

Jobvite. (2014). Social Recruiting Survey 2014. Jobvite. Retrievd on 5 November 2015, from https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf

Marven, T. (10 Oct 2014). Are traditional recruitment practices holding your organization back? OnRec: The Online Recruitment Resource. Retrieved on 5 November 2015, from http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/are-traditional-recruitment-practices-holding-your-organisation-back

Peter, M. (2 August 2013). A Dream Job Would Be or make that Is Nice, By Mark Leruste. Creative-Resume. Retrieved on 5 November 2015, from http://www.creative-resume.net/2013/08/02/a-dream-job-would-be-or-make-that-is-nice-by-mark-leruste/

Simple Sells. (2013). Case Study: Lessons from ‘Employ Adam’. Tumblr. Retrieved on 5 November 2015, from http://simplesells.tumblr.com/post/39581510026/employadam