DigiThings – Thing One: Presenting yourself online through blogging

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I have just signed up for DigiThings at Plymouth University, which is run by Academic Support, Technology & Innovation.

DigiThings is an online course for academics which aims to explore digital tools, in a friendly and supportive environment, that could be useful for your teaching and research activities.

DigiThings will give me the opportunity to work through some of the TEL tools I have touched upon but never used in anger! Along the way I am hoping to stumble upon new tools that I can integrate into my practice.

Thing one is all about presenting yourself online through blogging and setting up an online presence. I have had this blog (in various forms) since 2006(ish). At the time I started it up as a student and was encouraged to do so during my degree studies in Digital Art & Technology. Regrettably I deleted all the content once I graduated, but I wish I kept this content as I occasionally like to look through my old posts to see how I’m progressing (or not) and put things into perspective through this reflective process. I’ve also had things like a Gravatar and use various tools to create an online identity (which I won’t list here as I’m sure they’ll be popping up in the following DigiThings modules).

Looking at the ‘Thing One‘ post, I’m asked to think about I feel about having an online identity. Being brought up around technology I almost see an online identity as ‘necessary’. In these digital days, tools that allow us to create an online identity allow us to communicate to individuals or groups both close and afar.

DigiThings asks: Are you using your own name or a pseudonym? Are you aiming to combine your personal and professional identities or will you keep them separate?

In this blog I’m planning on trying to combine both my personal and professional identities as the two together is what makes me. Whether you know me as a person or a colleague… I’m the same person and for me that makes sense. My online presence elsewhere however may be more professional and less personal, it kind of depends on the website/application. I see it as the following:

  • Communication tools such as Facebook- Personal
  • Website for work – Professional
  • This blogging space – Professional and Personal

I’m aware that I’m taking it upon myself to make this space a blend of the two, but that’s because in my studies I’ve learnt how powerful reflection can be. I may not be very good at doing it actively but I recognise I should  be trying to do this to grow as a person and a professional.

DigiThings asks: How could blogging become part of your workflow? Could you use your blog with students? research colleagues? How often would you post?

Working in a support role, I can only see blogging in my workflow as a reflective process. Actively learning through my reflection on various ramblings/experiences/thoughts. As this is not pushed upon me in my day-to-day work so I find it difficult to post frequently, all I can say is I’d like to post more, DigiThings will give me the opportunity do this and we’ll see how I get on.

5 thoughts on “DigiThings – Thing One: Presenting yourself online through blogging

  1. Flea

    I totally agree with you Mark, which is not surprising as we did the same degree and do the same job! As Learning Technologists our blog posts tend to be instructional or focussed on advertising new workshops and resources. Like you, I would also like to be more reflective this year – I really must do my first DigiThings post!

  2. Mark Pannell

    Well said Mark, I would have included most of that in mine had I thought about it at the time. Talking of time, it always seems time is my enemy for ‘professional’ blogging as it takes quite some time to write and resource a useful blog for others to read.

    • Thanks Mark,
      I agree. ‘Professional’ blogging can be time consuming. It always takes me longer. I want to make sure my facts are correct and the message is clear, whereas my personal ramblings can contain as many spelling errors and swear words as I see fit. Professional is also a hard definition to pin down as someone’s idea of professionalism may differ to others. It’s tricky to mix the two, perhaps come to a happy medium… eliminate the swear words! 😉

  3. Hi Mark,
    You make a really good point there about the onus placed on us when blogging professionally. We really do have a responsibility to ensure that what we’re saying is fact, and that we are sending the right messages. However, I think there is very much that same onus on us when commenting/blogging on what is generally more personal social media, as we have all seen legal cases recently in the news, where people have been sacked or charged as a result of an online comment/tweet/post etc. I guess it all comes back to the ‘digital footprint’ issue in the end- whatever is posted online stays online and users need to be aware of it!

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