We (myself and my research group) have been working for a while on projects related to the management of online identity – that is, how people do, and should, present themselves online, across several social media sites.
One of the first papers in what will hopefully be a series was published this past Friday in the Journal of Online Engineering Education – Online Identity Management Literacy for Engineering and Technology Students (pdf).
This video explains why you should read the paper. 🙂
The paper discusses the current employment climate in the U.S., where many employers check students’ Google resume in addition or even instead their paper resumes. It presents data about online identity management of undergraduate students, collected through in-depth interviewing. It then presents a program for students to manage their online identities:
The program begins with social media literacy – understanding the dynamics that make identity management trickier online than off. It then suggests tools, ideas, and direction for 4 steps:
- Creating professional online content
- Optimizing online content for social media
- Developing and maintaining an online professional network
- Monitoring and maintaining online presence
Coincidentally, there is an article in today’s university newspaper about this very topic. The article quotes yours truly (I forgot to mention that my name is Dr. V!) and summarizes informally some of the points that are developed formally in the journal article.
The journal article is intended for:
- college professors, who are asked to consider teaching a bit of social media literacy in their courses;
- college students, who benefit from awareness of how to manage their online information (at least that’s what the students who read the paper tell me).
And no, you don’t have to be in engineering or technology to find this article useful. 🙂
Graduate students who are interested in this and other social media topics may find the research seminar I am teaching this Fall interesting. TECH 621: Research Focus: The Social Internet is a course that reviews current research in core social media topics. In this course, students are immersed in social media and work on an original research project of their own interest. More info about the course coming soon, but feel free to contact me if you’re interested and are a Purdue student. And, if you are interested but are not a Purdue graduate student… well, why not become one?
My latest research project builds on previous work about online identity management and seeks to further understand how active social media users manage their identity and social groups across multiple social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+).
We are looking for volunteers to participate in research interviews. Interviews will take about 30 minutes, and will be conducted via telephone or Skype.
Specifically, we are searching for individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Has graduated from college within the past two years OR
- Is a social media consultant OR
- Is an IT security professional
- Is an active social media user – participates actively in 3 or more social networking sites
In exchange for your time, you will have a 1 in 10 chance to win $25 in cash, gift card, or donation to your preferred charity.
Interested in participating? Please contact me through this online form.
Do you know other people who may wish to participate? Please forward them the link to this post.
This project is supported by a research grant from Verisign, Inc. Co-PI: Gene Spafford – CERIAS, Purdue University
I came across this presentation on John Bells’ blog (John Bell heads the Digital Influence Team at Ogilvy PR) and had to share it here.
This happens to be one of my research interests, something I alluded to in an earlier blog post, and I am now working to get ready for publication.
The presentation is from Paul Adams, senior UX researcher at Google. I love the connection he makes between social science and social interface/product design. I love the fact that this kind of research happens in a corporate setting, and if I didn’t love teaching so much I’d be jealous of his job.
If you didn’t catch Colbert taking on Google last night, this is a must. Funny, of course, but he is making a lot of valid points:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Control-Self-Delete|
Sorry, this video cannot be embedded, so you have to click over to watch it (but remember to come back!).
It’s yet another story of a person (this time, a teacher) losing her job over some comments she made on Facebook.
SOON, WE WILL ALL BE OUT OF JOBS.
If things continue to go this way, soon, we will ALL be out of jobs.
People, it’s time to get used to it and stop over-reacting: With social media being so open (with or without our knowledge or consent), it is unavoidable that statements will be heard by the wrong people and taken out of context. Imagine this teacher complaining about her students to her friends, over dinner – would she be fired for that? Would she be fired for maybe, half-jokingly calling her students “germ bags” in this context? No, she would not. But because things are being taken out of the context and the original audience for whom they were intended, they are costing this woman her job.
So, we have two options:
1) Keep it so safe on social media that we all become bland, boring and dishonest, and ultimately abandon it, because an unauthentic form of communication is just not worth the waste of time.
2) As a society, start getting used to seeing comments that were not intended for us, learn to place them in their proper context, and stop jumping to conclusions and judging people so quickly and so wrongly. Chuckle and move on. (Oh, and: students, wash your hands. parents, be nice to teachers.)
This situation will keep repeating. You’ll hear about it more and more often. It’s time to learn to adjust to the new reality, or we’ll ALL be out of jobs.
Thank you, Quincy, for bringing this video to my attention.
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