Establishing this blog has enhanced my holistic online identity, particularly in the professional sense. In conjunction with my personal learning networks on Facebook and Twitter I have felt that this forum has encouraged greater participation as I continue studying library and information services. However, in doing this it has also led me to be more conscientious of how I will be and want to be seen by the online community who may read my blog.
In regards to my online identity, I consider that my profile and blog posts as a whole will indicate my individual identity and perspectives. At present, I am satisfied with the level of depth I have given about who I am, although I think that this will change as I want this blog to change and be adaptable for the long-term. Therefore, I want more solid and organised connections to my professional development, while still being security conscious. An article written by Chris Yapp focused upon how inferences can be made from information provided or not provided on social networking sites, particularly for the purpose of designing advertisements (2011).
This reading has made me aware of the depth of analysis that can be drawn from the inclusion or omission of particular details from a profile, whether visual or textual. Therefore, the profile is important but consideration of the blog holistically can encourage me to reflect upon possible assumptions and views of who I am – beyond what is included in black and white. For example, if I have a disorganised category system for the subsequent blog posts. I think making assumptions and judgements are natural, however in this personal learning network it is necessary that my personal identity does not negatively affect the purpose of the blog – to present my reflections and experiences.
The design that I want to accomplish with my blog is that it is multiple parts that display significant aspects of the development of my professional identity. Generally I want my online identity to be truthful, professional and show my personal self in some manner. At present, I have used my full name and kept the writing relatively formal and structured in theme to the university course. Although there is not a clear separation between my personal and professional identity, I consider that the background and layout, and my first blog post do represent my personal identity more so. The design includes a piece of my artwork and in conjunction with the ‘about me’ page and my first blog post of my Facebook introduction, I consider give a suitable level of information about who I am.
Self monitoring my writing has been an important element in posting on my blog. Reflecting on and considering what to include or not include is part of managing a formal, but still personal, blog for reflective writing. I consider security to be highly important, particularly as it is open to public viewing and so therefore I have aimed to not admit specific personal details, as it relates to my date of birth and address and also my family and friends. The statement, “never write something that you might regret later” comes to the forefront in my mind often, therefore I am reluctant to disclose private details.
There is a fine balance I have discovered between the personal and professional side of one’s self. In developing this account, I found it in some ways more difficult and time consuming than my Facebook account. Although there are more personal details in the later, I believe it is the public, professional development nature and purpose of the blog that has encouraged me to recognise and consider the implications of posting my thoughts and experiences in my writing. I think that part of the purpose of reflection is to simultaneously include past and present experiences while considering the future.
Yapp, C. (2011). What is information? ITNow, 53(2) 18. doi: 10.1093/itnow/bwq245