This Web presence is for unit WEB101, Web Communications for Coordinator Stewart Woods and Tutors Tim Highfield, Kathryn Locke and Amelia Beare. As I am studying towards a BA in Librarianship and Corporate Information Management, I have decided to make my theme Librarianship and my tag line “I want to be librarian when I grow up”. For this purpose my identity revolves around my studies, and the theme reflects my love of books, the library and new technology. The look of this blog is a diary superimposed on an image of an old library. This image is used in two of the supporting nodes, Twitter and Flickr. I have used the same photo as my avatar across all nodes, including Delicious, for continuity. I will endeavor to explain how I constructed my Web presence and most importantly, why I chose the theme, the central node and the three contributing nodes.
My first priority was to create an identity and a theme which represents the true me but also fitted to the theme of my Web presence. Kim, Zheng and Gupta (2011, 1761) explain that there are many notions of identity and many more for online identities. Identity is defined by characteristics that make the person, for example a person can be kind or arrogant; identity is defined by the situation in which a person finds themselves in, such as a crisis or a celebration; identity is also defined by how people perceive others. An online identity is even more diverse. While offline, identity is often attached to the physicality of a person, however, online this is not the case. I can be whoever I want to be online, indeed I can be the exact opposite to what defines me offline. “A true representation” (Turkle cited in Kim, Zheng and Gupta 2011, 1762) may also differ from person to person. Becoming a librarian is a true representation of me, albeit one of the many notions to my true identity, as I am also a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister.
My identity, now established as a future librarian, needed an avatar. An avatar is yet another representation of me, this time a visual one. I am happy to display my photographic image as opposed to an image of something that defines me. Qian and Scott (2007, 1431) describe self-disclosure as communicating “personal information, thoughts and feelings to other people” and I include a photo of myself as self-disclosure. I aim to use this blog to aid me in the process of learning and studying, and while Qian and Scott (2007, 1432) argue that people who blog to express themselves may have concerns about others reading their content, I will not be posting intimate or private details. Indeed, I intend to use this blog to express myself in a manner that will be beneficial to my studies and future employment as a librarian.
Thus making my Web presence a true representation of me, I resolved to make my central node a blog. I have been writing in my study blog for the past two years so I am familiar with WordPress. Research has shown that maintaining blogs for study is an ideal learning tool (Nardi, Schiano, Gumbrecht, and Swartz 2004, 43; Weaver 2010, 28). I decided on the theme, Choco, for my new blog because the image of a diary represents an actual diary in which I will be writing reflections about becoming a librarian and my learning journey. I also had the opportunity to change the background to display an old library, because it is my dream to work in an old library someday. I do not anticipate a large readership, however, as Rettberg (2008, 57) suggests “blogs support a dense network of small audiences and many producers” thereby making this medium a social genre. Utilising a technique called tagging, readers looking for specific content on librarianship will come across my blog which will delve into what I consider important in my learning journey.
Furthermore, there are many techniques I can employ to make sure my blog is read. One such technique is RSS (Really Simple Syndication) which I have added to aid my readers in downloading content, independently from the blog and if readers are subscribed to my blog they can receive automatic updates (Holvoet 2006, 32). I also learned that through the paradigm that is Web 2.0, people are able communicate and collaborate utilising blogs. Blood (2000) explains that “the promise of the web was that everyone could publish, that a thousand voices could flourish, communicate, connect” and since I am able to manipulate WordPress without having to learn how to write and modify HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), I can publish whatever I wish. Another way to make certain my blog is read is the use of contributing nodes. I have chosen three, Twitter, Flicker and Delicious.
I have chosen these three nodes because I believe they aptly represent my library theme. Linking Twitter to my blog works well because it allows me to let others know I have posted a new entry. Also, Twitter is a popular Web 2.0 platform and many librarians have an account. I follow other people and firms who have an interest in libraries, such as Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). My second contributing node, Delicious, is an online bookmarking website that allows me to add web pages that are of interest such as articles and images of libraries. I will also be using Flickr because it a good site to browse through vast amounts of images of libraries from all over the world which is another one of my passions. Because Flickr also has images under creative commons, this means I can also use these images on my blog without infringing on any copyright.
In summary, the central node and the contributing nodes to my Web presence illustrate my passion for all things library whether it is a blog post, a link to another blog, an image of a beautiful library or the latest information from ALIA, I feel that my identity has been shown to a degree I am comfortable with and that it represents the true ‘me’ in a manner that will be beneficial to my future studies and employment. Not only did I learn a great deal, but I also enjoyed the experience.
Blood, R. (2000). Weblogs: a history and perspective. Rebecca’s Pocket. [Blog] Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html.
Kim, H., Zheng, J. R., and Gupta, S. (2011). Examining knowledge contribution from the perspective of an online identity in blogging communities. Computers in Human Behaviour. 27(5):1760-1770. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0747563211000616.
Nardi, B., Schiano, D. J., Gumbrecht, M., and Swartz, L. (2004). Why We Blog. Communications of the ACM. 47(12): 41-46. Retrieved from http://cacm.acm.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/magazines/2004/12/6358-why-we-blog/fulltext.
Qian, H., and Scott, C. R. (2007). Anonymity and self-disclosure on weblogs. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 12(4): 1428-1451. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00380.x/full.
Rettberg, J. W. (2008). Blogs, Communities and Networks. In Blogging (pp 57-83). Cambridge: Polity Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=lo0WUF0YpsMC&oi=fnd&pg=PR4&dq=Blogging+/+Jill+Walker+Rettberg.&ots=7q_i9gtsWF&sig=2n6N-f-U3VecB0dAdklxguStNf0&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Weaver, A. (2010). Blogging – It’s a Journey! Access. 24(1): 28-31. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/219628976/fulltext/13F8AC0D8FC356274AF/19?accountid=10382.