Monday, May 19, 2014

#UOSM2008 Topic 6: Final Reflection

1.Provides the evidence base for the development of your own online professional profile during this module. 

My profiles after I have finished the course: 
My blog:

Projects and diplomas:

Q1. Why did you choose the module?
        I am studying Computer Science at University of Southampton. Thus, I came from the field of programming, where the creation of applications is more important than their social impact. By taking this course I wanted to improve my social influence of online services, a part which was not touched during my studies. I have created many online projects (from simple websites to complex web applications for data mining). It is important for me to understand the consequences of the social media, the tools to maintain the human contact on the online environment.

Q2. What in particular do you want to learn from the module?
        I wanted to learn how and why should I improve my online presence. I understood that 

Q3. Which degree programme are you studying?
        I am studying Computer Science at University of Southampton. 

Q4. Have you studied online before?
        Yes. I enjoy taking online courses. I have started last year with a course offered by
  through Harvard University. Being a fresher at that time, it was a great opportunity for me, to understand the content which is taught at one of the best universities in the world. Not only that I have finished with 100%, but I also got a diploma signed by the teacher Dr. David J. Malan. Moreover, Coursera, another big open course provider, gave me the possibility to explore the courses from many universities and to improve my knowledge. I have attached a record of the courses which I took using Coursera (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 - Courses record on Coursera

UOSM2008 Digital Profile – Self Test

Rating at start of module
Comments before
Rating at end of module
Comments after
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information

I did not understand the importance of Twitter and LinkedIn
I feel more confident because I understand the importance of social media for my carrier and personal use. I have improved my online profile on many of them and now I am using Twitter every day.
Participating in online communities

I was engaged just in Facebook groups
Using my blog, Twitter and LinkedIn now I can participate and learn more. I am feel more open and I write posts using my blog. I commented on the blogs of my mates and this aspect gave me the power to be more open in the future
Building online networks around an area of interest

I was using Facebook in order to do this
Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools to use now. I am using every day LinkedIn to read articles from my interested personalities. For instance, I am enjoying to read the articles of Sir Richard Branson. I find him very inspiring and giving me a positive attitude. 
Collaborating with others on shared projects

Using Facebook groups or Google Docs
Twitter is a very good network. I can use the # for a subject and talk with others
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)

I did not have a blog at the start of the module, thus I felt more uncomfortable in order to express my ideas
After the many number of posts on my blog, I can express myself and create online text content
Managing your online identity

Except Facebook and Google plus, my activity
Now I am available on all the main online networks. I have tried to have the same online identity (eg. The same profile photo, same e-mail address).
Managing your online privacy and security


All my post from Facebook were public, I found my phone numbers on Google Plus
I updated all my online profiles. I have changed the setting such that now they reflex my opinion on privacy

I created table which contains all the important changes I have done for the main social networks (click on the social network to see my profile in a new window):

Social media network
Before the start of this course
After the #UOSM2008 - Now
I did not have an account before the course, because I did not understand the use of it
I have created a Twitter account; I set up my profile and used it to communicate with my colleges and the teacher. Now I use it every day to twit or to see other’s twits. It became a part of my everyday routine and a useful way to stay informed. I even reached the number of 11 followers.
Used just for personal interest
Now, after the course, I understand the importance of this social network and its potential consequences for my career. For example, I do not post comments or photos which can be used in the future against me, I try to have a list of friends who are considered important or behave the same as me. Every post that I have to write I check it twice. I do this because there could be a potential employer who can check my profile. Also, even if a want to start a new project it is now very important for me to have a consistent and professional profile.  Also as a consequence of understanding the course I have changed my profile photo, which was more for friends with a professional one which can represent a student.
I had no account before the course. I did not understand the use of it.
Now I have an account and I understand its important role. My LinkedIn profile was not only a way of expressing my activity but also a way of informing me, for instance: I enjoy reading post of Sir Richard Branson. I have tried to add all my courses, studies, diplomas and to find all the possible people who are using this network. I used my memory or Facebook account in order to search and find people who I know. After this course, I have 50 connections and many of these people endorsement me skills.
I did not have a blog at the start of the course. At that time, I did not feel I am the person who should express his ideas using this method
Now I have a blog. After the big number of posts I have started to enjoy the idea of this type of expression. I even started to be happy when my colleges commented my post and I gave them a reply. I have added on the blog links to all my online profiles and also a section for my posts on Twitter. Moreover, I added my Google Plus profile there. It is important for people who  visit my blog to have access to all my online activity
I did not have an account. At the start of the course,  I did not understand its importance
Now I have an account and I have linked all my online profiles using this account. It acts links everything 'about' me and I use it every time I have to a new person who I am.

I had an account, but it was not important for me
I have updated my profile information and also reviewed the circles with people. Thus, it reflects now my personal information. I am using it for my YouTube account.
I did not know which results are generated for “Cristian Sima Southampton”
I have removed one of the comments which was affecting my imagine.  This comment was present in the Google results. I have tried to make my profiles to appear there
No profile before the course
I have created an account and now I am using it to share and store my photos. Also, it is a very pleasant way to watch photos of my friends every night.

2. Reflects upon what you have learned during the module about living and working online and how you will take this forward into the future.

I can firmly claim this course was one of my favorite ones during the university. I really enjoy taking online courses because in my opinion this type of learning highlights the interactivity between the colleges and it offers you more knowledge than a standard one. When I had to choose the optional module, I was wondering to take this module about social media. In my view at that time, the course was not teaching me something practical, as I was used to do in my degree. Now, after all the topics and having gained a lot of practical knowledge, I feel I did the right choice because the skill which I have gained in this module help me to be a more sociable person.

Firstly, I think the main benefit of taking this course is that it made to understand not only the importance of the social media for this modern world, but to enjoy being an active online person. Twitter and LinkedIn were for me just a waste of time, because I did not see their important role. After taking this course, I now feel more confident and I have learnt how to use them for me. Twitter is now for me an everyday provider of actual events or news, whereas LinkedIn acts like a personal CV where the people who know me can confirm my skills. LinkedIn made me to be more ambitious and to try to study more, to take more courses in order to improve my profile. As a consequence of this, I was very proud to add, in the certification section on LinkedIn, the statement of achievement offered by Coursera for my last course (Figure 2).  
Figure 2 - Section of Certifications on LinkedIn

Furthermore, being more open to new tools is another positive consequence which the course has shown me. As I mentioned above, I did not have a blog before because I restrain myself to express. This post helped now to transforms in words what I believe. Also, I saw that the interaction with my mates is a very and important step for my expression of ideas. I found that every comment that a college has posted was a great opportunity for me to debate some of the questions regarding the topic.   

Another important aspect which I have learnt from this course is to maintain the consistency of my online presence. As a result of this, I have changed the photos and the email to be professional on every profile. By having a real photo and a single e-mail address, I have tried to be the same presence on every website. Moreover, now I understand the importance of social media, in the future I will try periodically to improve my online presence and to avoid problems which can affect my carrier. (for example, #hasJustineJustLanded).

Figure 3 - My Twitter Profile

Figure 4 - Facebook profile

Figure 5 - My Profile

Figure 6 - My Google Plus profile

To sum up, now I feel a more confident person because I understand which and how to use social networks. Topics such as privacy and working on web made me aware which information I should deliver to the online services. #UOSM2008 was for me a great course which made me to enjoy social media. Because of this, now I am very happy to start a similar MOOC about Google products. I would like to have you among my colleges. Thus, if you want to join me, you can do it here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

#UOSM2008 Topic 5: My personal feedback

This post should be regarded as a personal feedback for the 2 weeks of the topic 5 (#UOSM2008). I would like to be treated as a response to the content of the course, thus it is here to help it.

Pros for topic 4:

1. Interesting articles. This topic gave many interesting articles.
2. Many arguments. There have been founded a lot of amazing pro and cons arguments regarding the openness concept.
3. A lot of interaction. This topic seems to be the most interactive subject of the course. Being the last one or the interest shown for openness might have contributed to the  immense flow of information, which was generated by students.

Cons for topic 5 :

1. No video lecture. This topic has not provided a video lecture such that the student has a clear reference of its starting point. The psychological relation with the University is affected because the student is not able to get in touch in a video-audio way with the teacher. Even if the online courses are self-learning, there are video lectures where the teacher explains the main concepts and then let the student to do the research. 

2. No notes for this topic. There were no explicit points which have to be understand by the student. These notes can serve as an anchor for the topic.

3. Useless resource. This resource brings no explicit or fresh information for the topic 5

#UOSM2008 Topic 5 - Reflective Summary

Openness: to be or not to be free ?

The last topic from UOSM2008 course has discussed the reasons and consequences of the most modern way of learning: making online content freely. Having online content which does not require payment is still a disputable subject both for researches and users. Thus, on the one hand, the topic tried to points out the set of advantages which can be drawn but also to highlight the main potential risks of the openness. We had to read online articles regarding this subject, to interact with our colleges and finally to concrete our ideas by using blog's posts.

Firstly, for me the most significant aspect arose from the big number of articles regarding the different slights of the openness. Initially, I felt this concept of making available the content on the Internet that can has no negative effects. I noticed surprisingly that there are still many researches that do not let their work to be involved in this process. This attitude might be explained by an irrational concept called 'endowment effect' as Dan Ariely (2008) pointed out. In the same manner, according to STEPHEN LEPITAK the online content from these websites will be hidden. This is similar to the limited research area, but it relies on economic reasons.  I knew the pros of online courses, due to the fact I have emphasized very much the massive open online coursers (or MOOCs as they are known). Thus my positive view regarding the content of this topic is perhaps explained by my experience with the openness concept.

Having read both required articles but also the ones which my peers suggested to me, I now feel stronger in understanding the power of free content in the online world. In this topic, I have learned that there are very strong tends for restricting the online content (STEPHEN LEPITAK  (2013)), ,but hopefully there is in same time a strong influence of the openness concept. I understood that the positive view about openness has been promoted by the big providers of online courses, such as Coursera, Edx or Udacity. I have significantly improved my knowledge in recognizing the different angles and thus to understand that for me the most important professional aspect is that the online content should be free (as this blog is being an example of this).


Also, as always, I have tried to give a small personal feedback regarding the topic. It can be read here:


1. Dan Ariely (2008). Predictably Irrational. USA: HarperCollins. 127.

2. STEPHEN LEPITAK . (2013). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. Available: Last accessed 3rd May 2014.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

#UOSM2008 Topic 5 - Explain the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online

Is it a jail ? For many of us, a jail is meant to be the worst place that our democracy system can force us to live in. Indeed it is, because all our freedom and rights are enclosed behind a wall of brick with barbed wire on it. It is there for our safety, for our understanding that we have to regret our criminal actions. As we will see in this article, a comparison of the jail with the freedom of educational knowledge is perhaps a wrong thought to be taken into account. The openness can be seemed as a non-democratic way, but it gives more benefits for people when it is not hidden from the public eyes.

Firstly, as Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), 2012 pointed out, the human mankind had to find out a way to keep the research which has been done over the time. Every article, containing inspiring and breathtaking concepts needed a place for its conservation. This need gave birth of the journals, which were composed of a series of reviewed articles. Using this method the science grew and progressed in the right way, until recently two factors has started to change this perspective. 

On the one hand, the digitization of information and on the other hand, the high cost of the journals, changed the mentality of this old method. The content which in the last century was available only in a few underground libraries by a limited number of people can now be available for 1000 times less than one dollar (David Wiley, Cable Green, and Louis Soares. (2012)). The marginal cost of an online book is nearly zero, because in the online world there is not so much work to be done when a book is online. This can be seen as a big advantage because in the old time a small number of people could afford to spend money on books (250 dollars for a hand-made good or 5 for a printed edition) was small. It is simple why education had no possibilities to reach the majority of people. Even the researches had to buy many journals in order to find their necessary information, sometimes did not find their intended information.

Figure 1 - Open Access in United Kingdom (click on photo)

Having information in online environment makes it more convenient to be re-used. An algorithm which maps different publications can help the researches to find their needed information quicker and thus to save time. This time can be spent on different activities. The re-use possibility is more valuable and now possible, using the internet.

Not only the scientists can benefit from this openness but all of us. For example, I was spending my time taking a few interesting online MOOCs for free. If I had paid for them, it is clear that I would have not taken them. They were amazing and I have gained a lot of knowledge from them. Being a Computer Science student, I was curious how a course of Informatics is presented at Harvard. This was only possible thought the openness of this university. Not only I saw what and how other students learn at one of the best universities, but I also got a certificate for my work at the end of the course.

In the past the only way to modify an article was a difficult and long-term process. Using erata, the mistakes were detected and send back to the publisher in order to modify the article. The propagation of the new version was very slow, sometimes it was up to two years ( (David Wiley, Cable Green, and Louis Soares. (2012)). Thanks to the Internet, now the articles or books can be easily modified such that the users can have the new version of the publication almost instantaneous.

Of course, the openness can bring issues. One of them is the money which are not paid for the authors of the online content. Presenting free articles or courses online creates a big pressure on the budget of these publishing companies. Coursera, a big online-free courses platform, adopted a very efficient method to solve this problem. All the courses from this website are free and they come with a statement of achievement. In order to get a better certification, people can opt for the certificated version which cost a few tens of dollars. A part of this amount of money (which for MOOCs is significantly greater than the normal courses) is directed to the authors of the courses, thought their universities. The method can be seen as a different way of using pay walls, which will be used in the near future by all the important publications according to STEPHEN LEPITAK. (2013).

Other problem is the big number of online article which will be present on the online medium. Unlike the standard way of publishing, where the articles are re-viewed, here there is no way for the user to know which is good or not. A good approach is that the universities should do this selection and they should filter the articles, but offer them free. The rating system and the comments which can be posted on the articles can serve as reasonable methods for a modern review.

I was personally interested in understanding why the researches are so restrictive regarding the openness of their publication. I have found that the main problem they face with, as Dan Ariely (2008) explained in his book about irrational behavior, is the endowment effect. People tend to over evaluate their own creation and start to ignore the ideas of others. A consequence is, that their work is priceless compared to others, because of the time which was invested. Thus, they do not accept the idea that their work should be freely read. In my opinion, this issue can have a mere solution: the mentality of people should be changed from "not invented here - or to pay for having it" to "proudly borrowed from here" as (David Wiley, Cable Green, and Louis Soares. (2012)) stressed out. After all, it is essential that the content and the ides of the publication are shared with others and not the encapsulation of these notions inside some walls as a jail does. In the end, the research is about spending time to help the science and to improve the quality of life, which is in contrast with the idea of hidden journals.

According to Mark Zuckeberg, the founder of Facebook, we are now living in a information based economy where the possession of knowledge of one individual does not affect others. This is a very different view compared with the standard one, where the power came from the ownership of the resources. One country was richer because it was owning resources on its territories. Today, the more important economical aspect is reached by the way the resources are explored or used rather than the opportunity of having it. Today we can have a world where for example farmers can check the Internet to improve their crop yields. Every student can access Wikipedia as source of their knowledge or they can use social media to improve their communication. The power of free content on the online space is generating creativity and give birth to new innovations from which we can all benefit.

From me to you:

 A week ago, I finished successfully the online course regarding irrational behavior offered by Dan Ariely. If you are interested you can check it here: I really recommend it because of the way the teacher found and presented interesting many concepts about irrational behavior 


1. Dan Ariely (2008). Predictably Irrational. USA: HarperCollins. 127.

2. David Wiley, Cable Green, and Louis Soares. (2012). Dramatically Bringing Down the Cost of Education with OER. Available: Last accessed 29th Apr 2014.

3. (2013). Making the Internet Affordable. Available: Last accessed 29th Apr 2014.

4. Martin Hall. (2014). Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders. Available: Last accessed 4th May 2014.

5. Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics). (2012). Open Access Explained!. Available: Last accessed 28th Apr 2014.

6. STEPHEN LEPITAK . (2013). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. Available: Last accessed 3rd May 2014.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#UOSM2008 Topic 4 - Reflective Summary

Even in the modern society, the voice of ethical side of the Internet, face us every day. This perspective is pointed out by its two important categories which play a very important role. On the one hand educational field consists of a set of issues raised by the digitization of the education. On the other hand, the business area took advantage of the social media services and pointed us a lot of interesting ethical problems. Thus, the topic 4 has discussed these two kinds of ethical issues and their implications.

Initially, I felt that the ethical side of using social media services seems a trivial issue in the modern life. For me, the most significant change which will remain after this topic, will be the power of the social network in the real life and the fact that their implications can reach the personal integrity. After the required readings I have changed my mind regarding this subject. The example of #hasjustinelandedyet, where a simple but racist message posted by an important employ of a corporation on Twitter, showed me the consequences of social media networks on personal life. Even if the number of followers of Justine has not been big, the propagation of the content painted a picture of the modern live, where we should be aware of everything we create and share.

Having read all the necessary articles and after discussions with my colleges, I now realize and feel the implication of these social networks. Hence, I have started to improve my online activity, to be aware of its consequences. Alternatively, the topic have strongly enhanced my believe regarding the modern education and its big number of alternatives to learn. Not only that we can see with a time barrier the lectures online, but we can see others opinions regarding the topic. Indeed, these opinions still remain under a ethical question mark: should we trust or not them ? These skills gained from readings made me to understand that is important to read them and not to treat as a starting point but as simple opinions.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

#UOSM2008 Topic 4: My personal feedback

This post should be regarded as a personal feedback for the 2 weeks of the topic 4 (#UOSM2008). I would like to be treated as a response to the content of the course, thus it is here to help it.

This articles is driven by 'The power of honest speech values more than the shame of unspoken but wrong thoughts' (Cristian Sima).

Pros for topic 4:

  1. Interesting event. The event in which has been evolved the IRC PR executive, Justine Sacco, made me a pleasant surprise to understand the power of social media on personal life. Even if, the posted message was a real offence, because of its quick spreading, the side effects have been dramatic for Justine.

Cons for topic 4:
  1. No video lecture. This topic has not provided a video lecture such that the student has a clear reference of its starting point. The psychological relation with the University was interrupted because the student is not able to receive in a video-audio way, the teacher and the main points of the topic.
  2. No notes for this topic. I have tried to access the notes for this course from the blog, but it seems, they were not there.
  3. Feeling lost and frustrating. This topic has not provided a starting point in order to make me to understand the principles of social ethics, but I feel confused because I can not see its main traits.
  4. Difficult to find the necessary content. For example, in order to find relative information, I had to search among the Google results for the event #hasjustinelandedyet . Also,I can say that I was very difficult for me to browse through the huge mess of articles in order tot find the one which I have to read. 
  5. A few resources presented. Compared with the previous topic, this one had just a few articles. It is a good idea to present more articles, even if some of those may be marked as optional. [updated] After 10 minutes, I observed that there are 3 links at the bottom of the page. Firstly, I thought they are on the reading list from the blog. I suggest to put together the links in the reading list and to remove the presentation (see point 5 why I think this may be a good idea).
  6. The number of resources was not clear. The initial number of main resources which has been deduced from the reading list was for me 4 + that Google search. Then, after I saw the other 3 links. A benefit of presenting all the necessary resources once (and not using a depth first search method is that the student can plan its necessary time to finish all these articles.
  7. Useless presentation having non-academical style. The presentation from this page have been useles from my point of view. It did not provided information regarding the subject, how the project has been realized and so on. Many of its slides are not suitable for a professional presentation (wrong resolution images, no labeled graphs, lack of hint for figures, etc)
  8. Dead links This link is dead. It comes from the page when I clicked on SMiLE link. Also, from there is this link which is dead

#UOSM2008 Topic 4: Ethical issues raised by educational and business uses of social media

Twenty years ago, when the Internet has came among us, nobody had ever thought its huge number of users can generate a set of ethical problems. But this fact has happened. And it is not an event which has surrounded us today, but it was present there, from the very begging of its existence. A very quick look back on its history, can reveal that the two main domains, in fact the educational and business areas, which had a low influence on our empirical perspective. The absence of human individuals has served as a main cause of its low impact (Figure 1). 

Figure 1 - The amazing grow of Internet users between 1989 and 2009

Having a continuous grow of usage over the time, the new 'universe' (which, for many of use is not so innovative now), has been started to normally creates its essential human conditions for living. As well as, the planet Mars needs water as a preliminary condition to sustain the living organisms, the Internet, especially the Web, acts in the same way to make possible the share, communication and another human based activities. People believed in the freedom of expression, in the power of changing in better the entire world, by posting, sending messages and hence, generating tones of digital information. One interesting point which can be stressed out here, is represented by the main contributor of this massive communication, which, was not the quantity (nor the quality) of messages, but the incredible pace of being seen and understood by others. A very popular example is the case of #hasJustineLandedYet. As BuzzFeed [1] pointed out, a simple message, but with a truthfully racist content, posted by the PR of a big corporation has demonstrated a fast spread around the word. Given the fact that she was not able to remove it 10 hours, the propagation generated a huge online flood such that the post was a hot subject for a night. Despite the fact that Justine Sacco did not have a lot of followers, she felt the personal effects of her post, being fired from the corporation. In fact, this combination of factors is painting us a picture where the freedom of communication is unobstructed and can be achieve at a non-existent rate until now, by simply using the online social media services. It seems clear to us today, that this world is not perfect, fact which is explained by its symmetrical contruction to the real one, thus it inherits our ethical attitude.

From the educational point of view, the ethical field is playing a very important role. Even now, when I am writing coursework, I am interacting with the ethical rules involved in the process of online education. This course is taking part mainly on Internet being supported by a lot social tools (Twitter,, SlideShare ...).  Thus, according to Caroline Criado-Perez [2], the course, through its means of expression allowed me to understand more the activity of my colleges and indeed to express my opinion regarding it (using comment, posts on my blog, tweets ...). In the same essence, the content of my posts can be seen by other peers, but the quality of them is still remaining a question. Being the author of this blog, I am the only person who can delete them, but do I know that I have to delete them if someone tells me? In addition to this personal experience, a good example of ethical issues can be raised by the biggest online course provider Coursera. This huge platform offers free academic courses from more than 200 universities. I had the honour to take part in many of courses and I succeed to finish a few of them. One of them is called 'Internet History, Technology, and Security' (Figure 2). It has a a slightly different formatNotwithstanding to the fact the course provides the video lectures and the weekly assignments, but the teacher (see Video 1) has meeting every week, in a different city with the students who want to personally talk with him. As a result of this, he overcomes the ethical problem of being at distance, by creating these face-to-face conversations.

Figure 1 -  My Coursera diploma of  the Internet course

Video 1 - Charles Severance  talks about online education

According to BBC [3], nearly 40% of the whole population of this planet, will have an Internet connection by the end of this year. This fascinating prospect shows us a face of the new online industry. The problems which can be reflected as ethical rules, have a common path with the business area. The case of Justine, may be regarded as a starting point of this discussion. Not only that all the modern companies are now online, but the astonishing outlook generates ethical disorder. It represents the effects of this digital change among with its social media services which emphasize the phenomenon of unemployment. Moreover, as Caroline Criado-Perez [2] has written, Twitter (and other social network services) has the desire to protect its status of a publishing platform. It is our responsibility to report abusing and inappropriate messages. As she described, a very illustrative example of this perspective is represented by a definitive sentence of prison, of 12 and respective 8 weeks for two individuals. They have used the social networks in order to post messages about threatening rape and making death threats. In essence, the government must have a word to say, when the freedom of a person is violated, even if this happens in the online space. A collaboration between the social media services and the officials can be regarded as the best way to solve the problem. Indeed, there should be made a clear distinction between a fake post and a real abuse, but the first step in this process should be the report, which is done by the person in danger. 

To sum up, the new online environment, where the social media is taking part, has been started to show us some of its ethical problems. It is our responsibility, as humans, to select and report the content which is not appropriate and hence to find ways to compensate any other issues which can appear. 

Words count : 1030 words (with the figure descriptions)


[1]  Alison Vingiano, 'This Is How A Woman’s Offensive Tweet Became The World’s Top Story', BuzzFeed, Online Article, [Published: 21/12/2013, Accessed online on 20/03/2014 at : ]

[2]  The Guardian , 'Twitter abuse: easy on the messenger’, The Guardian, Online Article, [Published: 24/01/2014, Accessed online on 17/03/2014 at ]

[3]  Kelion L , 'UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows’, BBC News: Technology, Online Article, [Published: 17/10/2013, Accessed online on 18/03/2014 at : ]