Managing your online identity

If you google Cathy Woods you will find many references to the exonerated Nevada murderess who erroneously served 35 years in gaol. Google is swamped with people with your name who lead interesting lives. You do need to know what comes up under your name if you are running online accounts. Does it worry me? No. I could probably pay to get my profile up there on Google. Do I need to? No. People can find me if they want to because I manage my online identity so that those I want to find me can. If you google sally07 then my Twitter account will come up and it’s the reason I can’t change my Twitter handle. I have the account in my name but the handle is my old one from the days where we didn’t use our real names. The world changed and I blogged about my decision to be myself online. That Twitter handle has to stay, though.  It carries with it a lot of online positives. I don’t link my Facebook account to anything. Facebook is my online home, I suppose. I check the settings regularly because Facebook makes changes and then doesn’t let you know necessarily . It also broadcasts when you are online, what comments you make, makes you available on Messenger and tells everyone what you like. Stalkers paradise right now. I have turned the sidebar off and I log out now so that I maintain my privacy and the privacy of others. I have changed settings so friends of friends cannot see things. You really need to check your settings on online sites and you really need to be aware of how this may or may not be affecting you. My online identity is not the whole of me but it is a genuine facet of me.

Danielle Di-Masi’s video is a good way to start thinking about your online identity and the UNSW article about her follows that up. Forbes also has a good article about managing your online identity and then a link to some tips for improving what you do.

Make the most of online tutorials

We live in a visual world. We have access to devices and the internet. Nobody needs to be stuck. We haven’t quite got to the stage where we are capitalising on the value of video tutorials . Some people are still text based and want text information. Most people have shifted to ingesting video information and it’s worth its weight in gold:

You can find out quickly how to do things
You can promote information to fill in learning gaps
You can highlight relevant information

Different age groups view technology differently at the moment. Older people would probably think it is not very sensible, secure or appropriate to be doing their banking with phones and tablets. It would seem too casual for them and not the way they have been brought up with the highly valued bank book, the important banking and financial meetings and the belief that financial dealings are a very serious business. Younger people would want the ease and convenience of device banking because they are time poor and have a different way of looking at it. Not everything should be done online because there is real value for all concerned to have genuine people contact with real conversations. Online videos , though, can smooth the way to getting people more comfortable with how they can do things differently. All businesses and organisations need their little video tutorials about how to make the most of their services or ideas. Video tutorials help people to know how to do things so they can participate. Trawling through FAQs can often leave people as baffled as they started unless they are well organised and presented. Even FAQs could have videos to help people navigate interfaces and thinking around content.

The how to create a website video by WordPress has had nearly a million views. It was well worth the making of the video and the comments attest to that. Backing up online content with video help is a good way to engage everyone as the aitsl site clearly demonstrates. Videos initiate a culture of participation and can shift thinking and practice. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all have video capability and so we can all share our thinking, ideas and knowledge in a very easy way to create those connected conversations which will move us all forward instead of dividing us. In truth, there is no generational gap. There is generational advantage which can be shared now across the internet. Every generation has its strengths and videos and images are an efficient way of making those connections.

Make your own cloud

wiredzero talks you through how to set up your own cloud storage on Linux but , as he says, you can set it up on any operating system. If you want something which is already done for you , then you need to be looking at CNET’s video and if you want a Raspberry Pi project then AvoidErrors has a video about setting up cloud storage using a Raspberry Pi.

Cloud storage has become a bit of a thing because we do have large amounts of data , especially in media files and we want to be able to access them when we want to. We also are getting to the point where our smartphones are becoming overloaded with data files and we need to rethink our storage. Personal or third party cloud storage is then an option provided you have internet access. Pocket drives are the option if you don’t. You cannot always connect a pocket drive to a smart phone , though. Most people would need a laptop so cloud storage is back on the menu of options.

People want to be able to use their own files and their own media in particular. We are closer to the day where we shall only have digital media files and no hard copies of anything. Creating a personal cloud still means you are using a service from somewhere . You need to understand how you can benefit from cloud services or what they offer so you can decide whether it is for you. Cloudwards gives you a detailed run down on the free services available. With the wiredzero video you are making your own virtual server to store your media so that you are in control of your media storage.

What’s DevOps?

DevOps is a new , highly paid IT job but it’s a concept we all need to understand. It’s about smoothing the path between developers and users so that the software is better suited to the environment in which it works and the  people who use it can get the best out of it for what they want to do. In an economy it’s about making yourself the one who is seen, heard and used. ACADGILD explains it really well but then pushes its company. I have used the video by Sanjeev Sharma. He explains it really well and has a lot of experience in the field. The world has changed and the world is changing. We want to use technology in a way which suits us and we want it to be able to do what we want it to be able to do. Developers can come up with ideas and projects . Some of those now are launched as test/lite projects to gain valuable feedback for further development. We do not live in a static world. We now live in a world of communication, collaboration and constant improvement which is why the concept of DevOps has to be understood. Developers can create things but they may not suit the market, the audience or the environment. They may create software which is half way decent and then we need  input to get it to be the best software for the time and place. I sometimes contact developers because I can make suggestions as to how I think something can improve in its functionality or if the software works well on one device and has limitations on another. Software development is complex. Developers work hard and long hours. I don’t expect my changes to occur and I usually only offer suggestions if I am asked. TheAstronauts blog explains why developers are not really interested in your unsolicited ideas. The explanation hits home. The feedback loop is becoming part of most organisations and businesses now and needs to be a part of everything. I have given feedback and thought, well, that’s not going to help, because the feedback form is too limited or doesn’t actually allow you to pinpoint the problems or clearly make observations. That’s when I blog or tweet if I want to. If I think something needs to be changed I put it out there into the ether. It will be picked up. It will be read. It will be considered. People can only do what they do and we have to avoid swamping them. If I have used classroom software which doesn’t quite work in that situation I haven’t hesitated to contact someone who would be able to make the changes and have a conversation. Today that is essential. It is important to be pleasant, polite, concise and prepared to wait . Offering suggestions is part of the process now. I have been stunned by how quickly some things are changed for the better. I have been pleased to see how many sites now include that feedback loop. In the end we’ll all get good at this idea of DevOps. We are no longer a world of victims when it comes to development. We are now part of a collaborative process.

SlideShare revisited

SlideShareSlideShare has partnered with LinkedIn or vice versa and has a whole new look. It suits the new device environments better and has a very good visual interface. I originally used SlideShare to improve my presentation skills and then to produce content for my class room. It was also a place where I could get ready made content for my classroom. Slide presentations are perfect for flipped learning, for IWB presentations and for sharing detailed and well thought out information which uses the essential notion of progressive disclosure. I had a student who would automatically create her own slide presentations from information I was teaching and then she had a beautiful visual record of what she was learning. There is now a clipboard section which I shall have to find out about because I have only just discovered through an email that SlideShare has been resurrected. We live in a visual world. We need well thought out presentations to guide us through and an easy platform for sharing our information. The feedback I got from the SlideShare community really helped me to improve how I presented my information and the success of some of my presentations both in the classroom and on SlideShare is proof that feedback works in a powerful way.

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