Topic 1 – reflections

Figure. Graphic illustration of my online software usage, categorised by use modes (visitor/resident) and use contexts (personal/professional)

It’s been a hectic but fascinating two weeks! We have received a massive amount of information on making sense of one’s digital identity, i.e. what characterises one’s online presence and behaviour. Below are some reflections on my own digital identity:

I find it very useful to think of online software as just a tool, to be used to do something faster and better than I would have otherwise. In this framework, I would use online software in a professional setting, for the purpose of promoting my own research (e.g. Google Scholar, Website – work), to participate in digital knowledge networks and disseminate one’s research (Twitter), to better communicate or collaborate with my colleagues (Zoom, Slack, Google Docs, Skype, Email – professional) or share my computer code with other researchers (GitHub). The above graphic illustration, following David White’s framework (White & Cornu (2011)), reveals that I should more actively maintain my work website and more actively use Twitter to effectively promote and disseminate my work, and to participate in digital knowledge networks. The same illustration reveals that I am way too passive on Facebook and Whatsapp, to maintain or nurture any relationships with family and friends. I need to change this!

Rather than a large digital footprint, I find it useful to think of a streamlined online presence. I have developed three principles that I will use to guide my online behaviour, 1.) Less is more: Only use the least number of online software possible, while also accomplishes your purposes. 2.) Use for purpose: Ensure you use the software/tool only for the purpose you intend for it. Think about its purpose beforehand 3.) Time-limited use: Ensure the time spent on any software is only a small fraction of your total time. The time spent with a software should reflects its importance in accomplishing your purposes.

With these principles in mind, I have decided to: 1.) Update my work website, 2.) Organise my ResearhGate profile, 3.) Close my two personal blogs since I no longer update them, 4.) Close my profile since I now use ResearchGate for the same purpose, 5.) Unsubscribe from many Facebook groups I am part of, to streamline my identity, 6.) Update my GitHub profile with recently released MATLAB toolboxes, 7.) Update my e-mail signature with some of these links, 8.) Build my Twitter profile once I have my own research group and 9.) Think about starting a YouTube channel once I have regular teaching responsibilities.

I will be completing points 1-7 during ONL211. I feel tired already! 🙂



  1. White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9)

Posted by Nitin Williams

About Nitin Williams

Post-doctoral researcher in Neuroscience Methods at Aalto University, Finland
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