It was a strange experience being on a university campus; the college I attended in Liverpool was tiny, consisting of just one building (although I believe they've extended it significantly since 'my day'!) so it was a completely new environment for me to be in.
Hendon Campus: picture source commons.wikimedia
We began the session by introducing ourselves: it was lovely to meet some of the other students on the course and realise that we're all in the same boat and most of us have the same goals for the outcome of the course.
Paula covered the main focus of the session: Web 2.0 and Web Based Communication. What we present online may not always be the most relevant thing for potential employers to find: using different search engines Paula searched for my name: different engines gave different results, for example Bing found my LinkdIn and this Blog straight away, followed by 'Dani Talks Tough Love' (!!) which definitely wasn't me! However Google found my Twitter feed and a couple of posts from Facebook that were obviously not set to Private. While I'm happy for this image of me to be presented online, it made me realise how easy it would be for someone to find out a lot about my life from a quick search across a couple of platforms.
We then split into two groups and began to discuss the question "How Do The Principles and Practises of Web Based Communication Support or Challenge Professional (Arts-Related) Practise?"
Deep in discussion! Images used with permission of those shown
This was a really interesting way to reflect on Task One, which covered the uses of Web 2.0 - I have to confess, our group got a little bit carried away discussing and debating, and didn't really leave ourselves much time to create the PowerPoint Presentation!
We maybe should have paid more attention to this!
Paula mentioned that previously the question for the session had been "Do Web-Based Technologies Enhance Professional Practice?" However this had now been updated as it is known that a) they do, and b) it is a given that performers are able to promote themselves using a variety of mediums. We used this foundations to build two lists showing the ways in which Social Media can both enhance and hinder professional practice in the arts.
What struck me the most was the points that we came up with that could easily sit in either column, such as the ease of use of the internet: for example on Twitter - it is so quick and easy to type an update and hit send, however if someone isn't looking at their feed in the two or three minutes your tweet is near the top, it will be lost forever! The other example we came up with was being able to find jobs and employees through groups like The Hustle and you can check on potential employers through their page or profile, however it also means that potential employers can check on your profile as well (do you really want them to see that picture of you on a night out five years ago?!)
My very messy, scribbled notes from the session!
We finished the session by presenting our discussions to the group, using visual mediums and relevant examples. For ethical reasons we attempted to not 'name names' when discussing real-life examples: i.e. A friend of mine was in this situation... or A venue where I once worked...
It was so interesting to hear other peoples viewpoints and arguments regarding the use of social media in the arts world, and reassuring to know that we were all at the same stage despite differences in our background, training and professional experience. It's given me a lot of food for thought: both for the coming tasks in the module, and made me look deeper at the presentation of myself online.
For my further thoughts on Web 2.0 please have a look at my Task Blog...