Shortcuts: Making research easier

Being a student, most of my time is spent doing research, which requires looking through online resources. In order to reduce my time researching, these are three “shortcuts” that I’ve found to be useful:

  1. Using the “-” symbol in Google searches 

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When you’re searching on Google and a certain site is coming up in the results which you don’t want or you’ve used already, using the minus symbol before the name of the site will delete it from your results. In the images above, I deducted Wikipedia from my results, so when I searched for Napoleon again, it no-longer came up. (This shortcut also works if you list several sites that you don’t want to come up i.e. -Wikipedia -BBC)

2.   Searching for keywords on articles/journals/webpages/search results (cmd+f or ctrl+f)

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When you have 10 different 37-page articles to read and pull information from for an essay, you might not have time to read each whole piece. If you press cmd+f (Macbook) or ctrl+f (other laptops) at the same time, a small search bar appears in the top right of the screen. In that search box you can type in the word, phrase or sentence you need to read about on that page, so you can use your time more efficiently.

3. Split screen

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This is another key tool I use for doing work, so I can focus on more than one screen at a time which is useful especially for researching. It can be achieved manually by moving each of the applications to take up half of the screen (image 1 – shown below). On my MacBook, I do it by maximising either one or both of the windows I want to merge together, pressing F3 on the keyboard and dragging one of the screens onto the other (for a step-by-step tutorial, watch the slideshow below).

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Image 1

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Slideshow on how to do split screens



All images and slideshows: self-produced


The iPhone X: A student perspective

From a very young age, I’ve always been interested in new gadgets and products that have come out. Much of my time was spent trolling through the Argos catalogue after school and choosing which items I was going to buy with my non-existent money.

As we have grown older, technological innovation has developed greatly and also become increasingly more costly. With this has mounted pressures to keep up with these developments, which has also become less practical and affordable. Apple and the annual reinvention of the iPhone have a big part to play in the technological arms race that has become ‘the norm’ in society. (Insert picture of new iPhone).

Every year around the time the school/college/university/work is about to start after summer, Apple releases their keynote presentation on the newest iPhone model, which always takes over the internet. However as young people, there are pressures, whether they are underlying or not, to keep up with the trends of the newest products that are out. These trends not only manifest because of Apple but in numerous unique scenarios.


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Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 14.07.28.pngIn some ways, being a part of the millennial era, we are forced to be consumed by having the “newest” and “latest” version of everything, which has its advantages. New technology has transformed our lives, inventions ranging from newer cameras providing better video quality for creators to cars that can run on rechargeable electrical energy. In turn the staying power of smaller scale products, such as mobile phone models, has arguably reduced massively; we’re not able to enjoy products for very long before its more advanced successor takes its shine.

But as a student I have to remind myself of the most important thing which is the importance of prioritising. Not in a mundane sense of using every last penny in your account on books, but in the sense of investing in yourself: will having all the newest material objects help you be who you are today or is it helping to mould you into the person you want to be in the future?


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The Conflict of Living and Working on the Web

In UOSM2008, we spent most of our time looking at the dangers of social media and how it can be used to our advantage for example through social recruiting and open access. However, in our generation, there are other ways that living and working on the Web have become intertwined. 

Most recently, the transparency of relationships on YouTube have become a popular topic of discussion, particularly with cases where famed YouTube stars have participated in an online war-of-words for the entertainment of their social media following.

Many online personalities have gained followers and in turn earn a living by using their social stardom to promote brands, plug merchandise and promote themselves in order to get the attention of possible power players in the industries they want to go into. But mixing business opportunities with sharing so much of their personal lives can be both beneficial and negative.


Being able to show your followers what you’re wearing, what you’re eating or  your latest trip with your other half allows people to feel like they are a part of your life, even if it’s not in a big way. They can be educated in positive ways such as new fitness regimens and skin routines that have helped you and may also be helpful to them.

On the negative side, this involvement can make viewers feel as though they’re owed an explanation or answers in return for their investment in your life, especially when savvy internet users notice that you’ve stopped posting with your best friend, family member or significant other. This is where the line between how to live and work on the Web becomes blurred. Often times the rationale for sharing so much about their personal life struggles, specifically relationship problems, is “I owe you guys an explanation because you’re like my family” or “you have helped me get to where I am today”.

The question is, if you’ve made a career through social media, i.e. people taking the time to invest in your life, do you owe them an explanation for every thing that happens in your life? Arguably, if these viewers are helping you to make a living the answer is yes, because without them you wouldn’t be able to work as just being yourself. However, there is a level of privacy that can be compromised. Can you maintain your privacy when you’re living and working on the Web?


All images

Self-produced (and captured from Youtube)

My Final Reflection

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


3 4 This module as well as other modules this semester have helped me to find new websites to access materials e.g.`
Participating in online communities



1 3 This is the first time I have actively participated in any form of online community
Building online networks around an area of interest



1 3 I have definitely enjoyed working with others on the module
Collaborating with others on shared projects



1 3 This module has been an opportunity to engage in an element of group work through peer assessment
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)



2 4.5 This is a skill I am very glad that I have learnt. I have been able to learn new ways to be creative and also new tools to make visual elements for my work
Managing your online identity



2 3 I have learnt about the importance of privacy and how to make my online accounts look organized
Managing your online privacy and security



3 3 I have learnt more about why privacy is important, however, my privacy settings are still as secure as they previously were

From studying UOSM2008, I have learnt about myself and the way I work online. One thing I have learnt is that I enjoy working independently. Unlike other modules, ‘Living and Working on the Web’ is a module that is student-driven. I have enjoyed being able to take a break from the generic method of lecturing for a few hours a week, and learn information about the tools available online that I would only ever have known by conducting research outside of university. The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is how to produce visual aids to liven up my work. In my discipline, I’ve rarely been able to explore my creativity outside of my written work. Being able to make infographics, which I’d never even heard of before the module, images and even videos are lessons that will greatly benefit me in future employment.

Whilst studying the topics, there are several references which once I had read the blog posts of others, I wished I had included in my original post. The benefits of being able to post comments on other people’s blogs was it allowed me to incorporate these references and engage in a conversation to get the opinion of others, so my learning did not end after my topic post.


new-piktochart_22695559_b806c630a7ee23fbf2e63b53ebef6f7944ce881fI have definitely been surprised by how enjoyable I have found this blog. I spent a lot of time customizing my blog at the beginning of the module to make it as reflective of me as possible, and have taken a lot of pride in making sure my blog both looks and reads well. There have been instances when reading the blog posts of others have made me want to improve my own blog. I’ve dealt with this by attending the weekly seminars on those occasions to get some tips on websites to use or by using some of the same software that others in this module and previous years have used.

My knowledge of social media as a tool for employment has developed, not just from the topics but also from the module as a whole about how a blog can be another way to show employers your personality by linking it to sites such as LinkedIn.

Collectively, my digital literacy has improved, as I’ve become more aware of different tools available online. Creating a blog is something I never intended on doing but it has been a good learning experience. In terms of developing my own social networks, I’m still taking my time with creating new accounts. I have learnt a lot about their benefits, most of which I agree with, however I would like to create these profiles (I.e. LinkedIn and a new active Twitter account) when I know they won’t be left dormant because I don’t have time to use them. I am now equipped with the knowledge of how to use them effectively and in the coming months I will create accounts properly to gain as much as possible out of them.

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Topic 4: Reflection

As the final topic of ‘Living and Working on the Web’, I spent more time studying the issue of open access, especially since it’s an issue I have frequently come across when doing research for coursework assignments.

From reading Ollie’s post, I was able to engage in a discussion about funding and whether or not researchers who publish their work should be responsible for paying the fee for open access, if they cannot acquire funding. This discussion made me think, who exactly should be responsible for paying for open access? My post focused a lot of attention on whether open access should be implemented or not, however, from this discussion, I was able to take my own thoughts further to consider what the implications would be in terms of how it would be paid for.

Alternatively, on Charley’s post, our exchange covered the area of open access regarding the use of paywalls on news websites. Paywalls are an area that I didn’t explore in great detail on my post, so it was of interest to me to find out more. Charley made an original point about ‘The Telegraph’ capping the number of stories you can read for free, which we both agreed compromised a level of ethicality, since the news is designed to inform us.

On my own blog post, Ed made another point that I had not considered about the current industry responsible for publishing textbooks. In my post, I had explored open access from the angle that it is new and innovative, without considering the existing billion-dollar industries still increasing in profit from printed textbooks (Opidee, 2014). In light of this discussion, I would argue that open access and current methods of using textbooks can coexist to provide mixed ways of learning that are equally effective.

Word Count: 299



Opidee, I., (2014, July 25). College textbook forecast: Radical change ahead. University Business.

Featured image & video: self-made

Topic 4: Reflection

Reflecting on Topic 4, I was able to explore some of the ethical dangers of using social media, significantly looking at young people or “the Net Generation” (Tapscott, 2014) using it for educational purposes.

Sharon’s post drew my attention by the title that privacy on the internet is a luxury, and regardless of whether we feel that we should have privacy online, nevertheless, it can’t be provided. From my comment and the subsequent discussion, I was able to learn about the different ways that we are supported online. I was unaware of the numerous acting bodies in both the UK, such as the GCHQ, and the US that actively monitor online activity. From learning this, I felt a stronger sense of security for myself that potentially criminal behaviour is monitored but I also understood the title of the blog post more, since there is an element that we are always being watched.

From reading Catherine’s post, I was able to see the ethical dangers of social media from a very different perspective, such as looking at people who are public figures. It is a consistent topic that individuals in the public eye are more susceptible to receiving hate, on a large scale and quite frequently.

“Many high profile women and men have been compelled to leave Twitter after suffering abuse at the hands of trolls” (Cohen, 2014).

Cases such as that of Jo Cox demonstrate that freedom of speech online, even for business and educational purposes, carry tragic risks.

In Topic 3, I looked at mainly the positive aspects of social media as an opportunity for recruitment. However, researching Topic 4 through sources, reading the posts of my peers and engaging in discussions, has provided me with a more informed view of its associated risks.

Word Count: 299


Cohen, C., (2014, November 18). Twitter trolls: The celebrities who’ve been driven off social media by abuse. The Telegraph. [Accessed: 2 April 2017]

Tapscott, D., (2014, October 30). Five Ways Talent Management Must Change. World Economic Forum. [Accessed: 7 April 2017]

My comments:

Images & Video: self-produced

Topic 3: Reflection

The idea of having an authentic profile online is one that seems to relate to being a real person behind an account and not just a robot. However, maintaining an authentic online professional profile entails making the most of the social media resources available to us for social recruiting.

Aside from what I learnt in my own research, the work of others made me look at the prospect of a professional profile online more personal, in terms of how I can improve my existing accounts and even create now ones.

From reading Rachel’s blog post, I considered the importance of having consistency on all my social media accounts in order to be taken more seriously as a professional. This is something that I first came across in my research on Topic 2, where having the same image on each account was beneficial for being identified easily.

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However, this blog post and the subsequent discussion took this further in terms how important it is for being considered as a serious candidate and to clearly demonstrate what my identity is online.

Through the discussion that followed from Ausaf’s blog post, I saw the benefits of social recruiting, more from the perspective of employers. I hadn’t considered that there were drawbacks of using the CV application process in terms of the number of employers received. By being able to directly contact or scout possible employees online, a company for example, doesn’t have to rely on how many people will see an ad in a newspaper. From a self-reflective point of view, after discussing Ausaf’s personal experiences and what the benefits of LinkedIn are, I have learnt that my research has proven true and it is beneficial as a networking tool, which is something I would definitely find advantageous.

Word Count: 295



[jetsetshow] (2010, June 29) 7 Steps to Building Your Online Identity. (Video File) [Date Accessed: 19 March 2017)

Featured Image: Self-produced

My comments

Rachel’s blog

Ausaf’s blog