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Blurred reputations: Managing professional and private information online

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This presentation is for a paper delivered to the Information: Interactions and Impact Conference (i3) in Aberdeen, Scotland. The paper was presented on 29 June 2017.

Blurred reputations:
The subset of findings to be shared at the conference are concerned with the ways in which private and professional lives blur online. The data analysed is relevant to information behaviours and literacies revealed four primary behaviours deployed by participants. These are: (1) portraying only parts of their personas for different audiences, (2) managing the type of information that is shared on different platforms, (3) managing the means by which they connect with others, and (4) undertaking various levels of self-censorship.

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Blurred reputations: Managing professional and private information online

  1. 1. Blurred reputations: Managing professional and private information online Presented by Frances VC Ryan Information, Interactions, and Impact (i3) Conference Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland 29 June 2017 Co-authors: Peter Cruickshank, Hazel Hall, and Alistair Lawson Edinburgh Napier University | Centre for Social Informatics @FrancesRyanPhD | f.ryan@napier.ac.uk | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com
  2. 2. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com @FrancesRyanPhD www.FrancesRyanPhD.com f.ryan@napier.ac.uk Frances VC Ryan Edinburgh Napier University Centre for Social Informatics Co-authors: Peter Cruickshank (@spartakan), Hazel Hall (@hazelh), and Alistair Lawson Blurred reputations: Managing professional and private information online
  3. 3. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com An overview of the PhD research How online information contributes to the building, maintenance, and evaluation of personal reputations ►Personal reputation: Private individuals, rather than corporate identity and brand ►Considers both “private” and “professional” reputation – and how the two merge or blur together ► The term “private” relates to a person’s private life not privacy settings
  4. 4. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Research themes focus on online information How people evaluate the personal reputations of others 1 How people manage their own personal reputations 2
  5. 5. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com ►Facebook ►Twitter ►LinkedIn
  6. 6. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com The literature Personal Reputation (Private and professional) Information Science Social Media
  7. 7. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com The literature Personal Reputation (Private and professional) Information Science Social Media
  8. 8. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com The literature Personal Reputation (Private and professional) Information Science Social Media
  9. 9. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com The framework (Ryan, Cruickshank, Hall, & Lawson, 2016) (Cat & Mouse, 2016) Hello, my name is (redacted)
  10. 10. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Research questions RQ1: How do individuals build identities for themselves online? RQ3: How do individuals evaluate the identities and reputations of others based on the online information available to them? RQ2: How do individuals use online information to build and manage their reputations? RQ4: To what extent do individuals actively practise identity and reputation building and evaluation online? RQ2: How do individuals use online information to build and manage their reputations?
  11. 11. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Managing the blur between professional and private
  12. 12. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com The methods ► Qualitative methods ► Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS) ► Participant diaries (one week) ► In-depth, semi-structured interviews (1 hour) ► NVivo 10 for analysis ► Coding structure based on themes from the literature and participant data
  13. 13. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com The sample ► 45 UK-based participants ► Recruited in generation groups ► Aged 22-69 (in 2016) ► 31 females; 14 males ► Social media users ► Moderate to heavy users (41) ► Higher than average education levels ► In employment or recently retired
  14. 14. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com How individuals use online information to build and manage their reputations ... … as it relates to the blurring between their private and professional lives.
  15. 15. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Four primary behaviours (1) Portraying of different aspects of personas for different audiences (2) Managing different types of information for different platforms (3) Managing how connections are made with others (4) Undertaking various levels of self-censorship
  16. 16. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com (1) Portrayal of different aspects of personas ► Based on offline identities, personalities, and hobbies ► To showcase aspects of “real world” selves ► Three ways: ► Intentional personas for different audiences ► Unintended personas through information sharing behaviours ► One identity—online and offline
  17. 17. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Intentional portrayal of personas “… so that I can be a wee bit more irreverent…” (Colin) “… even though it’s not very trendy at the moment…” (Donna) “I am very conscious that [regardless of what you think your privacy settings are] people are seeing both [personas].” (Sharon) “I [have] different personas. I have a personal [persona] and I have a professional [persona]. I try to keep the two fairly separate...” (Nicola)
  18. 18. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Unintended portrayal of personas “[My] way of managing it is doing things quite separately knowing that they will have an impact on each other. [What] my friends think of the work I do and what my colleagues think of my home life, I try to keep separate.” (Amanda) “People [who] see me on LinkedIn and people who know me on Facebook would describe me in very similar shape and fashion, I’m not entirely different people. However, what I share is different.” (Yvonne) “People follow you [because of your interests] … I want to make sure the content is relevant to what I’m interested in.” (Jennifer)
  19. 19. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com One identity – online and offline “My boundaries are ridiculous. I do both (private and professional) in the same field … I’m not using it strategically.” (Diane) “I do believe in always being the same person and not presenting a different version of yourself to different people.” (Craig) There is so much blurring you “can’t think of them as being separate.” (Zoe)
  20. 20. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com (2) Managing different types of information ►Platforms are viewed as private, professional, or both ► Facebook: Largely private ► LinkedIn: Strictly professional ► Twitter: Both – separate accounts or sharing on same account Private Professional
  21. 21. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Managing information “I feel like I’m lucky that I’m actually really interested in what I do for work. Sometimes it’s hard for me to determine whether I’m sharing something because of a professional or personal reasons.” (Gillian) “I separate all my personal stuff … and anything professional … I keep them very separate so that [the opinion others have] of me personally and professional are separate .” (Amanda) “I use [LinkedIn] very much as LinkedIn should be used: It’s a professional networking site … I use it as an ongoing, live CV … I post things on there that benefit myself.” (Kevin)
  22. 22. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com (3) Managing connections with others ►Determined by platform ► Facebook: Largely private ► LinkedIn: Strictly professional ► Twitter: Both ►The “other” blur ► Online vs offline ►Exceptions to the rules ► Perceived levels of friendship ► Connecting out of obligation
  23. 23. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Connecting with others “I'm not Facebook friends with any current colleagues … that’s what LinkedIn is for.” (Laura) “If I would sit down and have a cup of coffee and a chat, as opposed to the sort of colleague that [you would chat with].” (Amanda) “If I left this workplace and went somewhere else … I would probably unfriend all of [my current] work colleagues.” (Alison)
  24. 24. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com (4) Undertaking various levels of self-censorship ►It is more important to censor private information than professional ►Appropriate platform behaviours ► Often based on perceived audiences ►Privacy settings also play a role ► Including how or if posts can be tagged STOP!
  25. 25. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Self-censorship “There’s always an internal struggle of opinions and views. And if you put your exact view down, then that’s it. It’s there forever. And that is the view that people are gonna think that you have all the time.” (Kevin) “There’s certain information that I won’t share, or I’ll think twice about sharing publicly.” (Gillian) “I’ve got my settings so that I have to accept [tags or posts] for them to go on my timeline. You can’t just add things … I’m so conscious about that goes there.” (Jennifer) “[Commenting] is always a hard choice … I have to think twice about [how I respond] to posts.” (Jacqueline)
  26. 26. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com ►Alignments with prior work on reputation management ► For example: self-censorship of online information sharing, Hagger-Johnson, Egan, & Stillwell, 2011; Ollier-Malaterre, Rothbard, & Berg, 2013 ►New themes related to the blurring between professional and private information ► Building identity is secondary to building reputation ► Professional reputation is managed with more intentional actions ► However, “reputation” is not always a prime motivator ►… Conclusions
  27. 27. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Everyday behaviours of cool cats An obligatory model: Ryan, F., Appleton, L., Buunk, I., Jenkins, L., Killick, L., Mowbray, J., Pawluczuk, A., Richter, T. (2017) (With thanks to Hall, H., Cruickshank, P., Detlor, B., Muir, L. [under protest], Ryan, B.)
  28. 28. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com Full list of CSI papers at i3 2017 ► Demonstrating the impact of the public library on citizenship development in the UK: focus group findings presented by Leo Appleton (co-authors Alistair Duff, Hazel Hall and Robert Raeside) ► Tacit knowledge sharing in online environments: locating “Ba” within a platform for public sector professionals presented by Iris Buunk (co-authors Hazel Hall and Colin Smith) ► Practices of community councillors in exploiting information channels for citizen engagement in democratic processes presented by Peter Cruickshank (co-authors Hazel Hall and Bruce Ryan) ► The application of Social Cognitive Theory in Information Science research on workplace learning and innovative work behaviours presented by Lyndsey Jenkins (co-authors Hazel Hall and Robert Raeside) ► Undermining our data: implications for trust in the population census presented by Lynn Killick (co- authors Alistair Duff, Mark Deakin and Hazel Hall) ► Job search information behaviours: an ego-net study of networking and social media use amongst young jobseekers presented by John Mowbray (co-authors Hazel Hall , Robert Raeside and Peter Robertson) ► Youth digital participation: measuring social impact presented by Alicja Pawluczuk (co-authors Hazel Hall , Colin Smith and Gemma Webster) ► Getting unstuck: information problem solving in high school STEM students and evidence of metacognitive knowledge presented by Todd Richter (co-authors Laura Muir, Tom Flint, Hazel Hall and Colin Smith) ► Blurred reputations: managing professional and private online presented by Frances Ryan (co-authors Peter Cruickshank, Hazel Hall and Alistair Lawson) ► Digital storytelling and the use of iBeacon technologies by libraries: how to promote citizen interest in a city and its cultural heritage by Brian Detlor (co-authors Fariba Nosrati and Claudia Crippa, McMaster University, Canada)
  29. 29. Frances VC Ryan | @FrancesRyanPhD | www.FrancesRyanPhD.com @FrancesRyanPhD www.FrancesRyanPhD.com f.ryan@napier.ac.uk Frances VC Ryan Co-authors: Peter Cruickshank (@spartakan), Hazel Hall (@hazelh), and Alistair Lawson Blurred reputations: Managing professional and private information online Thank you!

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