A Change of Plan


In my first blog post I laid out a grand plan of multimedia posting and cohesive digital presence creation.

Well, we didn’t quite make it.

I decided for my final post rather than cobble together a video that wouldn’t be my best work I would stick with what I knew best, text. Despite my attempts to change the types of media,  I find that the message is the most important.

So let’s get to it!

I found that this process of blogging has been both challenging and rewarding. I’ve forced myself to have some sort of presence on platforms I would have never contributed to before (Twitter and Anchor). I found that for me the biggest hurdle to social media participation was not my concerns over voice and authenticity, but rather my commitment to the space in general.

In the model from Sun that I referenced in my first post, I indicated that the focus of my blog series would be on the bottom quadrant, the Individual.

Sun Image 2

Through my process of blogging and attempting new methods for communication I feel that I have made significant progress on the self-efficacy front. I’ve literally put my voice out there. I’ve found my new, and significantly more daunting challenge now is on the Commitment side of the model.

In particular, I am concerned about the Normative Commitment aspect of the model and further how that ties into the affordances of Association as described by Leonardi and Treem.

Sun describes normative commitment as a “reflection of an individual’s sense of obligation to continue as a member of a community” (Sun, Rau, & Ma, 2014). Since beginning my blogging journey I have found that while signing up for new social networks was certainly a hurdle, actually staying active on them is even harder. I noticed that I only tend to respond to others or read articles, but I rarely contribute. When I do contribute it is usually a flurry of activity punctuated by even longer gaps between the next post.

I think this lack of commitment ties back to the affordance of Association described by Leonardi and Treem. Association not only facilitates increased connections and relationships but it also make one’s social network and interactions with content various platforms explicit (Treem & Leonardi, 2012). In my exploration of digital spaces, I have found that what makes a social network sticky and engaging for me is the information that the platform can provide. It’s pretty logical that as a lurker the information I can consume from online media is the most important aspect for my involvement. This issue with this view of social platforms is that one’s digital presence and authenticity is determined by what is contributed not just what you passively like or read on a website.
So here we are. Possibly better off than before, but not quite at cohesive and engaging online presence yet.


Sun, N., Rau, P. P.-L., & Ma, L. (2014). Understanding lurkers in online communities: A literature review. Computers in Human Behavior, 38, 110–117. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.05.022
Treem, J. W., & Leonardi, P. M. (2012). Social media use in organizations: Exploring the affordances of visibility, editability, persistence, and association. Communication Yearbook, 36, 143–189.

Weighing Anchor


In this next blog post I am attempting to use a “new-ish” podcast platform Anchor.

Anchor allows for authors to post 2 minute micro blogs, and respond to others on the platform. Each response can only be a minute so you have to be concise, much like an audio tweet. The service is also connected to Twitter and allows you say quite a bit more than can be fit into 140 characters.

Here is my first attempt at an academic discussion on Anchor

Take a listen and tell me what you think!

What do you want to be when you grow up digitally?


I am hoping to explore authenticity and branding in a digital space.

  • How do you find a voice? Or does it find you?
  • What is the right medium to express yourself?
  • What do you want to say?

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 1.54.19 PM.png

Image via (Duarte, 2010)

Since every journey has a beginning, here’s my context: (Maybe you’ll even find me likeable or at least relatable?)

I am a semi-pro lurker (or Sampling in the lingo of the cool cats in Knowledge Management). I am on websites like Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and more WordPress blogs than I can name. On each of these sites, I follow groups and individuals to learn about different topics, to keep up with current events, and to generally be entertained. However, I have never considered posting in them or connecting them with fairly tame personal existence on Facebook or LinkedIn.

To me, what I’m interested in is private. What will people think if they know I’m into anime, that I love the-Toast, and that I’ve got some fairly progressive political views? Does anyone ever really want it all out there?

Now, on to the catalyst for change:

I wish I could say that a deep intrinsic need forced me to dive into the public space, but we’re going to keep it real here. I enrolled in the Master’s of Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern (MSLOC), and as a part of my course work I am required to build a blog “as an act of finding a thoughtful, professional voice.” [You’ll see a lot of msloc430 tagging on these posts.]


So, it brings me back to the question:

What do I want to be when I grow up digitally?

In an article about lurking in online communities Na Sun et. al discusses the reasons that someone would lurk rather than participate in online communications. There’s even a nifty graphic!

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 2.33.54 PM.pngImage by (Sun, Rau, & Ma, 2014)

This series of blogs will be most concerned about the bottom-highlighted quadrant. What can you do as an individual to create an authentic version of your online self? How can you create the same cohesion and sense of self across multiple digital platforms and media types? How you achieve your goals and build a sense of self-efficacy in an online space?

You need a good road map to see where you’re going so here is mine:

In each blog, I am going to attempt to discuss the idea of authenticity and digital presence. I will do this via different forms of media, text (in this post), audio (in my next post), and finally a VLOG in my final post in this series.  I plan to draw on the readings from both the course itself and the things I peruse online. I also plan to cross-link all versions of my presence so that I can begin to create a more authentic self in a digital space.

See you in the town square of the Internet! Who knows, maybe I will come out this experience transformed.


Duarte, N. (2010). Resonate: Present visual stories that transform audiences. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sun, N., Rau, P. P.-L., & Ma, L. (2014). Understanding lurkers in online communities: A literature review. Computers in Human Behavior, 38, 110–117.