Month: November 2020


From this course, I realize that PLN will help us in our future career development and study. Although it also has some shortcomings such privacy and misinformation, we can undoubtedly get more useful information and knowledge from social media platform. Before this course, I used social media to chat with friends, find communities with similar interests, and watch some news events. But after this course, establishing a PLN will be my main purpose of using social media platform such as Twitter and Facebook. I will pay more attention to digital leaders in my field and try to attract followers who are interested in business and aim to develop their own business. Meanwhile, I also learned to maintain an open and inclusive attitude in my PLN. It is necessary to know that not all negative comments are bad. If a reader points out the factual errors on our blog, it will be very helpful feedback. However, we should also focus more on positive reviews. Effective negative reviews will improve the quality of our PLN, but most of the positive reviews will give us confidence in continuing to publish articles.With the occurrence of the digital revolution, when we share information , we will actually gain greater influence. Compared with information, influence is more important on social platforms because information is now easily approachable (Qualman, 2012). Everyone is a transmitter of information, but not everyone is an influencer or opinion leader. 

When we become a digital leader, our main role is to increase user awareness and engagement. We need to provide enough information without causing confusion. Also, we need to make people aware of the situation and help them understand the situation(Qualman, 2012).  Our PLN needs to attract people with the same interests and create a community to help these people express different insights on the same event. We don’t need users who speak rudely and do not put forward valuable opinions. BLOCK is a good feature. As an influencer in social platforms, we need to ensure the accuracy of information sources. Information needs to be obtained from professional media or academic articles. Of course, even academic articles will be questioned by peers or experiments cannot be confirmed after publication. It is necessary to constantly correct the information and admit mistakes in order to ensure the authority and credibility of the account in the field.

Finally,  through learning from Jesse’s conversations with people in many professional fields, I  found that social media can break the boundaries of race and let us hear the voices of people from all over the world. Social media can also allow us to meet more experts and communicate with them. Many career opportunities are born from our published articles. However, the performance of social media may also have a negative impact on our career development. When we publish some opinions on the personal account that are inconsistent with the values of the applicant company, it is likely to be seen by our recruiters and eliminated us. Therefore, we need to focus on media literacy whether it is a personal account or a professional account. We need the ability to use mass communication resources correctly and constructively, to make full use of media resources to improve ourselves and participate in social progress. An excellent media literacy can enhance the influence of our PLN and ultimately play a positive role in our personal development. I will continue to build my own personal learning network and improve my media literacy in the future.

Thank you Jesse and my EDCI338 classmates!


Qualman, E., & Books24x7, I. (2012;2011;). Digital leader: 5 simple keys to success and influence (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.


  • If your PLN can be used to help professional development post-course?

Through the conversation between Amber and Jesse, we can see that in the healthcare industry, social media such as Twitter can help people who are not in this field open up healthy dialogue, especially during the pandemic, social networks are flooded with a lot of false information.  Professional doctor’s account timely dispelling of rumors eases people’s nervousness. However, for doctors or nurses working in this industry, they will prefer to read peer-reviewed articles, which really helps them update information and expand their horizons instead of social media (“when suddenly people feel that comfort behind a keyboard that they are an expert in  even thought they truly aren’t qualified” ). But my opinion is a little different from Amber. Although I also read professionally published articles, for a business student, social media platforms can help me get to know some “real” businessmen instead of cases in Ivy publishing. Either small and medium enterprises or the world’s top 100 companies will share some successful experiences on the Internet. If I have a chance to know a local businessman in Vancouver or Victoria from Twitter, I may visit his company and learn his success methods face to face.

  • Can your PLN be relied on to open professional opportunities and on which platform does your emerging expertise get good exposure?

PLN is a good platform to open up professional opportunities. For technical talents, recruitment platforms such as LinkedIn or indeed can help us be discovered by more employers. Many headhunting companies also look for the professionals they need on social platforms. As a medical student, if you are about to graduate and your social account is popular with lots of followers because of sharing medical-related knowledge, there is no doubt that you will have a greater chance of being hired than classmates.  According to Giudice, Carayannies and Della Peruta,  there is no doubt that the role of knowledge in the development of society, economy, the countries and all institutions from the information society to the network society is due to the existence of ICT (information and communication technology) (2013). Knowledge and information have begun to be regarded as strategic economic resources, such as factors that determine competitiveness. Many countries have invested heavily in information and communication technology as well as in intangible assets, such as education, research and development (R&D). Those investment help developing countries improve knowledge-based industries (Giudice, Carayannies & Della Peruta, 2013). If you have an idea or a semi-formed product looking for investment, a crowdfunding website is undoubtedly a good choice. Publish your ideas and projects on crowdfunding sites such as kickstarter, and then share the link on your PLN with  hashtag ,  which may help your emerging expertise get good exposure.  Or if your idea posted on PLN that gets enough attention, technical companies will take the initiative to find you and invite you to participating in development.

  • Can you leverage your PLN in future endeavours? With consideration to the reading and video interview, how do you ensure that you expand your PLN via social media platforms into spaces that may be outside of your comfort zone?

On the one hand, for a manager, PLN can narrow the distance with employees, help managers understand employees’ feedback, and discover creative ideas in social media. On the other hand, they can see different insights in social media platforms, because in the physical world they live and work in the same environment for a long time,  their thinking and actions may fall into limitations and stereotypes.  Social networking can always help people find their shortcoming. An example is IBM’s most typical application of social networking-“Innovation Jams”, which is a large-scale network discussion forum attended by IBM employees, partners, and customers worldwide to promote corporate innovation. Based on some of the ideas presented at the meeting, IBM has initiated a number of new initiatives to improve current products and business methods (Haniotis, 2011). To expand PLN via social media platforms into spaces that may be outside of our comfort zone, we need to recognize the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet. There are always talents who are more capable than us in various fields in social platforms. We should remain humble to receive new ideas and doubts, and constantly find accounts that are worthy of our attention (validated source) even though it is not related to our professionals but help in other fields. Meanwhile, we also need to stay sober and not be easily influenced by opinions on the Internet.  We can accept different insights outside of our comfort zone but always build own core values in PLN that could not be shaked.



A Global PLN – Supporting One Another – Course YouTube Channel

Del Giudice, M., Carayannis, E. G., & Della Peruta, M. R. (2013). Social media and emerging economies: Technological, cultural and economic implications (2014th ed.). Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-02490-5

Haniotis, J. (2011). Innovation jams: Lessons in agile product development — an experience report. Paper presented at the 223-229. doi:10.1109/AGILE.2011.49


Community communications go beyond blogs and social media shares, how does a PLN help and hinder the development of thoughts and ideas in public discourse – especially when addressing our differences?

What we must admit is that racial discrimination is still an issue that cannot be ignored today, as HARRISON MOONEY mentioned in the interview what his childhood experienced and what he felt in the workplace as a black writer. Globalized social media can allow people to hear more different voices, such as finding a black hockey fan. Meanwhile, because of the convergence of one community, people who have been communicating in that for a long time are not able to realize their own prejudices and common problems due to the idea consistency, different voices from social networks can help them discover these.  I once participated in the discussion about Marvel’s movie “Avengers: Endgame” hashtags on Twitter, and found many hidden clues that I didn’t realize when watching the movie, and my friend was not interested in superheroes, he could also pop filter bubble through # Avengers Endgame.

How can a PLN be curated to minimize bias and expand knowledge of the lives of others?

According to Ciampaglia and Menczer (2018), there are three bias exsiting in the social network: bias in the brain, society and machine. A cognitive shortcut occurs when a person determines whether to share the story displayed on their social media. People are very influenced by the emotional connotation of the title, although this is not a good indicator of the accuracy of the article. Another source of prejudice comes from society. When people interact directly with their peers, the social prejudices that guide them to choose friends affect the information they see such as name identity. The third bias is applied by both social media platforms and search engines.   These personalization algorithms are written to select the most attractive and relevant content for each user. However, it may ultimately intensify users’ perceptions and social prejudices making them more susceptible to manipulation.

To minimize those bias and expand knowledge of the lives of others, we have to maintain an open and inclusive attitude in PLN. Most users just choose people around them and recommendations as the objects of attention, but this is prone to prejudice. It does not mean to give up friends in reality. A professional PLN should choose carefully who will affect our thinking. For example, when Harrison changed from a sports reporter to a daily news journalist , his following also changed from the sports field to  social news providers and commentators who give inspire and different perspective on the same news. Also, when we have a different view with another user and prepare to argue with him/her, we should always think about their background and the environment that they live. This allows us to have a different perspective when considering problems instead of having to prove or argue that we are right.

How does the identity of who you are, fit into your PLN? Do you include professional and personal boundaries?

When building our PLN, we should consider whether to associate work with a digital identity , or think that the identity on social platform should be anonymous. In the Boston bombing, with the help of the Internet, the police found the suspect, but Reddit also made an innocent student become a victim of doxxing who just shared his photo online (Meikle, 2016).  In my opionin, we should have different levels of realistic identity disclosure for different social platforms. For example, for LinkedIn, we need a true description of our education and work background so that HR can understand us. For Twitter or Facebook, whether we are willing to completely separate work and life determines whether we want to establish both professional account and personal account. Harrison’s profile picture and photos on PLN helped him see more voices from the black community and reduced discrimination. While on the other hand, he is more likely to be attacked by extreme racists, because his work and life trajectories are exposed online and are easy to track. However, if we build PLN into a completely professional account like a robot, it may reduce conviction and cohesion to other users. People will think that behind this account is not a real person and less interested. In general, everyone should be aware of information disclosure on social platforms no matther it is professional or personal.


Reporting in a Connected Culture with Harrison Mooney – Course YouTube Channel

Ciampaglia, L. G., & Menczer, F. Misinformation and biases infect social media, both intentionally and accidentally. (2018, ). The Billings Gazette (Billings, Mont. : Daily)

Meikle, G. (2016). Social media: Communication, sharing and visibility. New York: Routledge. Chapter 4.



Open dialogues about media literacy and factual information can create conflict, why does this happen?

According to Jesse and Julie Smith’s conversation, the conflict between media literacy and factual information happens because that somebody doesn’t accept facts. It is like the Familiarity Backfire Effect, which is to protect people’s own opinions from external information when people passively accept information bombardment. Slowly, the Backfire Effect will make people less and less suspicious of themselves, and take their own opinions as a matter of course.

What is the benefit of having a PLN that values media literacy?

Having a PLN that values media literacy can help us determine how we view ourselves and how we view people who aren’t like us.  In today’s internet age, it is no longer that information is pushed to us but we pull news from thousands of information. We consume media in order to satisfy certain emotional and intellectual needs (Jesse and Julie Smith). Having a PLN with good media literacy will reduce the bias and make us view the message that we disagree. News is kind of a business and we should not be manipulated by it or the organization behind it. Having a PLN that values media literacy can achieve that.

What is media literacy?

Media Literacy is a person’s attitude and ability to recognize, judge, and use media. It refers to people’s ability to choose, understand, question, evaluate, create, produce, and speculate when facing various information in the media (Trilling & Fadel, 2009). “Media literacy education” or “media education” is different from media professional education for training media professionals. The main object of education is all citizens. The goal of education is to cultivate the ability of all people to critically think and produce media information. In other words, the media literacy learning process focuses on problem exploration, but does not give a “standard answer”. The answer is left to different individuals and communities to find on their own.

Why is it important?

Social media has become part of our everyday. A survey shows that most adults read no more than one headline before reposting an article, and more than 75% of adults cannot identify fake news . Also, 23% of respondents regards Facebook as major  sources of news(Silverman & Singer-Vine, 2016). Due to the surplus of information on the Internet, we need to systematically learn to distinguish their true and false, and find what we really need among those messages. Especially for parents, they urgently want a book or knowledge to teach their children how to perform better in social media and not be misled by violence and misinformation. Media literacy convinces people that fact finding in this fire hose of information is up to us (users).

Why is it dismissed?

On the one hand, some educators believe that the work of these critical media educators is actually a kind of ideological manipulation, allowing the media to accept a form of “critical analysis” whose role is not only in the obedience and consent of orders. It concluded that this brutal practice will inevitably fail because it condemns the love of children (Kline, Stewart & Murphy, 2006). On the other hand, most of people consider media literacy educators as librarians. They think it is a tool that teaches how to use meida just like how to find a proper book in library while it is actually not. It is a subject to teach critical thinking.

Why should you aim for varied views but factual consensus in your PLN?

Based on previous course, it is beneficial to maintain an inclusive and diverse environment in  our PLN to accept different perspectives. Those views help us understand how other people in this world think, which minimum the bias. However, all various views should be published under factual consensus such as “the sun rises from the east.” The fact is a statement that can be proven.  Both Trump’s supporters and opponents can publish conflicting views, but they all agree that Trump was elected  as the president of the United States in 2016. Therefore, we should aim for varied views but factual consensus in PLN.




Media Literacy – Course YouTube Channel

Trilling, B., Fadel, C., Partnership for 21st Century Skills, & Books24x7, I. (2009). 21st century skills: Learning for life in our times (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Silverman, C., & Singer-Vine, J. 2016 Dec. 6th. Most Americans Who See Fake News Believe It, New Survey Says. BuzzFeedNews. Retrieved from:

Kline, S., Stewart, K., & Murphy, D. (2006). Media literacy in the risk society: Toward a risk reduction strategy. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(1), 131-153. doi:10.2307/20054150


  • Identify the risks and benefits of engaging with a public audience in a media space – what are the risks for a public figure or person in a position of trust (educator, lawyer, government official)?

Celebrities and politicians make the greatest use of social media to expand their personal influence and enhance their personal characteristics. Their role-playing on social media is equivalent to their own brand and reputation. There are millions of fans for celebrities. In terms of wealth, online role-playing has become an integral part of self-branding (van Dijck, J., 2013). For a public figure in a position of trust, such things as identity, status, and social reputation are an appropriate mode of behavior with inherent consistency, which are constantly being modified and polished and have strong coherence. It must show and describe something, and make people perceive these things (Goffman, 2008). The election of Brazil’s President Bolsonaro is a typical example. He has been imitating Trump’s tone and style, and successfully used “Facebook” to bypass the mainstream media for election purposes. The report from the communications consulting firm Madison State (BCW) showed that Bolsonaro had more than 145 million interactions on “Facebook” with users, and on average, each post has more than 100,000 interactions  . After recovering from an attempted assassination attempt in September 2018, Bolsonaro conducted a 20-minute moving live broadcast to the public on his hospital bed and accused that the opponents of the Labour Party had election fraud. This live post has been viewed more than 8 million times. His proficient use of social media played a crucial role in his election. As Sophie said, social media kept you relevant in the public eye.

However, there are potential risks of engaging with a public audience in a media space especially for a pubic figure or person in a position of trust such as educator, laywer and government official. Privacy is one of the biggest risks since many users put attention on public figure’s private life. Both fans and opponents try to track their daily activities and even their home addresses from each of their posts.If you choose to use social media as a platform for expressing opinions, even if your thoughts and opinions are widespread, it may still arouse the dissatisfaction of countless people. For example, you support a certain point of view and post your personal opinion onTwitter, but you don’t know whom you make unhappy to take violent actions against you, especially if you are a celebrity with hundreds of thousands or even millions of fans. The risk is even higher. Another risk is “cancel culture”. Cancel culture” refers to a type of boycott, especially one initiated online. It is common on social media that someone (usually a well-known person) or a (well-known) company has said or done something that is offensive or unacceptable, and then they were boycotted by various public opinions (Shabazz, 2020). Their job opportunities, commercial endorsements, corporate sponsorship, and even their online influence were “all cancelled”. For example, the author of “Harry Potter”, J.K. Rowling  has been widely criticized and resisted because of her unappropriate remarks against regarding transgender people as a “real” woman on Twitter. “Cancel culture” has reduced the freedom of expression of personal opinion, and the tolerance for diversities has also decreased. Many people worry that if you accidentally say the wrong thing, your life’s destiny may change forever. Cancel  culture wrongly empowers people to judge others and makes people forget who did one thing wrong is not heinous (Rosenberg, 2020). Social media can indeed promote positive changes in society, but it must not lose the environment for public debate because of cultural cancel.

  • Negative replies and career development

From the perspective of career development , I will not pay too much attention to negative responses to a certain point of view. The overall trend of social media is inclusiveness and openness. We need to allow the public to express opposite opinions. Accepting and absorbing negative reviews also helps to establish a corporate or personal image. For companies, the maximum spread of negative comments appears within 1 to 2 hours after the original post appears. Therefore, after monitoring consumer’s comments, companies should grasp this point in time and respond in a timely manner. The content of the response should be as sincere and humane as possible, and the online response should be combined with offline communication to solve the problem to the greatest extent. A typical negative is D&G. On November 17, 2018, the well-known Italian clothing brand D&G released a promotional video. The content in the promotional video involved the combination of Italian and Chinese traditional culture, but the posture of the actors using chopsticks,  tone of the narration, eating pizza with chopsticks and other clips have caused many netizens to question its discrimination against traditional Chinese culture. After this promotional film, chinese social platforms immediately set off a wave of public opinion. On the same day, D&G’s official Weibo account quickly deleted the video, but it still existed on other networks such as Instagram and Facebook. This inconsistent practice has further aggravated the dissatisfaction and condemnation of the Chinese users.  D&G undoubtedly encountered a very serious public relations crisis. However, in the face of the crisis, D&G’s response was negative, and its chief designer even rudely responded to netizens on private social account, and publicly issued insulting comments to China. After the screenshots were exposed, he denied it under the pretext of “account stolen”. Many days later, D&G officials finally released an apology video, but it was too late. Many days later, D&G officially finally released an apology video, but it was too late. They totally lost their Chinese market.

  • Delivering information in a connected society requires verifiable resources, how does one build a PLN that can be consistently relied on?

Acoording to Hirst (2019), more and more fake news are posted on social media with varies purposes such as influencing election. Finding reliable sources of information and checking whether the information is true are important means to maintain account credibility. The appearance of one fake information will make this account unreliable any more, so when posting information, a PLN should insist on using verified legitimate news sources. Meanwhile, due to the existence of software such as Photoshop that can easily modify and distort the original appearance of a picture, thus freely manipulating your historical memory, the picture becomes no longer reliable. In order to prevent being deceived, it is necessary to investigate multiple sources of information, and do not trust the so-called evidence easily. Finally, we will benefit from continuous learning and curiosity. People with strong curiosity evaluate scientific evidence in a more balanced way without generating radicalized thoughts.


van Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, 35(2), 199-215.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Anchor Books.

World Leaders on Facebook. April 9, 2019. Twiplomacy. From:

Shabazz, A. (2020). The ‘cancel culture’ is getting ridiculous. Indianapolis Business Journal, 41(20), 8-8C.

“Rosenberg: The cancel culture’ is a dangerous threat to our freedom.” Long Island Business News, 19 Oct. 2020, p. NA. Gale OneFile: Business

Hirst, M. (2019). Navigating social journalism: A handbook for media literacy and citizen journalism. New York: Routledge. pp.78-100

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