Web Presence

What does it mean to be online? How can we maintain control of our identities?

Raindrop.io tag: #onidwp

Learning Objectives

  • Reflect on the topic of web presence and relate it to your own experience.
  • Discuss the concept of a digital footprint.
  • Cite relevant research on web presence.
  • Gather and share resources on contemporary views of web presence.
  • Add to or improve an aspect of your web presence.


We all have a sense of who we are online. But who are we to others, and what is the value and purpose of actively maintaining a presence on the web?

Using the term “web presence” as a catch-all for this concept, we will read about the basics of cultivating one’s web presence, why it behooves us to proactively craft ours, what  some of the benefits of doing this are and what requires one to be careful. We will discuss this both as it applies to adults as well as school-age children.

Additionally, we will consider a second  concept which falls under the related but narrower term “digital footprint.” Data exists on each of us based on our participation online. How can we control this data, and what does that data mean to employers, advertisers, insurers, lenders, political campaigns and others who hold power in society? What does it mean to us and to those coming of age in the future?

This assignment period covers two weeks, but should be completed as soon as you feel your thought process arrives at its destination. Your blog post should be substantial, and show evidence of nuanced and reasoned thought.

In addition to the blog post, we will also be engaging in a quasi-synchronous discussion of this topic on Twitter. Participation in this falls under the auspices of the PLN assignments and is optional. More information will be shared in Slack.


Williams, L. Y. (2012). Who is the ‘virtual’ you and do you know who’s watching you? In Social Media for Academics (pp. 175-192). E-book access through the UAF Rasmuson Library.  A bit dry, but a fast read and it sets the stage for the basics of an exploration of web presence.

[Internet Society]. (2016, Jan 12). Four reasons to care about your digital footprint. [Video File, 8:00.] Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Ro_LlRg8rGg  –  This is an eight-minute video that clearly outlines the reasons why digital footprints are important.

Schawbel, D. (2011, Feb 21). Five reasons why your online presence will replace your resume in 10 years. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-your-online-presence-will-replace-your-resume-in-10-years/#6ed5413c6069 –  Written six years ago, so I guess our resumes will disappear in… four years. But it still makes good points about the utility of a robust web presence and why it makes sense for us to stake the claim on it ourselves.

Optional Reading:

Berg, T., Burg, V., Gombović, A. & Puri, M. (2018, August 24) Digital footprints and credit scoring. Retrieved from: https://voxeu.org/article/digital-footprints-and-credit-scoring


  1. Read the assigned readings.
  2. Stop and reflect on how the issues covered in the readings apply to your personal and professional life. Do a bit more research on your own. Academia is a bit slow on this topic, so feel free to crawl the blogosphere or Twitter. This reflection phase is a great point to share your ideas and reactions on Twitter or in Slack.
  3. Google yourself. Try your name in quotes. Try your name in quotes with the name of your city. Privately note what you find.
  4. Create a blog post titled “Web Presence.” Address the following questions as they apply to your own personal interests and professional life:
    • What is your own definition of “web presence?” You should  make references to definitions that you find in the readings, but please develop your definition from a personal perspective.
    • How does your digital footprint relate to or affect your web presence?
    • How should we address the topic of web presence with your student constituency (K-12 or post-secondary students)?
    • Can you effectively manage your web presence? Can you maintain both a private and a public web presence? Is it necessary to separate your public and private web presence?
    • How might your employer’s interests or policies affect your personal web presence?
  5. Include a works cited section at the end of your post with references to the sources that you quoted. This should be presented in APA format. Remember to use the “ED431” category for your blog post if you are using categories to organize your blog.
  6. Publish it in your portfolio on a page or post titled “Web Presence.”
  7. Think about one way that you can improve your blog or another aspect of your proactive web presence, either personally or professionally. Send a tweet or a Slack message to the cohort or the instructor describing what change you have made.

Scoring Guide

  Emerging Developing Meets Expectations  Exceeds Expectations
Writing Standards Assignment is replete with errors or has not been completed. Spelling, style, or usage errors are present; APA styles for  references  and  citations  are not followed No spelling or usage errors are present;  APA styles for  references  and  citations  are followed No spelling or usage errors are present;  APA styles for  references  and  citations  are followed
Reflection Reflection not written or assignment not completed. Definition is poorly supported by reading or cited resources; not all elements are addressed, or some elements are addressed superficially or incompletely. All questions are addressed adequately and supported by reading or cited resources; personal perspective is addressed in a limited way. Statement is original and strongly supported by by reading or cited resources; reflection is complete, thorough and thoughtful; personal perspective is thoughtful and well-represented.