My Digital Residency! – UOSM2008 Introduction

The Digital Residents vs Visitors debate is something I’ve been considering recently; exploring it in my dissertation, and in a Digital Literacy session (see below!) I deliver with Tom Rowledge to MANG1022 students. Therefore, I was looking forward to being able to reflect on the debate, and on my own use of technology in this post.

[slideshare id=72101934&doc=2017newsessionv3-170213182203]

I study Web Science and have completed UOSM2012 “Online Social Networks”, exploring the concepts of Digital Literacies and Personal Learning Networks before. Personal Learning Networks are, for me, a very useful way of thinking about how we use Digital Technology [1]. Although the concept is designed to explore how we learn, it is an excellent starting point to consider how we interact with technology.

JISC Mapping Tool – Image Courtesy of David White, Learning and Tech Researcher at Oxford University

I found it useful to explore and reflect on my Digital Literacy in separate areas using the self-test, but it is tricky to do this, as I believe a lot of the areas overlap. Indeed, this is true of Digital Residents and Digital Visitors. I have found from original pieces of research, and subsequent work, that some people can be considered a digital resident in some areas, but a visitor in others – and I extend this to myself! The JISC mapping tool provides a very useful visualisation of this (and links to the Personal Learning Networks I explored earlier).

On completing the self-test, I actually noticed that I was more resident in some areas than in others. In managing my online identity, for example, I thought of myself as quite adept (I have separate Twitter accounts for academic work and for personal interactions), but in my engagement of specific communities online I do feel I am less resident, and often more of an outsider. This is something I hope the module will let me explore – roll on next week!

Word Count: 300


1. Fair N. The 5 Personal Learning Networks Activity Areas and their associated actions [Internet]. Nic Fair : A Research Blog about Personal Learning Networks and Digital Literacies. 2016 [cited 11 February 2018]. Available from:

2. White D, Cornu A. Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement [Internet]. 2011 [cited 11 February 2018]. Available from:,%20Aslib%20Proceedings%202009.pdf

3. Example visitor and resident maps – Evaluating digital services: a visitors and residents approach [Internet]. JISC. 2014 [cited 11 February 2018]. Available from:



9 comments for “My Digital Residency! – UOSM2008 Introduction

  1. 10th February 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Great first blog – I particularly enjoyed how you have been very evaluative of your own personal experiences with being a resident vs. a visitor. I was impressed by the use of Slideshare in your post.

    Although I consider myself to be fairly technologically competent, it was a shock to be reminded of how much information is collected from our internet usage every day. I found this Ted talk to be particularly interesting as it made me realise that often when I think I have merely been a visitor, I have in fact been a digital resident due to the trace my internet usage leaves behind!

    What do you think the line is between visiting and residency? If we did not intend to leave a trace behind, such as when people can see where we have been on snapchat maps, does this still count as being a resident?


    (148 Words)

    • 15th February 2018 at 11:13 pm

      Hi Joanna – thanks for reading and for your comment, it is much appreciated. Thank you also for sign posting to that TedTalk, I had not heard of LightBeam but it definitely could be useful! I have presenting the sessions all week, and have a follow-up lecture next week so I might mention it 🙂 The line is hard to specify in my opinion. I think it almost comes down to personal opinion, and this is incredibly useful for self-evaluation! I think everyone’s use of Digital Technology is so diverse, it can often be hard to compare everyone equally. I know that’s not really a direct answer – sorry! I’m not sure exactly what you mean by Snapchat Maps there, but I think even being aware of the trace and the fact it can track you goes someway to being a resident, as it would be more harmful not to know about!



      • 19th February 2018 at 10:39 am

        Hi Tom,

        I definitely agree that a lot of it is down to personal opinion. A snapchat map is a relatively new element of the social media app Snapchat that allows other snapchat users to see where you currently are when using the app.

        I think this is quite a disturbing new feature as I was not aware of its existence until a friend decided to surprise me by turning up to the bar I was at having seen my location on Snapchat! As I was unaware up until this point that my location was actively being shared with friends I suppose I was an ‘unintentional resident.’ This is interesting to consider as my Grandma often does not realise that other people can see her comments on my Facebook photos and thus perhaps she too is an ‘unintentional resident’ in this respect!

        Anyway, I really look forward to reading your future blogs!

        All the best,


  2. 14th February 2018 at 7:41 pm


    I thought this was a really well thought-out and in depth analysis of the residents vs victory debate. I think it was interesting how you related your material to modules you have taken before, which can allow you to have a deeper understanding of the concepts. I thought it was particularly interesting how you spoke about being online in the same space for different reasons – academic and personal. Would you agree that you can be a resident and visitor at the same time? Do you think that the categories are too rigid for certain people?
    Let me know!


    • 15th February 2018 at 11:16 pm

      Hi Stephanie. Thanks ever so much for your comment and for reading! I completely agree that you can be resident and visitor at the same times – some times even on the same service! Twitter is a great example for this. In my personal life I might be a resident, adept at using lists to organise my friends say, or liking all of their tweets. But in Twitter o my academic account, I could be visitor, following un-important people, or spam accounts. I completely agree the categories are too rigid, and I think they should be thought of as methods of exploration/evaluation rather than boxes someone would place themselves in.



  3. 15th February 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the post! A good read. How do you think your experiences within UOSM2012 impacted your online activity, and has it framed your approach to UOSM2008? I think that it is important to understand the idea of the concept more broadly and the link you have made between that and the use of technology is good. Do you see a better uptake of tech with Digital Residents’ in your opinion? It seems many participants in the self test struggled with engaging in online communities – how might you improve this, and do you see a need to improve this?


    • 16th February 2018 at 11:04 am

      Hi Tom – thanks for your reply. I think my experiences in UOSM2012 gave me a renewed appreciation of how I use social networks, and my own Digital Literacy – something I think will be important for me this module. I think that better uptake of technology in Digital residents is clear, they are often more aware and can be considered to be early adopters of technology in my opinion. The online communities subsection is hard to examine. Often people find they reside in superfluous online communities, as opposed to meaningful ones. I think everyone will improve this however, by being in the #UOSM2008 online community! 🙂


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