Social networking expert to share insights

Published 01 June 2011

socialnetworkingSocial networking expert Katerina Morjanoff will visit the University of New England this week to advise young people and staff on how to put their best foot forward — and avoid reputation damaging blunders — online.

The talk aimed at students will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 PM in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Education Building at UNE and will focus on building a successful profile online and developing networks that can “support and nurture” young people both professionally and personally. The talk will be open to the public, and local high school students and their parents are particularly encouraged to attend. A second presentation, “Social Media hype or advantage? Do you need to care about facebook, Linkedin or Twitter?”, for staff only, will be held on Friday, June 3 in the Drummond Main Seminar Room from 9.30-11.00. Those wishing to attend need to register by emailing ageake@une.edu.au as space is limited.

The way young people presented themselves online could have long-term implications for their futures, Ms Morjanoff said — but she added that social networking sites also presented an important opportunity for them to experiment with expressing their opinions and forming their identities.

“It’s increasingly common that jobseekers can be screened by their social networking profiles,” Ms Morjanoff said. “It’s important to remember that the offhand remark you make today is on the Internet forever, and could come back to haunt you later.”

Social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter had an “amplifying” effect, Ms Morjanoff said, meaning comments intended for a small audience could be quickly broadcast all over the world.

“Who you are is going to be made even bigger by these kinds of sites,” Ms Morjanoff said.

On the one hand, issues such as online bullying and “people making silly remarks about their boss” could have a negative effect on individuals, she said. On the other, this amplifying effect had given a voice to oppressed masses in places such as Egypt, where social networking sites were widely credited with providing an impetus to the recent overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Ms Morjanoff said it was important for people to be tolerant of mistakes made online and that they should learn to accept that “people cannot always portray the perfect personality online every time, all the time.”

According to her website, Ms Morjanoff “specialises in helping individuals and companies gain insights into the psychology and behaviour of their audience (be it customers, prospective employers, or even personal relationships). She helps them discover why people do what they do… and how to most effectively reach their goals through social strategy and the platforms that form it.”

Her articles on social structures, social media and work/life balance have appeared in publications including The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, Cosmopolitan, B Magazine, Cleo, Amnesty Magazine and The Australian Financial Review.

Prof Belinda Tynan and Principal Edwina Ridgway said they were excited that the university was hosting a speaker of Ms Morjanoff’s calibre, especially on such an important and fast-moving topic. (Edwina Ridgway is the Principal, Duval College, which is sponsoring Ms Morjanoff’s visit in conjunction Prof Tynan who  is the director of UNE’s DEHub,)

“This promises to be a very exciting pair of presentations, and is one of many ways in which the University of New England is helping to prepare its students and staff to take part in the digital society,” Prof Tynan said.

People seeking more information about the presentations can contact ageake@une.edu.au