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Saturday, November 10, 2007

What happened to the personal webpage?

Interesting post in ACRL's blog about the personal webpage vs. blog.
The sample of prominent (legacy) academic librarians I chose suggests that traditional web site content may be a bit more commonplace among that crowd, but certainly blogs are quite limited. While I found more of the blogging academic librarians less likely to have well-developed web sites, I found more web site-like content than I expected. But I think it’s safe to say that for most newcomers to the profession a personal blog will win out over a personal web site. LIS students, especially those about to graduate, should give serious consideration to a personal web site that can function as a portfolio of academic accomplishments and demonstrate web design skills. For the new grad, a web site may be of greater value than a blog.

To be honest, I think it's personal preference but I think that any professional who creates publications, presentations or other professional content, should have some way of sharing that back with the profession -- be it a website, a blog, a database, whatever it may be.

I personally have both a blog and a website. I also have presences in web 2.0 sites elsewhere on the web, too. I use content divergent to write about stuff that interests me that might not make it into a presentation or some of my more formal writings. I use my website to house projects, prototypes, presentations, formal writings, my CV and dossier, and a brief overview of my projects, interests, and expertises. I see my website first as a digital repository for my content.

So, I do still see the personal (or perhaps, professional, is a better choice) webpage has relevancy in that it can:
  • provide more control over personal content in terms of the look, feel, and publication.
  • serve as a social networking aggregator pulling in all (or selected) social networking sites.
  • help establish a digital identity. Your own domain namesake certainly provides not only a high search ranking, but also a recognizable digital identity.
  • serve as a professional online business card.
I don't think there is anything wrong with having just an online business card (static page with a few links) but certainly having a robust website these days involves delving into some sort of dynamic content (blogging, aggregating feeds from news or social networking sites, podcasting, etc.)

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