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Author Topic: How does one establish a (professional) online presence?  (Read 2602 times)
pigou
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« on: October 03, 2010, 9:36:27 pm »

I fear "Online Presence" is a new buzzword, but it seems like a great opportunity to provide future employers (or colleagues) with information that doesn't necessarily fit on a CV. I haven't found any guides for academics, though, so I hope to find some advice here.

My question is twofold:

1) What should be part of an online presence?

Stick to the basics: Contact information, CV, research interests, and a list of published papers and working papers - basically what you find on a faculty website

Basics Plus: All the above, plus copies of syllabi, PDFs of papers (if copyright allows), powerpoints/PDFs of presentations and talks

Real Deal: All the above, plus a blog with commentary to news relevant to one's field. Although I don't expect a lot of readers if I were to write a blog, I think it might be helpful to practice writing for a general audience. Plus, it could serve as a repository of interesting stuff... then again, I would not have to make it public. (and this thread doesn't have to be only for me - maybe other posters have quite a following)

Something else?

2) What services do I use for it?

I've looked at Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress - and the last option seems most attractive. It has some professional-looking themes and it's free. A static page could serve to publish contact information and include a link to a CV and publications. But how would I best distribute PDFs? Upload them to issuu (or scribd) and link them?
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csguy
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 6:46:29 pm »

You might also look at some of the academic social network services such as Academia.edu, Community of Science and Research gate. Mendeley and Zotero (bibliographic software) also provide a basic profile. All of these have the advantage that you can link (friend, follow) those with similar interests.  They are all fairly new and it's unclear which will survive and prosper.

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minorleaguer
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 8:02:27 pm »

Our last two hires (I'm a grad student at a major R1) did a nice job of developing a strong online presence.

The newly minted grad student had a personalized domain that featured her CV, a link to her teaching portfolio, and a dissertation abstract.  The  professor we hired away from another university had an up to date faculty profile (it didn't have a description of the classes he taught four years ago, in other words). 

Both pages avoided being flashy.  Both pages were clear and had additional information about the candidate. Neither candidate had professional blogs, for what it is worth.

When you Googled the candidates - the first hit was their personal domain or faculty page. 
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new_anth
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 9:19:28 pm »

One thing re:CV, I think it'd be a good idea to remove your contact information (cellphone number, home address) from it before you upload it. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but there are stalkers out there.
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larryc
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 10:19:50 pm »

I am a huge advocate of academic blogging, but I would think twice before recommending it to a graduate student. Makes sure that 1) you really want to blog, 2) you can maintain a professional but engaging tone, and 3) it does not take away from your dissertation-writing time.
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watermarkup
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 12:01:54 am »

I opened a professional blog on Blogger. Since it won't host PDFs, I also opened a companion Google Site to which I can upload PDFS (or any file type) and then add links in Blogger. The CV I post there has been shorn of personal contact information and the names of my references. My current institutional home is fairly uptight about faculty web pages, so it's much less of a hassle to maintain a professional blog than to set up a faculty web page, which would be my usual solution.
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mad_doctor
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 9:41:19 am »

As I said upthread, my Internet discipline is very strict, on account of my belief that anything and everything you put out there will last forever regardless of your intentions that it be short-lived.  I have no blog, no personal web page, no facebook, no Web 2.0 stuff, and for 20 years all my Usenet and message board writings are under pseudonyms.  Yet, when you Google my real name, Vasyl O'Reilly, the first 7 or 8 pages are almost completely populated by references to papers I've written, related academic stuff, interspersed with a few odd cites related to my professional and public life, followed by pages of junk for not-quite-related stuff for people with similar names.  In other words, if you still have control over your web presence, I would advise that you simply make efforts not to develop a web presence.  If you have already lost control of your web presence, well, it's all about spin and damage control.  It works for me, anyway.
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hegemony
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 10:00:11 am »

I would put effort into a web presence only after you've established a momentum of writing and publishing enough to earn you tenure easily.  It's very easy to get distracted.  Many scholars can hardly keep up with their teaching, let alone their writing, let alone blogging.  Is there anyone who publishes so much that now they have a lot of free time on their hands?  If so, blog ahead.
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watermarkup
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 11:51:20 pm »

The professional blog is not to provide weekly entertainment to the hordes who hang breathlessly on my every word about Etruscan Basektweaving (2nd-1st century BCE). Instead it's so people who read my research and google me will find a bunch more things to read about my research, rather than my university's somewhat odd website, or stuff about people with my name who publish fantasy novels, or popular articles about Etruscan Swordfighting, or who run a business specializing in importing Etruscan kitsch to the U.S.
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scampster
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2010, 12:10:46 am »

One thing re:CV, I think it'd be a good idea to remove your contact information (cellphone number, home address) from it before you upload it. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but there are stalkers out there.

I fvcked this up and uploaded my CV with this info and the preview in google still shows it, even though the document itself has been changed to remove this info. Argh! My contact info is on the first page of hits too!
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tijuanafina
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2010, 3:50:31 pm »

Related to this thread:  has anyone had experience with references being named/attached to your professional online presence being a problem? 

I assume you should ask them if it's ok to "out" them as potential referees before making it universally known...
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watermarkup
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 11:20:54 pm »

Related to this thread:  has anyone had experience with references being named/attached to your professional online presence being a problem? 

I assume you should ask them if it's ok to "out" them as potential referees before making it universally known...

Keep your references off the Internet. You don't want Prof A to find out that Prof B, who she hates, is also writing for you. You don't need your high-powered research referees to know about those who comment glowingly about your prowess as a teacher. Just don't do it.
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