Controlling Your Web Destiny

It's easy to do and could help your career.

August 18, 2013

What is your web presence? Can colleagues, bloggers,  journalists, or potential employers find you online? What would they find if they searched for you? Is your CV updated and viewable online?   

Do you have one place that brings together your employment history, professional accomplishments, educational background, and links to your writing and presentations? 

If you are like me, the answer to all these questions would be no.

This past weekend, with some pushing and guidance from my brother Max, I finally changed that and created my own professional web page.

Up until this weekend I had been relying on a bunch of sites to provide web visibility for my professional work. A combination of professional social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, and the web pages for the places where I work or contribute my writing.

The problem with this approach are numerous.

Relying on your employer's web pages or professional social networks means that you don't really control what is on the pages. You don't control how your information is displayed. You don't control how your information is shared. You often cannot decide exactly what professional information you want to share. Relying solely on your place of employment to host your web presence can be a problem if your place of employment changes.  

Having a web identity that is firmly under your control may be especially important for those of us on the alternative academic (alt-ac) track. We may not be all that visible on our campus websites, and building networks with a wide range of potential colleagues (who might try to find us online) may be critical for our long-term career success.

None of these assertions are particularly novel. How long have we been told that we need to control our web destiny?

So why did I wait until this weekend to create joshmkim.com - and why have you perhaps waited as well?

For me, the big reason for delaying was that I didn't want to create yet-another-ugly-website. The more you know about the web the more you realize that we should leave web design to the web design professionals. This challenge has only gotten more difficult, as we know that any site we create needs to work well on both a browser and a smartphone.   

The other challenge is time. We know that it is important to have our own web presence, but who has time to create and maintain a good looking site?

Fortunately, we now have some platforms available that enable even the non-designers amongst us to create decent professional website.

For joshmkim.com used Squarespace. Building the site was dead simple and amazingly fast. All I did was basically cut and paste from my C.V. to the Squarespace templates. A couple of hours of work.

Squarespace requires no coding, no dealing with any back-end issues, and the platform is Responsive so it works beautifully on every screen size.

Is your web presence under your control?   

What site should we go to to learn about your professional accomplishments?


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