It’s time for a personal academic website
A personal academic website is the best way to communicate who you are and what you do.
Hi there, I’m Jennifer, The Academic Designer.
I founded this company to empower faculty and researchers.
There is a stigma in the academy against sharing and self promotion.
I’m here to show you sharing in a meaningful way can lead to amazing things.
Welcome to The Social Academic.
Google yourself on a regular basis, every 6 months or so
Whatever you find, save it. Find everything you can.
- If you were a recruiter, what were you able to learn about your potential candidate?
- If you were an editor, what kind of writing, or work ethic would you expect from this person?
Now think back to the first 5 minutes.
That’s about how long someone will give you.
You only have a moment to share you are and why they should be interested.
But when you do, it can change your world.
Anxiety over our online identities is normal
With connected HigherEd “influencers” out there, anxiety over managing your web presence is totally normal.
Your friends and colleagues say you need to be on #AcademicTwitter.
Yeah that’s true, it would help. What you really need is a website.
Let me share why.
Your academic website can
- Host your curriculum vitae
- Link to your articles and publications
- Highlight upcoming speaking engagements
- Share your teaching interests and syllabi
- More importantly, a personal academic website can show you are a human being.
Social media is a great place for conversation or sharing ideas.
But editors, potential employers, and colleagues will not be able to keep up with your accomplishments among the many other voices in the Twitterverse.
No Instagram post can provide a complete abstract of your research (though it’s better than Twitter for it!).
Instagram is best for sharing ideas about your research/writing because there is more space. However, not enough humanities academics use it (though they should!) If you’re in STEM, get on IG now. They’re active! @HigherEdPR for more tips or for account set up/design (July)
— The Academic Designer (@HigherEdPR) May 29, 2018
Although, If you haven’t seen the #sixwordstory research abstract tweets on Twitter, it’s pretty fun.
Academic websites are like an online portfolio of your work
I believe scholars and researchers kind of have a responsibility to share their work in ways the public can engage.
Doing so is becoming expected, especially in the UK.
Publishers, grant and research funders, and employers are looking for people who can help promote their own work.
Having an academic website can benefit your personal life because it communicates clearly to a broad audience.
It can benefit your professional life because it provides detailed and specific information that your colleagues, administrators, and network need in one dynamic space.
Your online presence should not take all of your time
For 99% of academics, a personal site and weekly (or even monthly) social media post will be enough.
Do that, and it will be more than most.
This blog is a great place to start.
Are you ready for a website? This guide is here to help you figure it all out
When you’re ready to take the next step for your personal academic website, I have an online training here to help. Or we can work together 1:1.
But 1st, download my handy guide to see if you’re ready to create and manage a website of your own.
Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and public relations consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help academics, researchers, and writers control their online presence and share their work with the world.
She holds a B.A. from Monmouth University in English, and an M.F.A. from Naropa University in Writing & Poetics where she was the Jack Kerouac Fellow. Jennifer also holds an M.A. from University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Literature and Cultural Studies where she was one of four master’s fellows and a finalist for the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award.