Seeking and Finding
Guidelines for Creating a Web Presence
presented in conjunction with
"The Accidental Audience"
by Leslie Campbell Rampey and Bryan Rampey
April 13, 2002
The 13th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning
| 1) Your homepage should be YOU. Don't be shy! Use your favorite colors and designs -- if you're a paisley person, use a paisley border or background. Do not succumb to the admonition that Web pages should be bland and "businesslike."
| 2) However you present it, be sure that your homepage provides links to all your subsidiary pages that you want to make public. Make pages about ANYTHING that interests you -- share it all! (Be sure NOT to provide any link at all to pages you
want to keep private.)
| 3) Propagate your individual pages:
a) Yahoo (It is uncertain when or if your page will be listed. That seems to depend on the topic area. Some listings occur almost immediately; others could take months.)
b) The Open Directory Project (Submissions usually receive prompt attention.)
Find the most relevant and precise subject heading you possibly can, and submit your URL and description there. Write your description seriously with an eye to packing as many keywords as possible into the word limit.
|4) Shop your pages around. Be
shameless. Here are some suggestions:
a) Always include your homepage URL with your e-mail signature.
b) Announce your pages to special interest mailing lists.
c) Go to similar sites, and email the authors, asking them to link to
d) Get an account with DejaNews (now Google Groups -- http://www.deja.com).
These erstwhile "Usenet" bulletin boards cover every
interest imaginable -- and then some. Announce your pages on a regular
basis -- not so often that you become annoying, but often enough that
the announcement will be fresh for first-time readers.
|5) Include your e-mail address prominently on all your public pages and also a link to your homepage and
to any other of your relevant pages.
| 6) Answer all responses promptly and courteously, and be sure to thank correspondents -- even critics and smart alecks -- for taking a look at your page and for getting in touch.
|7) Think very, very carefully about the server on which you post your pages. You know your own situation best. Consider matters such as the reliability of your campus computing services, your institution's Web page policies, and your own career plans. Remember that once your pages are listed on a search engine and if your server goes away, you could be a dead link for a very long time. We recommend that you give
serious thought to selecting a reliable and long-lived commercial server, even if it will cost you an ongoing personal expense -- it's well worth it.