Your web page is your shining face to the world

What does your web page look like? Do you have the standard tabs, Home, Research, People, Publications, Teaching, Photos, Links, and Contact, and maybe some others like Protocols, or Join the lab? Is it easy to figure out from your web page what you do? Is there a tab about you personally that someone introducing you can use? Does it look like you are having fun? Your web page is worth some time, for it is what people that don’t know you see first.

I’ve already said that you should not host it at your university, for that may be snatched away, with links where you don’t want them. Also, you have more control elsewhere. We use WordPress because it is easy enough to keep up-to-date, even for a PI. Yes, you should be able to update your own web page. It isn’t that hard with WordPress, or probably with other sites designed for bloggers. If you don’t want to blog from it, just turn off comments, and add in lots of pages.

We have just spent a lot of time updating our web page in preparation for the prospective graduate students that will show up tomorrow, and for the ones from last week that are still deciding. It is not done, but it is much better. I learned from Andrew Read That it is really important to have sections on the questions you are asking, and sections on what you have figured out. Not everyone is going to be reading those papers. A lot of people just want to know what you have done, and what you are up to. We added a section on research questions, and on research achievements, just today. The research achievements are broken down into areas since we have been at this so long. It was a lot of fun to write. The Dictyostelium section is not yet broken into subjects. The social insect part is not done by any means. I hope I get time soon to finish it since it is very nostalgic to remember all those wonderful days in the field. Dave had fun going back to his earliest days, and putting in a section on plant sociobiology.

If you get a good web page that you can update going now, you won’t be in our position of creating a webpage that represents 30 plus years of work.

Some people have videos of them giving lectures. This is an excellent idea, for we need to know someone can give a great talk before we invite them. Maybe you were taped somewhere you could link to.

I know you have a lot else to do. So do I. But this is important. Enjoy.

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
This entry was posted in Managing an academic career. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Your web page is your shining face to the world

  1. Gerry Carter says:

    Hello Prof. Strassmann. This blog is truly delightful, inspiring, and fun to read. I especially enjoyed your post on the Research Works Act, and it sparked a lively discussion in my lab. I am a huge fan of your work on Dictyostelium and social insects! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Liz says:

    I’ve been working on my own webpage lately–this post reminds me that it’s not time wasted! I guess ideally it would be a kind of CV!

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