So far in this series I have been concentrating on websites and blogs over which I have direct control. It turns out, however, that the Internet, almost inevitably, contains a wide array of sites where you are mentioned or where material you may have written or contributed to appears but over which you have no direct control. Test it yourself by Googling your name, and be sure to use double quotes ” ” around it for a more useful set of results. (C’mon, you’ve done this before, you know you have!)
When I did this recently I found out two interesting things: first, there is still a fair bit of dross out there where my name appears but which has absolutely nothing to do with me; second, I re-discovered a number of presentations and articles I had written that I had forgotten about or lost track of. I immediately began to wonder whether it would be useful to draw the latter together in some way in order to make it easy for someone (e.g. a prospective employer, conference organiser, journalist) to get a quick overview of my output in a particular field over the years. A portfolio, if you will, but in particular a portfolio of items which I do not myself have the power either to remove or change.
If your name is more common than mine, or perhaps unfortunately shared with more famous individuals for whom you would not wish to be mistaken, then this might be even more pressing for you.
I have placed links to these presentations, articles, and briefing notes of mine on a Resources page on my main website and made that easily accessible. I suppose if I knew more about search engine optimization (SEO) I would know whether this helps or hinders the relative rankings of those resources in search engines. In any case, I haven’t done this to aid search engines, I’ve done it to aid searchers. It isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but it is a list of resources with which I am proud to be associated. Moreover, if in future other things I write show up on the Internet on web pages I do not myself maintain, I will have a sensible place from which to link to them.