Web 2.0 Integration
You have likely already done some Web 2.0 integration on your portfolios already. Some of you have already embedded YouTube videos and photos from Flickr. This is part of what I’m talking about when I say “integration.” I’ll discuss these further below, but first you need to set up some additional services.
Most of the services below may only be used when you have your own web host. Many ready-made platforms do not allow tweaking beyond their service. That said, there are often ways around these, if you know what you’re doing or know how to use Google.
You should already have some experience with RSS, “real simple syndication” or “rich site summary.” Whether you know it or not you likely already have an RSS feed for your portfolio which allows Web users to subscribe to your updates with an RSS reader, like Feedly. However, if you have a platform like Wordpress, you might want to jazz it up a bit with Google’s Feedburner, a service that allows you to add all sorts of options to a simple feed. See Feed 101 for more information and guidance.
Next, it’s convenient to know just who is visiting your portfolio. For this, Google has the Analytics service. Not only does this service give you an incredible amount of information about who’s clicking through your site, it also analyzes that traffics and gives you tips on how to improve it. You might also consider a Google webmaster account. It will help with further optimization.
The more traffic that comes to your site, the more possibility you have of landing a job. However, you also have the potential to earn money right from your site with affiliate accounts, like Commission Junction, Amazon Associates, and Google AdSense. I recommend starting with one, like Amazon, and getting a feel for advertisements. The trick is to use these ads subtly. Remember, you are putting together a professional portfolio, so it should not have garish ads on every page. This will turn prospective employers off, as it will your casual reader. Avoid pop-up ads at all costs. Try to incorporate ads into your site so that they are unobtrusive. Now I’m not suggesting you be deceitful and try to hide your ads, as this is dubious at best. Just be subtle. Don’t go nuts.
I’m sure you can find other services if you look around. You should have Feedburner and Analytics at a minimum on your portfolios.
I already pointed you to the Google Analytics plugin for WP, but you might be interested in more. Plug-ins are an easy way to spiff up your site and integrate our other Web accounts, like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Delicious, and Flickr (to name but a few). Your choice of plug-ins will, of course, depend on what you do.
See Lesson 3 for more about developing a social media strategy.
Most, if not all, media sharing sites, like Vimeo and Flickr, all you to embed content you have posted on their site to your own. If you are a videographer, it would make sense to have YouTube videos embedded in blog entries or pages of your site. If you are a photographer, embedded images from Flickr would be more apropos. If you are an educator, you might have PDFs from Scribd embedded in your site. These are just examples, and, again, it’s up to you and the nature of your site. Everyone should have some embedded material in their portfolios, in side bars, footers, entries, or pages.
Don’t Go Overboard
One final thought about integration: moderation should be practiced. Yes, most of us have a Facebook account, but that personal material might not be appropriate for a professional portfolio. Consider integration carefully, just like you would anything you post to your portfolio. In evaluation, I will look for the appropriateness and execution of integrated services, plug-ins, and multimedia.