About a decade ago when the World Wide Web first launched, only the brave and commercial entrepreneurs established web sites. If they could not handle the HTML coding themselves, it was necessary to work with a web designer/graphic designer, who charged thousands of dollars. This was a new technology, so vendors charged a lot for their services. They were learning as they went, as well. Within a couple of years, thousands and then hundreds of thousands of organizations and individuals of all kinds started getting involved with the web. Soon the price of web sites started tumbling down, and now they are available for free by many services. Another change started occurring in most recent years, individuals began having their own personal sites on which they blogged, wrote articles about themselves and their feelings, interviewed others, and provided information about things that interested them. Social media is just an extension of this. Increasing numbers of people are putting up their own web sites in addition. To determine what my web site should be like, I conducted research online that is included in this report.
Many people start their own web sites before giving them any thought. They think that the ideas will come along as they start to design, and all they have to do is write some things about themselves. This does not work. Like anything else, planning needs to be involved to find the right objectives and subject for the web site. Building the site and believing that the correct idea will come along by itself is not very practical. There are many different reasons for starting a personal site and how it will look and feel. It is best to ask some personal questions about hobbies or interests. Or, think about present educational activities or career goals. Trying to put all these on one site does not work well, either. It is best to have some kind of theme. Having different web sites can handle different themes. It is important to define specific goals for the web site as with any project or activity. What should the web site accomplish? What needs to be achieved? (Van Duyne, Landay, & Hong, 2007).
Looking at other web sites -- there are millions of them -- can provide ideas about a topic and design approach. For example, people who enjoy reading may write about the recent books they read or review some of the new books coming out. They may ask for input from other readers. Pretty soon, they have a community of like individuals. The same is about someone who greatly enjoys a certain sport, music or theatre. If someone likes to travel, even to nearby town, it is possible to write about some of the places enjoyed and that others may enjoy as well. Many people use their web sites for diaries or journals. They write about themselves in a more personal way than a typical web site that has general comments or commentary. Some post blogs each day or week about what is taking place in their everyday lives; other readers post their own comments that are similar, so people learn from one another or get personal support. However, it is important to be careful with these "diary" sites, because they are a reflection of the person that all can see. If wanting to use the web site for educational or professional purposes, it is best not to put such intimate information online (Van Duyne, Landay, & Hong, 2007).
Many people do use their web site for educational purposes. It is a good way to build up a portfolio that can be used for a final project for graduation. Or, it can be a place to send potential employers or graduate schools to see some of the work being done or courses taken. Student teachers can put up lesson plans, for example. The articles I read on personal web sites stressed the importance of establishing an image. Regardless of the site's topic, unless it is restricted, it can be seen by anyone -- peers, teachers and potential employers included. In some cases, it may be used as an important part of an assessment about a person. Thus, it is important that the web site takes advantage of presenting a positive image or personal branding; this differentiates the web site owner from other people in a memorable way. It is important to present a good…