Considerations for planning out your online portfolio

I am looking for advice from online creatives. How do you organize your various projects online?

Let me give you some context. I have a couple of ongoing projects I am planning to start next year. I would like to blog/photo/video/post the progress of these projects, but I don’t think doing it on my main chadkohalyk.com domain is the right spot.

Historically I used to use different domains for various blogs and podcasts I have done, but in the past few years I have tried to consolidate all my work under one URL. The main thinking behind that was authorship: to establish that all these projects are done by the same person. Generally, I think keeping traffic in one place is desirable since it allows you to keep your focus on growing a single audience. You also get the added benefit of increasing the discoverability of other projects. That said, I want to make things easy for the audience to only look at or subscribe to the project they are interested in, without having a bunch of stuff they are not necessarily interested in crowd things out. And I want each project to have URLs that last forever… I don’t want old projects to die or move so that years on people can’t find them.

Splitting things up into distinct silos could be the best way to achieve that, but I am not really interested in forever maintaining a small network of sites. I know I will have chadkohalyk.com forever.

However, there could be some technology limitations. I currently have this domain pointing to a hosted instance of WordPress.com. I can use subdomains for projects like the Timeline of Japanese in the Okanagan. For photos right now I just put everything on Flickr, and Twitter becomes a sort of aggregator. It is super low maintenance, and it is fine for just a personal online presence. But there probably is a better strategy when you have some specific, distinct projects. In the past I tried various lifelogging and aggregation services (remember when Google+ was supposed to solve this?) but none panned out. It seems there are a few tradeoffs that need to be balanced here.

  • time/cost of maintaining different sites/platforms
  • convenience of using different tools/platforms for specific projects
  • siloing of audiences
  • challenge of aggregation

So, with those in mind, I have some questions for you:

  • Do you use different URLs for different projects?
  • Do you use subdomains?
  • Are you a fervent cross-poster?
  • Do you integrate private audiences with public audiences or keep them separate by posting “family things” in a totally different place? (I love Flickr’s permissions work… a single stream with three views: Anyone, Friends, Family. Super low maintenance.)

I would love to hear your strategy. Please comment below and feel free to post links to your “portfolio” of web projects as an example.