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.

3 thoughts on “Considerations for planning out your online portfolio

  1. Other than what I said on Twitter, the mental overhead of “where should I post this?” is not to be underestimated.

    Like, I have something that started as a food & travel wiki that ended up having a section on Cloud Gaming and Chromebook tips.

    That tech content would totally be of interest to people on my main tech blog, but the format (a wiki) worked for me going back and adding to it over time.

    I’m nervous about for pay, proprietary hosted tools. What are their export formats? Does it matter if links break?

    I’ve got an export of all my Flickr photos that I have to bring back online some time soon, as one example.

    Figure out what features you want for your different projects, experiment with new ones, own your URLs so you can redirect as needed, and examine export formats.

    And check out https://micro.blog

    Like

    1. I do agree with the proprietary tools. Hence why I use WordPress… if I want to move somewhere it is totally doable. I chose cloud over self-hosted simply so I don’t have to deal with any of the maintenance. It is convenient that way, but is limiting.

      Flickr is the same thing… It has very little maintenance overhead, can serve a number of distinct audiences, and has some other nice stuff that outweighs my desire to move somewhere else. I have been thinking about replacing Flickr for nearly a DECADE! https://chadkohalyk.com/2012/04/14/replacing-flickr/

      Good tip on Microblog. I totally forgot about that.

      Like

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