Why a Portfolio Blog?

A blog site is the best tool I have found for creating and maintaining a portfolio – here’s why:

  • It allows me, and the format prods me, to continuously update the contents. I can do so from virtually anywhere, at any time without special software.
  • Content is added/improved incrementally without the site looking incomplete, becoming obsolete, or wasting money or materials.
  • A portfolio CD with links to the rest of the site (About, Home, entries) can be created as needed. Improvements and additions to the site are immediately available via the CD.
  • Writing ability and other talents are presented without me standing there talking about myself too much or the viewer feeling rushed.
  • The point is more about results than tools- I am working the underlying code and information design to present effectively, not to show off.
  • The user experience is a familiar one, but one that is uniquely my own.
  • Information wants to be presented in levels of detail starting from a macro view.
  • I can arrange a fluid organization of content around different points of difference I may represent to different audiences. I am a content developer, I am an eLearning developer…
  • There is a certain anonymity and distance, yet I can share fairly intimate project details.

Why aren’t more design professionals doing this?

There are a few minor shortcomings:

  • If you already have an online portfolio you can start a blog and link to the portfolio site.
  • Blogs are organized temporally. Assuming a portfolio can ever be completed it will just sit there and advertise it’s age. I removed the calendar and monthly view from the interface- this helps. The syndication model still requires new entries to broadcast updates though.
  • Correllary: the blog portfolio can never be finished: subscribers will think it is abandoned if they don’t get regular updates from it. But when I get a job I might be fine with lying low again.
  • Related issue: what if the best work examples happen to be the first posts – how do they get out to new subscribers? If I change their date they will be repeats to earlier subscribers who saw it when it was first added to the site. A plugin could address this…

Since I first posted this some additional ideas have come to mind that one should consider:

Unlike a personal or even professional blog, I think it is important to self-host a portfolio blog. Why? Most of the free blog sites I have seen include links to other blogs, advertising and other distractions. It’s important to demonstrate that you understand the importance of, and have the ability to provide a controlled user experience- from the URL to the look and organization of the site.

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