Monday open question: Do you have a personal website? Is it useful?

As I’ve mentioned, the past few weeks have seen potential new faculty members come and go from my institution. I decided to look them up online to see what I could find. Did they have a twitter account? A personal web page? Out of ten, one had a twitter account and none had a personal web page. I went back to the three (specialized) potential faculty members from the last round and while two had a lab web page, I couldn’t find the lab web page of the third (I know where they ended up)!

The advantage of a twitter account is: people are going to be talking about you, and you won’t know about it if you can’t see it. It seems straight-forward if a bit of work.

But a personal web page is different. It doesn’t take tons of work, particularly once you’ve set it up. All it needs to have is your name, a list of your interests, your CV, a list of your work, a way to representĀ you. It’s the modern business card, really. Once you are a faculty member and have a full lab web page I think it goes away but before then – why not?

Can anyone speak to whether they have one and whether it’s actually beenĀ useful?

Update: From Artem’s comment below, why web-presence is important for researchers

Update 2: From an anonymous twitter comment: “I find it very useful. When I give a talk somewhere, >50 people visit [their personal page] and download papers & ask better q’s at talk.”