After Googling myself, as so many of us do (and as my class had to do for its first practicum), I think my web presence is acceptable, but it could use some work. I learned that having an uncommon name like mine is a double edged sword. On the positive side, I share a web presence with only one other Nathan Michalewicz. So, my Academia.edu page is the first page that comes up in the results. On the negative side, other references to me that are in the prefaces of books or in conference programs were misspelled. They only show up in Google results if one searches “Nathan Michaelwicz.” This negative is somewhat counterbalanced by the frequency that my last name is misspelled. Chances are a prospective employer that Googles me will in all likelihood misspell my name and find those references.
At the very least, this exercise has shown me how woefully outdated my Academia.edu page is. More importantly, I know there is much more that I can do to make my presence on the internet known. My new twitter account will help I’m sure–especially since I have realized that almost every major archive/library that I will use has a twitter account. This website/blog will also help expand my professional brand. Focusing on my web presence, however, has been a little discomforting. I find it a little depressing that one must shamelessly market oneself on the internet in this way. At the same time, this is the world we live in, and the last time I checked, I very much preferred employment over unemployment. So, if this helps me market myself and my research, so be it.