Are you thinking about your own web presence?

Hi, do you think that in a couple of years almost everybody will have either they own domain name or least their own webpage? I do because it makes perfect sense: Instead or in addition to having your paper based resume or CV, it’s much better if you have your own web presence and potential employers can find you.

So what’s your take on this?

TOEIC listening, photographs: Looking at the building plans[YSaerTTEW443543]

Most people don’t need their own web page, and the potential to embarrass oneself is enormous.

Some people post up very surprising things under their real names. It’s certainly a very great aid to potential employers.

Yes; and Google’s little cache is unforgiving.


I think this depends entirely on the individual’s purpose and goals. For example, if I were thinking of enrolling in a university course or purchasing a service, the first thing I did is to google the person’s name. If nothing significant comes up, I wouldn’t trust that the person is an expert. He simply doesn’t know how to use new communication tools properly and he promotes the names of other companies by using their email services instead of promoting his own name. If the person doesn’t have enough trust in himself then why should I trust in his professional expertise? A person who doesn’t have a business card can’t be serious about their own services. A person whose business card doesn’t contain their own domain name, lacks behind and is not up to date.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: The cold cabinet[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

Just because someone has their own personal domain name doesn’t in and of itself ensure quality, expertise or even much knowledge in anything. There are plenty of online sites offering “expertise” of one kind or another that I wouldn’t trust for a second.

I disagree with that statement. It sounds as if you’ve got primarily spammers in mind. However, I bet many spammers would disagree with you, too. In their minds, they may have simply decided that spamming is the most cost-effective way of utilizing modern technology in order to make money.

I think it depends on the kind of business. I wouldn’t assume that e.g. a plumber or decorator wasn’t any good if he didn’t have a website, headed paper, business card, etc. In fact, you often get better service from the older chaps who can hardly manage a mobile phone.

Beyond that, going to people’s personal web pages is an inefficient way of finding the service you want. It’s better to go to the website of some professional association and look the person up in their directory. I have no website, and no domain name of my own, but I’m getting tons of work because of my presence in three professional directories. I can tell you that not a single client cares that I don’t have my own domain name.

Torsten, I find it particularly weird that you wouldn’t take a university course from someone who doesn’t have his own web page. I don’t see what an ability to do web design and site administration has to do with accounting, history or glassmaking.

The person doesn’t necessarily have their own domain name, at least not right now. This will change in a couple of years when your own domain name will be similar to having your own email address. If your email address reads “”, you promote Yahoo every time you hand out your business card. If your email address reads “”, you promote your own name rather than that of another company that almost everyone knows anyway.

I would find it weird to be taught by a university professor whose name doesn’t produce any Google search result. Let’s say, the professor’s name was “Prof. Michael Sutherland”. If I googled that name and there wasn’t any information about him on the web, I would find that rather strange.

Establishing your own web presence doesn’t have that much to do with being able to design web pages just like having your paper based business card doesn’t require you to be an expert in graphic design and marketing.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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The professor will be on his own university’s web pages and in its directory. His domain will be the domain of his university. I would be suspicious of a professor who showed up in Google search results under his own domain instead of that of his university.

And with that scheme of yours, "", how are poor Sabine Meyer and Jan Novák going to get their own domain names? Somebody with that name already has it by now.

I’m sorry, Torsten, but I really think you’re off on Mars on this one.

No need to be sorry, Jamie. I’m sure you know that are a lot of alternative top level domains available such as .name or .info, etc. and there might be even new ones created because the demand for them has been rising constantly. There are always people who think that they don’t need to embrace new technologies. I remember about 10 years ago I would often mention that very soon everyone will have their own email address. You know, there were so many people back then, who, just like you told me that this will never happen. What would you need your own email address for?

So what exactly is wrong with a university professor having his own domain name? Are you saying you don’t know any university professor who has his own domain name?

As for Sabine Meyer, if she is a creative person, she will come up with domain name that she can identify with. She can either use another top level domain such as .net, .us, .eu, .info, etc. or create a name she wants to promote as her own. She can still join any association, index or network she finds useful. With her own domain name and her own unique email address, she just will stand out from the rest of the Yahoo and Hotmail users.

For example, when Sabine applies for a new job, her own website or webpage will give her the edge over her competitors for a number of reasons.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Scuba divers in action[YSaerTTEW443543]

All I can think is that you’ve read a motivational book from the 1990s and have gotten too excited over it.

Not having your own domain and web page isn’t a “refusal to embrace new technologies”. It’s an acknowledgement that resources on the web have developed to the point where one doesn’t have to have one. A true professional in some field probably doesn’t have the time to develop the skills necessary to design a nice web page, and he knows that the institution he works for, or a networking site, or some other resource will allow him to put his information on the web for less trouble and expense.

If I saw that a professor had his own domain name and a website that served no other purpose than presenting himself, it would definitely make me think he was behind the times, and that his head was stuck back somewhere around 1994. In the mid-1990s, when the web was new to people, some of them put up their own web pages, but they didn’t know what to do with them. They were basically pages that said, “Hi. I’m Joe Shmoe. I have this web page.” Since those old days, as things on the web have become more organized, ready-made resources have been made available that people can use to achieve the same purpose without having to learn web design or hire a designer.

So if a professor has his own domain name and website, he’d better have it for a very specific reason, such as owning his own consulting company or something like that. If it’s just something to carry his profile, then I’d think he’s stuck in the '90s.

Here is how I equate some of your statements:

[1995] “Someday nearly everyone will have his own e-mail address.”
= [1925] “Someday nearly everyone will have his own car.”
Yes, because the e-mail address and the car are both tools to get things done. They help people do other things they’re focused on.

[2004] “Someday nearly everyone will have his own domain name and website.”
= [1925] “Someday nearly everyone will manufacture his own car himself.”
Both are dumb statements, because people want the tool to help them with the profession they’re focused on. They don’t want to have to learn to build the tool themselves and waste time doing it.

I has been getting easier and easier to create your own webpage. The advantages of having your own webpage are/will be much greater than the disadvantages. What does your true professional do when he the networking site he wants to register with, has a field that’s called “your URL”? Does your professional leave this box blank or does he fill in the URL of yet another network he is a member of? A person with their own web site can join all the professional networks he wants. He just has a marketing advantage over those people without their own web address.

Who told you that you need to learn web design to have your own web page? Yes, it used to be very difficult to create your own website/webpage a couple of years ago. Since then things have changed and this process will continue.

This has become a reality today. I mean, how many people do you know today who DON’T have their own email address? By their ‘own’ address I mean the format that is currently the most prevalant although it’s changing:
All the people registered on our forum have their own email address.

When I go through the business cards people have handed me over the past 15 years, I can see the following development: In the beginning it was just large companies that had their websites and even many of them didn’t. They didn’t need to have their own websites because most of their potential customers didn’t know how to use the web anyway. A couple of years later, every company of a certain size registered their domain(s) and created their (very basic) website. Yet another couple years medium sized companies created their own websites. As the Internet gained popularity, more and more companies created a website. At first most of those organizations thought it was dumb to have a website. Now most of them think it is dumb not have a website. This development has been very fast and it’s far from over. As I said in my initial post, in a couple of years almost everyone will have their website. Right now I would say we are in a phase where free lancers, self-employed professionals and mini companies are getting their websites because they want to compete with their larger competitors.

10 years ago almost no self-employed person had their own website. Now a certain percentage of them do have their website. Is this because those people are dumb? So the question is, will there be more people with their own websites 10 years from now or fewer?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Bicycle race[YSaerTTEW443543]

There’s another problem. There are all kinds of tools to make it easier, but the resulting sites are recognized by people as being made from a standard template. In a lot of situations, having a website made from a template hurts one’s professional image more than not having one at all, and definitely more than having a directory page at the site of a professional organization. People can also make bad design decisions even when using a template, and this will reflect badly on them in a way that simply having a directory page doesn’t.

Not if there is little or no purpose to having one’s own website.

He can leave the space blank. There’s actually no shame to not having a URL, if you don’t need one.

Well, that very much depends on what he is marketing. The most effective marketing tool for a freelance translator, for example, is his directory page in his national translators’ association’s website. Professionals don’t google for translators; they go to the association site. If the translator has some very special skills, such as also having an unusual engineering degree and a consulting company related to that, he may want to explain that on a website, but agencies seeking his translation services will find him first on the directory site. For a regular translator with no special ancillary activities, there’s no need for a personal website.

If you want a good site that won’t be pointed out by people as a template job, and you don’t know how to design, you need a designer.

You completely missed my point, Torsten. Take both statements I wrote TOGETHER. Here they are again:

[1995] “Someday nearly everyone will have his own e-mail address.”
= [1925] “Someday nearly everyone will have his own car.”
Yes, because the e-mail address and the car are both tools to get things done. They help people do other things they’re focused on.

[2004] “Someday nearly everyone will have his own domain name and website.”
= [1925] “Someday nearly everyone will manufacture his own car himself.”
Both are dumb statements, because people want the tool to help them with the profession they’re focused on. They don’t want to have to learn to build the tool themselves and waste time doing it.

On what planet?

No, the question, as you posed it, is, “Will there come a day when almost everyone has his own personal web page?” And the answer is NO.

These are interesting questions to answer in this context:

  1. How many people/freelancers/companies had their own website in 1998?
  2. How many people/freelancers/companies have their own website in 2008?
  3. How many people/companies will have their own website in 2010?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Two hockey players[YSaerTTEW443543]

Here is another example of how professionals can use their web presence to promote their services: Robert Wichert[YSaerTTEW443543]

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