Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Consolidating A Professional Online Presence

This summer I'm redoing my class website, I'm making an E-portfolio for my teaching, and I'm choosing an online place where I can consolidate not only those two websites, but my school videos, my Symbaloo bookmarks, and this blog.  I'm doing this for my own professional development as well as to update my curriculum vitae. So what's the best application to consolidate a professional online presence? I have no idea, but in this post I'm looking at three:

1) Glogster Edu


3) The New Hive

In order to compare them, I tried to keep the format and style the same for each page I make.

Glogster Edu
The New Hive

How is Glogster Edu?
Thanks to their new pricing structure, teachers can register for a free individual account to create private Glogs only. I can create a Glog to try it out, but I can't make it public:
Black Font Is Classy

Do you see all of the rich colors in the text? Me neither. I couldn't get any other font color besides black. I tried in both Chrome and Firefox, so it's not the browser. It could be a feature that Glogster took away until you buy an account, but that seems weird and pointless.
And although I like Glogster, it's hard for me to take it seriously because it's really made for kids. The silly features that spice up a Glog are not necessary and anyone can make a Glog without them. But in some ways this is about branding, and Glogster has branded itself as a fun, goofy way to be pseudo-creative online. So I can't think of a Glog or Glogster without thinking of this:
Take Me Seriously!

How is
I did splurge $20 to buy an account for, but I'm not sure it was worth it. Whether it's a free account or a paid account, what annoyed me about this site is that you have to choose from preset layouts. With Glogster Edu and The New Hive, you can put stuff wherever you want on the page. Not so with In fact, drove my design decision:

This is because does its best to open your links inside its page. That's kind of neat, and works with several apps (blogger, symbaloo, facebook, twitter, youtube), but doesn't work with all links (schooltube, wix, weebly), so there isn't a consistency in the feel of the page.
Also there's this:
Take Me Seriously!

This is how my page looks in Firefox. It looked fine in Chrome and Safari, so I contacted support to help me out. They said it looked fine on their end and that I should clear out my cache in Firefox. But that's not really the point. If I'm going to give this page to potential employers, I'm not going to include a footnote that says, "Please don't open this in Firefox but if you do, empty your cache."

How is The New Hive?
The New Hive is still in Beta, so there are a few things that are quirky about it. But The New Hive is still in Beta, so everything is still free.
You have to apply for an account, but in my experience approval comes within 24 hours. It's kind of funky to add links to text, but I haven't had any of the issues that I had with the other two applications. So for right now, this is my choice to consolidate my professional online presence.

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