I bought a website yesterday. If you know me, you know that this is not something I would normally do, and indeed, no one is more surprised than I am. I'm not what you would call a web-designer: my only attempts at web-design were when my professor for an undergraduate medieval studies class made us post papers online. I'd link to these inaugural design efforts here, but apparently Georgetown deleted all my webspace when I graduated. And besides, I would be sort of embarrassed to show the pages to anyone, featuring as they did ponderous academic papers about "The Role of the Plow in Pre-Renaissance Eurpoe" and "Agricultural Tropes and Feminism in Mallory's 'La Morte d'Arthur'," all set on an attractive pale-yellow background (nothing makes e-text "pop" like a buttercup-colored background!). But that's not all. Our professor, who, oddly enough, was the university webmaster when she wasn't teaching us about the literature of the Round Table, also insisted we "do more than simply post a regular, academic paper online." No, no. We should "really take advantage of the unique opportunities in narrative the Net offered us." (I actually don't remember if she called it the 'Net, but I like to remember her saying it that way.) Anyhow, my way of taking advantage of all the unique opportunities for narrative the Net offered me was to insert some hypertext links, such as "this motif would later be brought to its fullest flower in Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot " or "these themes of local political empowerment and masculine social bonds continue be central in literary works up to the present day.").
I also included some jpegs of some tapestries.
And this is my previous "web experience." Makes one wonder why, if I had a sudden craving for Microsoft Front Page and stolen gifs, I hadn't just signed up for a Geocities page. Surprisingly, I have an answer. That answer is that someone else threatened to buy it. So I cut them off at the head and purchased the two-year rights with option of renewal to www.janesmith.com (which is clearly not my name, but bear with me, I don't have anything up there yet and it is embarrassing). And now I have a web site, a website that bears my name. And I haven't the foggiest idea what to do with it.
The realistic part of me, the part of me that desires a job and health benefits and such, has recommended using the website as a place for my resume and links to all of my published (and unpublished, let's be honest, they are far more numerous) articles and such. This is the part of me that has the full-support and backing of my mother.
The idyllic part of me thinks that the world wide web does not need one more resume site clogging up its search engines. But it also has no other ideas for what else I could post on the website. A comic strip about two talking skulls? Done. A compendium of live nude cat photos? Done. I am out of ideas. But I am not one to let a spitefully purchased domain name go to waste. I bet I still have some of my old papers about novelists of the 18th century, and I bet I could find a kickin' pastel background for my thinking about nation-state and female sexuality in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa ...