Having taken Cynthia Davidson’s WRT 304 class last semester, I am a testament to the power of blogfolios and ePortfolios. Prior to taking this class, I had never created any sort of online website that displayed my writing in a professional manner, besides a tumblr. I was faced with much difficulty in the beginning because I saw the assignment as something I just had to get done rather than something I can personalize and make my own. Upon starting my ePortfolio, I quickly realized that because it was my portfolio with my writing pieces, the creativity was completely in my hands. I thoroughly enjoyed editing and customizing my eportfolio but along the way, I picked up several skills that I hadn’t thought I would ever come across.
Although they are seemingly insignificant, ePortfolios play an extremely vital role in how you are perceived. Davidson says, “An ePortfolio is by its very physical structure modular and fragmentary, and circulation and dissemination are also features of its accessibility.” There are several components in an ePortfolio, all of which are necessary for a good quality ePortfolio. An ePortfolio is modular because it contains several sections for easy construction and a flexible arrangement. It is fragmentary because having information broken down into smaller sections makes it easier to read and captures the reader’s attention more. Circulation and dissemination are necessary as well because they both make the content in the ePortfolio relevant and bring the content full circle so that everything is connected and made sense of.
Creating and building an ePortfolio makes the creator think about the audience and how they were presenting themselves to the people visiting their portfolio. Davidson says, “Through the design, access, and functionality of the places we create, we present ourselves to those who visit them. We invent our ethos. We situate it.” EPortfolios allow us to divide whatever information we want to include into separate pages and tabs, letting us dictate what the audience sees first and how they see it. By the time our ePortfolios are completed and finalized, they are ultimately a reflection of who we are not only as writers, but also as people. The ePortfolio forces us to greet our audience in a way we deem necessary and the decisions and choices we make regarding our ePortfolio allow the audience to see the kind of people we are, outside of our portfolios. Although the audience is seeing us from a technological aspect, we are providing them with insight as to how we are as physical beings, intellectually and socially.
Although some details throughout our portfolios may seem mundane or irrelevant, every detail has it’s own purpose and every detail is a reflection of who we are as people, whether it be literal or metaphoric. Davidson says, “In both cases, the embodied subjects have deliberately chosen elements to represent themselves online (such as their avatars, their constructed profiles and actions in the multi-user dungeon, the documentation that contributes to their reputation in a UNSENET group…).” Something as simple as your avatar shows what kind of person you are. For example, if you upload an avatar of you doing something funny, people with assume that you are someone who a good sense of humor. If your avatar is of you wearing a business suit in a seemingly professional environment, people will assume that you are a professional who takes things seriously.