Davidson Domains is a college initiative that provides every student with a unique domain name and access to open-source platforms like WordPress. This web domain can serve as a foundation for your online presence at Davidson and beyond; it can be used as an e-portfolio that can be shared with potential employers or graduate schools. You will be able to keep the domain and content after leaving Davidson, at a price that is substantially lower than many similar hosting companies (through Reclaim Hosting, a non-profit started by people from the University of Mary Washington).
Because we live in a post-resume world, having a digital presence is crucial to your future success. While social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Flavors.me, and Tumblr can help you establish a digital presence, you are bound to their constraints. Having your own domain gives you full control; you can use the domain to save the world, sell something, show off, or get a job. Once you have a domain name, you will then have access to cPanel – a graphical interface that simplifies managing a website. From there, you can set up whatever you want! Popular open-source programs include WordPress (used by about a quarter of the world’s websites), but there are many others that you can use. Tutorials are available on Lynda.com (which is free to you as a student – register through lynda.davidson.edu) and there will be staff and media tutors for you to consult with as well. I am of course available to help you as well!
To get your domain, you will need to go to domains.davidson.edu, and fill out the form. But before you go there, you need to choose a domain name. The domain name doesn’t have to be related to your own name; there are advantages and disadvantages either way. You can also try something that evokes your name, discipline, or research. For example, my own domain is thefieldworker.org (as well as thefieldworker.net), which connotes anthropology (but I re-direct these domain names to my Davidson website). Prof. Mark Sample, the head of digital studies here, has samplereality.com. I could have used fujilozada.com, but avoid names like www.fujirocks.com or www.pixiedust365.com and other ephemeral names. To find out what domains are available, go to a site like http://instantdomainsearch.com/ and see what’s available. Once you have one that is not taken, then go to domains.davidson.edu and fill out the form.