Playing With Portfolios
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Playing With Portfolios

Here are some tips on making portfolios, plus a discussion of my existing and proposed portfolios.

Playing With Portfolios
Flickr/See-ming Lee

In the spring of last year, I was tasked to make a digital portfolio for myself at the end of my Intro to Professional Writing course. So I made this. While it is called a "digital portfolio," the only digital aspect is its presence on the web, not counting the update at the top from the semester following. I quite like my portolio, but it's been a while since I made it, and I've made some new material since. I'm thinking perhaps of creating a "true" digital portfolio to go with this "false" digital portfolio. A "true" digital portfolio would contain born-digital works, that is, works that were made electronically and not simply digitized.

One of my majors is in Multimedia and Digital Culture, so I have some acquaintance with digital works. Here are the sorts of projects I would include in a "true" digital portfolio: digital poetry (interactive and video), interactive digital narratives, remixes, and song covers. I've made a good number of digital works, but the list I just wrote out off-screen includes eight particular pieces. The categories for digital creations often overlap in individual examples, and some of these pieces are kind of a blend of these four types of digital works that I have rattled off. If I make this portfolio, it should show both some depth and some breadth of my creative digital skills.

In making a portfolio, it's important to only select works you're truly proud of. Others' reactions to your projects might be important to consider as well, but your judgement should, in most cases, steer the ship. You have a certain level of control in how you present yourself when you make a portfolio. If you've made a lot of content, you'll likely want to zone in on particular categories of work and give a few samples showing what you can create.

Once you've made a portfolio, you'll have to decide whether you want to leave it as it is indefinitely or modify it over time to display the best of your work and skills. I'm still deciding what to do with my existing portfolio. I might update the structure of the letter at least, leaving the linked pieces the same. There are larger changes that I could make, but I don't know that I want to add anything new, such as poetry, and I still like everything I've included in this portfolio, at least compared to my other work that isn't born-digital and that does have a presence online (as some of my work, short fiction especially, I can't have available publically online without forfeiting my first rights).

Portfolios can be a good tool for organizing your work, whether that work be creative or professional in nature. You can make a portfolio of stories, newspaper articles, photography, mixes of these examples, or any other kinds of artifacts you would like to have on display. Your portfolio need not be available online, of course, but if it can be online without screwing with your rights to your pieces, I would recommend it. You never know who might stumble upon it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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