Stats and Graphs: Privacy and Personal Professional Websites


Back in June I put out a survey for LIS folks who have their own personal professional websites (kind of a mouthful, but it still seems like the best way to say it – I welcome your thoughts). 28 people responded, providing information about how, why, and what they put online.

As with all of my surveys, it’s still open! If you have your own website and would like to tell us about it, please go to the form here.

Today we are looking at the personal aspect of personal professional websites. I’m interested in how much personal information people are willing to share, and how any privacy concerns might be mitigated.

You will see that the majority of folks (22 out of 28) share their bio, and only slightly fewer (21 out of 28) share their photo.

Bar graph of responses to "Which of the following content do you have on your site (check all that apply)?"

Which of the following content do you have on your site (check all that apply)?

Resume or CV 15 (53.6%)
Descriptions or list of services you provide 8 (28.6%)
Blog about personal topics 7 (25%)
Blog about professional topics 11 (39.3%)
Book reviews 2 (7.1%)
Work Samples 12 (42.9%)
List of publications 17 (60.7%)
List of presentations 17 (60.7%)
References, testimonials and/or press 6 (21.4%)
Twitter or other social media feed 18 (64.3%)
Your Bio 23 (82.1%)
Your photo 22 (78.6%)
art 1 (3.6%)

The chart below shows that only half the respondents share an email or contact form.

Chart of personal links or connection methods provided on website. Contents in following text

Which of the following personal links or connection methods do you have on your site (check all that apply)?

Email 14 (51.9%)
Contact Form 14 (51.9%)
Form for people to subscribe to your content 2 (7.4%)
ORCiD 8 (29.6%)
GitHub 4 (14.8%)
Twitter 21 (77.8%)
Facebook 3 (11.1%)
Instagram 7 (25.9%)
LinkedIn 14 (51.9%)
Pinterest 0 (0%)
TikTok 1 (3.7%)
Tumblr 2 (7.4%)
YouTube 5 (18.5%)
Business phone number 1 (3.7%)
Reddit 1 (3.7%)

I will break out the email/contact form portion of this question a little further. One person did not respond to this question. Of the 27 remaining respondents, 8 provided email, 8 provided a contact form, 6 provided both a contact form and an email, and 5 provided neither an email or a contact form. These last 5 provided instead:

  • GitHub, Twitter
  • ORCiD, GitHub, LinkedIn
  • Form for people to subscribe to your content, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • ORCiD, Twitter
  • Twitter, LinkedIn

Do you have any privacy concerns associated with sharing your personal information, resume, etc., on a public website? If so, what measures do you take to feel safer?

  • Yes, I took my CV off after my course was done for this reason.
  • Yes, I am leery of my work being stolen or reused without permission. I add copyright statements to everything.
  • I do worry about plagiarism because I do have former assignments up there that I have considered taking down. As for personal information, the items that are up there are all stuff that’s easily found anyway.
  • I leave off graduation dates b/c of concerns over age discrimination. all my work info is discoverable on google anyway, so I don’t worry about that.
  • I do not share where I am working or have worked on my website. I do not share my location or personal information. My bio is professional accomplishments, education and industry involvement.
  • Somewhat concerned, but I’m not too worried based on my content (not too popular). I don’t know if WordPress has any safety measures, or what kind of measures to take.
  • I don’t share a full CV or my address or anything, so no
  • I selectively leave out certain information about myself for content on the website
  • A little. I try not to put any more on there than what’s available on other platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter.
  • No, I don’t share a full resume
  • I don’t have concerns about the things that I share on my site. The things that I don’t want to be public for privacy reasons don’t get published.
  • I have a public resume on my website which does not list my address/phone/email address.
  • I have separate personal and professional social media accounts. I was thinking I should password protect my family history pages for the moment. No personal info on living individuals but just to be sure.
  • I do, but don’t take any particular measures other than not providing phone or physical address
    Somewhat concerned, I have my linkedin attached but that is publicly available. I am considering removing my email address and just having a contact form.
  • no phone number, address, or clickable contact links
  • I write under a pen name so my site isn’t directly connected to me personally.
  • no privacy concerns
  • I don’t share anything that I consider private (and I know that the distinction is subjective).
  • Business email and business phone line. I’ve never had a problem with those avenues being used for unprofessional purposes.
  • Not significantly, but I recognize the privilege that comes with that.
  • As a straight, cishet, white man (among many other privileges), I can be visible online without facing attacks or abuse. I know of other professionals (e.g. women of color) who maintain a minimal online presence because their identities are more vulnerable in our society. In a way, this is an example of the advantages that accrue to the already-privileged.
  • I use a contact form to avoid providing my email

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Filed under Personal Professional Websites, Stats and Graphs

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