One thing I've been contemplating lately is creating a professional research website. What do I mean? Here's part of my motivation: I've had a near constant web presence since about 1994. It's my public face to the world.
My current webpages at my graduate university consist of dozens of connected pages, including the posting of several papers I've written, along with my CV, comments on research, and personal pages. One page of mine, an annotated bibliography from my first-term as a doctoral student, gets about 5-10 hits per week from various search engines, drawing individuals with widely divergent interests toward a single reference covering over 100 articles and books. I think it's a useful resource, and would like to add to it, and set up several more.
Recently, I've renewed a commitment to raising the awareness of my area of study, as well as a desire to pump up my public profile. So... creating a website dedicated to my area of study seems like a good idea. And, it would allow me a way to maintain my web presence under my real name. My university account expires one year after I graduated, which was last June. My Visiting Scholar status grants me an email address (and access to letterhead and the library and such), but no webspace, so far as I know. I just emailed the chair and my sponsor to ask. But even so, there may be a benefit in establishing a web presence for the area of study, as a point of contact for the various researchers and the curious. From what I can tell, it would cost me about $100/year, plus all the time I commit to it.
Any thoughts anyone?