As part of the build up to tomorrow and my departure from the world of work, I realised it’s time to change my twitter biog. Twitter biogs are a massive (ho ho) 160 characters long, so a bit longer than a tweet. Over the years I’ve tweaked mine slightly so that currently it reads:
Film-maker, author, gamer, LARPer & weasel/llama/goose enthusiast in real life. Renegade academic library manager in Leicester for cash. Tends to be sarcastic
I could just clip the “Renegade academic library manager in Leicester for cash” and add some pithy about “Wanna-be consultant & freelance project manager” but I dunno, it feels a bit needy. Not that I’m not going to be in need of some employment, I just don’t think that my personal twitter brand needs to scream about it every time someone checks me out.
I always read other people’s bios (even people I’ve known for a while periodically) just to remind me of how other people sell themselves to their followers and would be followers. There are some stunningly good ones out there, although the very best ones are from people who already have a very high public visibility to start with – so they can say more with a whole lot fewer words. Some personal favourites include:
- @Patlockley “Awhimoway Awhimoway in the jungle the mighty jungle“
- @LibraryGirl79 “Gin loving, cake and cookie baking librarian. Work as academic support lib for Education and Theology. Live in York. From the Boro.”
- @Bumsonseats ““Gas station attendant of the mind (librarian), learner, reader, googler, traveller, web 2.0er, library camper. My personal views.“
- @AlisonMcNab “Academic librarian at an East Midlands university. May also tweet on fairtrade, faith, food, greyhounds, tea, travel & trekking (& obsessive alphabetising)“
- @DaGooses “A collective of mischievous gooses who love cheese, satellites, tanks, sci-fi, gardening, chickens, llamas and goose world domination. Especially at weekends.“
Naturally I’d like to work in my love of the scholarly publication field, alongside my aspiring ukulele performances, voice acting and research interests. But I don’t want to get too listy. Sure lists of interests will probably get me the hits when people search for folks with similar interests. But given the number of self-help gurus whom seem to follow me, maybe I’d be better off avoiding the word “consultant” as that’ll give almost as many false-positives as “licensed sexaholic” or the like. However, personally I like the read the biog as a little snippet of personality. A permanent tweet that says in 160chrs what that person is, how they’re going to act and what they’re likely to be (most) interested in talking about.
This has also gotten me thinking about the keywords in other people’s biogs that make me avoid following them. Probably anything too earnest or that mentions “a particular love of classification” probably does it for me. But I’m willing to make exceptions.
Maybe I should just take a leaf out of the Michael Westen playbook and just change it to “For Hire“?
One suggestion is that I should crowdsource the 160chrs. Hah. I’ve done that in the past to get a measure of how people perceive me (via my online presence) and that’s been an amusing and informative exercise. Of course defining myself how others perceive me is probably not going to be the best way to promote my own unique brand . As people have commented to me over the years “There’s no one like you, you’re unique”.
(Course they do then walk away muttering under their breath “Thank God”.)
I think the difficulty for me with this bio is I want to make sure I give people the impression that they’re getting the complete @LlordLlama package when they follow this (or any) of my online identities. That is, you’re not getting someone who’s going talk only shop, you’ve got to expect madness, wackyness and hell, even the occasionally zany tweet.
But then if I see a bio that uses either wacky or zany in the description, unless I know the person in RL I flee from them at warp 2. So probably not the best of approaches to use.
I can see I’m going to have to think on this one at some length. But no more than 160chrs…