The Art of the Twitter Profile
Twitter is an odd bird, as the social media networks go. Almost all social media sites are established on the founding principle of customizable profiles designed to show off as much about your personality as possible: all those tabs and buckets for photos, videos, favorite movies or musicians, languages spoken, etc., etc. With a little patience, I can collect a pretty good overview about a new “friend” on Facebook in fairly short order – with the knowledge, of course, that this information is often painstakingly constructed to reflect a certain persona.
With Twitter, it’s more subtle, and definitely not as simple to get that overview sense of a person. You really have just two delivery channels: a history of tweets, and your profile description (photo included). Now it’s arguable that the history of a person’s tweets may be a much more accurate way to get a sense of their personality and interests, but with my attention span clocking in at somewhere around 3.2 milliseconds in this fast-paced world I go for the profile.
Constructing a profile on Twitter is somewhat of an art form. True to Twitter form, you get a severely limited amount of real-estate to describe yourself: 160 characters, a location, website link, and a photo. Now, there is certainly no short supply of articles describing how to get the most out of your profile page. My brief Google query of how to write a twitter profile resulted in 357,000,000 million hits… I admit to not verifying the content of each of those pages, but suffice it to say there’s a lot. This article by @mashable is a good, quality example.
What’s often missing in these write-ups, however, is that delicate mix of the professional and personal, and the economy of language used to present it within the austere borders of Twitter’s 160-character limit. Yes, it’s important to list your key interests, but it’s also nice to see that little twist thrown in to describe some of your personality. Heck, I almost always go for it when I see someone describe themselves as a Zombie enthusiast, even though I’d rather push rusty paperclips down my throat than watch another zombie flick. That kind of comment is just a little quirky and unusual.
To that end, I’ve included just a few examples of what makes a catchy profile:
Photographer, web design thingy, facilitator, perpetual ditherer, personification of uncertainty principle. Sometime mumbler.
Proud mama and wife. Blogger. Snapple addict. Shower singer. Avid reader. Boisterous laugher. The one who always takes the corner piece of cake.
Designer, motion artist,Cleveland denizen studying Character Animation thru AnimationMentor.com. Currently in exploration for domestic midnight oil reserves.
Designer by choice, poet by nature. All that’s in between is filler.
Laptop Mom. I help coaches, bloggers, authors & speakers reach more ppl & make more $$ with info-products. Coffee addict. Eternally optimistic, often sarcastic.
Longtime Bay Area web culture enthusiast and VentureBeat reporter, fiery anti-MAN goody tooshoos nerd
Note: these profile descriptions were taken at the time of drafting this post