Monday, May 23, 2011

The Ever Evolving Bio!

I found out a long time ago that writing my bio was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. I am not one to toot my own horn, so that was problem number one. How do I make myself into a real entity, but remain in the background (which is my preference)? What do I include, what don't I include? Is including my fur people more than most people want to know (or need to know!)?

Then there is the little fact that each venue needs to have a bio that is tweaked for it. There is no such thing, in my world view, as an all purpose bio. As we wander through the social media sites, I think many of us find this to be true. What we put on our Twitter bio's needs to appeal to the audience we are gathering there. What we put on My Space (if we are brave enough to go there) is a whole other story. With Face Book, we have a little more leeway, but we still keep it "in hand". If we join Linked In, we are focusing on our professional qualifications, and professional network connections. This site, more than any other, needs to be kept up to date.

Many of us maintain Internet sites. The bio here will focus on one of two areas - personal, if the site is devoted to our personal interests, or professional, if the site is devoted to our professional projects and interests. Try not to share too much, and to keep a good balance on professional sites between personal and professional information.

Bio's are also an integral part of a blog. If your readers can connect to you visually, and through words, you have gone a long way towards developing a connection with them, and guaranteeing yourself a reader that will follow your blog. Your bio in many ways gives you credibility.

The photo's that go with each of the above venues may differ, also. Or we may choose to use an icon on sites like Twitter and My Space. Just as our bio allows people to get to know us better, and helps to develop a sense of connection between us and those who we connect with in these different venues, our photo/icon does the same thing.

I would advise writing both a short bio, and a more lengthy one. Different venues have different limitations, and require different content. Also, keep your bio "fresh" - make sure that it is up to date, with an up to date photo. I know - after fourteen years I just replaced my icon with a photo. I am already planning on updating that photo!

Bottom line - does your bio reflect who you are? Is it exciting? Is it boring? Is it relevent? You have total control here - present the very best person that you can present!

(c) May 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

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