Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data—and at times vast numbers of people—and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the “Wilderness Downtown” video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore how modern technology can make us more human.
by Michelle Corteggiano
Social bios are big news these days! In fact, consistently, the second most visited page on my blog is my “About me” page.
The bottom line is this; people love to “peek behind the curtain” without you knowing so they can get to know who you are. A good bio is key to attracting the right kind of people to you and your brand. So how do you do it? How do you conquer the big bad blank white page and turn it into something so intriguing that people are knocking down your door to get to know you?
8 Easy Steps:
- Jot down your interests, hobbies, activities, philosophies you live by, favorite quotes, quirky personality traits, accomplishments, awards etc. on a notepad.
- From those choose 3 – 4 of your most attractive personal traits. Choose the ones that other people often use to describe you.
- Choose 3-4 business traits that you feel best describe your professional persona.
- At this point, begin writing and don’t let the paper scare you. Remember who knows you better than you? Start the draft by conversing about yourself as you would to someone sitting across the coffee table from you. By doing this, your bio will flow very smoothly and the person reading it will feel like you are talking specifically to them.Let your personality shine through and don’t be scared to add some humor. Be fun, be remarkable, be social and most of all “Be As You Are”!
Side note: I chose to make a very distinct separation between personal and business in my bio. I was finding it difficult to merge the two without it sounding weird and this did the trick.
- Now that your rough draft is done it’s time to go back and “fluff” it. What I mean by this is… Take a run through the professional areas and check for keywords. Keywords are words that people may type into a search looking for what you have to offer. Use keywords related to your industry often but, make sure they flow smoothly and don’t look like they were thrown in there just to be there.
- Now, ask a couple of friends to proof read it to you and give you feedback. What you want to accomplish here is twofold. First, you want them to feel like they hear your voice when they are reading it and second, there is a good chance that they will offer suggestions on something you should add. That 3rd party perspective will help you put the icing on the cake to make it the best bio you could have.
- Spell check!
- Copy and paste to all of your social sites – use the same bio for all sites except Twitter.
Now, your bio doesn’t have to be too long but, it does need to be long enough to get the point across. When they are done reading it, they need to feel like they have a really good idea of who you are.
But wait…what about the short 160-character bio you’re allowed on Twitter?
Here’s a great formula: 3 personal things, 3 business things and possibly a quote. Sounds way too hard to get into 160 characters right? Check this out:
“Speaker, Author, Social Media Strategist – Mobile & Social Media Marketing Online Branding – Boats Sunsets Beaches Maui Flip Flops and Travel are my Passions!!”
Presto! Mission accomplished in 160 or less and it’s chucked full of keywords that I would want people to find me for…BRAVO!!
Always remember…your bio is a continual work in progress, you will be adding and tweaking as you grow and evolve.
Feel free to check out my bio!
Michelle Corteggiano Facebook
To discover more about marketing your business using free social media sites visit www.FirstClassMLMSocialMedia.com and see the system Michelle put together specifically for Network Marketers who want to use the internet to network with prospects from home!
[This has been in the news a lot recently…the amount of time folks use texting, looking at e-mail, social networking sites (FaceBook, Twitter, et. al.); the new lexicon that's springing up through texting, i.e. R U Thr; and the death of face-to-face conversation. This issue concerns me because I feel we're moving farther apart from each other as opposed to moving closer together (albeit that we are closer together technologically…we the lucky few!) I personally haven't written a letter in quite awhile…my bad!]
They can type 60 words per minute, text on cell phones in seconds and instant-message endlessly. What teens can’t do well, it turns out, is write in old-fashioned cursive.
Ask about 40 high school students to write three sentences, and without exception the assignments come back in printing — neat or scrawled, but not in script.
“I’ve forgotten how to write cursive,” said Alexis Miller, a sophomore at Los Altos High School.
“Cursive has a lot of unnecessary loops,” said her classmate David Kay. “It seems to be really inefficient.”
Still taught in third grade and practiced in fourth, cursive then vanishes from state standards, a victim of the push to prepare students for state tests and make them computer literate.
“I think we’re seeing the end of pen-and-paper writing, and that makes me sad,” said Amy Gibson, who teaches English at Fremont High in Sunnyvale. Like other teachers, she laments the loss of a medium that has expressed creativity and inspiration. Some say kids are losing the ability to read original sources of poetry and other writing.
No one knows whether the disappearance of cursive carries a long-term cost. In the first half of the 20th century, schools taught drills, pencil grip, proper writing posture and letter formation. To young children, it’s “big people’s writing.”
But penmanship fell out of favor and out of teacher training programs by the ’70s. And while the state mandates that third- and fourth-graders learn handwriting, by fifth grade the students switch to focus on composing and formatting Word documents. “No one forced us to write cursive,” Los Altos sophomore Kristina Volovich said.
Even elementary students turn in papers typed on PCs. And socializing online encourages kids to quickly learn to type.
“We’re on Facebook and AIM so you get faster,” said Jason Spielman, a Los Altos High freshman.
When a skill is not regularly practiced, educators say, students tend to revert to what they’re most comfortable with: printing.
And also to what’s most acceptable. Print is American youth’s written lingua franca. Los Altos freshman Alice Carli didn’t learn to print until the third grade, when she came to the United States from Italy — where children learn cursive when they start school. She gave up longhand.
Likewise, students at Hammer Montessori School in San Jose learn cursive from kindergarten because founder Maria Montessori believed cursive was easier for young children to learn, teacher Lynn Belmonte said. While it may be easier for children to learn, it takes time to master.
“You have to practice to get better,” said third-grade teacher Jennifer Polizzotto, whose students at Graystone Elementary in San Jose spend about an hour a week learning cursive. “It doesn’t look like it’s supposed to initially. That’s why it would be good to practice.”
Not writing script means some kids have a hard time reading it. Los Altos freshman Yuridia Ramirez said that her parents, who usually write in cursive, have to print notes to her — because she can’t read their writing.
The shift saddens some teachers, who think the loss is not just in aesthetics. Social studies teacher Gerson Castro of San Jose’s Gunderson High School believes longhand writing develops vocabulary. “I’m worried about academic language being lost because of technology,” he said.
Castro’s favorite historical figures are John and Abigail Adams, who corresponded lovingly with one another.
“I don’t know if Abigail would have felt the same way if it were in printing,” said Castro, who discusses the importance of language with his students, “but I do feel like tweets wouldn’t have been enough.”
But writing is, literally, such a pain, students said. “For a final I had to write for half an hour,” Los Altos High freshman David Survilo said. “My hand got tired after 20 minutes.”