New strapline needed

For some time I’ve been using the strapline “blogger | photographer | techie” to describe myself on various profiles. It appears on my Moo cards (and will continue to do so for a while now, since I have a couple of hundred in reserve at the moment). I used to like it as a succinct description of my interests. For a while now, though, I’ve been thinking that it isn’t the best.

At one of the conferences in the summer, Roo mentioned to someone that to describe oneself as a ‘blogger’ would become redundant over time, and I think that’s true. Not only that, but I’ve barely been writing enough lately for that to make sense. So I’m thinking that word will probably go.

I’m comfortable that I’ll continue to use the word ‘photographer’, although I’d never put that first in any description. It’s an interest of mine.

The word ‘techie’ is something of a catch-all… I’m interested in pretty much all technnology, and I generally prefer to get my hands dirty and tweak stuff and understand how things work than to stand in front of a whiteboard and draw interconnected clouds. People tend to smile when I give them my card and they read that.

Looking around, magpie-like, I notice that Kelly describes herself as “Blogger | Web 2.0 Junkie | artist manque” (going for the interests and an admission of addiction), while Roo goes with “Metaverse Evangelist. Geek.” (job title and state of mind).

I’m just undecided as to what might make a decent new summary… how to describe my core interests and personality in less than, say, 10 words…. any suggestions?

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24 thoughts on “New strapline needed”

  1. Ever thought about taking up Geocaching? You could use “Geocacher | Photographer | Techie”. I always find mentioning geocaching is a good conversation starter as not many people seem to have heard of it, or know what it is. Of course, you have to be into walking, but it does add the geeky element to your walk!

  2. I have thought about Geocaching – I know Heidi is into it in a big way (and it turns out you are too, Graham – there’s some social network linkage by proxy!), and it sounds like a nice combination of walking and being a geek. I’d need to get a decent handheld GPS unit though.

  3. I like some of those, James. Bridgebuilder and networker. Maybe “social bridgebuilder”? Cool term.

    You’re still fixated on my AIX tweets, I see 😉

  4. Hummm, that surely is an interesting question you put together over here, Andy. And it cannot get more Web 2.0 than that, I tell you. Getting folks to suggest how they see you and find some new funky terms to define you. Well, I will have a go at that and see what you think.

    To me, I have always seen you as a social computing evangelist, whether you like it or not, what you have done both inside and outside of the company to help spread the social software message is rather unique, so to me, you would always be a *social computing maven*, photographer (And a terrific one at that, too!) and overall techie. Yes, perhaps not that catchy as the social bridgebuilder James mentions above, but along the same lines 😉

  5. Thanks Luis, the maven thing definitely resonates… although I think the social computing / software thing is just as ephemeral as the term ‘blogger’. Hmm. How shall I combine the terms you guys are coming up with… this rocks so far.

  6. tricky one eh?

    social computing funkster
    flickr’d techie

    social media and virtual worlds somethingerather


    I find it tricky, because I don’t like job titles. I don’t like using the word “evangelist” either but it has stuck a little and I can;t find a better word. Except shepherd maybe. But that just sounds odd.

    you could try
    * social media * virtual worlds * photography * tech stuff *

    don’t disregard your business savvy tho 😉 not just a techie methinks

  7. Jasmin, you’re right, job titles are hard. That’s why I’m not aiming for a title, just something that hopefully lets people know who I am in more general terms.

    I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘evangelist’ either, for a number of reasons. I’d hope people can find that I’m enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a topic without having that in my title. I hasten to add that I mean no disrespect at all to all those I know who do have that in their title, and generally I’m totally envious of them 🙂

    So I’m currently liking something along the lines of
    social bridgebuilder | photographer | social media maven | techie

    … which I wouldn’t have come to without the ideas you folks are generating. I’m still likely to tweak that, but this is great. Thanks.

  8. I’d tend to agree that the word evangelist is at risk of being over-used. However, it is something that I feel people can comfortably call themselves. I don’t see any ego in it’s use, it simply states that they really like to enthuse people about a particular subject.

    However, I’d hesitate to see you use the word Maven in a description of yourself. To me it is a title to be bestowed on you, not one to give youself. In the currently popular sense of the word (cf. The Tipping Point) it refers to somebody who is seen to be a particularly strong influencer, and whose actions propagate to the actions of others. It seems a bit egotistical to label yourself as such, as it seems to be to be more a label of peer recognition. Note, not specifically aiming this at you Andy, you are not at all egotistical.

  9. one more thing – about “blogger”
    If that is what people remember you by, leave it in.
    Remember the purpose of those cards .

    “oh now where is the card for that guy I met who was into blogging….?” could mean a more descriptive term loses them. simple works best.

  10. My email tag-line and business card both read:

    problem solver / technical evangelist

    Technical evangelist is my current job description, and problem solver is the (un)official title I gave myself just a couple months after working at IBM.

  11. its a very hard process to ‘tag’ yourself and be future proof 😉 certainly within IBM I get the impression you can pretty much call yourself anything within reason..

    I posted a very brief blog entry about titles on your business cards back in 2004.

    It’s also difficult when you evolve as to what to put on your calling cards or business cards.

    How would Techie, Magician, Photographer, Geek really connect with the person I’m giving it to..

    Andy you also I guess need to look at whom and why you are presenting your card to

  12. I agree with Adrian’s thoughts shared above RE: maven. It is something that is passed on to you on how others perceive you and as such perhaps not to be used, indeed.

    w.r.t. social computing I think you are mistaken on that one. Social Computing has been there for way before Web 2.0 came on board. Even IBM had its own Social Computing section within Research (Still there, by the way) and has been going on for as long as I have been there and still strong. Social Computing is my preferred term because I know it will stick around for a while, like it has so far. !0 years and still rock solid!
    RE: Maven again, just thought, why not keep it simple and go for what you have been all along: An expert. That would work with me 😉

  13. Yes, on reflection I agree with the words on maven. It doesn’t work here, so I’ll rethink that. “social media expert” would probably be better.

    Luis, I think you made my point about the term social computing being a temporary term – in my opinion the social trends have been around for a while, and the term will pass. There’s definitely something there, but I’m not sure that it’s worth labelling.

  14. “Andy Piper 2.0: Social media protagonist”?

    Going back to the Geocaching comment- I’ve been thinking it might be fun to have a go at it sans-GPS recently, after I beat several satnav enabled colleagues to a pub in the middle of nowhere using the oldfashioned art of map based navigation. Maybe a compass and map vs. GPS timetrial event…

  15. hmm seems i might have to write my comment again.. the hursley network might have eat it when i was dashing out of the door the other day…

    it was an enlightened work of mainly fiction on the pros and cons of the giver versus the givee (or those that receive) and how you might want to impart a lasting impression on them and what you wanted to leave them with (or at least thats my version.. it’s gone and it might have been the best comment so far..)

    still since the hursley-verse ate it and its not committed to the same darkness that encircles the mysterious passages under hursley house.. we’ll move onto another view…

    Technical Alchemist.. which came to me in the car this morning on the way to Leicester.. although I am thinking on reserving the rights on that one, given it just sounds so cool 🙂 I had played with the idea of Entertainment Alchemist for my own hobbies and interests.. but it just doesnt have that pizazz of a ring to it like of other titles…

    I vote ‘Technical Alchemist’ 🙂

  16. Thanks Andrew – I like Technical Alchemist. Sorry about your last comment – just picked it out of the spam bin. It’s a little crowded in there. Not sure what you said that upset the filter 😉

  17. Talking to Andy over coffee this morning, I was racking my brains for an idea I thought of that I’ve just remembered upon return to my desk…

    Until very recently I’ve found it very hard to keep up with all the blogs, web sites, and other sources I would like to read. Then I decided it was time to play with Yahoo Pipes, and now I can be really lazy and subscribe to a single feed of all the stuff I find interesting. It’s not what I’m doing with Pipes I wanted to talk about here, but more the name/idea of the service.

    It strikes me that Pipes is all about bringing information together, maybe mangling it a bit, making it clearer, basically interacting with a number of sources in parallel. This sounds to me very much the sort of thing Andy wants to convey with his new strapline. I’m not clever enough to think of it, but surely there’s some play on Pipes/Piper (if you want to be that corny) or some other clever similarity you can draw upon?

  18. Andy, I agree with you that the term social computing may have been with us for a little while in the IT world, but the social connotations have been there forever! If you come to think about HCI (Human Computer Interaction) the social aspects have been there for even longer than Web 2.0 when it first came out.

    So it may be temporary, but if several decades of using the term “social” are temporary, so let it be. I am happy with that. It is not what has been in the past, but what will be from here onwards and I suspect that we are only now just surfacing its huge potential, so we woould still be talking about “social” for a while. And after that, perhaps, it would be the time to worry for another term 😉 heh

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