How do you describe yourself in a short paragraph (or two)? It’s a common problem, especially for those who write articles or give presentations on a regular basis.

I was asked to provide a bio for an article I’ve just written for one of our internal newsletters, and I ended up plundering and cannibalising some of the text from my blog’s About page.

Andy Piper is a Consulting IT Specialist with IBM UK. He is part of the Software Group Development Laboratories, and has a role as a customer champion working on defining product futures, closing sales, producing collateral and improving software consumability, particularly around the WebSphere brand. Andy also spends a lot of time with the folks from the IBM Emerging Technologies team who run the Eightbar blog, debating anything that is new and cool. He is a regular speaker on various topics ranging from WebSphere to Virtual Worlds to social software.

The other description I have is the much shorter and pithier tagline:

social bridgebuilder | photographer | techie

… which I think elicits a greater sense of *who* I am and *what* I’m interested in, as well as provoking discussion ("what’s a social bridgebuilder?")… but it might be a bit too brief and not descriptive enough.

Would anyone care to help me refine the bio paragraphs?

7 thoughts on “Bio”

  1. The quality of corporate bios is so variable and they’re seldom little more than skim read anyhow … and hence I think your longer example is spot on. It explains what you do and avoids the trap of being historically boastful.

    The shorter one is more interesting tho’ because as you say it invokes more questions … yet still says what you do! This is why I’ve got my simple short one I use for more socially focused venues …

    “Vee owning Urban Exploring music addicted geek”

    It says what I do because I am a geek ;-).

  2. I actually saw a while ago someone’s Twitter profile as: “I’m awesome”, which tells enough. No more questions to ask I’d say 🙂

  3. I like the idea of a “twitter bio”. It’s enough to get someone interested in you. From there, a five sentence bio works well to give some detail.

  4. I guess it depends on what the bio is for.

    An article needs little information in my opinion. Someone has already read the article and they probably just want to know who you are and who you work for.

    A conference presentation is quite a different beast. In my opinion, you want a bio that tells someone that you have the stuff to make this presentation worth their while attending.

    I have multiples… my Twitter bio, my presentation bio, and my writing bio are all worlds apart.

    Just my opinions of course.

  5. This inspired me as I finally entered my profile in I decided to take me LinkedIn profile and clean it up a bit, and add it an opening salvo in your one line style:

    Virtual Worlds Pioneer | Innovator | Community Builder

    I then did a two paragraph (perhaps I should condense this more – less is usually more right) summary of my current me, plus previous. One think LinkedIn encourages is your “goals” which I also need to add I think.

    At the end, I also thought I’d add in my myers briggs profile and Belbin Team Roles, for those that know what they mean:

    – Myers-Briggs Profile: ENTP – “The Innovator”
    – Belbin Team Roles: Shaper, Plant, Resource Investigator

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