For several months now, I have been struggling with my own social media identity crisis. It is a crisis that many others will be able to relate to and has mainly to do with the multiple identities I have on sites across the Internet. Though I sign up for and try about 5 new sites every week, there are just a handful that I use often. These comprise a portion of my online identity, with the rest coming from the content I consume or create, my networking efforts and appearances, and my personal background. All of this goes into what I would consider my Social Media Bio. Yet I have tried many sites, from LinkedIn to Ziki in order to aggregate all of my personal information into what I would consider a complete professional portrait. My inability to find a single tool or template that offered everything I would want to include led me to create my own page which is now linked below my photo in the sidebar of my blog, and accessible at http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/socialmediabio. This page is a replacement for my old "About" page - which I can happily lay to rest now.
The page breaks out my identity into ten key categories:
- My Bio - Background on my work experience, including bios of different lengths that can be used for cutting and pasting into blog posts, event descriptions or anywhere else where others would want to include some bio information for me.
- My Profiles - Sites where I have created personal or professional profiles that describe my background and experience.
- My Appearances - A list of conferences, seminars and events that I have spoken at over the last two years (I left off anything older than that).
- My Interviews - Links to interviews I have done for audio or video podcasts, as well as links to guest blog posts I have done on other blogs.
- My Publications - This is a list of white papers, presentations, published articles or any other thought leadership that has been published (outside of blog posts).
- My Favourites - Sites where I have published a list of favourite websites, blogs or anything else.
- My Bookmarks - Similar to the favourites section, but at the moment dedicated to republishing my common tags I use in my del.icio.us account, my primary tool for bookmarking.
- My Rankings & Honors - Widgets that show ranking numbers and stats for my blog, as well as a list of honors or awards over the past year.
- My Syndication - A list of sites that syndicate content from my blog and republish on thier own networks with permission. Unauthorized syndications of content are obviously not included here.
- My Tags - Tags that I recommend using to define the content on my blog and index the content on directory or search sites.
There are other categories I considered including, such as My Networks (a list of all the social networking sites I belong to) or My Subscriptions (which is a list of all the blogs or sites that I have subscribed to and read) - but for now I think this page captures a good summary of background about me. Have a look and let me know if there is anything else that you would include in your own Social Media Bio ...
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