One of the things that’s always difficult about bringing up a new site, particularly a personal branding/image site, is writing an about page that isn’t laden with bizspeak buzzwords. It’s perilously easy to end up with something that sounds like it came out of the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator. Unfortunately the mission statement generator is no longer online, but a quick google search will find many examples such as http://www.bioteams.com/2008/09/27/mission_statement_generator.html.
I’ve been mulling over how I could write something that wasn’t completely annoying for the past few days. While I was avoiding the problem, I read Wednesday’s post on The Fluent Self by the amazing and brilliant Havi Brooks. She mentioned that Kelly Parkinson from Copylicious recently posted a killer awesome guide to writing an online bio. That was just what I needed. I actually followed Kelly’s process without skipping steps and came up with something far better than I would have on my own.
The first draft ended up looking something like this. After a bit of editing, I reduced it down to this, but thought it was kind of long, so I split it into an About page with a condensed version and a Biography page. I was feeling pretty good about it, so I wrote a thank-you comment on Copylicious with a link to what I had done. Kelly was kind enough to actually read what I had written and propose significant improvements – note her reply comment just below mine.
I implemented pretty much what Kelly suggested and made a few minor improvements to end up with is now a very solid about page. Thanks Kelly, if you ever need help wrestling with database stuff, just let me know! You may find it amusing that I overwrote the older version of the about page, so I had to go extract it out of last night’s WordPress database backup. Sometimes those geek skills come in handy.