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Friday, November 11, 2011

Why you may want to re-think your profile on Twitter

How much can you say in a few hundred characters? Perhaps that is the reason why, as Businessworld columnist Mala Bhargava discovered recently, people are not only uncomfortable with how to tweet, but also with the very creation of their profiles.

She writes in the latest issue of the magazine:

Recently, I was teaching a class of students doing a course on digital communication, and during our exploration of Twitter, I found that people were not only uncomfortable with how to tweet, but also with the very creation of their profiles. As always, when you teach, you learn, and interacting with the students made me realise a few things about Twitter profiles that I don’t see in the usual fare of ‘Ten Tips’ articles plaguing the Web. I promptly re-did my own bio.

So the issue is not really how much you can say in 140 characters, but what you should say in 140 characters.

Bhargava explains why:

Letting your personality show through in those few words is important because everyone wants to feel they are interacting with a real person. But too often, the description overdoes the attitude or shows the difficulty with being specific about the user’s strengths.

The number of profiles I’m seeing referring to “blokes about town”, “lover of life”, “explorer of dreams”, “clueless about everything”, “spellbound by the universe at large”, etc., is staggering. As long as these tasty morsels of self-revelation are balanced with specific information, they are really fun. In the absence of solidity though, they do nothing to get the user very much.

Read Mala Bhargava's column in its entirety here and figure out what you want to say in your Twitter bio.