Putting together a good Twitter bio is like writing an informational haiku. It has to be informative and informed by your personality, at once emotive and descriptive without being dense. Attracting followers is like speed dating, 140 characters at a time.
To showcase our favorite examples of this delicate art, we affixed our monocle and combed through Twitter lists from several publications and took submissions from colleagues. Here are our picks:
- Max Seddon, BuzzFeed foreign correspondent:
In soviet russia, news reports you
This Twitter bio elegantly combines Seddon’s job reporting foreign news with an homage to comedian Yakov Smirnoff and alludes to the dangers that involve reporting on Russia. Russian correspondents may find themselves and their news organizations the subject of stories, as BuzzFeed was recently.
Andy Borowitz, humorist for The New Yorker
There is a fine line between social networking and wasting your fucking life.
This descriptor manages to subvert the conventions of the Twitter bio in much the same way that Borowitz shows readers the obverse face of journalism and current events through humor. It’s also a sobering reminder that journalists spend way too much time thinking about Twitter and writing social media stories like the one you’re reading now.
Kat Chow, digital journalist for NPR CodeSwitch
race/culture for @NPRCodeSwitch. curated @todayin1963. that joke you just made about my name was v. funny. email@example.com.
Chow gets a lot done in 121 characters. She describes herself professionally, names one of her biggest accomplishments and provides her contact information. But she also takes an opportunity to clown on insensitive jerks who would casually mock names because they sound different.
- Ross Schneiderman, senior editor at Newsweek
Tracksuit enthusiast, Jiu-Jitsu novice and hat collector. Loves Philip Roth and Ghostface Killah. Senior Editor at Newsweek. Formerly at WSJ, ESPN and NYT.
Editors often warn their reporters about “suitcase ledes,” story toppers that try to cram too much information into one sentence, like an overstuffed suitcase. On Twitter, where there’s no elbow room for more writing (outside of a tweetstorm) those rules go out the window. Schneiderman gets a nod because he combines an abrupt professional bio with a litany of interesting personality traits that span the realms of fashion, literature and music.
- Zach Schonfeld, reporter at Newsweek
I am sitting in a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, different from the one you are in now. Reporter @Newsweek, writer@PopMatters. Tips: zschonfeld@gmail.
There’s just something to be said for a Twitter bio that makes you laugh right away. Schonfeld cuts through the impersonality of social media by directly addressing the reader and putting us beside him in whatever greasy spoon he’s currently reporting from.
- Raju Narisetti, senior vice president for strategy at NewsCorp
Everything seems impossible until it is done. Senior Vice President, Strategy, @NewsCorp. Formerly @rajunarisetti
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Narisetti, who eschews personal references and humor in favor of a stoic aphorism that promises to move mountains. Quick and simple, with no room for bloviating. Nice.
- Melissa Lyttle, freelance photographer
non-fiction photographer | freelancer for many | rare and endangered species often referred to as a native Floridian
Lyttle’s wry bio tells you everything you need to know at a glance and scans a little bit like poetry. From the beginning, where she asserts her claim as a truth-teller, to the end, where she makes a wry joke at her own expense. The bio also scans a little bit like poetry, with two lowercase lines of similar length and one longer line set off by vertical bars.
from Poynter. http://ift.tt/1Ap7Un7