What are profiles for?


One of the basic mistakes people make on the social web is hoping others will sign up for and consume their CONTENT without context.
"What is said, hangs upon the lens others have about who said it."
Your profile(s) on the web matter. It's one of the key ways with which you present information about you to others. That perception is the context around which future conversations happen.

Who's winning on profiles?


I'm only going to look at the profiles on GooglePlus (left) and Twitter (right) in this article because they are the ones you can use to communicate with the widest audience. Widest, not biggest. Facebook may have X billion users but organic reach for Facebook pages is close to zero and posts which show as "Public" on Facebook are not available from your profile. Where as public tweets and public posts on @GooglePlus are publicly visible.

GooglePlus


Google+ used to be place I would point to as "me" from across the we, or more specifically the old "About" tab.

Since the demise of Google+ Classic there is no about URL which can be linked to, demoting Google+ from the top spot. There is a now quite a limited amount of information displayed.

Personally I do not want the "About" tab to return, instead I hope Google allows users to turn AboutMe.Google.com into a place where they can link to as a public facing "AboutME" on the web. Instead of linking to about.me/qwallis I could then link to aboutme.google.com/+RobertWallis

Twitter


Twitter's profile options might seem limited as there is a tight character limit, but it can be quite information dense.

For example the things which Google+ does not currently show which Twitter does are:
  • A Following indicator - i.e: is this profile I'm looking following me? 
  • Location - An indication about where the profile is based. 
  • Profile associations - Include a username in your Twitter bio and it will link to that profile. 
  • Direct Message - An easy way to communicate privately with the profile (if they allow it). 

Conclusion

Use each profile offers to inform your audience about who you are, why they should be interested in what you are communicating about. 

Link your profiles to each other, so that people can connect with you where they want. 

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