*I was angry, very angry* #TheProfileProject #4

*I was angry, very angry* #TheProfileProject #4

Sue Sibbald tells the story behind her Twitter profile: “I was angry, very angry because a psychiatrist had told me I had a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder but the therapy I thought would help me was not available to me. My local mental health NHS trust did not provide it. “I was on Facebook at the time and discovered many other people could not access therapy of any sort all over the country so I decided to get active and set up a Facebook page to try to campaign for better services. I thought better to channel my anger in a productive way. “I thought up the name one Sunday afternoon, it was a bit of a eureka moment – Borderline Personality Disorder Fighting For Services or ( For F***s sake) It still makes me giggle because it’s a bit naughty, provocative, challenging. “I soon went on to Twitter and began to tweet about the lack of services and in doing so made friends. I found my peers and that mattered. “I decided to use the fist as my avi as it signified the fight, against lots of odds and it just felt right. I think it showed my anger also that was bubbling up inside. I often say I am driven by my anger or how unfair life can, be but I change it into something positive. “A funny story – the first fist I used I nicked from somewhere but the guy found out so my now wife Julie made this one for me. “I subsequently set up a tweetchat  called #BPDChat and this is still going...
*A flippant and careless attitude* #TheProfileProject #3

*A flippant and careless attitude* #TheProfileProject #3

Boff Whalley tells the story behind his Facebook profile picture: “When I was at grammar school in Burnley I was obsessed by music. For me it was an era when Bowie and Bolan gave way to a world of weird and wonderful rock music, from Zappa and the Bonzos and then headlong into the shuddering shock of punk, with all its fantastic possibilities. “I loved music. I listened to it, lived and breathed it, but couldn’t play an instrument. “My music teacher at school was a camp old Oxbridge luvvie who smoked cigarettes out of the window during class and spent whole lessons forcing us to listen to his gramophone recordings of classical pieces. At the end of my year as a 15 year-old he marked my report sheet: second to bottom of the class, 14th out of 15,  and added the comment: ‘A flippant and careless attitude. Low assesment in term.’ “I grew to love that sentence. Twenty-five years after it was written I published an autobiography and decided that I wanted that sentence on the front cover. It summed up what I felt about how I was taught music. Casey, as the photographer who took the picture for the front cover of the book, wrote the sentence on my bare chest in red lipstick. She has beautiful writing! “Then just this last year I took a photo of my 5 year-old son Johnny in our camper van. Me and him were on a road trip to Scarborough and we were playing games and being silly. He was flexing his muscles and being a superhero. When I saw...
#TheProfileProject #2 @JamieJBartlett

#TheProfileProject #2 @JamieJBartlett

@JamieJBartlett “My profile picture is of me, standing in Waterstones, staring point blank close up at a copy of my book The Dark Net, which was for sale in there. It’s a ridiculous photo. I chose this because I am of course trying to sell copies of my book, and so this is an easy way of reminding people that it’s out there. “More generally the choice of a photo is quite a difficult one. I don’t like those which take themselves too seriously – for example pictures with celebrities or on the television – as I think it looks too much like brazen personal branding. Although we’re probably all at it anyway – I definitely use Twitter to self promote – I guess I prefer to do that in a more subtle way. I also think part of the benefit of Twitter is that it allows you to share things about yourself so others can see what you’re like, and therefore I usually prefer a mildly humorous or slightly silly picture than something too serious. But, of course, it also needs to be recognisably me. “I’ve not really ever thought about how often I change it, it’s only in answering this that I realise I have changed it at least half a dozen times. That is nothing more than getting a bit bored at seeing the same photo over and over again! One final point: as interesting at the photo is the biography people describe themselves with.” You can find out more about #TheProfileProject here and connect on Twitter...
#TheProfileProject #1 @natwm10

#TheProfileProject #1 @natwm10

@natwm10 “Believe it or not, I struggle with social media, despite having a personal Twitter account and looking after three other work based accounts. I struggle because I always saw social media as a shouting post for the loudest and the brashest, I didn’t want to post mundane pictures or comments that didn’t mean anything. I then found out that it’s so much more than that. Twitter certainly is where I now go to find out about the latest news or to find information on professional matters or on anything that interests me really. I have had a Twitter account for around five years and I now have my third avatar. My first was a street sign that had the names of three villages on near where I live, with deep blue sky in the background. I have no idea why I put this on there but, I like where I live and perhaps, being quite sentimental, it reminded me of home. “I then got quite into Twitter, as well as meeting new people that shared the same interests as me (meeting being sharing the odd 140 word tweet).  I remember at the time reading a lot about if there isn’t a real person in the avatar then other people can often think that they are maybe a tweet bot. Which is slightly odd really considering that my tweets were clearly from a Sheffielder! (thee, thy and reyt) So I changed my avatar to a slightly dodgy looking picture of me. There you are Twitter, instead of tweeting with a street sign, you are now tweeting with an uncomfortable looking man...
Introducing #TheProfileProject

Introducing #TheProfileProject

The Profile Project is about scratching beneath the surface of the avatars we choose to use on our social networking profiles. I’m a quite a visual person and I’m always curious about profile pictures and try to imagine what impression people intend to convey about themselves in their choice of avatar. I know from many conversations that there’s often a back story to an avatar choice which isn’t always apparent or obvious. This is a personal project in which, through interviews, I will curate the meanings that profile pictures have, what we are trying to convey, and how we may share different aspects of our personalities on different social networks. I’m particularly interested in photos/pictures as they give a more instant and visceral impression than words can ever do. So here’s my attempt to be candid about a few of mine… I change my Twitter profile picture quite a bit. The current one was taken by my 16 year old daughter who was particularly grumpy when I badgered her to attempt a half-decent decent snap of me. This photo is the final output of tons more that were rapidly deleted in quick succession. My unphotogenic features are a running family joke and my two girls once spent an entire train journey trying to get a flattering photo of me (they failed…) This photo has the obligatory Instagram filter to soften the edges (wrinkles and blemishes) whilst not being so refined that you wouldn’t know who I was if you bumped in to me at an event – I love meeting people in person who I’ve met on Twitter so a contemporary photo...