My LinkedIn profile summary

In an ocean of faces and similar-sounding profiles, I recently updated my LinkedIn profile summary to subvert expectations and to see what would happen.

Original article:

I was motivated to change my LinkedIn profile summary from reading an article online that looked at the most common words that LinkedIn profiles shared. Things like “motivated”, “passionate”, “creative”, “you-name-it buzzword goes here”, etc.

Being a poetic contrarian at heart I thought I’d do something different and attempt something more inline with my personal and work values. I wrote a mini-short story that served to illustrate an experience, rather than to plainly delineate my abilities and work via literal (possibly even cliché) words and sentences. I wanted to express a more intuitive painterly approach, as I feel that is representative of how I work and what I appreciate in a lot of others’ interesting work.

Without further ado:

There was a light murmur on the soul; a kind of visual cleansing occurred at the very same moment. It wasn’t anything unbeknownst — it was subtly hewn, kind of mottled, but vague, and very very reminiscent of another good familiar feeling. The eyes lit up like magic was performed in front of them, sparks dancing off the pupils as the irises expanded like wood in a fire.
All sorts of feelings bubbled; some contrived, others contractual. Most popped and allowed their molecular contents to permeate through the mental mix of the mind’s mechanics. At last their chemical contents combined to create copious quantities of calculatory permutations of a quaint and quizzical disposition. With all this alliteration going on it was hard to focus on the real message: the grist.
What’s the grist?
“Computer: define grist”
“Grist (ɡrɪst/). Noun. 1. Corn that is ground to make flour. Malt crushed to make mash for brewing.”
Not quite what I had in mind, but interesting enough. What’s number 2?
“2. useful material, especially to support an argument: ‘the research provided the most sensational grist for opponents of tobacco’
Systems and interfaces are ubiquitous, everywhere, purposeful: they involve good looks, great delights, and genius planning and consideration, regardless of technology. The medium is the message is the medium, et cetera, ad infinitum.
I enjoy thinking about, writing for, designing and building such systems and interfaces.

It sounds far-reaching, but aside from doing something different my initial intention was to playfully appeal to a reader’s humanity; to provide a uniquely engaging and valuable experience. I feel this experimenting with boundaries and subverting established norms to discover and present something new and/or different (and hopefully more effective) is the crux of what I do when planning and designing human-computer interfaces and systems. There’s an aspect of exploring some kind of unconscious audience reaction, which I hope my written profile summary gives some concrete and abstract allusion to. Of course, with such stepping outside the bounds there’s a risk: I may sound pretentious and it may even elicit negative reactions. There’s always a vulnerability one needs to accept when presenting something outside or different to perceived norms.

Another thing I wanted to do was distinctly differentiate myself and to also provide entertaining points at which to elicit emotional reactions from the reader. If a person could remember my profile because of how different it was or how much they enjoyed it (or hated it!), then that’d provide extra emotional mnemonic retention, in an ocean filled with other designers all vying for some form of attention, to stand out in some memorable way.

As to whether it’s effective or not, I haven’t had it up long enough nor received any feedback to determine that yet!