Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Here’s a list of overused words in Twitter bios that fail by telling rather than showing.
Expert or Maven (33,209)
It’s up to your peers, not you, to declare you an expert. Too often, seeing “expert” in a bio sends us running in the opposite direction. Kinda like being a self-described “winner.”
Nothing shouts “leader of a cult with one member” more than a self-titled “guru.” Unless you’re a yogi or a certified leader of Eastern religion, leave the Guru-ing to, you know, Gurus.
Social Media (44,518)
If you’re a “social media” strategist, chances are that your intended audience is full of other “social media” types. And they don’t call it social media, they just call it “work.”
Enthusiast sounds sweeter and less pompous than guru or expert. It’s just that, well, lots of other people are enthusiastic about being an enthusiast. How about “fan?” Or, if you’re just trying to say it with more syllables, try “aficionado.”
Back in the day, “nerd” was an inflammatory word that conjured up images of taped-together glasses and greasy hair. Today, “nerd” can be synonymous with “enthusiast,” both in meaning and frequency of use on the internet.
The debate has raged over the differences between nerds and geeks since Sputnik. This venn diagram indicates a geek is a nerd with social skills. There are a lot of networked nerds out there.
Human or Person (128,109)
It may feel sensitive to finish off your bio with “human” or “person.” But your writing should prove you’re not a robot. If your bio says “father, skateboarder, guitarist, social media guru, cyborg,” THEN we’re excited.
And if you’re using three — Online Mavens of Geekdom — hire a human.
Bonus: There are 8901 ninjas on twitter. Who’s minding the dojo?
For more fun with buzzword (ab)use, check out LinkedIn’s most overused profile buzzwords.