Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Outline on Profiles

I wish I could just walk up to someone in RL, tap my finger against his or, especially, her chest and then call up their profile. It solves loads of problems I have in the real world about connecting with others. Have I met them before? Do I really want to meet them? Are they a member of “69 Swinger’s Club”? It would also give me the material to start up a conversation. “Hi, I just read your profile. Cool! I think it’s great that senior citizens are so active. Who’s your favourite? Duke Ellington? Armstrong? Goodman?”

For that I just love profiles in SL and can spend hours, well maybe 15 minutes, browsing through them. While doing that I have discovered maybe 5 types of profile blurbs in the “About Me” section that I’d like to describe here.

1) Nothing in there:
I quickly check if the Avi is new and either stamp him or her as a noob and move on. On the other hand, if it’s a well dressed noob I tend to think I’ve probably discovered an Alt-Avi. In the end it doesn’t matter, if there is nothing in it I have nothing to comment on, except maybe “I really like the deep blackness of your profile, very becoming. WannadanceMoonbeam?”

2) Third Person Singular:
I’ve always found this mildly disconcerting, as if the user merely tags along after their avatar, maybe wondering why he or she (or it) suddenly does things. “Jeanna is a very romantic, loving person who is here to meet people of all sorts.” Okay. But that might mean “the person behind Jeanna is a mad psychopathic stalker and male”. The only thing worse then Third Person Singular would be to write “We are an elderly British woman seeking interesting people with whom one could exchange ideas”, I’ve never seen that though and I doubt the Queen logs on to SL much anyway.

3) The Heartbroken:
“Behind every Avi there’s a real person with feelings”. This or something like it blares out “I was conned/misused/double timed/let down”. It sounds soppy and even a little bit scary. It says “I’m looking for a deep romantic relationship” and I generally feel that’s something that should be said after a couple of meetings - at very least after a couple of drinks, not as an introduction. Besides that, it’s just not true. Behind every avatar there is not necessarily a real life person – there are enough Bots running around that hardly fulfill my interpretation of human. Okay, there are enough avatars with people behind them who don’t do that either...

4) The Quoters:
Put in a couple of lines from a song, a poem or even quote yourself. I don’t really have a problem with this if it’s done well. But I’ve read way too many mystic, romantic lines in other people’s profiles to whole heartedly endorse it. Like this:
“Be unto all my Love
Be safe, be free
By the seed of our passion
May we come undone
As we rest in the presence
Of each others arms”
(Note.. the poem does not actually end with “Yikes”, but maybe it should).

5) First Person Singular:

Ok, I’m biased because this is what I do. I fess up to who I am. I say just enough to get someone curious and scare off those I’d rather not get to know. I focus (as you probably can see) on “I”. Some might call it egocentric, egomaniac maybe. Eaton feels it’s the right thing to do, because behind every Avi there is a real life person and, should we ever meet, please, please remember:
“With all that I am
And all I can be
I want to write more
but must go for a wee”


Tia said...

There is a 6th type.
The more "I know what I want and I'm going to get it type."
Specify who YOU want to talk to - their age, sex, [or not as the case may be], interests, level of humour etc etc.
You don't get to talk to many but those who do brave it are exactly the people you like !!!!!!!
Try it and see.
You too can speak to nobody all evening!!

Emeraldmist Nightfire said...

hmm...I think I'm a 5.5