Most of us have a social networking account from a site such as Twitter or Facebook. For individuals, this gives us a great way of networking with interesting people interesting people. For businesses, it allows customers to really engage in a more personal level.
However, sometimes we want more from our face online. We might want to write more, and be sign in a tailored light. That’s why so many people have websites and the like, which provide an online face to yourself that’s been customised to how you want it to look and feel like. If you don’t have the time, effort or money to launch a fully-fledged website about yourself (or maybe you’re just not that interesting), these services allow you to create a quick ‘n’ easy profile page.
about.me is a highly popular profile-making service, that lets you create a profile with your photo, favourite sites and a short biography of yourself. about.me markets itself like a business card – but on the web – and even offers you a pack of free business cards based on your profile’s content. If you watch about.me’s intro video, you’ll see the overall aim of the service is to create a single place to send all your contacts too, without the social constraints of being friends on Facebook or work-concentrated LinkedIn.
If you have a nice enough photo (of a high-enough resolution), the result of using about.me is amazing. about.me also packs a “personal analytics dashboard” which presumably offers some insight into how many people are visiting and bouncing from your page.
I’ve been using Gravatar for a long time, as a service for associating a public avatar with an email address. However, it was not until my editor and I discussed this article that I found out Gravatar’s ability to create a quick-and-easy profile page aimed at sending visitors on to for other social properties. You can write a short bio, add links to a plethora of social networks, add some personal links and even some photos. You even get a nice short URL to send visitors to. After just getting some business cards printed, I regret not setting one of these pages up beforehand, as it would be a massive space-saver than cramming twenty links onto a small card.
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Carbonmade is yet another profile-making site, but this one differs slightly from the others mentioned on this list. Where others have concentrated on linking to and aggregating your social networks, Carbonmade focuses on “projects” making it ideal for creative types. As with the majority of these solutions, no HTML knowledge is needed nor is any hassle required. The backend is super simple to use and, all-in-all, it’s a great free service!
Personally, i’m not sure whether Carbonmade has any use in my personal circumstances. I prefer an aggregation tool since it adds the benefit of having this portal of sites, but without the requirement to monitor and update yet another website. Nonetheless, if you really do want to create a portfolio site, Carbonmade is one of the best.
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Out of all these services, I first experimented with chi.mp after an old press contact started tweeting out the link to his. chi.mp aggregates your social networks into a single page, pulling in your feed from sites like Facebook and even Flickr. All this is contained in a custom *.mp domain, and all without a single charge.
I really like the idea of chi.mp. It doesn’t try to be yet another site to update, but rather a simple place you can send contacts to view all your social network content, without making them visit each one individually.
I know, I know. We’ve been trying to offer alternatives to using social networks, but I really do think Google offers a nice profile page service. Google+ seems to be the perfect mix between the features of Facebook and the public nature of Twitter, making it somewhat ideal to send contacts to. You can share photos and videos through Google+ too, as well as allowing contacts to add you to their circles (therefore, actually allowing them to subscribe to you).
Google offers a more information fields for you to write in, too. The only (pretty big) letdown about this service is the long, random URLs so you might want to look into a URL shortening service, or even investing in a custom domain to redirect from if you’re going to be using this profile a lot.
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Flavors.me is a nicely polished alternative to about.me, centered on the same kind of functionality. You upload a large, hi-res photo as a background and then input some information about yourself. I really do appreciate what Flavors.me have done here, especially with the aggregation of networks such as Instagram and Flickr. Plus, you can register a custom domain with Flavors.me making it one perfect service!
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Have you got a favourite profile service? Do you prefer to make your own? Stick to a social network? Let us know in the comments!