The Need for the Globally Recognizable Bio

Mae Juliana Darowski

Earlier this month, our family welcomed our third child into the world—Mae Juliana Darowski. We’ve been adjusting to life with a now-larger-than-normal family, but you know me. This meant I also had some online profiles to update.

Because of my anal retentiveness, I like to fill in my “About Me” section of all of my online profiles with the same text. It’s all part of the “brand”. For the last 21 months, that text had been:

A daddy of two and a User Experience Designer for BatchBlue Software.

Yep, that’s pretty much me in a nutshell, sans the baseball geekdom.

My incredibly predictable updated short bio now reads:

A daddy of three and a User Experience Designer for BatchBlue Software.

One minor difference. The problem is, I needed to make this change EVERYWHERE. Specifically:

There’s gotta be a better way, right? I ran into this same problem when I updated my profile photo. In a couple places, I was able to simply use my updated Gravatar. That’s the holy grail right there. If you don’t know what Gravatar is, it is a service that provides “globally recognizable avatars”. Basically, you update your image. Other services, instead of asking you to upload a photo, just use your email address to fetch your image. They pull whatever size image they need. If you update your Gravatar, those sites update your image. Everyone is happy.

Many blogs use Gravatar, but the social networking sites don’t. So, that’s the first problem—lack of widespread Gravatar use.

That led me to a desire for globally recognizable bios. Ideally, this could just be part of Gravatar. You provide two bios—a short one-liner and a more expanded bio. Kind of like what I have on my About page. That way, any time I update my globally recognizable bio, my online profiles get updated.

Who’s with me?


  1. On March 29th, 2009 at 1:30 pm Josh Catone said:

    We’re definitely with you, Adam!

    We’ve actually already built the concept of a globally recognizable profile into DandyID. One of the things developers can accomplish with DandyID’s API is that they can pull profile data, so it can updated once and synced everywhere. In fact, developers can also push data, so not only can a profile be updated a single time and automatically synced across multiple social sites, users can also theoretically choose where they want to perform the task of updating.

    I think the problem you’ve described in this post is one that more and more people are running up against as the web becomes more social. Our online identities are becoming dispersed and things would be a lot easier to manage if they communicated with one another. DandyID’s API definitely provides the tools to make that happen.

    By the way, late congrats on the new kid! :)

    -Josh Catone

  2. On March 31st, 2009 at 9:30 pm Fred said:

    Alright, so I signed up for Dandy ID to see what it was all about. I suppose it’s just going to take some time for the idea to propagate, but I guess it’s a good idea.

    It’s kind of weird that anything I link to is put out there on my public profile for all to see. There are just some things that I don’t want to link together, which is why I may delete my account, or at least severely pull back on what I post.

  3. On April 13th, 2009 at 10:24 pm Kelley Marie Mitchell said:

    Sounds good to me too. Congratulations by the way!