Yesterday, I updated my LinkedIn account. The site told me I was only 90% complete. Since I would hate to go through life being only 90% complete, I decided something needed to be done. LinkedIn said if I added "specialties" they would give me 5%. (If I get a third recommendation, that's another 5% and I'm ready to party.) LinkedIn is a mysterious creature. First, I'm not a fan of the merged words like "MySpace". That mid-word capitalization drives me crazy. "Facebook" is okay, because the potentially rebellious "b" stays submissive. Second, the navigation on this site is odd. It's an unnaturally text heavy site. Third, I don't know what to do with LinkedIn. I accept connection requests from people I know, and that's about it. LinkedIn must be worthwhile. Somebody somewhere told me it was. If potential clients use it to stalk me, then I want to look good.
Back to specialties. I resisted the urge to go all Napoleon Dynamite and talk about my nunchuk skills, bow hunting skills, and computer hacking skills. (Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.) Instead, I opted for "human interest, variety and alternative entertainment, geek/pop culture, nonprofits, web content esp. Word Press 3.0+"
Human interest -- Is this the journalism equivalent of saying "I have people skills?" Call me on this one if it's a goofy specialty to put on LinkedIn. However, yes, I think I'm good at writing about people. I love talking with someone and learning all about them. I got Tammi True to talk about some extremely personal stuff after she had sworn off all media contact decades ago. Let's call that a skill.
Variety and alternative entertainment -- This might need an explanation. I've written about burlesque, and I'm currently researching renaissance faires. Both of these things are a type of variety entertainment, pulling from the tradition of sideshows and vaudeville. I would enjoy writing more about stand-up comedians, guerilla theater troupes, flash mobs, street performers, half time entertainers, freak shows, acrobats, contemporary circus, jugglers, caricaturists, puppeteers, drag queens, ventriloquists, rodeos, magicians, fortune tellers, dare devils, unicyclists, stilt walkers, mall santas, living statues, clowns, mimes, and fire dancers. TV, film, literature and music are pretty well covered by the media. I'd be happy to make this one of my beats. Consider it a skill in the making.
Geek/pop culture -- How many times did I watch the Avengers trailer? My collection of Fantastic Four comics alone should give me sufficient geek cred. You want to talk Star Wars, LOST, Lord of the Rings, D&D, or Harry Potter? Bring it. I'm best with indie/small press comics, but no need to get so specific on LinkedIn.
Nonprofits -- Throughout college, I worked as program director for the Wesleyan Campus Ministry. I served on the advisory board for La Reunion, and I even tried to put together my own nonprofit. It wasn't a rousing success, but I read a lot and learned a lot. I would say I know more about 501(c)3s than the average person, so let's add this as a specialty.
Web content esp. Word Press 3.0+ -- You can call "foul". I'll admit that saying I specialize in word Press is kinda like saying I specialize in P.O. Boxes. Having one doesn't necessarily make me an expert. Yet, if a client needs me to use Word Press, I'm fearless.
Here's my LinkedIn profile. I'm open to any suggestions for making myself more appealing to corporate stalkers.