I read a great post over at Wondergrow a couple of months ago by Kelly Parkinson about how to “write a douche-free bio”. It was based on writing a bio based on answers to questions rather than just blathering on about yourself.
Tonight I decided to answer the questions, and I have to admit, she was right, it’s a great way to get a rolling start on writing a better bio.
1. How did you arrive at running this business? What path brought you here?
I’ve been running 1918 for the past 10 years. It started as just web development, then about 3 or 4 years ago, I started doing more and more organic SEO, and in the last 18 months I’ve become a social media evangelist. I think the future is the social space and how it’s being leveraged.
2. What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
I am known as a “wouldn’t it be cool if…” kind of guy. I have a lot of ideas, and I love bouncing them off cynics so I can either move on, because it was a bad idea, or hone my response because I successfully defended it. I have a knack for taking one more step when everyone else thinks they’ve reached the end.
3. What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients? What do your ideal clients say about you?
I’m great as spotting places where clients have decided to just settle. There’s no need to stop at 90% of the way. My ideal client would say, “he was a pain in the ass who never stopped pushing us to believe we could be better than we first realized”.
4. Who have you worked with in the past? And what have you done for them?
At McClatchy Interactive I try to raise awareness among everyone about our SEO shortcomings, and that spread out to the 30 markets we serve. Today there’s a small amount of SEO thought in almost every discussion. I like to think that I was partially responsible for that.
5. What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?
No question, social media. I don’t remember exactly what started me rolling down this hill, but I feel like there’s not enough time in the day to do everything I want. I wish I could read more books and attend more meetups, conferences and networking events. I also love the feeling of connecting people who I know are a perfect fit and can help each other get to the next level.
6. What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
This may sound geeky, but it’s social media and the ideas at it’s fringes. The ideas that leap out of books like Wikinomics, Groundswell, Free and Trust Agents make me want to take notes on every page. I also help run an SEO meetup in Raleigh that I love every aspect of, even the boring administrative tasks I enjoy.
7. Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
Usually doing something with my family. If it’s a Sunday afternoon, and my 2 year old is napping, you’ll find me right next to him.
8. How long have you been doing what you do?
I’ve been working on the web since the late 90’s.
9. Where did you grow up and why aren’t you there now?
I grew up in Massachusetts. I moved down to North Carolina in 2003 to escape the crazy home prices on Boston’s North Shore.
10. Any volunteer activities you’re crazy about?
I love helping Ashley Berman-Hale with the monthly Raleigh SEO event (through meetup.com). I wish we could do one every week.
11. Any nonprofits you love, & why?
I’m not sure if it’s a non-profit, but I love watching the little kids play Little League. I was just watching the Little League World Series last night and it’s such a feel good event. You just know those kids couldn’t be any happier after a win, and any more dejected after losing.
12. Any awards or medals, or even medallions? Personal okay, too.
I have a basbeall from when I was 16 and threw a no hitter against Hopedale!
13. What would be impossible for you to give up?
I could never give up on my Red Sox.
14. Why would someone not want to work with you?
I know myself well enough to understand how I work best, and that’s with one or more people. I’m a social animal and do my best work when collaborating with co-workers, clients, friends really anyone who’s willing to listen and throw back other ideas. If you want someone to sit quietly in the cubicle next to you, you’ve picked the wrong guy.
15. How do you want to be remembered?
As a good dad, husband and son.
Deidre Hughey says
What a great idea! Thank you for sharing.
I have to give props to Kelly, but I’m always happy to share my take on stuff.
Kelly Parkinson says
Phil, this is so cool! Now that I see your answers all written out, I realize that this would make a wonderful About page just as it is. Who doesn’t love reading questions and answers? Everyone loves this format! And it’s so easy. Mad props back at you for your warm, human, engaging new bio!