Sunday, August 13, 2006

AIM Profile Field Guide - Revised and Expanded 2006 Edition

Two summers ago, I began what would become one of my stupidest ideas: creating a "field guide" of sorts to aid AIM users in the understanding of their peers' AIM profiles. Well here we go, an updated and revised edition to give you the edge you need in 2006:

AIM Profile Field Guide

Unless you live under a rock, you probably have AIM. Most people also have an AIM profile. They tend to fall into the following categories:

The Straight Info Profile

Characteristics: Gives you name, address, contact info, email address, foolin' around

Example: John Jones
432 Super Main Street
Funkytown, ZN 44544
Office: 44-3455
Mother-in-law's Home: 435-5653
Dog's Name: Fido X
Amount of Money I'm Earning Compared to You: More

Analysis: This profile favors the "get down to business" people. They're not on AIM to play games. They're on to be ON and when they're UP they want to make sure you stay DOWN. Until they sign OFF.

The Calendar Profile

Characteristics: A calendar of the user's life, often detailing trivial things such as when to walk the dog, birthdays of relatives, how many times the left incisor has been brushed on Thursdays, travel plans including walks up the street and supermarket runs, etc. Frequently includes the date of some vague concert or big event coming up that you most likely won't be attending with him/her. The appropriate response is to feel envious or even bitter.

Analysis: Often a severe case of Too Much Information, sometimes proves useful for remembering oft-forgotten birthdays or anniversaries (like the 3 week anniversary of your sister's first kiss with her second boyfriend)

The Seasonal Splendor Profile

Characteristics: Touts the joys of whatever season it is

Example: "SUMMER ROX BABAY!!!"

Analysis: Overreaction mostly, but after seeing so many people declaring that sUmMER rOX! it's hard to not reach the same conclusion.

The Shout-Out Profile

Characteristics: Shout-outs to "peeps", "boyz", "girlz", "Brothers in Christ", your mom, your sweetie pie, etc.

Analysis: Most notable in this type of profile are not the shout-outs themselves, but the nouns used to describe the recepients. So many shout-outs for those little sugar-coated marshmallow birds...Additionally, many people involved in relationships put something "subtle" in their profile like this: "4/12/01 :-)" which is supposed to be the date that things started "getting heavy" I suppose. I've also seen texted out roses, bits of song lyric, etc. Most effective appears to be the straightfoward: "Jenny is MY LIFE" or "YOU ARE THE BEST"

The Quote Profile

Characteristics: Filled with lots of cool quotes from famous people or even better, people you just know from life

Analysis: Sometimes unoriginal, sometimes only funny as an inside joke, but sometimes it's just what you need.

The Song Lyrics Profile

Characteristics: Song lyrics, sometimes with certain words highlighted, emphasized

Analysis: Often cryptic and nonesensical. A good stand-by if the profile has been getting lame of recent (see mine for example of lame profile). Full lyric posting can be disastrous though.

The Shameless Plug Profile

Characteristics: Persuades people to do something or go see something

Analysis: Might guilt you into attending something you would otherwise skip, but also a good way of finding out what friends think is important in their lives. Support them! Ignore them! This knowledge is POWER.

The One-Word Profile

Characteristics: One....well, nevermind

Analysis: Short, simple, perfect.

The "No Information Provided" Profile

Characteristics: Only that mysterious message

Analysis: Some people don't need profiles. Some people just shouldn't have them if they do. Here's a happy medium.

The Text Symbol

Characteristics: Take on a variety of forms, including hands making the "OK" sign, squirrels, buses, often for a cause: "Put this in your profile if you or someone you know has missed the bus" followed by a Wingdings-like representation of said mass vehicular transport

Analysis: Kind of like wearing a pin on your lapel or getting a temporary tattoo. All of your friends will go "ooooh!" and then tell you to finally get rid of it two weeks later.

The "What does this have to do with anything?" Profile

Characteristics: Sometimes people put stuff in their profiles that, well, just don't make much sense, as Forrest Gump would sometimes say. Perhaps the person has mistakenly believed that a specific reaction they had to something or an interest they have will have mass appeal (example) or that some "had to be there" quote is really funny when typed out and left on the profile for weeks when really, it isn't very funny at all. In fact, you kind of want that damn quote to go away. Now.

Analysis: I think the "Characteristics" section of this entry was sufficiently biased enough to warrant no further information in this analysis.