the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Three Attempts at Writing the About Page

I’ve been blogging since 2005 without an “about page.” I was advised by a close friend that I NEED ONE before BlogHer.

“It is even more important that having pretty business cards and comfortable shoes,” she said.

I’m terrible at writing about myself.

My right brain tells me that “I am superior to most of humanity.”

My left brain says, “You’re the same as everyone else.  No better, no worse… OK, probably worse.”

My solution to this dilemma — get someone else to write my “about page.”   I know that I could hire someone to do it, but yes, I’m too cheap.   Instead, I asked a family member and two close friends to write it for me.

Which “about page” would best entice new readers to come to this blog, or interest corporate sponsorship?

1)

Neil Kramer
About Page
(written by Neil’s mother)

Neil was a frequent “citizen of the month” throughout grade school. He continues that fine tradition today by always helping the elderly across the street and rarely using filthy language in public discourse.  He believes in diversity,  liberal ideology, and he befriends all, no matter what the race, religion, or class.  He respects women.  He loves his mother. He’s a real mensch.  If you are on Twitter, you should follow him.  If you are a big company which offers good medical insurance, you should hire him.  If you a nice girl, you should date him.  Jewish preferred.  He is a good writer.  I still have the robot story he wrote in eight grade!

2)

Neil Kramer
About Page
(written by Rhonda, VP, Anderson Public Relations, Santa Monica)

Neil is a brilliant writer and iphoneographer. He went to TWO prestigious and very expensive private universities and has worked at some pretty cool media-oriented companies that will make you go, “Whoa, he is someone worth knowing on Twitter”  He has written for television, and frequently jets back and forth between New York and Los Angeles, like a bigshot.  He is the blogosphere’s equivalent of Mr. Big.  His world-famous blog is immensely popular, and is visited by some of the most influential people online.  At BlogHer 2011, The Pioneer Woman came up and said hello TO HIM, not the other way around, and he then told her, “I’ve never read your blog.  What’s the link?” Now that’s cool!  What confidence!   Neil is six feet tall, still has his hair, and was once told by someone online that he gives “the best sext on Gtalk EVER.”

3)

Neil Kramer
About Page
(written by Jennifer, PhD Candidate, Feminist Theory and Media Studies, McGill University)

Neil is a heterosexual white male who owes all of his accomplishments to his excessive privilege, the only true hardship he ever encountered being his barbaric circumcision. As an only child, his parents pampered him and paid for his education, his sole financial contribution during college being a work/study job as a stockboy at the university library, where he goofed off in the stacks and read political science books, taking the position away from marginalized students of color who truly needed it. Most of his future jobs were attained either through nepotism or connections within the “old-boy” power structure.  Blind to his own sexism and racism, his frequent use of the obsessive “male gaze” in his iphoneography adds fuel to our society’s repression and violence towards women.  Despite his frequent calls for diversity in the blogosphere, his blogroll does not contain a single link to a transgender writer, nor has he ever dated one.  Neil’s yearly presence at a conference geared for the advancement of women signals a continued need for male domination and female subordination in the cultural realm of creativity and intellectualism.  He has been heard, more than once, arrogantly calling American’s Native Americans as “Indians.”

41 Comments

  1. Diana

    Number one!

  2. midlifenatalie

    This entire post would serve as an awesome about post. That way you please almost anyone who might read it.

    I have an “about me” page, a “my story” page, a “my blogs” page, and a “talk to me” page. Clearly I am obsessed with myself or I’m overcompensating for something.

  3. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    This is proof you can write marketing copy targeted to different audiences.

    And while I’m here, let me send my belated condolences regarding your barbaric circumcision and ask that your mother contact me with info on how she paid for that education.

    • Neil

      Do you realize how much it is going to cost for emily to go to a private college now?

      • V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

        And to think she’ll be unemployed afterwards! “Honey, you can spend all your time on Facebook without a degree from an Ivy League university. Why not just stay home and live with your mother who loves you?”

        • Chrisy

          You two make me smile.

      • Missives From Suburbia

        Yes.

  4. Leesepea

    I like the first one. Your mom has some very nice things to say about you! I think if I let my mom(s) write my about page, it would say something like, “Leesepea is a real pain in the ass and can be a definite drama queen. She is a know-it-all grammar Nazi and continues to push the limits of the mother-daughter dynamic. Our only hope is that SweetPea will not be her equal, but her nemesis. In the most loving way possible, of course.”

    The second one needs two corrections: “iPhonographer” and “frequently.”

    The third is funny but slightly off-putting, but I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it just feels patronizing.

  5. sarah piazza

    ‘Mom’ for the win!

  6. Neil

    Leespea — Know it all. And I agree. The third one is very off-putting and patronizing. I’ll tell Jennifer about what you said.

  7. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    Bio by V-Grrrl:

    Neil is smart, funny, earnest, and neurotic, not necessarily in that order. He’s a skilled storyteller and humor writer and insightful social critic. He’s unafraid of baring all on the Web but is overwhelmed by a trip to Target or the prospect of going through his personal library. He’s a better iPhoneographer than nearly all the people who are considered iPhoneography experts, and he doesn’t believe the many people who tell him so. He’s modest. Always.

    He’s cheap with his money and generous with his friendship. He is the first one to call when he senses you’re in trouble, and he keeps in touch even when you’re not. He’s addicted to Twitter, Facebook, blogging, apps, and The Next Big Thing. He loves a good debate.

    He is faithful and undivided in the attention he showers on his long-term love and most stable relationship. He can’t keep his hands off of her. Yes, I’m talking about him and his iPhone. They’re inseparable and devoted friends.

    Suggested sponsors: SuperCuts, LensCrafters, Apple, McDonald’s, Walgreens, Suave, Motel 6, The Onion, Funny or Die.

    • Neil

      not bad!

      • Leesepea

        Not bad?!?!? I think it’s awesome and completely accurate! And now I wish V-Grrrl could write my bio, too!

        • V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

          Thank you, Leesepea! I actually write bios professionally. Here I just did a FREEBIE for Neil and he didn’t thank me! He gave me the lukewarm, “not bad”–client code for REWRITE. I appreciate your vote of confidence! : )

          • Chrisy

            : ) I’m in love…not sure with which one of you…but definitely, in love.

          • Juli

            My favourite part is the sponsors. So so funny.

    • kkryno

      Yes, this!

    • Megan

      Perfect.

  8. Summer

    I’m in love with this post.

  9. Stacey

    I adore the first one. Although V-Grrrl’s is pretty good too.

  10. Roxanna (miguelina)

    OK. This is perfect. (pick the first one.)

  11. gorillabuns

    I life the first one because Mom’s perspective is always the best.

  12. Juli

    Are you sure that Rhonda is a close friend? Doesn’t seem like she knows you that well.

    • Juli

      Or is that the magic of PR? Putting a good spin on things?

      • Juli

        Maybe I am being too cynical. I should be more trusting. What Rhonda wrote COULD be true.

        (Except maybe “What confidence!” Come on. Who’s gonna believe that?)

        • Juli

          Oh, for the love of God. Just use V-Grrrl’s bio and call it a day.

  13. Alma

    I love the first one… that one stood out the most to me.
    However, the entire this is pretty interesting. I love others point of view on you.
    I feel like I know you better now… but I guess you have to ask yourself how much do you want people to know?
    Oh wait I forgot who I was talking to… never mind.

  14. tracy @mamacreates

    well #3 is definitely out since your intended audience at BlogHer is, I’m assuming, women. unless you’re aiming to piss them off, in which case, #3’s the wise choice.

    #1 by mama was excellent, up until the bit about nice girls, preferably jewish. while I am a nice girl (mostly; let’s just say I had a lot of fun in my mid-20’s), I’m not, as far as I know, even the teensiest bit jewish, that right there rules me out as a target reader, and I can be alienated enough in real life, thank you very much.

    #2, because there’s no arguing you’re a brilliant writer & iphoneographer. the other accolades give you a sense of status, but not too much…..just enough to make one say, damn, THAT sounds like someone I want to know! And, when I’m not busy being a (depressive, anxiety-ridden, who can’t survive without xanax on hand at all times) nice girl, I’m also plagued with a touch of vanity, which unfortunately leaks ever so slightly into being an internet celebrity whore, or a professional photographer instagram whore.

    (I should qualify that statement by saying that I only read a handful of blogs, I rarely comment, I don’t seek out internet celebrities to link to me, or RT me, or like my photos, and the blogs I do read are because I enjoy the content or photos, & because I have respect for, or get inspiration from, the authors….not because they’re the popular, sought after bloggers. Hell, I only started reading The Bloggess a couple of months ago, which means that now I’ll have to spend hours of my precious time reading her archives, dammit. )

    Point is, because I get the occasional reply (oooh, and even a favorite!) from you on twitter, and many likes on instagram, your badassness as written in #2 makes me feel like a cool kid by extension of internet association.

    And my last plug for #2 was the “the best sext on Gtalk EVER.” remark, which requires no explanation as to why that comment would appeal to most women….especially women who have left their husbands & have not had relations in months. Women who would prefer a text of that nature to that of one from her future ex-husband, who is at this moment, texting about trying to get back together.

    See, I told you I was vain….this post was a request to get feedback on YOUR About page, and I turned this epic comment into a comment almost entirely about me! I need help….and it’s a therapy bi-week. Oy….

    xo

  15. The Honourable Husband

    I like #3. It shows that you know where India is.

  16. Kat

    Reading those bios definitely makes me want to pay you an ungodly amount of money. I’d say they’re keepers!

  17. Amy

    I dug your mama’s but the third one had some funny shit in it too!!!

  18. Jane Gassner (@MidLifeBloggers)

    As an [un]reformed academic, I prefer the third. Although I must say, the diction is somewhat more transparent (read, comprehensible) than we like. If you can’t lade your About page with jargon, what can you lade it with????

  19. Megan

    I need a ‘About Me’ page? Oy.

  20. suzy

    Use all three. Then advise them to pick the Neil they want to have sex with. I mean work with.

    I also loved V-girl’s.

  21. suzy

    I’ve been blogging since 2006 and don’t have an About page. If that’s what it takes to get corporate sponsorship, a bunch of inflated things I’ll say about myself, then those corporations are stupid. But I’d still take the money.

  22. KeAnne

    “Blind to his own sexism and racism, his frequent use of the obsessive “male gaze” in his iphoneography adds fuel to our society’s repression and violence towards women”…OMG, best sentence ever.

    I think you should put all 3 on your About page and encourage viewers to choose the Neil they like best. It’s sort of like Rashomon for a blog!

  23. Alexandra

    Love the idea for this post, and the one I liked best b/c it made you sound the best, is #2.

    That’s the guy I’d be interested in.

  24. Andy

    Perhaps the best thing you could have done was delete the About page altogether. It’s the scariest thing about WordPress — Instead of saying “This is a sample page…” it should just say “The ‘Move to Trash'” button is over there –>.”

    I mean everybody deletes the “Hello World” post, right?

    Sometimes one word says it all. In blog speak we call it a tagline. In your case if might just be “iPhonerotica.”

  25. MissingMolly

    Thanks for the laugh. Much needed.

  26. K A B L O O E Y

    I feel the same way about having “followers.” Then again, that’s not very much of an issue for me. I think you should use the first 3 sentences and the second paragraph from V-Grrrl’s awesome bio when you need something pithy, and your mom’s followed by V-Grrrl’s when you can be expansive. On V-Grrrl’s I’d switch “cheap” to “tight” because they’re more opposite-y (is too a word) and sounds better. No matter what, don’t use the phrase “Jew him down.” See you in a few days.

  27. Anne (@notasupermom)

    I want to read this robot story.

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