When someone follows me on twitter, I tend to take a look to see who it is. What someone says about themselves is often revealing, not so much in the merit of their description but as an insight into their character. As Judge Kane wrote, it’s all about character.
Without the formation of character, the rest is futile.Sometimes, twitter bios are brief and purely descriptive, like “law student” or “criminal defense lawyer. With pathetic regularity these days, they’re an attempt at recreating a roadside billboard, like
Hollins Law: Orange County’s best Trial Attorneys. Praised by judges, juries, peers and adversaries for aggressive yet ethical presentation and fearless trial advocacy.
Maybe somebody on twitter will be incredibly impressed by this bio. Me? Not so much. Jeff Haden explained the problem with an example:
Marketers say that if you don’t toot your own horn, who will? The correct answer is everyone who is impressed by your accomplishments, rather than your hype. And if no one is tooting your horn, then maybe it’s because you have no accomplishments. It gives you something to work on.
Picture this. You meet someone new. “What do you do?” she asks.
“I’m an architect,” you say.
“Oh, really?” she answers. “Have you designed any buildings I’ve seen?”
“Possibly,” you reply. “We did the new student center at the university…”
“Oh wow,” she says. “That’s a beautiful building…”
Without trying — without blowing your own horn — you’ve made a great impression.
Now picture this. You meet someone new. “What do you do?” he asks.
“I’m a passionate, innovative, dynamic provider of architectural services with a collaborative approach to creating and delivering outstanding world-class client and user experiences.”
All righty then.
One thing that could be done to bolster is to get another degree. Of course, that’s time consuming, but then, there are now some online schools, like Capella University, where you can attend without ever attending. And there, you can do what Florida Assistant State Attorney Peter F. Barone did.
It doesn’t get more thoughtful than to be “willing to assit by advising and correcting his colleagues during official proceedings of his new and permanent title.” How embarrassed his “fellow” colleagues would feel if they only used his former title. Professor Peter Barone, Esq., (followed by Ph.D.(c), LL.M, JD, MSM, CPP), who, according to the bio he’s written about himself, suggests he’s lived a curious life:
This is an announcement regarding ASA Peter A. Barone. On January 7, 2013 Peter A. Barone finished his final defense for his Ph.D. and was officially announced as Dr. Peter A. Barone.
Dr. Barone spent 5+ years obtaining his degree and would like to request that during formal court proceedings that you please refer to him by his proper and legal title, that being Dr. Barone. This request is similar to the manner in which the sitting judge is called Judge or Your Honor, or as his fellow attorneys are addressed as counselor or Mr. or Ms., and not by their first name during formal proceedings.
Dr. Barone would like to thank his fellow colleagues for their cooperation in this matter in advance and realizes that at times it is difficult to remember a title change and is willing to assist by advising and correcting his colleagues during official proceedings of his new and permanent title if they inadvertently forget.
Legal Assistant for Dr. Peter Barone
State Attorney’s Office of Highlands County
411 S. Eucalyptus Street
Sebring, FL 33870
He began his law enforcement career in 1975 in the State of New Jersey and he is a currently working as a Felony Major Crimes Trail Prosecutor in the State of Florida and is cross-sworn as a part time deputy sheriff, part of the Crisis Negotiation Team, and a certified police instructor. As a felony prosecutor in this Florida he is also actively involved in the investigative aspects of felony cases. In his first sex months he assisted the in solving a 20 years old murder case while interrogating the primary suspect. In his first year as a prosecutor he prosecuted and won a capital sexual battery and an attempted murder case. Immediately prior becoming a prosecutor he was a Major Crimes/Homicide Detective, Hostage Negotiator, Aircraft Observer, and Police Instructor for a Sheriff’s Office in central Florida. Prior to this he worked in a Police Department as a road officer and Legal Advisor, and previously as a homicide detective, gang detective, field training officer, and police instructor for the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Apparently, the only thing he’s never done in his impressive career is work as a spelling teacher or an editor. Now in fairness, it’s very nice that Pete got his Ph.D., not that it adds much to his lawyering, but still. However, will he “correct” out of kindness the judge?
Judge: Do you have anything to add, Mr. Barone?
Professor Peter Barone, Esq.: That’s Doctor Barone, your honor.
Judge: My deepest apologies for offending you, Dr. Barone. Suppression granted and case dismissed, Dr. Barone.
In the long-gone past, about five years ago, anyone saying something even slightly self-aggrandizing on the internet would preface it with an apology for their “shameless self-promotion.” They would then present whatever it was, like winning the Nobel Prize, with as brief a factual description as possible, because there were few things less tolerable than a lack of humility.
It used to be that if you had to impress people by telling them how great you are, then you aren’t. That’s still the way it is. It just hasn’t seemed to stop people from making asses of themselves on the internet these days.