-Hello again! Listen, I have a bunch of funny friends that also write things on computers just like me. Every now and then, one of them writes something that I think is really, really funny. My good friend Matt Lynch has done just that, so I figured I would put it up so everyone can enjoy it. Without further ado, Here is Matt Lynch's guide to the perfect profile.


-There are a lot of things to consider when writing an AIM profile. There's the careful attention to punctuation, and getting that quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off just right.
There's the character limit boxing you in and color schemes to be laid out. Maybe dark grey on black. Hot pink is pretty hot right now.

-Where does the heart go?

-Over there.

-Should you even bother with the heart? Are you at that stage in your relationship yet? Don't be so sure a public declaration of love is the right move for right now. Maybe her initials preceded by some Dave Matthews lyrics would suffice. It's direct but not explicit. Maybe you should use Incubus instead. Or Coldplay. Yeah, definitely Coldplay.

-What about a smiley face?

-That's a little too girly. Too easy too; you're an able bodied twenty-one-year-old college student; you should be capable of expressing emotions in words. You shouldn't even be allowed to use those things. It literally took you four years to figure out that it's a footprint covering the retarded-looking-one's mouth.

-What about the animated emoticon?

-Does your computer support that sort of thing, it might not load right.

-What about the animated heart emoticon with the smiley face in it?

-Well that's just overkill. A tiny Irish flag might compliment all that text. Oh wait, that doesn't really go with the whole black on pink thing.

-Should I put my address at school at the bottom?

-That would be classy. Maybe someone will send you a real life letter someday!

-Cell phone number as well?

-It seems sort of risky and just a bit desperate. It's taken you three years of owning a cell phone to get used to the minimum traffic, if you put it up and still no one called, you'd probably be crushed.

-Who gets shout outs and who suffers in anonymity?

-Forget the Yankees and the Sox, Michigan and Ohio Sate; the online you is officially a Sacramento Kings fan; consistent winners, out-of-the-way locale. No one's going to send you annoying IM's because you're down with Sac-town. Besides you look surprisingly good in purple and who doesn't like Bobby Jackson off the bench?

-There's still something missing" the obscure music reference! Prove to the rest of the world just how god-damn cool you are using only your wits and an online lyrics database.

-You are allowed only one link to one photo gallery containing no more than thirty pictures. People don't like to be reminded how much fun it is for everyone else when they are not there.

-Finally, remember your audience! This is 2004. Mom has a wireless connection at home now, so nothing too perverted or morose. Nothing too weird or inside-jokey either. There are people on your Buddy List you haven't spoken with since high school. This has to be universal. When you sit down to write a new profile just remember the possibility that hundreds, no, thousands of people will be looking at it everyday and forming opinions of you based on a few scattered lines of text. Mainly though, I like to think about the honest, hard-working people that decide who gets the Pulitzer.

By Matt Lynch