Last year, YJGM psychologists and creators David, Sam, and Anthony published a paper at the 2008 ICWSM that looked at what information you need to put on your profile to help people "get" you - that is, see your personality as you see it. By mining YJGM data (which we have so much of thanks to you!) we learned that posting clues such as I believe this and Proudest thing I ever did increased impression agreement scores, whereas posting a picture of a cartoon or animal decreased them. (For a quick summary see our blog about it!)
This year, University of Iowa graduate student Jerry Steele came to us wondering what type of profile photo helps people get you - or hinders it. So he teamed up with us to write a paper for this year's 2009 ICWSM conference. As we promised, we're showing it to you first. We found that people get you better when your profile photo shows you smiling and reveals your hair - and turns out reviews by Zebrowitz and Collins suggest these features often help strangers gauge whether others are cooperative/competitive and extraverted/introverted. (If that spelling of extraverted seems wierd to you read this.) Impression agreement also increased when the profile photos show people outdoors and with other people. So if you want to express your personality on your online profile, post a picture of yourself with others, but make sure you dont wear a hat to cover your hair! Read the full paper here.