Be somebody (and show your best profile)

Your ArcGIS Online user profile is how the rest of the world learns about you. It’s also a yardstick for measuring the value and veracity of your shared items and groups. So it’s a good idea, and best practice, to show your best profile if you want others to consider your content seriously. Don’t let your profile look like this – be somebody!

After getting your account one of the first things you should do is create a good profile. After signing up you you’ll be presented with your current account information (blank by default). Click Edit my profile to make your changes.

A good profile includes pertinent information about you, or the group or organization the profile represents. Things to consider including in your profile are a good thumbnail, some information about you, your roles and responsibilities (if appropriate), and contact information. Here’s an example from a colleague:

Here’s another example, less verbose than the one above, but note that a link to the user’s online bio is included:

When you share items on behalf of a company or organization you may want the organization to be the recognized source instead of yourself, or some other individual. In that case you can create an account for the organization and use that profile, instead of a personal one, to share the organization’s items.

Here’s an example from the Conservation Biology Institute. Note the link to the full profile.

Here’s another example from the Montana Department of Natural Resources. Note the official logo, contact information, bio, and link to the organization’s website.

You can edit and update your profile at any time, so it’s never too late to put your best profile forward. By doing so¬†you’re letting others know who you are or who you represent, and offer context for others who may want to use your shared items.

For more information view the Managing your profile help topic.


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  1. geo-elektrika says:

    I don’t see any explanation in this article, or in the help topic, on how to add hyperlinks. I tried html tags. Looks like the editor only accepts plain text. Which is why my profile looks so crappy. Can you tell more? Thanks.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Thanks for your comments. The existing capabilities will be enhanced over time to offer additional styling and content, but for now they offer only basic capabilities. You can have a link appear if you enter the entire link address (including the http://) and then hit a carriage return at the end. Here’s an example profile from esri with a link in the text.

  2. marieesten says:

    Is there any way to change the name of your profile? For example, I created a basic user called “Public41″, but have been working on some project specific stuff, can I change the user name to something else like “RINEMO”?

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Marie – no, you cannot change your account name once you have it. But you can register a new account(s) and use that alongside your existing one. The trick is transfering ownership of your map items from one account to another. With a personal account you would have to open and “save as” from the old to the new account. If you were a member of an organization (still in beta, release soon) your items could be transferred from one user to another by the site administrator(s).

  3. juq says:

    I don’t see Edit my profile link. Do you need a specific browser?

  4. tjibbe77 says:

    I cannot for the life of me figure out how to create a profile like the one from “Conservation Biology Institute”….How do I include carriage returns? How can I enter a link like that? I’ve tried html-codes but these are just ignored and disappear. Any tips?