You Should Write a Forum Bio

I work for CEA and help to run the Fo­rum, but this is my per­sonal opinion as a per­son who likes hav­ing in­for­ma­tion about the EA com­mu­nity.


Why write a bio?

If you click some­one’s user­name, you can see a per­sonal bio in their pro­file.

The EA Fo­rum will be a slightly bet­ter place if more of its users write a bio. If you don’t mind shar­ing in­for­ma­tion about your­self, I recom­mend writ­ing one.

Here are a few rea­sons why:

1. It makes it easy to see your af­fili­a­tions. If I’m talk­ing to some­one about a char­ity, it helps to know whether they work, or have worked, at said char­ity. Trans­parency!

2. It lets you link to your other con­tent. If you link to a blog/​per­sonal site in your bio, some­one who likes your post or com­ment can read more of your work. They can also learn more about your fa­vorite causes, or any­thing else you want to share.

3. It can be es­pe­cially helpful to newer com­mu­nity mem­bers. When you’re new (or oth­er­wise aren’t very con­nected to the EA “so­cial scene”), effec­tive al­tru­ism can feel like a small club of peo­ple who already know each other. Helping peo­ple learn about you, if you don’t mind shar­ing that in­for­ma­tion, makes EA more wel­com­ing.

This list is non-ex­haus­tive, be­cause bios are flex­ible and can serve many pur­poses.


If you pre­fer not to share per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on the Fo­rum, please don’t feel pres­sured to do so by this post. My in­ten­tion is to re­mind peo­ple who want to share, or wouldn’t mind shar­ing, that bios ex­ist and are helpful.

How to write a bio

1. Click your user­name, then click “Edit Ac­count”.

2. Type your bio in the “Bio” box be­low your email ad­dress. For now, we only sup­port plain text. You can use line breaks while edit­ing, but the pub­lished bio will show on your pro­file with­out line breaks.

3. Click “Sub­mit” at the bot­tom of the page, so that your bio will be saved.

Not sure what to write? Try some of these:

  • Your name (if you don’t mind shar­ing).

  • Your EA af­fili­a­tions (e.g. em­ploy­ment, group mem­ber­ship), or what­ever else you’re work­ing on.

  • Your fa­vorite causes/​or­ga­ni­za­tions.

  • A link to any other writ­ing you’d like to share.

  • Fun facts?

For ex­am­ple, here’s my bio:

Aaron is a full-time con­tent writer at CEA. He started Yale’s stu­dent EA group, and has vol­un­teered for CFAR and MIRI. He also works for a small, un-Google­able pri­vate foun­da­tion that makes EA-ad­ja­cent dona­tions. Be­fore join­ing CEA, he was a tu­tor, a free­lance writer, a tech sup­port agent, and a mu­sic jour­nal­ist. He blogs, and keeps a pub­lic list of his dona­tions, at aarongertler.net.

No need to make yours this long, of course.


Sugges­tion: If you de­cide to write a bio af­ter read­ing this post, leave a com­ment so that other peo­ple know to read it! (At the very least, I will read it, since I’m always cu­ri­ous about the Fo­rum’s users.)