It’s Time for a Change, and I Need Your Help

By on in with 9 Comments

If you have any regular interaction with me on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or scads of other social media sites, then you’re used to seeing my visage as such:

It’s time for a change, and I’d like a little wisdom of the crowds to drive it. Two quick background notes.

Why the Jester Hat in the First Place?

I started using social media heavily when I started working at Bulldog Solutions. I didn’t have much in the way of digital/digitized pictures of myself. The one above was handy (my wife and our three kids made these hats for all of us for a Bulldog social event), and, before I knew it, I’d signed up for a half-dozen services and dropped the image in as my profile picture. Since then, I’ve met numerous people for the first time who have asked, “Where’s the jester hat?” (including being asked by Rudi Shumpert on the Live at eMetrics edition of the Beyond Web Analytics podcast). Who knew? I had apparently done a moderately successful job of personal branding!

Where’d ‘Gilligan’ Come From, Anyway?

In 1993, I hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. It’s a tradition on the trail to adopt a “trail name” for the duration of the hike. Partly due to my lanky frame, partly due to the fact that I had a tendency to bang my head on the low beams in many of the shelters along the trail, and largely because I wore a Tilley hat, I was dubbed “Gilligan” one evening by several other hikers who were staying at the same shelter that night.

I started this blog on something of a lark, and I knew that “Tim Wilson” was entirely too common of a name to base the blog on, as I’ve written about before.

Cast Your Vote to Contribute to a Worthy Cause

I’ve come up with four options for my new standard profile picture, and I want you to help me choose the one I go with. As a moderate incentive, for every vote cast, my wife and I will contribute $1 to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (up to $250). And, I’ll wear the chosen hat in public at the next major geek conference I attend (so spread the #measure word, people!).

A – The Hat That Started It All
It’s the same hat I wore for a 2,100-mile hike — and it still sees occasional use.
B – A New Jester Hat
Sticking with the jester theme, but with a new hat and a new picture
C – As Gilligan As I Can Be
D – If You’re Simply Opposed to Change

The voting is wrapped up! You can find the results in this post.



  1. I love them ALL! That said, I also tried to keep in mind when voting which picture I felt looked most like you do in person … it helps to when trying to recognise people at conferences!

  2. That’s a good point, Michele, and I started to write to factor that in, too, but the post started to get really long. I do think I’m going to post all of these pictures, and zoomed out so they’re not as close in on the head, on my “About” page for that exact reason.

  3. Option A facial expression with Option C hat — there wasn’t an option for my vote.

  4. I’m with Beth but had to go with Option A. Why am I so staid as to want the face to look normal?! (Hmm, Julie doesn’t see me as staid,does she?)

  5. I can’t see the options to vote, but I vote for B. Jonghee has the point of looking young, and I would add to that you look fun. Who doesn’t want to be young and fun?

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