I often like to keep reporting secrets to myself. Other times I’m forced to share them. This is one of those other times, thanks to a nudge from my boss, Kara Swisher.
Last week, YouTube product-bigshot-turned-venture-capitalist Hunter Walk turned me on to Bio Is Changed, a simple tool that sends you email alerts each time someone you follow on Twitter changes his or her bio. You can receive alerts in near real time, or in daily or weekly digests. You can track Twitter photo changes, too.
In just a few days, the tool has already turned up some interesting leads. For example, Twitter’s sales chief Adam Bain tweaked his job description last week from “Revenue at Twitter” to “Revenue and Partnerships at Twitter.” (We see you, Adam!)
Another example: The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman decided to add “Nobel laureate” to his bio last week because, gosh darn it, he’s a Nobel laureate.
I can think of plenty of other categories of bio changes that might be interesting to track … like when investors drop and add portfolio company names to their bios as hype builds for one company and subsides for another. Or when midlevel employees suddenly drop an employer’s name from a bio, signaling a job change that could be meaningful but isn’t big enough for a company to announce.
Bio Is Changed was created by Netherlands students Jack Hage and Pieter Meijer a few years ago, so some readers may already use it. For those who don’t, it’s definitely worth checking out.