What is the purpose of member profiles?
It’s not for more information about the member, relatively few people visit them (unless you run a dating-orientated site).
Instead, the purpose of member profiles is to satisfy your member’s status needs. Member profiles let your members create their desired image of themselves. To put it more bluntly, member profiles let your members show off – and this is a good thing.
Once members have begun to connect with community members, they will want to impress them. They will want to feel they are either equal or superior to others. Member profiles are for their owner’s benefit, not the visitor’s benefit.
When you are designing a profile, you don’t want members to list mundane details about themselves. You want them to show off their achievements and let them create their ideal self.
You need to provide a member profile infrastructure that facilitates this. Let members submit their best pictures, achievements and collected items. Ask status-related questions and solicit details that will let the member speak positively about themselves.