Egos and Empires

Ara Pehlivanian gives a wonderful how-to on becoming a blog snob. I fear that I follow a few too many of his "tips".


One of the things I like to do is be available to chat. All my info is sitting there on my contact page and a surprising number of people take the time to say hi. I'll even try and help you out if you have a problem (as Vanilla Ice says, "If you've got a problem, yo, I'll solve it. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it." Yeah, let that song stick in your head all day.)

I can admit, though, that I'm not always the most responsive when it comes to emails. Mostly because I feel like I should have something interesting to say and, as my wife can attest to, I'm not always that interesting. Every now and then, though, I manage to catch up and hopefully haven't missed anybody.


Ara mentions a couple things here:

  • Moderated comments
  • rel="nofollow"
  • No comments allowed

I have a little sense of pride on this point as I like getting comments (comments = ego++). No moderation, no nofollow and comments (almost) always allowed. I also rarely turn off comments on old articles. I used to do it because of spam but with Movable Type and Akismet in place, spam is well under control (like, seriously, maybe one spam a week gets through).


I like to think I've managed to remain fairly clique-free. No blog rolls. Although, check out my Bloglines to see who I like to read, if you're really interested. I've sadly stopped using Bloglines for now as it was starting to interfere with work.

I still probably name drop but it's going to happen. Unless you're a hermit, you're going to talk to people. Some of those people might just run successful web sites. It's just inevitable and really, unintentional. We just want to give credit where credit is due.

On the whole ego thing

It's a hard thing to keep in check and often times, I've implemented things on here that I thought were just plain neat but discovered afterwards that some thought it very egotistical. For example, I used to show how many people were subscribed to the feed but after reading comments that some felt it was showing off, I got rid of it. (Admittedly, it does feel like the page counters of old.)

Other times, the attention can start to go to your head. (You're too kind. Love it!) In fact, reading comments like the ones on CSS Beauty can be a refreshing change. (Especially yours Darren. Hopefully this isn't too self-gratuitous.)

If it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's how to take criticism. I think it's an effective tool in becoming a better person and becoming better at what I do. Obviously, you can't take everybody's advice and so you have to filter out what will and won't work for you.

Published May 27, 2006 · Updated September 14, 2006
Categorized as Opinion
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6 Comments · RSS feed
franky said on May 27, 2006

Me too nice. Hehe. Now that builds my ego.
No honestly. I, my girlfriend and someone else discussed almost everything we saw at the Reboot and your's really sticks out. I am totally not hyped out by some designs made my popular designers. Many of them are 'nothing new' to me, but still loved because he/she designed it.
You chose a 'daring' combination, great features, a colour scheme I really like (although depending on the screen used it the background doesn't always work, fe on my Sony Vaio screen it is very very black all over depending of the angle).

Anyways, sorry for really liking your design. If I remember well I even mentionned you in my reboot review. Personally for me the whole reboot thing was even a 'cklique thing', hence my old 'horrible colours' reboot design. But now you just kicked not only my ego, but also my a*se to continue working this horrible start to a new design I made.

Ara Pehlivanian said on May 27, 2006

Thanks for covering my post! In all honesty I could be blamed for a lot of the snobbery I point out in my own article (ego in particular). Nobody's perfect, and I guess if the post acts as a bit of a check for some, and a source of levity for others, then its done it's job. :-)

Dustin Diaz said on May 28, 2006

Yea. one thing that's been tough to do is open up your contact details, but then hope nobody really uses that information... (like actually contacting you).

I feel bad sometimes when I just straight up delete someones email because it's yet another support question about Sweet Titles and how they want to do something along the lines of... oh I dunno, limiting it to just external links or yada (which has been asked a bazillion times). But then again I get those nice comments like you talk about which is always fun to read :)

On the clique aspect of blogrolls, I managed to actually clean up my blogroll and only leave on the ones whom I've personally met or have had lots of email conversations with. Other than that, I had to pull a few from there. I'd rather not think of those people I know as a clique, but rather me just being nice to those I know. Indeed, my wife will always be at the top of that list of geeks, even though she never talks about the same stuff we do.

Ara Pehlivanian said on May 28, 2006

Dustin, in all fairness, I realize that it just gets overwhelming when someone gets a hundred emails a day to respond to and that a lot of the "snobbery" I mention in the post is unintentional. Which is why I wrote it using a satirical voice.

On the flip side, I believe there's a reason for why the post is so popular. Whether intentional or not, I think some people come off as "snobs" in the eyes of their readers and may want to be a little more sensitive to their ... *ahem* fans. ;-)

Dustin Diaz said on May 28, 2006

Ara, I actually didn't even read the article Jonathan was referencing... I hope I didn't say something offensive :o... or perhaps upset a fan :|

I'll have to go read it now

Geek King Widow said on May 30, 2006

Ara's article says "Your groupies will be in sheer awe of your ability to rub shoulders with the "upper crust" of their blogroll. To enforce this, proof read each others' books and beta test each others' pet projects, all the while blogging about it so that your fans get the picture of how cool you are and how much they aren't."

Love it!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.