Blogline ate my blog: The Dangers of Feed Aggregators

Once upon a time, blogs were conversational hubs. Posts were written to be commented, trackbacked, circulated, debated. Blogs were places you would go to. Strolling through cyberspace, you would visit A, follow a link to B, and engage in a conversation with C. Along the way, communities were created, friends were made, important discussion happened. Blogging required traveling and social interaction.

Then blogs became too many to be visited daily. RSS aggregators were developed. Blog posts were now coming to you when a blog was updated. It was easy to add another blog to the list. We found ourselves reading hundreds of posts a day. There was no time to visit blogs, leaving comments, think about what we had read. Gradually, the conversational aspect of blogging was lost.

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In praise of ego-surfing

Everybody does it, but nobody wants to talk about it. I am talking about ego-surfing: that shameful act of vanity that occurs in the private of our own home or office, when we type our own name on Google (or Yahoo, or any other search engine we like to use) and look through the list of pages listed in search of love, fame, and recognition.

When you have a blog, ego-surfing gets to an all different level. Now we have people linking to our blog and posts, link ranks, and many more sites to explore: Technorati, Google Blog Search, IceRocket, TalkDigger, and oh, so many more. We can collect on all the sites that link to our blog and posts and while we are there check if anybody else has tagged our posts. We can look at our site logs to see how many people visited, which posts they read, how long they were on our site, and where they came from.

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Persuasion, the Sheryl Crow paradox, and Antonella’s yogurt rule

I am reading The Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg (have you noticed how I always talk about books before I finish reading them? And BTW, thanks to Jared Spool and Kyle Pero for the book suggestion). By “consulting” Weinberg means “how to convince others that you can help them and how to be successful in helping them”. The book is quite entertaining and has some good insights on the art of persuasion and self-promotion.

I have a couple of ideas on how to address consulting challenges, too. Weinberg has a kick for breakfast food analogies (e.g., the law of raspberry jam, the orange juice test, and so on), so I came up with my very own Antonella’s Yogurt Rule. Before I introduce the Yogurt Rule, though, let’s step back for a moment and discuss the Sheryl Crow paradox.

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Social Networking and
the art of self-promotion

Andrew answers to a C|Net articles on the failure of social networking sites (Molly Wood’s Five reasons social networking doesn’t work) by suggesting that the Internet doesn’t need special social networking sites: The Internet in its world wide whole is a social networking place. Molly Wood makes an interesting point, though, when she mentions that … Read more…