Joho the Blog » A new year’s resolution: Be a bigger a-hole

A new year’s resolution: Be a bigger a-hole

I got an email yesterday from someone who was irritated that she couldn’t get a quick read on who I am, what this blog is about, how non-credible I am, etc. She did eventually find the “Disclosure” button that does a bunch of that work, but she would have preferred that I follow the Web convention of displaying an “About me” link. I replied that I’m a little shy, and that I don’t want to use credentials to influence credibility (although I of course do that all the time — I don’t scratch “Harvard” off my business card, for example).

Well, she’s right. I’m putting an About Me link, which will lead to the Disclosure page. It’s a convenience for the reader and it’s a convention for Web pages. And profile pages do tell us something about the person, even if it’s not always what the person thinks.

I’m also going to try to be less shy about posting links to things I’ve written elsewhere on the Web. For example, here’s a list of the columns I’ve written for KMWorld, and when the new one comes out, I’m going to blog it. That’s not too pushy, is it? After all, having a blog is already an assertion that you think someone somewhere might want to read what you wrote.

I may also blog links to interviews with me as they show up. I rarely do that because it seems like bragging. But, if I were a reader of this blog — and I probably wouldn’t be — I might also want quick pointers to places where the writer of this blog is not fully in control of what he says. So, I’m going to try to force myself to blog those links.

Now, if you don’t mind my taking a step out of my awkward little me-centric universe: May you all have happy, healthy, and productive new years!

6 Responses to “A new year’s resolution: Be a bigger a-hole”

  1. You should definitely link to other stuff you are writing and other coverage of you and your work. It isn’t bragging and it doesn’t make you an a**hole.

  2. In the spirit of the resolution, I submit my comment.

    She doesn’t get it, and for every one of her, I hope there are several of me. I get that your ideas should bring their own merit (or not), and sound bites of what you think or parading your credentials may effectively shut someone down.

    Even though I’m a fairly new blogger, it’s become very clear, very quickly that my “profile” can be a filter I have to overcome. Labels taken away from it can too often set expectation where I don’t want it to be. I don’t blame the readers. They can’t help it that they superimpose their frames of reference over what I’m saying after they’ve taken the trouble to “view my complete profile.” So why do that to them if all I’m really interested in is getting them to think about what I’m saying? Hence I’m saying less and less in my profile, and the darn thing may disappear anytime now.

    Link to the stuff you’ve written. That’s why I’m here — to read it. But don’t beat me over the head with your credentials or seemingly pithy comments. Not that I would expect you to do this. But in a world where credentials are still clout and conspicuous cleverness is often used to administer knowledge, it’s a struggle to keep a healthy perspective.

  3. Your decision to go with the About lady is puzzling. Web conventions are important – for designers, browser developers and e-commerce merchants. If the About lady wants predictability, she has millions of other destinations to choose from. And profile or not, your RSS feed promotes cognitive dissonance, which often leads to reading, and even thinking. Case in point: “Be a bigger a-hole.”

    I agree with our friend that “profiles” can get in the way of good ideas. But for me, the stumbling block is my own self-absorbed distractions about Web presence. OMG, my LinkedIn profile is months out of date. I’m not using my Twitter account, ergo I don’t exist. Yesterday I was in our local Starbucks with my young daughter and she observed that the girl next to her was online with 50 of her Facebook friends. If I was that socially agile, would I ever have a coherent thought again?

    So as a first step into 2010 I’m going to remove the LinkedIn pointer from my blog page.

    Happy new year.

  4. You linked to things you have written for KM World and I immediately was tempted to subscribe to the journal. I talked myself out of it because it is just one more type of information clutter. That being said, I enjoy what you write and you should let people who how to read it.

  5. [...] in support of my resolution to be an even bigger a-hole, here’s a link to an interview immediately after Hillary Clinton’s speech, in which I [...]

  6. take a good and perfect resolution
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