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I Love It When You Say Nice Things About Me

I do love it when you all say nice things about me and my work on this blog or elsewhere. I love it when we all say nice things about each other, and we say them publicly as well. There isn’t enough “nice” going on in the world today, so when you can, spread some “nice around”.

I was thrilled to find the following about this blog from Web 2.0 Watch:

I assumed setting up WordPress was going to be extremely difficult. Well, fear not, for Lorelle is with us. Lorelle has an AMAZING blog on WordPress. Everything or anything you need to know about installing WordPress to using it like a pro, Lorelle will point you in the right direction. What a fabulous blog. What superb WordPress content. She is awesome.

I’m blushing, and a little intimidated right now. I feel like I have to rush into the Write Panel and start writing a ton of stuff to validate what is said about me. I’M NOT WORTHY.

I would have loved to thank Dan Phillips by posting a note on his blog, but he has comments set only for registered users, and I don’t have time for the rigmarole associated with registering for a password, checking my email, digging through hundreds of daily emails to find my password, adding the password to a list so I can remember it in the future, and then going back to the site and logging in, and forgetting what it was I wanted to say. Oh, yes! Thank you, Dan Phillips.

However, I digress. The point of this article is what to do with all those nice things people say about you and your blog. They are important tools, not just feel good words. They also carry a bit of responsibility.

Collecting Nice Things People Say for Your Resume

Remember the resume? Those one or two pieces of paper that state your qualifications for this position. It also includes your references. Nice things people say about you and your work is part of your references.

I’ve written frequently about helping your blog readers know who you are and what your qualifications are to write about what you write about, and nice things people say about you and your work is part of your promotional package.

Many today think, rightly so, that their work should speak for itself. That’s nice, but it helps when other people speak for you. Your opinion is a bit biased, so hearing it from someone else, preferably an unbiased party (not your mother), not only gives you a nice warm feeling inside, it works well when it comes time to promote you and your work.

I’ve always collected the nice things people say about me and my work. It sounds narcissistic but it is also part of the process of self-improvement. Many events, workshops and programs include survey forms inviting people to evaluate the “performance” as well as the information presented. We hand out these forms at our programs and workshops, then spend a good deal of time pouring over them looking for the good and the bad, but mostly looking at how to improve our presentation and program content. At the bottom of the forms I hand out is a form requesting people give permission to reprint any comments in our promotional literature. More nice things people say to add to the collection.

Where and how you include these nice things people say about you and your work is up to you. If you know the person well enough, then including their name and contact information on your resume is usually enough. On a blog, you might want to publish some of the nice things people say about you and your work so everyone can see them, since they often can’t see your resume.

I’ve included a few on the About page of this blog to help people get to know a little more about what I do and write about, as well as to read some of the nice things people say.

Trackbacks Are Nice Things People Say About You, Too

Before you get concerned about bragging and egos and old fashioned self-promotion, I’d like to remind you that blog trackbacks are also nice things people say about you. Ah, didn’t think about that, did you?

A trackback is a note from one blog to your blog, triggered by a link to your blog. The trackback comment includes part of the text surrounding the link and a link back to the original referring blog.

Trackbacks are like someone telling a friend about your blog, and you hearing it through the grapevine. Except in this case, it comes in directly to you from the original source.

Personally, I like separating trackbacks from comments, though few WordPress Themes do this. I do it on my main site as I have control over the Theme design, layout and structure.

When trackbacks are separated from comments, I think of the comments on the post as an ongoing discussion, while the trackbacks are the kudos, gossip, hat tips, and recommendations from others who had something to say about the post on their blogs. These can be, but not always, nice things people say about you and your work.

A trackback brought Dan Phillips’ nice comments to my attention. Without trackbacks, how would I have know he had anything to say about this blog, let alone nice things to say? I love trackbacks. They bring the nice things people have to say to me without any effort on my part.

The Responsibility Associated With The Nice Things People Say About You

Yes, there is an unwritten responsibility associated with the nice things people say about you. You don’t have to be responsible, but if you are like me, you are responsible even if unconsciously.

The responsibility associated with the nice things people say about you is that you have to live up to them. That’s right. You now have a new ladder to climb, goal to keep, and reputation to maintain.

Before you publish the nice things you’ve found people saying about you, look at them responsibly. Are they true? Do they exaggerate a little or a lot? Does your work live up to the statements and claims?

If it doesn’t, don’t get a swelled head and publish them anyway. It might come around to bite you in the reputation later. If it does, then consider publishing the comments.

I know some people make up positive comments about themselves, but I’m talking to the people who are serious about what they are doing.

If you are like me, an additional responsibility that comes with such nice comments and recommendations is the motivation to do better. I really want to be worthy of the nice things people say. So I work harder, dig deeper for good stories and ideas, and research more to create solid work that is helpful and worthy. So, nice things people say about me is a kick in the butt. Literally and figuratively.

Ask Permission to Publish Nice Things People Say About You and Your Work

Another responsibility is to show appreciation for the nice comments, and to ask permission to use them publicly. While it isn’t always possible, do make an effort to get permission to reprint the comments.

First, because it’s the nice and proper thing to do. Asking permission speaks highly of your honor and reputation for higher standards. Okay, because it’s the right thing to do.

Second, because while people may enjoy saying nice things about you, they might not want their names used in promotional material, especially if they like what you do, but they don’t want the responsibility of recommending you and your work to others. The responsibilities for nice things said go both ways.

Use nice comments in your promotional material, like in your About or Contact page, judiciously. You don’t have to smear them everywhere. Have a little taste and style and incorporate them naturally into the layout and content within your blog.

You can ask friends, co-workers, fans, or your audience to provide you with nice things about you and your work, or you can just let your work attract these nice comments naturally by doing your best work. Either way, brag a little once in a while. It feels good.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

15 Comments

  1. omar nabulsi
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    first of all i love you’re website and the idea of actually saying nice things ,however i wish if there’s a section side for chatting about the subject (nice things to say).
    thank you .
    you’re friend OMAR

  2. Posted July 22, 2008 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    @ omar nabulsi:

    Chatting? This isn’t a blog designed for social but education. It’s something to consider, but I’m not a fan of recent comment or shout box chatter on my sites. Thanks for the suggestion and nice words.

  3. Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Oh Lorelle! I cannot find anything to help me figure out how to have a permalink for my comments show up! I use Blue Zinfandel on WP 2.6.2 – I’ve searched high and low – I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I can’t seem to find the key to get the permalink to show or a plugin to offer a permalink, the way you do in these comments.

    Can you please help? :)

  4. Posted October 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    @ Jill:

    Download the Sandbox Theme or check the Default WordPress Theme and look in the comments.php template file for the code for the link to comments. Is that what you are asking for? It should be in all WordPress Themes. Sorry your WordPress Theme developer fell down on the job. Contact them and let them know as they may have just forgotten. They can upgrade their Theme in the WordPress Theme Directory so everyone will benefit.

    Thanks!

  5. Posted October 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle – Blue Zinfandel did have an updated version and I downloaded and checked it but it also doesn’t include code for comment permalinks. I’ll try what you suggest – thanks very much. :)

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I was researching small business failures, looking for personal comments on how it happened to them….when somehow, I landed on your site and saw the link for “I love it when you say nice things about me”. There was no way I was going to bounce out until I read all of what you had there. Wow ! It was peace. And, I just happen to be helping my mom right now. She is 79 years old and just lost her job. She has no idea of how to write a resume…and she needs a job. Thought I had everything figured out already to help her get the job…until I saw your post. Lorelle, You have just got the job for my mother. No one has what other people say about them in their resume…and my Mom’s Kindergarten children love her. I’m gonna have her put their comments in her resume. Who could not be melted down with that ? Don’t know why I didn’t think of that ! But YOU did! Thank you, from the depths of my heart. Tom Tinney

  7. Bob
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I’ve been writing posts for my blog for about 11 months now. I’m a retired minister with a lot of experience as a professional writer and editor, so I know how to put together a good statement. The Akismet plugin catches a lot of obvious spam, but I’m not sure how to evaluate the “nice” comments. I like some of them, because they seem to recognize my skills as a writer, yet they just be “nice” spam. It is obvious spam when several users repeat the compliments word for word, but otherwise I may get “seduced” by the flattering comment. Since I’m retired, I don’t plan on circulating more resumes.I don’t have anything to sell on my blog, but I do want to attract more viewers to share with me in some discussions regarding “What is good?” in our lives. In many cases when I try to contact them about their comment or otherwise respond to it, I discover that the cited email address is not a valid address. I guess they put a fake one on the comment so that their email addresses aren’t spammed. Since I’m just really getting started in blogging, I guess it isn’t too late for me to take a careful look at some of these compliments that I have published, because they may be misleading some of my viewers. I really do want to stimulate discussions. You can see my blog on my website. Thanks for this helpful post.

  8. Posted October 10, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Lorelle,
    Thank you very much for your helpful response regarding my concerns with spam. You have obviously given this problem a lot of attention. I’ve printed several of your posts regarding this matter, and I think that your approach makes a lot of sense. I really do want to stimulate discussions on my blog, so I still have to figure out what do with comments that don’t directly reflect the subject of a particular post although they seem to be promoting my blog. I think that after I approve one general comment regarding my blog that I’ll remove any subsequent comments from that reader that don’t get to the subject of a particular post and “continue the conversation” about it. I think that is an excellent standard to help bloggers like me to deal with this problem. I’ll be looking for your new article about “comment spam”.

  9. Bernie
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Lorelle,
    I found your blog by searching “blogging for dorks” (need the most basic of blog software!). Not only did I learn *not* to sign my comments, I found a treasure trove of helpful information. Plus, you’re funny.

    I have but one quibble. You said this:
    “So, nice things people say about me is a kick in the butt. Literally and figuratively.”
    Do you really get kicked in the butt? If so, I’m all for it. I need that myself. The figurative kicks don’t always do the trick.
    A foot-whomp to the backside might be helpful…but then it’d be hard to sit in the chair…

    Didn’t mean to pick any nits. (Figuratively speaking.) Just thought it was funny.
    Thanks for your fabulous blog and all your hard work! Such a service to dorks like me.

  10. Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Hello! I have nominated you for The Super Sweet Blogger Award! Check out the rules on my site.

    • Posted May 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Ah, thank you. I don’t participate in such awards but the thought is appreciated.

    • Posted May 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I guess you would be receiving them all the time.. ;)

    • Posted May 9, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Not as often as one would expect, so thank you so much for your kindness.

    • Posted May 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes the magnitude of the value of what someone has to offer and the layers of how far that goes back over time with the visible and the invisible are not apparent to all. To attain to be more like you in the many ways that you have helped pretty much anyone who is on this site and to know that you have made this site user friendly (to people who are not so quick with some of the friendly parts, like me) and have laid the steps we invisibly follow is more than could be rewarded for there would not be such an appropriate award. :)


7 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] I just came across a great article from Lorelle from February, titled, “I Love It When You Say Nice Things About Me.” It’s well worth the read, and it spoke to something I’ve been learning about myself and about humility lately. I was really surprised how difficult I found it to receive compliments. [...]

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