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.
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.