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Self-Promotion Weasels

Channeling my inner Bellware on this one.

Blog posts can be set up to be kicked or dugged when readers of those posts think they are worthy of it.  Within the .NET world, there are sites like DotNetKicks and DotNetShoutout that exist for similar purposes.  The general idea is that you can use these sites to find posts that are deemed to be especially important by the community at large.  A nice enough idea, I guess, won’t really argue against it now.

But the idea is subverted by people who decide to abuse the system.  This can be done in various ways:

  • Promoting your own posts.  While I’m sure you think that your blog post is great, and that every blog post you’ve written is great, it really isn’t part of the general idea for you to decide that, that should be decided by someone other than you.  It matters not if you do it under your own name, or if you create a ‘fake’ account to do it.
  • Having your friends deliberately promote your posts, regardless of content.  It isn’t cool.  Now, one’s friends are probably more likely than not to read one’s blog, and if they actually think the latest post is worth promoting, that’s okay.  But just blanket promotion by agreement is lame.
  • Having an automated bot do it for you.  This certainly makes it easier, I grant that.  But this is extra lame.

When someone wants to increase their visibility in some circle or another, there are various ways to do it.  Hard work and achievement are the main honest ways to do it, but sometimes tooting one’s own horn is hard to avoid, especially when one doesn’t have the best resume or the greatest experience.  We don’t live in a perfect world.  And sometimes you write a post that you think is just the bee’s knees and want to get the word out.  A single self-promotion vote isn’t going to skew things too much (though, technically, it really is doing that).

But when people set up systematic ways of self-promotion through these sites, it makes the sites lose value.  And it really says something about the people doing it.

‘Just say no’ is an often ridiculed saying, but in some cases, it really does make sense.  This is one of them.  If you are self-promoting your posts, knock it off.  Show some professionalism.  If your post is really that great, let the community vote it as such, the way the system is intended to work.  Otherwise, you suck.

posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 7:27 PM Print
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# re: Self-Promotion Weasels
joe
5/7/2009 1:54 PM
Well said (once again).

Self-promoting DotNetKicks posts should result in a) a warning folowd by b) temporary denial of submission privileges followed by c) everything you've ever submitted being delisted.

If it's good enough, someone else will kick it. No one really gives a shit if you're an MVP and/or have written yet another introduction to Moq.
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# re: Self-Promotion Weasels
Peter
5/8/2009 9:14 AM
In a similar vein, I considered a) writing a post about how I want to ban opinion articles from appearing on DotNetKicks, especially the sassy+inaccurate variant, and b) was immediately tempted to cheat to ensure the post made it to the DotNetKicks front page.

So I'm curious: after writing this, were you tempted to cheat your own post to the top of DNK? Be honest.

Also I remember reading a post on there how there is rampant cheating...so it's apparently really easy to get around.
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# re: Self-Promotion Weasels
jdn
5/8/2009 10:13 AM
@Peter

LOL. No, not remotely tempted.

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