Vanity Blogging And Outing Books

“When I read your blog I expect a certain amount of YOU”

John Quiggin has a post up called What I’m Reading, And More that I’ve found interesting this morning. He’s been outed for - dare wait for it - mentioning that he read a book. I’m still a bit stunned at this one because apparently there’s something there called vanity blogging. I think.

So does this mean I shouldn’t mention my school experiences, grades, where I get hassled by crappy sales experiences? Or is it just books?

I think I’m behind John entirely on this one because the day we become dry old newspapers we’ve lost the plot about what blogging is actually about. In fact when I read your blog I expect a certain amount of YOU, whoever the blog belongs to, to shine through. What you read, your politics, your experience and your niche information are all why I choose to read your blog as opposed to the millions of alternatives out there. Whoever you are.

But I have to admit that I don’t understand the term vanity blogging at all. Am I too old? I mean its put over like a universally acknowledged insult and here I am after several years blogging on several blogs and I only learned the term today! Sucker me ay. I’m also a web technologist and developer, an early adopter. Yet I still didn’t know.

So I have to in all rebellious truth say that my partner’s son Ross Langdon bought me a copy of the Da Vinci Code, a paperback, that sits unread 12 months later on my bookshelf. I plan to read it before the movie or on the toilet or somewhere. Honest. That’s exactly how vain I am. Vanity blogging equals ha ha ha.

John just keep reading books and talk about whatever works for you.

6 Responses to “Vanity Blogging And Outing Books”

  1. Matt Robin Says:

    That’s quite sad isn’t it? ….That someone gets grief for just admitting that they read books!

    I must confess, I don’t really read books at all anymore (I mean fiction - reading for pleasure)…I think the years of using the web and PCs has brought my attention span down to a crawl! I read articles online - and that’s enough for me.

    Will I be mentioning stuff I do or think about - when writing any articles for my site (when it’s finally up and running)? Well yes and no….

    I will try to honestly write posts that express my personality…but my site isn’t planned on being a personal-based blogsite and I’ll be omitting stuff too (nothing as small as whether I read books or not though!)

    Steven - you’re site is more personal than mine will be…and that’s good too - I don’t think that if you mention personal stuff that it’s a crime of some sort.
    I hope you keep adding bits about your grades and classes, Linden, Ross and others…it’s all good. :)

  2. Steven Clark Says:

    Hi Matt
    Yeh I guess there is a strong personal aspect to the way I blog. I’m just one of those guys who has an opinion on everything including books, shops that treat me like crap and uni.

    I think at the end of the day you have to find your voice. I could write all of this stuff very stiffly with Harvard Referencing and stuffy formality but then I’d feel like I was back in school. Ha. If I was a tad smarter I’d probably like to be more like Peter-Paul Koch, Gez Lemon or one of those technical guys. I’m just not that smart lol.

    I do get a number of emails regularly coming in though that ask for help on projects or how to source solutions to programming stuff. I usually do my best to help. What’s most important to me here is to give a reasonably balanced view to beginner / intermediate designers and developers and even programmers perhaps of the large number of bigger issues that come into play with this business. So some blogging advice, some business advice, stuff people do to piss me off and stuff up perfectly good business relationships with me lol.

    I think that is the target audience that I’m interested in. While others may be primarily interested in web standards and such I think I’m more of a funnel at the wider end of which I welcome people into new ideas of better ways of thinking about making pages. I’m hopefully being of influence to at least a few people to ditch tables, think better practice etc.

    Also there’s a bit of politics and hodge podge getting in here under the radar. Oops. But it kind of also relates to that bigger issue of a global community. Like the relationship between what we can say as opinion and what we can’t say as racial vilification in the Cronulla Race Riots conversations out there.

    I’m not sure hard core standardistas would ever in a pink fit find more than a portion of this site super interesting but its probably not aimed at them. And I do it for me as therapy more than anything.

    What surprises me is the number of visitors and the bandwidth it chews on both blogs! Big blogs must cost a bundle to run so I’ve got a lot of respect for their dedication.

    Will have to get over there and have more of a read of yours too Matt, I’m a slacker. Flat out with summer school and just wasted a weekend when I should have been researching (vomit vomit).

  3. Richard Dowling Says:


    Since I believe that I was the inspiration for this post I should clarify my position. I was bagging they some bloggers always seem to be reading obscure intellectual texts.

    You also said on the Quiggan blog -
    “Bloggers have every right to mention what they’re doing in the world don’t they?!”

    When did I start talking about rights? Of course they can post whatever they like! You know, free speech and all that. I’m just saying that personally I don’t like it!

  4. Steven Clark Says:

    Hi Richard
    Glad to see you’ve survived your holidays. I purposefully didn’t mention you in this article as it was Quiggin’s blog I found it on not yours… i actually never read your initial post. I saw it several times but never read it - maybe the picture scared me away. I just never heard of vanity blogging before, honest.

    I thought bringing your article in may take away from what I was asking. Because I know there is always a lot of debate out there on what a blog is, what is meant to be happening on them, and all of that stuff. So its a new word to me.

    Sorry if you took it as a personal attack as it wasn’t intended that way.

  5. Richard Dowling Says:

    Oh, I was hoping it was a personal attack. I was getting all excited.

    Once again, I take the view that any publicity is good publicity. Thus, I feel quite privileged to be mentioned of Quiggan’s blog.

  6. Steven Clark Says:

    No unfortunately no personal attacks today. Am far too busy with summer school assignments I’ve been avoiding. Never did like the journal researching part (vomit vomit).