Does it have to be so big?

big RSS buttonWith the recent blog explosion, I’ve noticed a proliferation of extra-large RSS icons.

I certainly understand people’s desire to attract subscribers. I have my own RSS icons on my blog. See them over there on the right, near the top of the page? Nice little buttons with the familiar — even standard — little curvy line design. Nice, right? You know what they’re for, and you can use them if you want to.

I got them from, if you’re interested.

But what’s with the ginormous feed icons? They remind me of Flavor Flav‘s huge wall clock necklace pendant. Does it have to be so big? Does it tell time better than a normal wristwatch?

Now, it may be that the over-large RSS icon is being used as a design element, which is fine. But as far as function, I think these R.I.O.U.S.s (RSS Icons Of Unusual Size) are a bit excessive. Kind of like an unnecessary and too-long acronym. 😉

I doubt there is a correlation between the size of an RSS icon and the number of subscribers it attracts. Also, there is probably no relationship between the size of the icon and anything else useful. Of course, people can do what they like with their own sites and icons. But isn’t there a size at which the RSS button becomes too big to do its job, and becomes an eyesore, a distraction, or even a deterrent, to would-be subscribers? How about the “World’s Biggest RSS Button“, which is so big, it leaves no room for anything else on the page?

I think the RSS icon should be big enough to be found easily by users who are looking for it, but small enough to be ignored by those who aren’t. That’s just my opinion.

Fact: EntreCard Credits are like Schrute Bucks

One Schrute BuckBefore I begin, let me say that I enjoy both Dwight Schrute and EntreCard. Now, let me explain my assertion. 🙂

On The Office (US version), Dwight Schrute creates Schrute Bucks as a way to motivate his coworkers to perform well. (If you’re not familiar with Dwight, you should know that he is an insufferable dweeb and suck-up, but he is also excellent at his job. That really has nothing to do with this analogy, but it is a big part of why The Office is so hilarious.) The Schrute Buck is a unit of currency in Dwight’s system, where he gets to decide what a person has to do to earn one.

EntreCard (EC) is a system of free internet advertising that rewards users with Credits, which they can use to purchase ad space on other users’ blogs. Credits are awarded for using the system by “card dropping,” or clicking on other people’s EC widgets.

A-ha! What else do Schrute Bucks and EC Credits have in common? Well, since I am a bit of an insufferable dweeb myself, here is a list …

  • Fact: Both Schrute Bucks and EC Credits are constructed units of currency.
  • Fact: Both Schrute Bucks and EC Credits can be earned only by exhibiting behaviors desired by their creators.
  • Fact: Neither Schrute Bucks nor EC Credits have any real value outside of their respective reward systems.*
  • Fact: Both Schrute Bucks and EC Credits have value only if there is demand for them among users.
  • Question: What is the exchange rate of Schrute Bucks to EC Credits?
  • Answer: It’s the same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.

* I know there has been some talk of selling EC Credits for real money, so we’ll see where that ends up.

I hope you enjoyed this little exercise in silliness. If you’d like to add to the discussion, please do!

You Can’t Buy a Piece of My Heart, but…

You can buy a piece of my sidebar! 😉 Yes, you can now purchase a square (125 x 125) in my sidebar, under the clearly labeled “Paid Adverts” heading. Ads will be auctioned through Project Wonderful. We’ll see how it goes. If you’d like to share your experience with the Project Wonderful system, I’d love to hear your comments. Thanks!

I’m not sure what to think about pay-per-post

I don’t want to offend anyone here, but I guess I might. It seems that Pay-Per-Post (PPP) badges are popping up on blogs everywhere. I understand that most bloggers are hoping to make some money. I know what kind of time goes into writing posts and maintaining a site, not to mention that most bloggers have families, “real” jobs, and lots of other things going on in their lives. I’m right there with you! I get it!

But when I read a post on a blog that has a PPP badge, or maybe a disclosure statement (explaining that some posts may or may not be influenced by sponsors), I wonder whether I’m reading a genuine article or a paid advertisement. Is it just me, or does a blog that accepts PPP writing assignments lose some of its credibility? Maybe I should read the whole blog before I decide whether it’s too commercial for me, but how many of us have time for that? Is that how you surf blogs? Probably not.

I’m not trying to sound high and mighty. Pay-Per-Post bloggers aren’t bad people. I’ve considered getting in on PPP myself, but I’ve decided against it. I’ve decided this blog is going to be all mine. Now if somebody wants to hire me to write for a separate publication, that’s a different story. But like it or not, this one’s all me. There you have it.