Yep... Harsh Times

So today I was checking my google analytics accounts and I find a couple of refferels from this site to my smallblogsnetwork. And so I check it out, and lo and behold I find this blog post specifically targeting my site. Apparently, the author of this site doesn’t like the idea of my gallery. I’ve submitted a comment on the conversation and hopefully it’ll be productive. However, she also emailed me personally asking to be removed! What? When as the last time someone asked to be removed from a gallery? And so, here I am questioning whether the current idea and principle of SBN is a good idea… I’d like almost everyone’s thoughts on this one. Thanks guys!

s much as I enjoy the idea that my site could be featured in a gallery, for the praise and because it opens me up to usually much needed criticism, I think there are WAY too many gallery sites out there. A gallery is something really simple to put together so people throw up a gallery site and get some revenue from advertisements on the gallery with little work involved. And there’s probably a [URL=“”]Napoleon factor involved too, which makes a person feel superior by choosing who “gets” to be featured in his/her gallery. The needless gallery

One new gallery in particular, called [Small Blogs Network](, has come to my attention and it screams of all the typical motives behind new gallery sites:

[]Easy publicity without working for it
“The purpose of this site to to showcase blogs that would not have recieved much attention any other way. It’s for promotion purposes only, but also it’s a showcase and so it’s also to showcase people’s work in their blogs. By getting your blog onto here, it helps you get noticed and hopefully will draw refferals to your site. The intention is to draw traffic to your site to jumpstart it into the blogosphere.”
]For the sake of owning a gallery
“I always wanted to own and operate one of my own web galleries and well, now I have.”[/LIST] But aside from motive, there’s worse. Note the language used. The great galleries like CSS Beauty and [URL=“”]StyleGala are much classier and more professional. They’ve also worked hard in other ways to become reputable sites, offering much more than a simple showcase of websites they like. They recognize that it takes much more than a good looking site to make it, and no site ever got big (and stayed big) because of a gallery feature.
Grow your blog legitimately

For the record, in case it’s not clear, I don’t endorse this gallery and did not submit my site. I have in fact asked to be removed from the gallery. To “small” bloggers out there, I’ll say what I’ve said a hundred times: 
**Emulate the greats**

Watch what the ‘big’ bloggers do and [emulate]( them (don’t copy, that’s different). Really great bloggers aren’t out there submitting themselves to all kinds of gallery sites.
**Comment and further the conversation**

Get out there and talk to people. Start by commenting on their blog or offering feedback to a post via email if they offer the option. Many big bloggers can get too busy for email, so don’t be offended if they can’t reply. Join in the conversation anyway, but be a participant; don’t try to dominate the conversation with everything you know about the subject. 
**Try the CSS Reboot or another event**

There are good ways to get exposure and the [CSS Reboot]( helped me because it was a way for me to show that I’m a designer and that I have a blog, but it wasn’t a freebie. I had to design a new look for my site and it was hard work.
**Host others on your blog**

This is a great way to get — and give — exposure. You can do a blog carnival where you call for readers to submit their own posts on a particular topic and then you post an entry listing the best of those submissions with links back to their posts. You could also host a post in which you post another person’s entry on your blog with a full credit and link to their blog. Then there’s a plain link swap in which you simply link to someone in your links list in exchange for a link from them. 
**Get involved in groups**

If you can get into [9rules, you’ll find a really solid group of bloggers with incredible content, substance, and resources out the wazoo, but actually any group can help you. Of course you don’t want to join any group just for exposure, so don’t get involved for that reason. Just find a group that suits you (I love [URL=""]Godbit]( as well), and be yourself. Get to know people and they’ll eventually get to know you. 
Remember high school? The cool kids didn’t become cool by using other people as leverage. Okay, maybe a few, but I hated them, and most got there simply by being involved in sports, parties, student body, etc. They lived their lives and people flocked to them because they were fun to be around and didn’t complain about how unpopular they were. Oh yeah, remember “Can’t Buy Me Love“? Don’t try to buy your way in with bribes or fake compliments. Your mom was right. Be yourself and people will love you just as you are, and if they don’t they’re not worth it.