PubSub is no longer around, so those links will be broken. I’ve written a new post that provides fresh opportunities for being a vain blogger.
I'm not the first to say it and I probably won't be the last. But blogging is pure vanity, and new services out there just make it easier and easier to inflate one's head.
For starters, the vain blogger will subscribe to his own RSS feed (or ATOM feed) in his favorite RSS reader. The vain blogger will assure you that this is for quality assurance purposes, but the astute reader can see right through that smokescreen. Obviously this is just the blogger's vain longing to gaze at his own writing akin to staring at a mirror.
The next step is to install the Google Toolbar so the vain blogger can check his Google PageRank every day, in hopes of seeing even the slightest climb validating his pathetic existence.
"Hey! Look at that. It moved up a notch from 3 to 4!!! I'm a GOD! You really love me! Now please click on the ads below and make me RICH!"
Naturally, if the vain blogger is using .TEXT, he'll religiously check the admin section hourly for page view and aggregator stats and pore over the referrer lists looking for that lone referral that is NOT a result of a Google search.
The more sophisticated vain blogger realizes poring through referrer logs is futile and steps it up a notch by using tools such as Technorati, Feedster, and PubSub. These tools enable the vain blogger to register his or her blog on their search engines and then subscribe to a feed of blogs that mention or link to his own. Ah... this takes the blogger to the next level of vanity. But it doesn't stop there.
Pubsub provides a link rank page. Enter a domain and it displays where it ranks in the blogosphere. Today my blog jumped from 2048 to 1893! Wohoo!...I think. I have no idea what that number means or what the total range is, but that's inconsequential to the vain blogger. It's a number, and it's better than it was. That's all that matters.
What is vanity if there is nobody around to behold it. Thus the vain blogger whores himself out by linking to Scoble or Dave Winer in hopes of a back referral and perhaps endorsement. Better yet, he'll try to get link to his blog posted on BoingBoing to drive some real traffic to the site.
Ah yes, as we see, blogging is pure vanity. As the author of this respectable blog, I vow not to drag it and its readers through the dirt of such degrading procedures. No no. I will not debase myself in such manner and will strive to stay on the high ground. I will retain my dignity and integrity.
Unless of course you can get me on Slashdot...
UPDATE: One tool on the vain blogger's utility belt I forgot to mention is blatant self promotion. Got that one from Brian Bailey's tips for a better blog, but it applies just as well to vanity.