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May 26, 2008


Michael Martine | Remarkablogger

Well, it's no surprise to you that I am working on becoming the world's #1 blog consultant.

There many lovely touches in your article, from the picture to things like "Ego is such a gigantic force that there's an entire religion devoted to trying to dissolve it." Love that.

I would like to point out that having a methodology and being confident do not go against being a nice guy. That's not pompous. Calling your service the "Blog Master Package?" Now that's pompous!

Sonia Simone

But in such a lovable way.

That package name does crack me up. I'm always tempted to rename it to be even more so. "Blog Dominator Package." "Blog Crush the Competition Package." "Blog Imperial Overlord Package." etc.

I'd go on, but it descends into crudeness fairly quickly, and I only swear in Naomi's comments.

Jared Goralnick

I think you've found your own calling--being a NICE authority. It's interesting that you didn't point to many examples of nice authorities because honestly I think most people are not nice authorities to most people. Instead, they're nice to those who they're close with and have admiration for...but not everyone else. Perhaps that's part of time management, but it's also frustrating. As someone who knows plenty of authorities and is perceived very differently by different one, I've seen how different one can be treated.

But you, Sonia, you've always been sweet. It's in your personality to give back. So yeah, you rock.

Me? I'd like to be the one who makes technology work for people rather than against them. I'd call it productivity, but it's more about changing relationships with technology than just the quantitity of people's outputs. I've got a ways to go in my little niche.

Anyhow, keep up the good writing and stay nice even when you're out of all of our reach.

Loraleigh Vance

I too love the ego comment 'cause that's what always get's me in the biggest trouble! Ya hit home on that one.


I believe in being disarming and letting people know up front what I'm all about. I use my background as a great ice-breaker. This is such a well written and fun article to read. THANKS!


I think a nice blog authority, apart from Sonia, is Chris Garrett.

As for me and my 'niche' (what an imprecise and over used term that one is), well I'm a generalist. My interest is health (and that health is multi-dimensional: thoughts, feelings and our situation all affect each other). It sort of crosses into the 'self improvement' (there's another term I'd like to see go) niche too.

As to being nice, usually. My impatience with people who should know better is when it goes out the window.

Thanks for a great article.

Sonia Simone

Thanks all! Esp. to Jared for not only leaving a nice comment, but the very smart suggestion (offline) to make my comment box wider. I'm about to take the Wordpress plunge, so that's going on the list.

I've been lucky enough to work with a few nice authorities, but it's just recently occurred to me to really make a study of them.

Evan, I agree, ChrisG is a great example. A lovely, soft-spoken and kind person, and knows his stuff backwards & forwards. I have never met Darren Rowse, but that's how he strikes me as well.

They're out there. Maybe I should start a movement!

Daniel Smith

Great article! I, too loved the ego comment. Spot on.

Your post reminded me of Seth Godin's fairly recent article "We Specialize in Everything."

Really has had me thinking about my own

Since I am just starting out, I am trying to be as focused as I can be without limiting myself too much in what I can write about, because first and foremost I am writing to recapture the joy of writing itself... and yet I worry that I am not niche enough to be successful long run. I appreciate any feedback you or your readers can provide on this dilemma.

Keep up the great writing,

Daniel Smith
Smithereens Blog



I'd love to hear about your impending plunge into WP: why, how, and how difficult, etc. I'm doing it this summer and I'm afraid it's become public knowledge that I'm chicken. I'm still doing it, though.

Great guide. Best point to me: a little humor is very important, to keep from being too smarmy as you ascend to godlike status in the millefiori Fimo world. We all appreciate a bit of humanity in our polymer clay gods.

What am I working on? Well, I don't want to be the world's top authority on Experience Design. I want to be The authority on Experience Design for smaller businesses, because there's a lot more benefits to small business in creating Maximum Customer Experience, than there is for companies with 72 VPs of everything from customer experience to toilet-paper acquisitions. I love working with little guys.



Phyllis A Rogers

I just wrote a post on my blog with a similar theme. More specifically, how to get people I hire to finish things quicker without turning into a jerk about it. There is a fine line between being nice and being too concerned that everyone likes you. It is a quandary.

Janice C Cartier

Once upon time I read that Fairfield Porter was a painter's painter. I always wanted to be that. Now there is a new director of the Phillips Musum in DC ( one of my favorite art museums in the world ) who has as her mission to open a true dialogue with actual living American artists around some very finely honed ideas. I am beyond excited bout that.
I think your first point is a crucial one, be incredibly good at what you do. Word of mouth spreads on that. To me the beauty of art is that it translates across disciplines. So these "finely honed ideas" may just be some wonderful things to explore, in words and in paint.
And personally, the world needs all the civility it can get. So here's to the nice guys.

Amadou M. Sall

Sonia you're awesome, insanely good at what you do, and incredibly beautiful too :-)

Here is what I do: I help going global SMBs communicate with their foreign and overseas markets and audiences , i.e. strategic cross-cultural communication. So I call myself "The Cross-cultural Connector". Does that sound good, or is it simply "pompous ?

Oh, I almost forgot: people generally think I'm a "nice guy" :-)

James Hipkin

In addition to being really nice, at least all evidence suggests you are, you select the most amazing and perfect pictures to support your posts. Love this one especially.

Timothy Coote

"In addition to being really nice, at least all evidence suggests you are..."

I'm sure there is some sordid hidden fetish buried behind that squeaky clean facade somewhere. The photos are probably just the tip of the iceberg :)

Sonia Simone

LOL, Tim. I don't know if my sordid secrets are very secret. I will give you one for free: I drive too fast and I am inexcusably impatient with other drivers. There is a lot of cursing and occasionally some honking.

James, thanks for the kind words! I sometimes spend a lot of time on finding an image that works with a post. I bought this one for a video project I'm doing, and it really does make an impression. Maybe he's my Power Animal--I should print him out & attach him to my corkboard.

Nadine Touzet


My feeling is that you are not only a *nice* person, but also a trustworthy one (probably more important than just being nice).

I'm also very receptive to your 'non-Guru' approach. Letting people know about what you're doing well, without having to pitch your talents with a whole list of superlatives, is more effective.

And er... you wouldn't want to hear me when I'm driving.

Stephen Hopson


This was by far an excellent post. I'm even printing it out to remind me of the tips your provided here.

Nice guys/gals do finish first, contrary to popular belief.

I loved the "be insanely good at what you do." It's so true. If you're very good at it, people will want more of you.

And who trust jerks anyway? I don't! I run from them. They won't get my business - nada.

Thanks for an excellent post. I've not only stumbled it but I'm also Twittering it too. :0


Love this post--and this idea of focusing more and more intently on what you do best has been coming up a lot lately. For my Gemini nature, it's hard to choose. I keep worrying I'll get stuck in a box and no one will ever let me out again.

I could relate to Janice's post: "Once upon time I read that Fairfield Porter was a painter's painter. I always wanted to be that."
That was probably my goal, to be a writer's writer, but that pursuit has not necessarily brought the rewards I wanted. So I've been reassessing. Thinking.

This helps.

Sonia Simone

Barbara, it's always so good to see you. Let's go grab coffee somewhere and catch up with all that reassessing!

Sonia Simone

@Nadine, very interesting observation that being trustworthy is more important than being nice. I am going to chew on that, I think you're onto something.

Janice Chan

@Nadine, Sonia - I think this stems from the inherent vagueness of the word "nice." Does nice mean being polite? Considerate? Courteous? Does it mean being helpful? I don't think the "nice guy" Sonia is talking about here is the person who's nice to your face and then goes talk smack about you with their buddies at the bar. People may think you're nice at first, but it will catch up with you. And what that ultimately gets to is trustworthiness: can I trust this person to mean what they say? That when they offer me help, it's genuine help and not part of some hidden agenda? (On a tangent, I think this is part of the issue a lot of people have with "marketing.") Some of my dearest friends are the kind of people others think are jerks. They're honest. Sometimes brutally. And this rubs people the wrong way. But these friends don't lie to me, they're there when I need them, and I can trust them with anything. While admittedly, I can be a bit of a pushover at times and I try to be "nice" (whatever that means), I'm starting to realize that I'd much rather be trustworthy than nice.

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This is a great post! Being nice and relating to the reader can really help in developing relationships with your readers.


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nice post, I like this: I'm a big fan of being a nice guy. (I'm using "guy" in a gender-neutral way here. Feel free to read it as "gy" if that floats your boat.)


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