Guys and Blog Headers

Bad Blog Headers - The Anti-Social MediaGuys, we need to have a talk about your blog headers.

How many blog headers need to have a white guy with his arms folded across his chest? Aren’t you original? Aren’t you more fun? And why are you closing up your body language like that?

Look, I’m totally ok with you having a nice slick photo of yourself up at the top of your blog. I have mine over in the sidebar. The way the internet works these days, we need to sell ourselves to clients, readers, and potential employers. Like all forms of internet prostitution, a good photo helps with that.

But if I have look at another blog with a white guy with his arms folded across is chest, I’m going to scream.

How many times do we stand and smile with our arms folded? Not many I suspect. Usually when I have my arms folded, I’m grumpy, frowning, and getting extremely snarky about whatever the hell I’m listening to. It’s a closed, defensive body language.

It’s also really generic body language. Isn’t there a more open, inviting, and exciting gesture you could be making? Something that doesn’t say, “I”m a smug, self-centered white guy?”

For the guys who don’t have a blog header like this, thanks for being ahead of the curve. For the rest of you, pull your head out of your ass, open up photoshop, and touch up your header. You’ve got a nice smile. Show me what you look like when you aren’t closing down your body language.

Don’t worry, you won’t look any less professional than the guy who has a cartoon for half of his photo.

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19 Responses to “Guys and Blog Headers”

  1. Claire Wagner October 27, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    This may not be a good business move. From Wikipedia: “One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest.[citation needed] This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person’s arms are cold, which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.” But I still like Danny Brown’s photo. And his blog. Maybe he’s just cold.

    • Jay October 27, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      He probably is cold. He lives in Canada.

      • Danny Brown October 27, 2011 at 11:37 am #

        I’m Scottish, living in Canada. Cold is nothing to me. :)

    • Danny Brown October 27, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      It’s funny - my blog header has led to some emails and comments (when the redesign was first unveiled). I got tired of all the blog headers where the person just stared at you - my goal was to step away from that.

      My designer chose that image as she felt it offered both professional (suit, thought) and “humble” (not aggressively staring, contemplative).

      It’s one of the beauty’s of the “eye of the beholder” phrase - so many different viewpoints can be had from a simple image. :)

      Thanks for the kind words about my blog, Claire, appreciated. :)

      • Jay October 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

        You know, I do read other blogs Danny. Some of us have beef with other things besides Klout! ;)

        I wrote this based on more people than just you. I did notice a collection of other, similar headers. And I am glad you aren’t staring me down. Last thing I need is a Scotish Canadian giving me the stare.

        But yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why my next blog will only have cats in the header. :)

        • Danny Brown October 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

          Dammit - and I thought you were my most loyal subscriber. Grr….

          • Jay October 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

            I am one of the most loyal, but I need to experiment! I don’t want to live my life without knowing what it’s like to read other blogs!

  2. Danny Brown October 27, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Easy for you to say, standing in a puddle of bloody pee. I’d see a doctor about that, mate.

    • Jay October 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      Just because my stick figures have problems with infected bladders doesn’t mean you need to bring them up on my blog. ;)

  3. Camilo Olea October 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    “Like all forms of internet prostitution, a good photo helps with that.”

    Ah, so THAT’S what I’ve been missing! Thank you for your internet prostitution advice, good sir.

    • Jay October 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      I’m just here to help everyone make a buck or five.

  4. Artem Altman October 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    What is the point of falling in line and taking a blog header photo just like everyone else?
    The perceived difference is what separates one blog header from another.

    • Jay October 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      We can all make blog headers that are ever so slightly different from one another.

  5. Keith Korneluk October 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    I may not have my arms crossed but it’s still pretty ‘effing generic. I’ll commission a stick figure from you at some point! :)

    • Jay October 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

      But you’re pointing at nothing! That’s important!

  6. Gini Dietrich October 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    I love you. #thatisall

    • Jay October 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      Aww shucks. Thanks.

  7. gamification on mobile social applications November 2, 2011 at 4:39 am #

    Guess that is the classic “serious” pose yet not to make things look to stern, they decided to pull of a confident smile.

    But I have to agree, they do look cheesy.

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