an interview with me, nominations, etc.

A couple of me-centric things —

1. Unmana Datta, a marketing specialist who sometimes comments here, just published an interview with me about some of the behind-the-scenes workings of Ask a Manager, and how the blog led me to start working for myself. It includes the biggest challenges I’ve faced as an entrepreneur, my least favorite part about running the site, and more. You can read it here.

2. Back in 2008, when I’d only been blogging for a year, this site somehow ended up getting nominated for a Bloggie award. While most of these award lists are kind of silly, this one is actually a Big Thing and helped drive some early traffic to me. So I’d love it if you’d take a minute to nominate Ask a Manager this year. You can submit your nomination in the Best Topical Weblog category here. (Note that you have to nominate three sites for any one category you vote in.) Thank you!

{ 42 comments… read them below }

  1. the gold digger*

    I had to laugh at your definition of traditionalist!

    I guess I’m a traditionalist, in that I prefer email to communicate with people and scanning the web with an RSS reader to get my news.

  2. Kit M.*

    I think it’s pretty clear why you have a better comments section than most places on the internet. You start by posting thoughtful, useful content that isn’t tailored to provoke, you are constantly weighing in the comment section and enforcing your standards of conversation, and you attract loyal readers who are less likely to troll because they want to continue to be part of the conversation.

    I really want to thank you for sticking to your guns and keeping a commenting system that allows anonymous comments and doesn’t require email addresses. When people criticize pseudonymity and anonymity on the internet, this blog is one of my go-to examples of how it can work.

    1. Jamie*

      I think what Alison and the commenters do well here, that is perhaps not as prevalent elsewhere, is there is a tendency for trolls to starve to death here.

      They may be fed initially – before it’s obvious that they live under the bridge – but once it’s known the engagement stops and they move on to more fertile hunting grounds.

      If only the whole internet would adopt this approach I could spend a lot less time being mad at the internet as a whole!

      1. JessA*


        It seems like whenever I read an interesting article online the first few comments are somewhat interesting, but it turns into pure garbage pretty quickly. Here, I feel like the comments section has become a really engaging conversation area, that I personally, love to read.

    2. ChristineH*

      If I do put my email address, though, only Alison can see it, right? I should take it off, though; I was only including it to subscribe to comments, but now I follow threads of interest through RSS, which I find much easier than getting 100+ emails, lol.

      But oh how I love this place…I’d nominate AAM, but this is the only blog I regularly follow. The commenters here are the coolest, most insightful bunch I’ve ever encountered. Plus, as I may’ve said before, being a reader has helped me to slowly reframe my attitudes about job searching and the workplace.

      I definitely recommend everyone read the Unmana’s interview!

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Yes, if you include your email address, only I can see it — no one else can.

        Two suggestions for other nominees: and!

        1. Some European*

          Not totally sure on how this works, but are’nt those emails send to Gravatar somehow to show an image besides commenters?

          Btw., is that a huge sandvich or a dog on that picture?

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            On my picture with the article? That’s a cat!

            And yes, if you have an account with Gravatar, and if you enter your email address here when you comment, your Gravatar account will generate a picture here (whichever picture you have associated with your Gravatar account).

            1. Jamie*

              HA – as I posted in the Linkedin forum – until today I had no idea it was a cat. I always thought you were holding your purse!

              1. khilde*

                I always thought it was a chair!! Like one of those cheesy poses from senior photos where you lean on something. Of course, Alison, I don’t mean to insult your taste that you would actually pose like that. My mind just made that connection and it stayed that way. It’s funny how we all saw something different. A sandwich! haha

                1. khilde*

                  haha – oops! My big mouth. It was a nice picture before, but the entire cat actually makes the whole thing very personable (which I know you do love your cat(s) since I remember you talking about them in previous posts). I like the new pic!!!

  3. Jamie*

    Okay – this is embarrassing. We have to nominate three sites and I only have two sites in my RSS feeder. AAM and Cracked.

    And no, I do not want to know what that says about me, thank you.

    I’ll dig up a couple of more so I can vote. If I become blog addicted I’m blaming this site.

    1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

      I just discovered, which is pretty HR focused, but has some really good articles. Oooh, and the HR Bartender is pretty good too.

  4. Elizabeth West*

    I have only four or five I read; there are too many other categories for me to even think about. Which is funny, because my bookmarks look like a hoarder’s closet.

    Well I MIGHT read it SOMEDAY… *click* :P

    1. fposte*

      “my bookmarks look like a hoarder’s closet.” Oh, I hear this. I can no longer just use the drop-down menu to find one of my bookmarks–it takes too long and freezes.

      1. Jamie*

        Folders, my friends….folders.

        This is why my bookmarks look like a hoarder’s closet – if that hoarder also had OCD which required alphabetized folders.

        1. Rana*

          Let me tell you about my nested folders for controlling my 500+ RSS feeds sometime. ;)

          (Bookmarks? A largely lost cause at this point. It’s usually quicker to reGoogle.)

  5. Katie in Ed*

    What RSS feed reader do y’all use?

    While it’s not really an RSS feed, I like Zite because it exposes me to new content on sites I might not know about or regularly visit based on content I’ve liked previously. Though sometimes, this becomes a bit demoralizing, as I’m visually confronted with how much I like trashy Gawker articles.

      1. Jamie*

        Me too – Live Bookmark and Firefox. Great minds, Christine :)

        I wish it worked the same in my iPad as it does on desktop, though.

    1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

      I just use Google Reader. And I’m glad, because my inbox was starting to get completely overwhelming. As it is, it only takes a couple days of not checking it before it’s back up to 1000+ posts unread… so much good content in the world!

      1. SCW*

        I’m a google reader reader myself! I agree I have to keep up all the time or I end up having to mark all as read!

    2. Josh S*

      Google Reader for RSS (integrates with G+, my social network of choice).

      And for bookmarks, I use a combination of Chrome (which syncs bookmarks between my laptop and phone, and tablet if I ever get one) for the stuff I want to refer to ‘forever’, and Pocket for the stuff I want to read later/blog about/cite as part of research.

  6. HR Pufnstuf*

    You and the Evil one got my vote, along with Not Always Right and STFU Parents for the humor.

  7. Not So NewReader*

    So Alison, when you set up an RSS reader for some one- what sites do you chose? Well…okay, what sites do you think are the most important to have?

    I have five, but I rarely look at it. Jaime has two, which is probably better than the five I don’t look at. hahaa…I guess we could beef this up a bit, eh?

  8. Sarah G*

    Love the interview! Great comment about “be[ing] really clear on what you’re offering that makes you different.”

  9. Anonymous*

    Loved the interview and your take on the comment section! The high signal to noise ratio of comments is what keeps me coming back – I groan when I see multiple entries with 100+ comments each after a long day, but I’m compelled to read each and every one of them. Darn you, you good commenters!! :)

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