The selection of the signature of John Hancock as an illustration for the following Active RAIN post is very interesting.
Hancock had pure intent when he signed the Declaration of Independence in very large fashion, He is famously reported to have said he did so so that King George III could read his name without his bifocals.
Hancock was intent on his signature being not only noticed but irritating.
He had ample reason.
In the days just before the Revolution went viral, the King, acceding to the advice of his handlers, had pardoned all the colonists for their rebellious crimes. But the King personally insisted on making two exceptions: Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
The King knew who the real leaders of the rebellion were and there was no way he wanted them to escape his wrath.
When the British troops left Boston heading for Lexington and Concord, following Paul Revere's ride, they were looking not so much to seize the arms of the colonial militia (as famously mischaracterized recently by Sarah Palin) - but to seize those two men.
They almost succeeded in arresting those two true Fathers of Our Country - before being forced into a bloody and embarassing retreat back to Boston.
Hancock's whole life, not just his signature, was writ large.
He was not seeking business ...or publicity.
He was already the wealthiest man in America....and completly notorious in England.
And did the King actually see a copy of that Declaration with that out-sized signature? Recent-year finds of "original" copies of the Declaration in the depths of the English archives prove that he did.
Bifocals or not, you can bet he noticed the name of John Hancock...a man he had ample reason to despise.
He was a man whose name ....and role....we should all know as well as George knew it.
(That was just a joke . . . don't get all defensive on me.) This morning I read an interesting article by Kristine about all of the prior posts that people put at the bottom (or top) of their signature. I found the article interesting because it is certainly a pet peeve of mine. But it made me think of another pet peeve, and that is a person's signature that takes up three or four or five computer screens to get to the comment section. My own opinion is that, if it takes much more than one computer screen for me to see who you are, it is probably too long.
This is obviously and completely a personal preference, so I agree with Kristine, please don't jump all over me for my opinion. But the fact of the matter is, I want to read your blog, and if I like what you have to say, I'm gonna find out who you are, where you are, and what you do. On the right side of your screen is a pretty picture of the person writing, so you probably don't need another one in your signature. The way that I normally do that is to go to a persons blog and read other stuff that they have written. I am NOT going to find out who you are by mis-aligned pictures and a list of links that I will never look at.
Seriously, think about yourself for just a minute (that shouldn't be too hard, right? ;) ). Do you EVER read people's signatures? Do you look at what they have to say in their signatures even the very first time you read their post? I can't remember reading a signature. I will click on a Facebook or Twitter link if I like the author. However, I get a little exasperated every day having to keep scrolling and scrolling to get to comment on a worthy post. Put those in your Profile. I think that that is rightly where they belong. I will even admit that there are some signatures that are so absolutely annoying that I have unsubscribed from the writer because it wasn't worth getting thru all of those previous posts and pictures that I don't care about to make a comment. No matter how good the post, it wasn't worth the aggravation.
I totally understand the argument that there is SEO to be had in previous posts. Go for it, but change your current twenty links to two to five links, and then just change those every now and then. I promise you, people aren't reading them all just because they are in your signature line.
Oh, and a neat thing that I learned from Eric Cooper and Jim, part of Russell Ray's crew (the KING of 20 line links) is that all you have to do to get to the end of a signature and all of the comments is either hit the END button or the PAGE DOWN button. Thanks, guys!
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