"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Thursday, June 15, 2006

That's so hot!

Perhaps you've heard of "Hot Or Not". If you're so inclined, you can subject yourself to the capricious judgment of passing strangers simply by uploading your picture to be rated on an arbitrary "hotness" scale of one-to-ten. The results are best taken with a very large grain of salt; sure, it can be a bit of an ego boost to get a high rating, but also a major blow to your self-esteem if your score is low. Still, most people who visit the site don't take it too seriously, but rather as a fun and modern form of people-watching -- something we all do subconsciously every day anyway. Cynics, however, might see it as a prime example of vanity taken to its superficial extreme; these folks are likely to find the idea of judging someone's worthiness by viewing their picture for a few seconds to be quite offensive. I'm sure Paris Hilton would agree.

No matter what you think of it, though, the site is a huge phenomenon, and is enjoying quite a bit of media attention. Part of the reason is that the owners have largely been successful at keeping out the spam and porn that has infected similar sites. Also, while there are no doubt some fake pictures posted, all photos are screened by a small army of moderators before being made public and most seem genuine.

I am way too insecure and easily embarrassed to post my own picture, however the Hot-or-Not crew is branching out into other endeavors with a new service called "Blog Hot or Not". As the name implies, readers can rate the blogs they visit on the same 1-to-10 scale; BHoN also lets blog writers tag their journal with keywords that can help steer new readers to their sites. So I've decided to take the plunge and give it a try. If you look over in the sidebar underneath my Blogrolling links, you will find a little icon that, when clicked, will allow you to express your opinion about whether you think my blog is "hot", or "not". Of course, I know all my loyal regular readers will give me a "10".

I would do the same for you, honest.


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