A fabulous habit. With the amount that happens in North America it’s a wonder it isn’t a full-contact Olympic sport.
Navel gazing is especially interesting in the SEO environments as everyone becomes focussed on getting others to notice them.
For instance, I used to run a reasonably succesful humour site (did it in an hour, did no maintenance, and made 100$/month off of it). When trying to promote it I did the standard “submit to search engines, submit to directories, buy some advertising and tell people about it.” While this works to some extent, the problem is that this is still navel gazing.
It is trying to convince others that you are worthy of their attention.
Ensight has more than 2000 links coming back. Only 2-3 are reciprocal, and only because those people have become friends. The rest were developed through a very simple habit. Every day I try and find new sites that interest me. I develop a relationship with their owners.
No “oh, now you know my name, want to link to me?” No, evil stuff that. No, the single greatest tool for taking Ensight from 5 incoming links to 500 has been not navel gazing. Not even caring about Ensight. Being discovered by discovering others. Give it a whirl. It’s impressive how well it works.
After all, half the blogs that get added to Ensight’s blogroll are from people who comment here, I read their site and decided to add them. Not because they asked, but because I discovered them by them discovering me.