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Should I Date My Blog?

datingblog.jpgI love my blog.

Whenever I have something on my mind, it listens. If I need to explore a business idea, it patiently let’s me fumble around until I get it. If I’m down, it picks me up. And if I’m feeling inflated, I know it will bring me back to earth.

I love my blog. It’s a life-long friend I can really trust. But should I date my blog? Won’t that mess everything up?

Some, like Rory Sullivan, Kevin Mulldoon, George Manty and Google’s Matt Cutts think dating your blog is a necessity. Rory’s opinion is that dating:

“…makes the material seem timeless.The problem is with the word “seem”. Removing the time stamp is a trick, a gimmick.”

Yet, there are some, like Steve Pavlina, Dan & Jennifer, and the folks at Freelance Switch, that feel it’s unnecessary to date your blog. Daniel Scocco quotes Darren Rowse, who recently stopped dating his Digital Photography School blog, as saying:

“If the content is timeless and not ‘newsy' in nature I think that removing the timestamp from a blog is a very worthwhile thing to do.”

And Maki, of DoshDosh fame, has also removed in the same post is quoted as saying:

“I don't really have a concrete reason why I removed the time stamp, except that it doesn't make the blog posts look dated. Going without dates also affects your marketing potential. For instance, it might make it easier to promote material on social voting/bookmarking websites.”

If you take a look at DoshDosh you’ll see that Maki had decided to date his posts on his homepage only. He doesn’t date his individual posts, however.

Personally, I like Maki’s approach. I just wonder – is it fair to my blog to only date it on the homepage?

What do you think?

Am I The Only One Being Inundated With Comment Spam?

This has been a crazy spam week for me.

For the past few months I’ve been using Akismet with the Math Comment Spam Protection plugin. The usual number of comment spam I would get was between 25-50 daily, with almost no comments ending up in spam.

Then Lorelle suggested that I remove the Math Comment Spam Protection and install Spam Karma2 and Bad Behavior. It made sense. And since I deeply trust Lorelle’s judgment on anything WordPress, I did it.

But since changing, I’ve been bombed with spam comments. Just yesterday I got 1,400 spam comments caught by Akismet – and that doesn’t include the 800 that Bad Behavior says it caught.

What gives? Why am I all of sudden being bombarded with spam?

Lorelle told me, and I ultimately believe her, that the Math Comment Spam Protection didn’t work. So no fault of hers.

Yet this tidal wave of spam hit me when I took down Math Comment Spam Protection and installed Spam Karma2 and Bad Behavior?


Have I set something wrong with Bad Behavior and/or Spam Karma2? Or did the Math Comment Spam Protection plugin really work for me?

What are your thoughts?

Have you seen a huge increase in comment spam this week?

Any great resources for Bad Behavior or Spam Karma2 setup?

Lorelle VanFossen Has Made Every Blogging Mistake

If you use WordPress you likely know who Lorelle VanFossen is. If you don’t know who she is yet, don’t worry…you will soon.

Lorelle VanFossen, of course, writes Lorelle on WordPress (RSS) – one of the best resources for anything relating to WordPress. Need a plugin? Lorelle’s likely written about it. Need to solve a problem? Lorelle may have covered it. Want the latest news? Lorelle’s the one. She even sums it all up with her WordPress Wednesday column on Blog Hearld (RSS).

Lorelle’s done it all. Including make every blogging mistake possible. At least that’s what she said in her interview with Daniel Scocco from Daily Blog Tips (RSS).

Daniel: What is the biggest blogging mistake you did?

Lorelle: Oh, honey, I've done them all. I've been doing this so long, I've done all the big mistakes. When I read through blog posts listing their blogging mistakes, I think, “Yep, did that one in 2001. Oh, that one, I did it big in 1998. Been there, done that in 2004. Won't repeat that mistake of 1997.”

Is there just one big mistake? Nope. There are only big lessons that come from every mistake along the blogging path. I tend to focus on the lessons learned and not the screw-ups.

Lessons…that’s the perspective I love about Lorelle. Having spent some time with her at SOBCon07 back in May, it was easy to fall in love with her. She’s real, she’s honest and she doesn’t judge. And just like me, she has her opinions…

Daniel: How long should a blogger wait to monetize the blog?

Lorelle: I do not think bloggers should monetize their blogs. I think that people who want to get into the business of blogging must make a business plan on how they will use blogging for their business or as their business, thus creating a plan for monetizing their blogs.

But general bloggers? Why should your hobby make money? If you want to work your way towards professional blogging, then blog for a year or two to get a feel for blogging and make your business plan. Then move towards being a professional blogger.

I couldn’t agree more. Too many bloggers are watching what the business bloggers are doing and think about the “easy money” they could be making off their blogs. But it’s not easy money. It’s hard work.

bloggingtipsbookcoversm1.jpgBut so is blogging in general. Some days it’s easy, some it’s hard. Everyday it’s effort. That’s why many blogs aren’t successful.
And that’s what I love about Lorelle, she tells it like it is. She doesn’t sugar coat it. She’s honest about the ups and downs. That why I recommend that everyone read her new book, Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

I’ve read it three times cover to cover and it’s full of great advice. It’s literally the first blogging book I’ve read that’s really about blogging. Most blog books spend way too much time covering blog platforms or why to blog. Authors sometimes spend 1/2 to 3/4 of a book getting to the meat.

Blogging Tips is different in that Lorelle assumes you’ll get that type of information elsewhere. Instead, she gets right into meat. I highly recommend her book (and I’m not getting an affiliate kickback to say that).

dawud-lorelle.jpgI also really enjoyed Adii’s interview with Lorelle where they talk a bit more WordPress.

You know, it’s also kind of challenging to find photos of Lorelle. I snagged one with her and David Dalka (he’s on the right, I’m on the left and Lorelle is between us) when we were at SOBCon.

Should You Get A .com Domain Name At All Costs?

questioning.jpgFinding the right domain name can make a difference between a successful website and one that’s stuck in the pit of mediocrity. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but there is some truth here.

The question is, how importat is the .com? Should you get or should you get or even

Alex King has been facing this exactly question as he renames his business from King Design to Crowd Favorite. Of course, he couldn’t wrestle away from its current owner. So he came up with either using or

Which would you choose? And why?

Alex polled his readers and got mixed feedback with winning out by a small margin. Which was good because he had already decided to use But as he said it, “the response to has gotten my attention. This decision is holding up a number of things, but I want to make sure I've thought it through completely.”

Personally, I’ve always held the position that the .com was ultimately better. And unless you really couldn’t find one you like, you should always choose a .com.

A couple of the comments Alex got made me think about this position, though. Brian Warren of Be Good Not Bad suggested:

…i'd rather have a .net domain and have it be the name of my company than have a .com and have it not.

Others had similar feedback. And there’s some great advice “out there” on selecting a domain name:

But what do you think? Is a .com the only way to go? Or does the extention matter that much today?

Is Web 2.0 Causing Bad Design?

This week, usability guru Jakob Nielsen suggested to the BBC that Web 2.0 was neglecting good design. According to the BBC website:

He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served.

He said sites peppered with personalisation tools were in danger of resembling the “glossy but useless” sites at the height of the dotcom boom.

I’m with David Armano, I agree and disagree at the same time. I think that Web 2.0 sometimes sacrifices good website usability and design for attractive graphics and dynamic effects.

Yet, the trend I see with Web 2.0 designs is that they’re often much cleaner and leaner than most current websites.

Many have opinions on what Mr Nielson had to say:

What do you think? Is Web 2.0 good or bad for websites and website users?

The Face Behind My Blog

When I find blogs in enjoy it’s inevitable that I want to know more about the person behind it. I’ll read their about page. And I always hope to see their photo. I think the photo helps me connect even more.

facebehindtheblog.jpgOf course I could make it easier for you to find a photo of me on my blog (that’s coming soon, btw). So when my good friend David Airey started his Face Behind the Blog Collection, I knew I wanted to join in.

David writes:

Putting a face to the name of someone you haven't met helps recognition and adds a more personal feel to your conversations.

What photograph shows you in a light we don't often see through your blog?

A few others have joined in so far.

So now it’s my turn. Below I’ve placed a few photos of me, my wife and my kids. I figure since nothing about me is complete without my family, you should meet them as well.


That’s us this past Christmas (2006). Clockwise from top left: My wife, Sabira; me; my 3-year-old daughter A’esha; and my 1 year-old son Ahmed.


Sabira and I married after knowing each other three weeks. The night we met it took about 30 minutes for us both to realize we’d spend the rest of our life together.

If you’re wondering about the garb, I’ve been seriously studying Sufism since 1997. It’s quite literally the foundation of my life. But that’s a bit of story.


This is Sabira and I at Bryce Canyon, UT in January 2003, a few months after we married. It was cold in Bryce that time of year. But we we pretty much had the park to ourselves.


Here Sabira and I are shortly after moving from Angwin, CA to Chelsea, MI in the spring of 2003. Moved, bought a house, gutted it and began rebuilding – until A’esha decided she wanted to join us.


Here’s me beginning a backpacking trip the summer of 2003. Since 1992, I’ve spent more than 500 nights in the backcountry all over the U.S. and Canada. I’m also a sea kayaker, mountaineer, and have ice climbed. Yeah, I used to be in much better shape.


Here’s A’esha a few days after her birth in December 2003. She was born in our home with two amazing midwives. My wife was incredible.


And here she is just a week ago (almost 3 1/2). Gosh they grow up quickly.


Ahmed (and A’esha) shortly after his birth in March 2006. He was also born at home – in pool. The water birth was an incredible experience for Sabira. A’esha holding him isn’t a rare sight – even today.


And here’s Ahmed just a few weeks ago at 13 months. He laughs a ton, is walking and more than anything just loves to follow his sister around. And unlike A’esha, I’m the only one who can get him to sleep at night.

There is one more family member I don’t have a photo of yet. We’re four months pregnant. We won’t get an ultrasound nor will we find out the sex of the baby beforehand. We’ll just wait to see what surprise is waiting for us in November. Be sure you’ll hear about it.

So you now know a bit more about me and you’ve ‘met’ my family. I’m a very hands-on dad, which can make working from home difficult at times. But I love it. I love being able to have lunch with my kids or watch them run around in the back yard while I work.

Now I want to know more about you. Please join in the conversation, ask me questions or tell me how cute my kids are (that never gets old). But ask away. I’ll tell you anything I can.

And I’m also going to tag a few others. You can go to David’s blog to see the details of how to post for The Face Behind the Blog. So I’m tagging:

And if anyone else wants to join in, please, feel free.