Q&A Round 6 :: The Answers

by derek on October 17, 2008 · 19 comments

Michael Kwan asks:

Are you interested in completely replacing your day job with a career in professional blogging? If so, what steps have you taken and do you plan to take to achieve this goal?
Derek: Great question, I have been giving this some thought lately and recently wrote about the idea of blogging as a business. Right now I feel like I am stuck in that Catch-22 where it is hard to build the blog earnings much higher due to the time commitment of my full-time job, yet I don’t make enough through the blog to leave the full-time job. If I was single, I’d take the plunge and go for it but with a wife and two kids depending on me, I am being much more cautious.

In a nutshell, I am not sure I will be able to replace my day job without being able to take the plunge. However, I am actively pursuing a day job that would be more aligned with my passion for the Interweb, blogging, social media, etc.

Andrea asks:

Who are you planning to vote for this year for president and why?
Derek: Andrea, you didn’t do your homework as I mentioned who I was planning to vote for in a previous Q&A session. However, I did not discuss my reasoning so I will briefly share that here.

I am planning to vote for Obama in the upcoming election, in part because I feel he is more aligned with my stance on many of the issues and in part because I have zero faith in McCain and/or Palin to lead this country.

Steve@Free iPods asks:

Why do Americans have “World” Series involving just one country?
Derek: Because everything revolves around the United States, doesn’t it? 😉 Or maybe they figured that the majority of the teams were made up of players from other countries that it was representing the world, lol.

Khaled from quadrant vans asks:

What was the deciding factor in choosing WordPress over other software like Movable type, Blogger, Typepad etc as your blog software?
Derek: When I first started with blogging, I was reading quite a few of the well known blogs such as Shoemoney, Problogger, and John Chow. Seeing the support of WordPress from these big players made me believe it was the right way to go. To be honest, I never even really looked at the other options as I had read too many posts with the theme “I wish I had started with WordPress”.

Ryan asks:

Do you view the tremendous decline in share prices within the U.S. stock market as a buying opportunity?
Derek: Generally speaking, yes I do. However, that doesn’t mean that every stock that has seen tremendous declines will be a buying opportunity as there will certainly be some companies that never recover. In my stock investing, outside of my core retirement investing, I prefer a technical approach as opposed to a fundamental approach and am watching certain stocks for an entry point.

Oddly enough, as a relatively young investor, I have to remind myself that this declining economy is actually presenting an opportunity to buy at very low prices. Obviously this assumes that the market will make a return to historical averages, which we all know there are no guarantees. Will I be able to time the bottom of the market? Not a chance. Can I make some great investments right now? I think so.

Ling@Uptake asks:

What costume are you going to be wearing for Halloween? 🙂
Derek: I don’t think I have dressed up for Halloween in about 5 years, as the last costume that I remember was when I dressed up as Steve Bartman – the fan many accused of continuing the Cubs curse of not winning a World Series. It was actually quite funny, as I made a logo that looked much like the Cubs logo on their hat, but it had “hoke” inside the “C”.

Since that time, Halloween has been more about taking my kids out to trick-or-treat with a few other dads in the neighborhood. We dress up as suburban dads, pulling coolers full of beer in a wagon, as the kids run from door to door.

Andrea asks:

He is gonna go as a blogger….OOOOOO!!
Derek: Good idea…those easy costumes are always good, lol.

kouji@haiku poems examples asks:

alright… went through the previous sessions…
how do you look for the blogs which you then comment on? and do you tend to visit the same blogs a lot, or do you spend more time looking for new blogs to comment on?
thanks. 🙂
Derek: Not sure that I really have a method to finding blogs to leave comments, although I can tell you that I comment more frequently on blogs that have a “Subscribe to Comments” feature. I’m terrible about remembering which posts I have commented on and often forget to visit for a follow-up when I don’t get an email telling me there are new comments. Yes, I could subscribe to the comments RSS but I rarely do that.

To find interesting blogs, I will often visit the blogs that I already know and enjoy, and start bouncing around the blog roll links to see what I can find that is new and interesting.

Nicole Price asks:

I find it eerie that you blog so openly about your dissatisfaction with your current job. Aren’t you even a little bit afraid, that your employer may read it and that it could lead to unpleasantness?
Derek: Not really. With the recent changes in my job, I have openly expressed to my boss that I was not extremely happy with things as I preferred my previous position that had me writing code. However, while I might voice the fact that I am unhappy, that has not changed the fact that I still perform my job quite well and am committed to doing the best job that I can do. For the most part, the things that I have mentioned here are things that are already known by my boss.

TechnoSamrat asks:

What is your main idea behind blogging? earning money?? getting fame?? or something else??
Derek: I believe that I have covered this a handful of times before, but my basic motivation now is to connect with people and be in a position to offer help to people. When I started my first blog, I admit that it was with unrealistic visions of earning money. Since that time, I have made a few connections with people that have made all of the blogging more than worth the time and effort. Whether it be the person that I shared a consumer debt payment plan with on my personal finance blog or someone here that I have helped with a code issue, that is what motivates me.

Fame is not something that I am after, as I much prefer to remain in the background and out of the spotlight. While I am certainly trying to make money with my blogs, that is not my motivation. My motivation is the people and relationships.

Nick@romandock dot com asks:

How did you decide upon Disney World as your vacation destination? Also, how much vacation time do you get per year? I wonder this because you took vacation to go to BlogWorld and now this trip, plus whatever other time off you took earlier in the year….
Derek: Disney World has been on the wish-list of my wife and kids for some time now. We haven’t been there since my wife and I were married there just over 9 years ago. Every year my wife has wanted to go back…this year, we priced it out and realized it was quite reasonable to do, so we booked the trip.

For vacation time, I currently get three weeks of vacation plus an assortment of personal days / sick days. When I went to BlogWorld, I only had to use one vacation day as the bulk of the conference was on the weekend. Outside of this upcoming vacation, I have only used a day here and there and then usually use a few days around the holidays.

Andrea asks:

You know how Disneyworld got chosen? His wife wanted to go.LOL
Derek: That is pretty accurate. She has wanted to go for quite some time and this year I was in agreement that it was a good time to go.

Nick@romandock dot com asks:

Was it the wife or the kids? I’m surprised that she didn’t want to go with on the Miami and Vegas trips 🙂
Derek: As mentioned above, it was mainly my wife but it wasn’t hard to convince the kids. As for the other trips, one of the main reasons that she did not go was the need to line up a babysitter for the kids. Plus, sometimes I just need time alone! 😉

JLow asks:

How would one (or you) backup an entire WordPress blogsite, right from the start / first post, including all the comments, jpg’s, links (to other internal posts and external sites)?
You would do this, say, when you are looking to change hosting companies and want to “transplant” the blog….
FTP the entire db and directories down into your C drive?
Sites and services that offer back up just don’t seem to cut it for me….
Derek: For something like this, I typically prefer the manual process that I control. So I would start by making a backup of my database – many hosts allow for you to create a backup. In addition to the backup, I would export the entire database via phpMyAdmin and would use this to import the database at the new host. Next I would connect to my host via FTP and grab a local copy of everything.

What aspect of the sites/services don’t cut it for you? The manual process really shouldn’t be too bad, although it does get more complex if you’re changing domains as well.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

kouji@haiku poems examples October 17, 2008 at 2:49 pm

thanks for all the answers here. 🙂
koujis last blog post..blog action day 2008: philippine poverty haiku poems

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Andrea October 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

sorry, i dont follow directions well (apparently).

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Nick@romandock dot com October 17, 2008 at 9:05 pm

How insightful…pretty soon though, we might run out of things (or at least appropriate things) to ask you :S
Nicks last blog post..Never-Published Posts

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Lol, who said anything about being appropriate?

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Ling@Romantic Hotels October 17, 2008 at 11:37 pm

A blogger costume sounds like a neat idea. Any suggestions for how one should dress to look like a monstrous blogger? 🙂

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Nicole Price October 18, 2008 at 4:41 am

This is actually a great exercise. One gets to get a better feel about you as a person and this level of understanding improves every month. Do keep it up. The problem for your readers of course is to think up interesting questions!!

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recycling bin October 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm

I am glad I am not the only one taking the time to evaluate the stocks and am placing money in the ones I see as solid in hopes that I am buying low so I can benefit down the road.

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Jayson October 19, 2008 at 4:00 am

Derek – love the answers .. and the questions (I guess!). World Series LOL – I was recently asked that question and my response was just about the same.
Anyways – How do I get that subscribe to comments via email thing? I haven’t ran across it yet for some reason, but I don’t ever go back to blog posts unless I get the email so…
Hope all is well

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:19 pm

To get the email, you simply check the box down below (or there is one in the comment form as well).
If you were asking how to get that on your site, that would depend on whether or not you are using Wordpress, home grown code, or another CMS. Wordpress has plugins that make this functionality available and that is what I use.

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Marcia Hedgley October 19, 2008 at 11:16 am

Derek, you are the don!

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Mark October 19, 2008 at 12:25 pm

What do you think of Madonna being single again ?

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:19 pm

I have not given that any thought at all.

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Damien October 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Great answers boss.

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Thanks, appreciate that!

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Steve@Free iPods October 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Derek, of course the World revolves around the USA…but hey, I’m just happy to be going to Wembley on Sunday to watch some of your American “Football”!

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Justin@Airsoft Guns October 21, 2008 at 4:21 am

I remember that one post about business and blogging, and you mentioning the Catch-22. It is unfortunate you are in that situation, but I’m sure you’ll get out of it soon enough.
Glad to hear you are an Obama supporter! You made the right decision.
Justins last blog post..CH0581C BOYI Airsoft Shotgun

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Hope enough people agree with you and me come election day!

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... October 23, 2008 at 5:28 am

Derek,
I agree with the logic of your criteria in regards to your decision on who you will vote for (the issues, the ability to lead); ironically, however, my conclusion has led me to the other candidates.
But hey, we can all agree: no one’s perfect.
Great Q&A list. Props to you for being so open.
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..Sen. Biden again makes the case …. for President McCain

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Kim bell June 22, 2010 at 9:32 am

cool stuff derek

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