Q&A Round 7 :: The Answers

by derek on November 28, 2008 · 30 comments

Nick from romandock dot com asks:

Do you plan to revert back to a completely clean shaven look on December 1 or do you have other plans with the future of your facial hair?
Derek: The clean shaven look will be coming, although not as of December 1st. There is a Gala Party held on December 5th to celebrate the conclusion of Movember and the current plan is to attend that party with the ‘stache in full effect.

Once the party has concluded, I will once again be clean shaven – much to the delight of my wife.

Khaled asks:

Hi Derek.
If you decided to start out fresh again on a completely new domain/blog what are the 3 most important/valuable lessons you would take with you from the experience you have gained to date.
Khaled
Derek: There are plenty of valuable lessons but I think three that would be at the top of the list are:

1) Write about something that is of personal interest to you. If you’re writing about a topic that you might be able to monetize well but is of no interest to you, you’ll burn out quickly.

2) Focus on building relationships. Be genuine with people and don’t look at other people for what they can do for you but what you can do for them.

3) Setup your own domain and hosting. While this is an extremely basic lesson, I don’t think you should underestimate the importance. Starting with a free domain and hosted blog seems tempting when you are just starting but you’ll save yourself much time and work by spending the few dollars upfront.

Nicole Price asks:

Why don’t you post some funny stuff now and then?
Derek: What kind of funny stuff would you like to see? Would you want to see something like YouTube or Break.com clips (like this one) that I find to be funny, or are you talking more about custom content that is funny?

Dassnagar asks:

Is there any particular rule to increase your blog traffic? If yes then what is the rule?
Derek: I don’t think there is any one particular rule to increase your blog traffic, as there are so many things that you can do. It starts with writing great content, as you want to be able to captivate any traffic that you do receive.

Beyond the content, here are just a few things you can do to increase traffic: be active on other blogs (sharing comments and writing guest posts), learn how to use social media sites, and get to know your readers and other bloggers.

FP System asks:

Perhaps you have very deep knowledge in many subjects. How you answer so many questions. It is surprising me a lot! Good wishes.
Derek: Not really. My answers are simply my opinions on many different subjects.

Ling@Uptake asks:

Is there a question that you thought would be asked in these Q&A sessions, but hasn’t been asked yet?
Derek: No, I don’t think I have ever really had any assumptions about what would be asked. There have been questions asked that have surprised me though.

Shawn Knight asks:

Have you ever had deep fried turkey?
Derek: Nope. I’d like to try it though. After hearing stories of people that have burned their houses down or had other accidents while deep frying a turkey, I don’t plan on trying to do it myself any time soon.

If someone wants to invite me over to try some deep fried turkey, I’ll be there!

Ryan asks:

If you were just starting out in your software development career, which platform would you focus on?
Derek: That is a tough question, as it really depends on your goals and what you hope to do. My initial thought is that I would focus on Java, although I believe one could make a strong argument for .NET as well.

Generally speaking, I think going this route would provide you a strong foundation with which you can then add knowledge of other platforms.

Jessica W asks:

Do you own any other sites/blogs apart this one ?
Derek: Absolutely, more than I have probably disclosed here before as some of them are nothing more than experiments that now sit idle. Here are a few of the sites/blogs that I own:

In addition, there are a few domains that I have not done anything with but am still holding onto for now. These include the names of my wife and kids, as well as the following:

Sizegainplus asks:

What is a danish? and do they call them danish in Denmark?
Derek: A danish can be many things, although I’d venture a guess that most people think of a sweet pastry that, depending on where you are, may be filled with various toppings. Personally, I am partial to the cheese danish.

I’ve never been to Denmark so I cannot say for sure, but I’ll say that they do call this pastry a danish.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick@romandock dot com November 28, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Your wife will probably make you shave soon as you get home from the gala πŸ˜€
Wow! I had no idea that you had so many different sites. Makes me feel like I should get on the ball and start some more πŸ™‚
Nicks last blog post..Under The Bridge: A Literal Music Video

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derek November 30, 2008 at 11:37 pm

She is anxiously waiting for me to shave, but she has been supportive since it was for a good cause.
The problem with having so many sites is that I don’t have the time for all of them. Quite a few of those listed are sites that were started as an experiment but have not progressed very far.

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Internet Strategist November 29, 2008 at 1:15 am

Any tips for remembering to post regularly in each blog when you have so many? Do you have a calendar on the wall, or a reminder program or ?

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derek November 30, 2008 at 11:38 pm

The sites/blogs on that list are not all updated regularly, so it isn’t as difficult to manage as it might appear.

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Neil@PS3 November 29, 2008 at 7:32 am

This is great. I love the Q&A sessions they really give an insight into your life as well as making the site a living thing. I feel that a lot of sites just seem too vague and don’t allow you to become a good member of the site.
These Q&A’s give you a feeling that you are really a valued member of a community.
Thanks Derek

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derek November 30, 2008 at 11:39 pm

You’re welcome!
After seeing this Q&A model used by Shoemoney, I figured that I would give it a try. Thus far it has worked out really well, although as noted below it seems that people are running out of questions. πŸ™‚

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Nicole Price November 29, 2008 at 7:50 am

That short clip is indeed funny and an assortment of humorous posts will lighten up the blog.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Stylish Cookware

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derek November 30, 2008 at 11:42 pm

I’ll see what I can do to bring more humor to the blog, although at the same time I don’t want to completely change the focus of the content (unless that is what everyone wants).

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Nick@romandock dot com December 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Nah, no need to change the focus, but humor can be a nice change of pace on occasion. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t even have to be something you found online. The bully story that you told recently could have easily been written as a humor post rather than the meaningful one it became.
Nicks last blog post..Second Guessing My Permalink Structure

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Ling@Uptake November 30, 2008 at 5:39 am

About the software development thing, I’ve been out of the game for a long time now, so I could be wrong, but back then I believe it was essential to learn C & C++ before you did anything else. I know you have all kinds of graphic programming tools and stuff now, but its still important to see whether you have the imagination and grasp to work out the structure of a program.

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RyanW November 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Ling,
I agree, understanding how to properly structure a program can be critical to its success; particularly as it relates to object oriented design.
I think C is always the best place to start (although an OO variant of C is probably fine these days).
Personally I love C#, but agree with Derek that a case could most likely be made either way in the .NET/C# vs Java debate.
RyanWs last blog post..Might I Suggest A ToLower() Function?

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derek November 30, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Ling and Ryan, I’d agree with both of you that starting with a language like C is recommended when you are first beginning your education.
As I answered the question, I assumed that there was already that basic foundation of knowledge and looked more at the career prospects with regard to specific languages.

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Ray Johnson | Make Money On The Internet November 30, 2008 at 5:46 am

So many sites? And you still manage to post at all of them? Thats sorta inspirational.
Ray Johnson | Make Money On The Internets last blog post..Back 2 Basics: Let’s Build Your Business Starting Now (Stage 4)

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derek November 30, 2008 at 11:46 pm

To be fair, I don’t post at all of them.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Ha! That’s an understatement πŸ˜›
Nicks last blog post..Second Guessing My Permalink Structure

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Andrea November 30, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Great read, I love the Q&A (not to be confused with T&A :p) portion of your blog. Its sorta hard trying to come up with unique questions everytime.

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Nick November 30, 2008 at 11:18 pm

I agree. I think I am running out of things to ask him πŸ˜€
Nicks last blog post..Under The Bridge: A Literal Music Video

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Neil@PS3 December 1, 2008 at 12:52 am

On the issue of programming, I am currently studying a Microsoft Certification in C# .Net 3.0. I am doing it as a home study course and it is a bit slow at the moment with work and a new baby but I am hoping to get it completed in the next 12 months.

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Jessica W December 1, 2008 at 4:12 am

Thanks for answering. I supposed that you own few other sites :). Congrats on running them, although you say you don’t update them regularly, i see some of them are pretty good and successful.
Jessica Ws last blog post..Why is Professional Web Design so Important

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Justin@Airsoft Guns December 1, 2008 at 5:44 am

Both the questions and answers were interesting, and this post was more informative than I initially surmised (based on the responses to the marketing related questions).
Justins last blog post..Black Soft Collar Vest

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Steve@Free iPods December 1, 2008 at 12:24 pm

It’s interesting to see Nicole’s question about funny stuff. Although it’s hard to gauge from blog text, I get the impression that you have a great sense of humour Derek.
Maybe not as dry as us witty Brits but keep trying and you’ll get there πŸ™‚

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Jessie December 3, 2008 at 8:11 am

Good Q/A session. Wish I could give answers to those questions.

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Chris December 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Reserving the domains for your children is a great idea! I am going to have to give that a look. Thanks.

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derek December 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Yeah, you can go crazy with it and order all variations of their name (middle names, nicknames, etc.) on multiple TLDs. Personally, I went just for their first/last combination and the “.com” TLD.
But this way when they reach their potential and become famous, they can buy, err I mean, get the domain from dear old dad.

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Chris December 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm

With good TLDs being snatched up by the second, better get them while you can. It was pretty much slim pickins when I went looking for my name (Chris Garrett beat me to it haha). In any case, enjoyed the Q&A this week. Thanks.

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RyanW December 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I have heard some people actually give the domain registration(s) as baby gifts for a newborn.
Now that’s nerdy… I like it.

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Micah@workers comp Las Vegas September 24, 2009 at 3:54 am

Lovely derek, however I would love to share one tip for increasing traffic I found from other blog, maybe it’s worth it or not because I haven’t tried it yet. The person said to go on Yahoo Answers and reply in the category of your niche and give a solid reply, well thought out, the chances are high that the person who has asked the question may also visit your site and become your regular reader.

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rem July 10, 2011 at 1:34 am

“Write about something that is of personal interest to you”
great advice. you just cannot write a blog just because you think it will get traffic, it has to be something that interest you.

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