Why Men Are Afraid to Comment On Women’s Blogs

Fear by lexapalooza

Fear by lexapalooza

I stumbled onto the post An Open Letter to Every Man Who Reads a Woman’s Blog via The Art of the Simple Life the first time I ever read that blog. It struck a chord with me and I ended up writing a 400+ word comment. I thought that comment would make a good blog post, so here it is, only slightly modified.


I haven’t been as active in the blogosphere as I used to be but this post did make me think. I completely understand your ‘creeper’ feeling.

I think there are a few of reasons guys are afraid to comment on women’s blogs.

1. One some guys are terrified to speak to women at all, and the more they admire them the worse it is. This is true for them in the real world, where they can talk all day with their guy friends but can’t put two words together with a female. It translates onto the Internet, where the often spend a lot of time.

2. Guys fear being labeled a creep because we feel a lot of women immediately attribute ulterior motives to any conversation we start with them. As a guy, if you start talking to the woman at the next table about the books she’s reading, you get at least a strong wariness, and sometimes barely veiled hostility, from the first word out of your mouth.

3. The other fear is the misconstrued word fear. Guys know in the modern age we are liable to say something completely innocently and get in trouble for it. This reaction also seems to be worse from women writers – which is logical because words have higher value to them. There is an example in this comment thread – though the female commenter was very kind in her response. But I’ve seen entire blog posts dedicated to blasting men for using the term “fangirl”. Often it is just easier not to comment than risk saying something that will get you rebuked.

4. When guys talk to guys, being rude is a sign of affection. We give each other crap because we know we are friends. We’d never do that to a guy we don’t like or know because then they are fighting words. But we know that’s not the kind of way you talk to women. And where on a guy’s blog a post might inspire sarcasm or jokes, on a woman’s blog that wouldn’t fly. If a guy spends most of his time interacting with men, he may be wise enough to know he shouldn’t post the first thing that pops into his head when reading a woman’s blog.

Thanks for the post Brian, obviously I felt strongly about it. ):


PS. I have no idea what that last emoticon actually means – it was a typo.

How Old is Reactuate Exactly?

I was looking at the blog today and noticed the calculation I talked about in the post How to Add a Running Total of How Long You’ve Blogged To Thesis was broken. The days were negative for one thing.

I decided I better update it. I don’t know if PHP has changed since then, or I’ve just gotten better, but it is way easier now to code this. The details on how to add this to Thesis are in the previously mentioned post, so I’m just giving you the new routine.

[cc lang=”php”]function custom_footer() {
date_default_timezone_set(‘America/Chicago’);
$startDate = new DateTime(‘2002-10-28’);
$todayDate = new DateTime(‘now’);
$interval = $startDate->diff($todayDate);
echo "<p>Blogging for ".$interval->format(‘%y years, %m months, %d days’)."</p>\n";
echo "<p>Copyright 2002-".date( "Y" )." Ron Davis. All rights reserved.</p>\n";
echo "<p>Get smart with the <a href=\"http://reactuate.com/recommends/thesis\">Thesis WordPress Theme</a> from DIYthemes.</p>";
}
[/cc]

I’m not sure line 2 is needed, but I was testing the code from the command line on my laptop and had to add that line to get rid of the really annoying php warning.

The thing that makes this so much simpler than the previous incarnation is the diff routine. It basically does all the math for you. Then you just use DateTime’s format method to output exactly what you need.

It also turns out all that math I was doing before to calculate years from days was just wrong. Think about leap years. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it. Also have to say, this is one of the few things I think PHP does better than Python. Look at the headaches involved with calculating years in Python.

If the days aren’t right in the footer of the blog, this is probably caused by my blog being cached by WP Super Cache. I think it might be better to make this a widget rather than a custom function in Thesis, but that is project for another insomniac night.

How to Add a Running Total of How Long You’ve Blogged To Thesis

UPDATE 04/04/2013: There’s some much easier code for this now. Check out the update post How Old Is Reactuate Exactly?

Doing some maintenance on my various blogs and remembered I used to have this code in my footer that showed how many years and days I’d been blogging. Spent way too much time looking for the code in old backups of this site.

Then I searched the site and found this post How to Add a Running Total of Years and Days You’ve Blogged. I use the Thesis theme now and so that code doesn’t work.

So this is an update for those who use thesis.

What to Put Where

1. Open your custom_functions.php. This is where you should make any changes to Thesis you are going to. Don’t go hacking the theme files. Then when you upgrade this code will stay in the footer.

2. Tell Thesis you want to replace the footer. We first have to add a line that tells Thesis we will write a routine to create the footer. So add this line towards the top of custom_functions.php:

add_action('thesis_hook_footer', 'custom_footer');

3. Write the code to replace the footer HTML. I don’t use the term code to describe HTML. For me code has to generate something and HTML just describes something. But we’re going to put in some PHP code to generate the days and years. And while we are there, we’ll make the copyright update too.

Here’s the whole function for the footer. Type or paste it into your custom_functions.php file and save. Then you’ll have the same footer I do. (Which you probably don’t want, so keep reading)

[cc lang=”php”]
function custom_footer() {
$beginDate = strtotime(‘October 28th, 2002’);
$diffTime = time() – $beginDate;
$days = round($diffTime/86400);
$years = round($days/ 356);
$daysLeft = $days – ($years * 365);

echo &quot;&lt;p&gt;Blogging for &quot;.$years.&quot; years and &quot;.$daysLeft.&quot; days.&lt;/p&gt;&quot;;
echo &quot;&lt;p&gt;Copyright &amp;copy 2002-&quot;.date( &quot;Y&quot; ).&quot; Ron Davis. All rights reserved.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;br/&gt;&quot;;
echo &quot;&lt;p&gt;Get smart with the &lt;a href=\&quot;http://reactuate.com/recommends/thesis\&quot;&gt;Thesis WordPress Theme&lt;/a&gt; from DIYthemes.&lt;/p&gt;&quot;;
}
[/cc]

Breaking It Down

1. Calculating the days and years. In my original code all the date calculation was in one line and part of the actual output. There was an error is this, so I broke it down too see what each part did.

$beginDate = strtotime('October 28th, 2002');
You have to know your first post’s date. Go look it up and replace my date with yours. The code converts that into a time format PHP likes ($beginDate) which is the number of seconds since whenever php starts keeping time.

$diffTime = time() - $beginDate;
Then we subtract that begin date from the current time. This gives us the total number of seconds you’ve been blogging. Not a very useful thing for people to read.

$days = round($diffTime/86400);
Next we do some division to get the number of days you’ve been blogging. In the original code I had it broken down for each subunit as part of the division. I just made it into one big number. The number of seconds in a day and divide our blogging seconds by that. Since this probably won’t be even, we just round off using the php round() function.

$years = round($days/ 356);
Now we have the number of days we’ve been blogging. Dividing that by 365 gives us the number of years. Not perfect – doesn’t take into account leap years – but close.

$daysLeft = $days - ($years * 365);
Then we take this number of years and subtract the days of the whole years from our total days. What’s left is how many days we’ve been blogging in the current year.

2. Make Your Footer HTML.The next part is just generating the HTML for the footer using the days and years we calculated. Remember this routine is in php, so you have to surround you HTML with an echo call.

echo "<p>Blogging for ".$years." years and ".$daysLeft." days.</p>";
The first line is the meat of what we created. It says we’ve blogged for so many years and day.

echo "<p>Copyright &copy 2002-".date( "Y" )." Ron Davis. All rights reserved.</p><br/>";
Then we display my copyright. And since I know the current year, I went ahead and used it so I don’t have to update the copyright. (I’m not sure that’s even needed, but it’s cool.)

echo "<p>Get smart with the <a href=\"http://reactuate.com/recommends/thesis\">Thesis WordPress Theme</a> from DIYthemes.</p>";
Lastly I put a link to Thesis – a great flexible theme – with my affiliate link. It’s a good example of how you can put anything you want in there.

Making iTunes Subscription Easy

I’ve got two podcasts, one for model photography and the other for EMTs. They are both in iTunes, but it can be something of a pain to find them. Sure a user can search for them by name and they show up, but you’d really like them to be able to just type something into a browser and be taken straight to the iTunes subscribe page.

Plus in a podcast you need to say the URL and iTunes URLs are complicated. Too complicated to say and expect people to type it. Plus they often aren’t in front of a computer when they listen, so they need to be able to remember the URL to subscribe.

So what I do is tell them to “Enter www.emsnewbie.com/iTunes into any browser”. Which is easy to remember, easy to type, and gives me the power to change things in the future if I have to.

To do this I use an Redirect command in a .htaccess file. Most Unix based webservers allow these files and you can do a lot with one. But we’ll focus on just doing the iTunes redirect.

At the root of the directory on your web server you need to have a file named .htaccess. It may already exsist, especially if you are using blogging software like WordPress.

Since the file name begins with a period, it is normally invisible in Unix and may not be displayed in your FTP client. Tell your client to show invisible files to look for it.

Once you find the file, open it. Or create a new empty text file and name it .htaccess.

You will need to enter the following in the file.


<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
Redirect 301 /itunes http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=318136316
Redirect 301 /iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=318136316
</IfModule>

The key lines are the Redirect 301 lines. These tell the server to tell the browser to go somewhere else when a URL ending with iTunes comes in. Also notice that I have two lines because I found ModRewrite was case sensitive. There may be a way to do it so it isn’t but I don’t know it, so I just made two lines. Sometimes people remember the capital T and sometimes they don’t.

Remember I said the file may already exists because you are using WordPress? Well just follow the directions in the .htaccess WP created and don’t put your lines in the middle of theirs.

Should iTunes change the way they do their links in the future, I can change the URL here and nothing has to change anywhere else. Heck I use the /iTunes URL for links on the page, like the Subscribe in iTunes buttons.

This makes it much easier to tell people where to go to subscribe with iTunes. You could adapt this to a lot of different uses, but this will get you started.

Twitter Is Ephemeral, Blogs Are Forever

One thing I’ve learned recently is that twitter traffic and twitter tweets are transitory. I heard recently that all your tweets go away after 2 weeks on twitter itself. I haven’t checked that, but the fact is no one cares about your tweets after about a day. And the search engines sure don’t care.

But I like to be able to search back through my online postings. Just the other day I wondered where something was I had tweeted. But I couldn’t find it doing a twitter search. In the past I would have posted such stuff and then I could have search back through my blog and found it.

So now I’m going to do the best of both worlds. I’ve installed a WordPress Plugin that will post all of my tweets to the blog on a daily basis. I realize this will ugly up the blog, but it will provide real content to look at as well.

If I can I’ll figure out a way to hide these kind of blog posts from the front page, but I don’t have a way right now.

5 Things I Learned About Twitter, Blogs & Traffic

I have a podcast called “The Photographer & Model Podcast” and yesterday I got to wondering who were the most popular interviewees. So I pulled out Google Anayltics and looked to see which show pages got the most traffic.

Last night I had a ranking 1 to 10, but I realized this morning that I hadn’t included earlier episodes in the analytics search, so the rankings changed this morning.

Looking over the list I learned some interesting things about the power of Twitter vs a Blog post. Here’s the 10 highest ranked.

  1. Episode 11: Model Carly Erin O’Neil
  2. Episode 08: Model Ellen Marisa
  3. Episode 04: Model Sallie Lou
  4. Episode 18: Photographer Jimmy D
  5. Episode 12: Photographer Robert Alvarado
  6. Episode 06: Model Zoya Pepel
  7. Episode 13: Model Cassandra Bryant
  8. Episode 02: Model Tierra
  9. Episode 16: Photog Frederick Van Johnson
  10. Episode 07: Photographer Vegas Alien

Here are a couple of things I learned.

1. Obviously its an advantage the longer the interview has been up, but it is my no means the biggest advantage. JimmyD was #4 and his podcast was less than a week old. Lots of the very old ones aren’t even in the top 10 even though they were great interviews.

2. Twitter gives you a short term boost. Both JimmyD (@pgshooter) and Frederick Van Johnson (@frederickvan) are on twitter and have pretty large followings. At the time of this ranking Frederick had only promoted the interview via twitter. I think only once and at 1 AM, but 6500+ followers was still enough to get him in the top 10.

3. Blog posts are forever. Carly has a blog, as does her boyfriend. So does Zoya. So does Vegas Alien. I don’t think Zoya posted about her interview, but the others did. So there has been a trickle of traffic coming in for them. Where as Twitter traffic goes away after 2 weeks. I expect Jimmy to be #1 within a week and stay there because he’s going to blog about it and he has a very popular blog.

4. Don’t forget the forums. JimmyD hasn’t blogged about the interview yet, but he did post it to three forums. That’s traffic that will stay around as well.

5. Google is still powerful. Zoya is in the top 10 because of google. The interview has the fourth spot on the first page for her name. Cassandra’s interview is also on the first page of google for her name.

All that being said, the podcast is new and it wouldn’t be that hard to get ranked by anyone. For instance not many of the people put a link to the interview on their model site profiles. That would lead to some more traffic.

I’d also love to interview someone who had an email list. My bet is that would send a ton of traffic.

After watching this video by Kevin Rose about taking your site from 1 to 1 Million I decided to add a “leader board” or my most popular episodes to the podcast page. We’ll see what effect that has, and it will serve my users because new people can more easily find popular episodes.

Best Premium WordPress Theme Deal

My wife has three blogs. And the amount of content she puts out through those three blogs is amazing. One is specifically targeted to teachers of college English and she wanted it to look really good. She looked through all the free themes she could find, but nothing was all that good.

I had heard about Thesis theme from CopyBlogger. It was made by the same person who did Cutline, which was Reactuate’s theme for years.

But she just couldn’t bring herself to spend the money. That’s my job in the family. Still she has three blogs, that would be $300. Plus I’m looking for a new theme for Distinctions For Life, and Thesis might be flexible enough for that too. There is another $99.

That starts to add up.

So today I decided I’d go look at the license to see if there was a way around that price. Well there is. The developer’s program lets you use Thesis on a many blogs as you have.

For less than the price of 2 personal licenses.

Just $164.

So if you have a lot of sites and you want a high quality theme,

that is easily customizable

optimized for search engines

with CSS and HTML layout

go get Thesis.

And they are running a special deal till the end of August where you get there next their included in the package.