iStock 000003120476XSmall 150x150 Changes, Relaunches, and Extreme MakeoversA couple of new things to tell you about today.

First off, I’m trying a new experiment. I’ve decided to close and remove comments on this blog. Just to see what happens. Why? Here’s the thing…

When I post a new blog post, it will be crossposted to a few social networks. Some, by design with the help of a few tools and plugins. Others, by subscribers and readers who retweet, reblog, or trackback to my posts.

What I’ve noticed is, on these social networks — Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, Digg, and now with the new Google Buzz — my posts seem to incite discussions on these locations. Discussions I love to participate in, too, when I have a chance.

I want to harness that social media power and divest myself of the constant moderation of this blog. I feel that, since there are so many discussions taking place elsewhere, why not take advantage of social media and bring the discussions to the public instead?

I understand that I might lose somewhat, such as less comments mean less keyword-rich user-generated content, as well as less control over what is being said about my blog posts. But I think the benefits far outweigh these.

Plus, half of the comments I get, especially on older blog posts, are spam or pseudo-spam. (You know, those friendly, one-liner spam comments like that are so general or complimentary in nature, you know they are just fake.)

Also, some posts get so many comments (i.e., hundreds, in some cases) that they tend to slow down the loading of pages. Load-time is a huge factor in SEO these days, too.

So I’ve removed all the comments and trackbacks, and eventually I’ll be adding re-Buzz, retweet, and Facebook-share buttons at the bottom of my posts. (I’ll be adding and testing them in the next few days. Although I’m not sure, yet.)

I’ll also be removing the list of the 10 most recent comments at the bottom of this website. Not sure what I’ll replace them with, though. (Do you have an idea? If so, tweet me, Facebook me, or Buzz me with some ideas.)

Next piece of news…

Workaholics For Hire ScreenshotAfter over a month of working behind the scenes, we’ve finally gave my wife’s flagship site,, an extreme makeover and a complete relaunch.

And I do mean “extreme,” because it’s more than just the new design, which I did with the help of a base template. The copy and content have all been completely rewritten from scratch — personally by my wife. All of it.

(I’ve never seen her type as feverishly as she did since she wrote her controversial report, Internet Marketing Sins.)

More important, the business model and service offerings have also changed to reflect new demands, markets, trends, and economy. The biggest of which is the removal of rate markups and her company as an intermediary.

As the small Internet businesses’ leading purveyor of freelance services and work-at-home jobs, my wife wanted to simplify how services were offered, managed, and delivered. She wrote about it in this candid blog post.

We’ll see how things go. If you do have any comments, you know where to find me. ;)

The Michel Fortin Blog.


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