Terrible Twos

25 Jun

letter And just like that, DorkDaddy.com is two years old. Much like my daughter finishing 1st grade, I did a sort of double-take and thought “Really? Where did that time go?”

As we finished the last day of school this year I found my thoughts drifting to my daughter’s teacher, and to how profoundly I appreciated everything she had done to make my daughter’s experience so wonderful. There are plenty of parallels there with DorkDaddy.com. To every one of you who has ever taken the time to read one of my posts, please know how extremely grateful I am for the time you spent on these pages, and even more so if you took the time to leave a comment or share what you read.

Holding hands.

Holding hands.

Every piece I write is written with a little voice in the back of my head saying “Why are you doing this? Why are you investing all this energy? Nobody really cares.” I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to convince myself otherwise, even if the predominant theme of the year suggests otherwise. But before I get into all that, I need to ask a personal favor of each and every one of you.

If you have ever read and enjoyed this blog it would mean the world to me if you could take a moment and leave a comment at the bottom of this post

Much like last year, I intend on taking this entire year’s collection of blogposts and publishing them in a hardbound coffee table book for posterity’s sake – DorkDaddy.com Vol. 2, as it were. If you have ever read and enjoyed this blog it would mean the world to me if you could take a moment and leave a comment at the bottom of this post – to be saved along with all this year’s posts and comments in the hardcover volume. It can be as long or as short as you like, it can say whatever you like (sappy adoration, righteous indignation, scathing criticism) but it would mean the world to me to hear from you your thoughts/reflections looking back on another full year of DorkDaddy.com. Please don’t forget to identify yourself in the proper field, or your comment will be attributed to “Anonymous” and 30 years from now I’ll have no idea who wrote it.

same

Reflections on Year 2 of DorkDaddy.com:

As much as I joke about nobody caring and nobody reading, the truth is this has been an incredible (and unexpected) year of growth/expansion/maturing (notice I didn’t say “maturity”) for the DorDaddy.com. After the first full year of blogging, DorkDaddy.com’s Facebook page had precisely 70 followers. On Twitter there were 131 (Twitter still sucks by the way). Today the Facebook page has 581 followers – still pathetic by blog-standards, but geometric growth in a single year by statistical standards.

Blew past 500 without even looking...

Blew past 500 without even looking…

There were a few posts over the past year that really seemed to resonate with people.

20thingsdaughterFar and away, the biggest post of the year was “20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter.” In hindsight it really does play like linkbait to soccer moms. It’s short. It’s sentimental and it’s attached to a particularly cute picture that’s easily shared on Facebook or Pinterest (especially on Pinterest… sheesh). In all honesty the idea for the post wasn’t entirely my own. It was a reaction to another picture/meme “20 Things A Mother Should Tell Her Son” that had gone viral on Facebook at the time. I couldn’t let something like that go unanswered from the dads out there, so I quickly whipped out the post titled “20 Things A Father Should Tell His Son”. That same day after publishing “Father/Son” I figured I’d better also write “20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter”. I worked out the bullet points while doing a filling and quickly cobbled it together on the blog between patients. I certainly did not expect the post to go viral itself, but some pretty fun things came from the viral experience. You can read about them on the post “Virality”. Of interesting note, the “Father/Son” post hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much attention, despite having may of the same bullet points as the “Father/Daughter” post.

It’s Just Sex, Dammit!” was a post I wrote early in 2013 to exercise the demons I felt from a nasty breakup between a couple my family was friends with. Someone at WordPress.com noticed it and featured the post on their “freshly pressed” section. Needless to say it struck a chord with the people who read it, as evidenced by the tidal wave of comments that followed. They are as compelling to read as the post itself. My only regret is that I couldn’t keep up with them as they were flooding in, so I wasn’t able personally respond to each.

Then, most recently WordPress.com featured some of their favorite Dadblogs on Father’s Day, and look at which blog they featured at the very top of the list:

Verklempt

Verklempt

I’m still flattered beyond words. The blurb the editor wrote describing DorkDaddy.com was nothing short of moving. I still get all verklempt when I read it. I reached out to the editor to thank her, but I didn’t have the heart to point out that she mislabeled my UnDorky wife as “DorkMommy”. Faithful DorkDady.com readers will spot the error quickly.

*****

As the blog has grown this year it’s also attracted the notice of entities (advertisers) looking to widen the visibility of their product through the blog-o-verse. With no small amount of apprehension I was able to dip DorkDaddy.com’s toe into that universe this year as well. T-Shirts.com approached me first, which lead to “The Great Super Suit Giveaway”. Then, some months later, I was approached by an advertising exec. representing Pringles. They were looking for bloggers to help promote their “Force For Fun” campaign in conjunction with Star Wars. The incentives were legit, and the material seemed to be in keeping with the theme I set up around here, so I went for it.

Black And White

Black And White

To all of you who participated in those events, thank you. All in all I’ve been underwhelmed with the whole endorsement/giveaway aspect of blogging. What I don’t want is to alienate readers with a bunch of material that obviously comes from someone else. If I do that sort of thing again I’ll make sure it doesn’t distract from the usual DorkDaddy.com zeitgeist.

*****

396049_150723075077634_981225626_nAs I’ve mentioned before, my original vision for this blog was to build a community of likeminded dorky dads to share their love for their families, and their dorkisms. It didn’t exactly happen that way and the blog is the better for it, but connecting with other dads was always at the heart of why I do this at all. I’m happy to say that group of dads actually exists…

…they all just happen to have blogs of their own.

This year I am thrilled to have found the dadbloggers community on Facebook. It’s a great place to commune with other dads/dudes. There we bounce ideas off one another, collaborate on projects (see the collaborative piece “When To Expose Kids To Star Wars – A White Paper”), refine our dick-jokes, and make fun of SDL (no I won’t tell you who “SDL” is). It’s been a real shot in the arm to have this bunch of guys to commiserate with. I’d love to link you to their blogs, but there are just too many to be practical. Instead, go to the Dadbloggers page on Facebook and follow it to get the best stuff from the group in your newsfeed.

*****

Dorks.

Dorks.

…which leads me to this year’s final reflection: Facebook.

Since going public, Facebook has been under incredible pressure to monetize. To that end they try to incentivize Facebook pages for personal blogs (like mine) to “promote” posted material. Essentially, they choke off how much of the stuff I post that actually gets to your newsfeed. They have complicated algorithms for figuring out how much content gets out and to whom. But the long and the short of it is, I’m posting stuff all the time on the blog’s Facebook wall, and most of it isn’t getting to you. If I want everyone to see it, I have to pay them real $$.

Like hell.

Thankfully, if you actually want to get DorkDaddy.com’s Facebook updates, there’s a workaround. The little infographic below should make it clear what you have to do to release the chokehold:

Workaround for DorkDaddy.com's Facebook page.

Workaround for DorkDaddy.com’s Facebook page.

*****

And with that, I’ll end the year of blogging by thanking a couple people.

To anyone who’s ever shared a DorkDaddy.com post on their Facebook/Twitter page – I can’t tell you how much that means. Ultimately we write for ourselves, but it gets really tough really quick if you don’t feel like your stuff is getting out there.

To Emily at “The Waiting”, Courtney at “Stay At Home Trauma” and Larva225 at “Adventures In Babyknitting”, you guys never seem to miss a post, and never seem to miss a chance to comment. Thank you so much. It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Jeff Reisdorfer – DorkDaddy.com’s #1 Facebook follower. Again, don’t think it doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. I’ve never met the guy, have no idea who he is beyond his comments on the Facebook material, but like me he has a smokin’ hot wife and three ridiculously beautiful kids. Jeff, you have a standing invitation to submit a post as a Guest Dorkdad anytime, brother.

To my father, for being the standard I set myself against in the parenting arena.

To my children, for being the inspiration behind the blog and entire reason I exist on this planet.

To my wife, for letting me share on this blog way more than you’re comfortable with.

And to all of you, some who have stuck with me from the beginning and some who came along later, and some who only drop in from time to time – I’m sorry you’ve wasted so much time reading my drivel. I’ll try to do better next year.

Here’s looking forward to putting together Volume 3… but definitely no more episodes.

*HORK* *BARF* *GAG*

*HORK* *BARF* *GAG*

-Dork Dad

two

41 Responses to “Terrible Twos”

  1. Christopher Fisher June 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    My friend, thanks for all the support and friendship youve given me over the years. I have no way to really express to you how much its meant to me and my life. I also want to thank you for allowing me to view and be a part of you and your families life with this blog. It goes to my heart, and i thank you for that. Heres to another three, ok lets make it 10 years 😉

  2. Allison Kinney June 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Happy Birthday, DorkDaddy.
    You are a beautiful writer, and I am glad you decided to share your beautiful family with us.
    It takes a lot of skill to be able to meaningfully share the human experience. Keep them coming, sir.

  3. michaelmulholland June 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    This is what happiness is all about…bless your heart and family…Mitakuye Oyasin, Dohiya my friend, Red Crow

  4. Jessica Messer June 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    DorkDad, though I haven’t had the opportunity to read them all, your blog posts have really touched me. You are a wonderful father and husband, and your family is so lucky to have you. Your blog should be required reading for all potential dads, or at least the dorky ones, hehe. 😉 I hope you keep up the blog for years to come.

  5. Nikita Pitkar June 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    As you already know, you’ve been one of the best teachers I’ve had throughout my education. It’s so wonderful to see you imparting the same knowledge and healthy curiosity on your kids as you did on your students back in Middle School. I know that it’s technically your line as the teacher to say “I’m so proud of you” to your students, but reading about your successes and tribulations in raising your children invokes the same thought in my mind, “I’m so proud you, Dork Dad!”. And I’m allowed to be proud, right? Looking forward to another year of hilarious, emotional, and entertaining posts!

  6. my27stars June 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Happy birthday to you!!! Should I make you a Tatooine igloo-hut birthday cake? We can have a Darth Vader piñata (who doesn’t want to take a whack at him?) and I’ll crochet little Yodas and C3POs as party favors for everyone! 🙂

    (Oh, and I totally forgive you, but you spelled my name wrong. It’s ok, everyone does – it’s Kortney. But, seriously, thanks for the link-up. Your poor followers, they’re going to click that shiny link only to realize they’ve stumbled upon the blog of a neglectful space cadet.)

    • dorkdad June 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Well now I can’t change it, because if I did people would have no idea what you were talking about.

  7. Krista June 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    dorkdad – Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, experiences, joys and adventures in parenthood with us. I’m a friend of both of your sisters from college (I was in E&P’s wedding as a bridesmaid) but have probably only met you a few times, and that was years ago. I discovered your awesomeness due to your Mom sharing posts via Facebook, and read them as soon as they’re up. I laugh out loud at many things, mostly the descriptions of undorkmommy’s reactions or her thought process because I can absolutely picture them coming from her. I began reading before I became a mom and welcomed a son about a month after your last addition. I consider you a guiding light in my own adventure in parenthood! May you have many posts (and undorkmommy patience) to come.

  8. Mandy K June 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Congrats on leveling up! I look forward to each and every post, and have it so you show up in my FB Notifications so I never miss one. One of the best things I’ve gotten from your blogging is having your kids listen to movie soundtracks. Brilliant! Movie soundtracks are now my son’s (7) background music of choice for chores and homework. Thanks for sharing with us!! 😀

    • dorkdad June 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Mandy, your Facebook participation hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Thank you for being there so the auditorium isn’t quite so empty.

  9. Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    We in Tuson are very proud of you…

    • Minnette Gilbert June 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      I can’t begin to express to you how very much we have enjoyed your Dorkdaddy. I was lucky enough to meet your mom, dad and grandmother in person a number of years ago, which makes this ex tra special to me. I feel like I know the whole family and as you know already you have a wonderful family. You also have such a talent. Keep up the good work!
      Love to you all,
      Minnette Gilbert…..Birmingham, Alabama

  10. The Waiting June 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    All this success you’ve enjoyed is very deserved! Your voice is unique and strong among all the parenting blogs I read (and not to brag, but I neglect my own child reading parenting blogs. Y’know, priorities.) You even inspired me to work on my Pinterest presence after you went viral. You are doing so many things right! Here’s to a third year of Dorkdaddyhood!

    Also: Facebook can suck it. Please print that in your book.

    • dorkdad June 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      …said the girl who just got freshly pressed for the bazillionth time.

  11. Daile June 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I started following this blog because of WordPress featuring you in their Daddy Blogger round-up. So I’m a complete newbie but have been enjoying the DorkDaddy ride so far! Keep blogging and I’ll keep reading. It’s funny because I don’t have kids, and I’m not really a dork (more of a nerd) but I really enjoy your posts!

    • dorkdad June 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      You’re very, very kind. There are two “Dork Daddy Digest” posts you might enjoy, which give a little cross-sectional taste of what you can find on here.

  12. Asia June 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    I joined you earlier this year and have been bettered for it. In my house I am the Dormommy with the Undorkdad by my side. After reading your little triumphs and some great questions needing answered, thank you. You show there are many people with the same problems as us, as well as the fact we are not alone. Thank you again, and don’t listen to the little voice, though we will never meet, your anecdotes make my day. May tje Force be with You!

  13. Alan Kercinik June 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    This is a little something for the kids …

    There will come a day when you will likely say, unironically, that your Dad is a dork. Be that as it may. You’re growing. It happens. But even though I only know him because of and through social media, I can tell he is a man of fine convictions, good heart and an awful lot of love for you all. That’s really what a dork is. Someone who isn’t afraid to be who they are, no matter what it looks like. And that’s pretty cool.

    Oh, and the two giant Star Wars / superhero conversations he started this year? Those were really pretty cool. too.

  14. memyselfandkids.com June 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Happy Birthday D.D. I have read a few posts over the course of year 2. It sounds like year two has been pretty amazing.
    I did read the post “20 Things A Father Should Tell His Daughter,” amongst others.

  15. Rob June 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Congrats and happy 2nd birthday DorkDad! You’ve got a great writing voice, and you manage to make dadhood interesting even to non-dads like this one. I’m looking forward to year three.

  16. Evie June 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    With all of life’s unexpected turn of events it is just now that I was able to associate you with Dork Daddy! Sorry it took so long! I started reading what little showed up in ms FB. You always did have a flair for writing that’s too the point and very well put! Now that I know who you are I will now make it a point to read your blog!! So far I’ve enjoyed reading it!

  17. Evan June 26, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    Thanks for sharing! I stumbled across dorkdad via a promo email from WordPress on Father’s Day – a great find!!! I have the kids geared up and blueprints all set ready to build a hovercraft…in our backyard-awesome!!! btw, +1 liker on Facebook. Look forward to more Dork Dad

    Cheers
    No 582

    PS happy 2nd birthday

  18. lucynewman2013 June 26, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    I have just started a blog in Cornwall uk as a Midlife Mum covering my love of seaglass and life in general down here on the peninsula! I stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed keeping up with all you have to share! I know the feeling of not being sure if it is being read despite friends and family’s positive comments! Looking forward to Volume 3!

  19. Dounia June 26, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    Although I only started following this year, and am not yet a parent, I have loved every post I’ve read. I’ve even shown several of them to my husband, because I knew he would love them just as much. Your posts have made me smile and laugh and they have touched my heart on so many occasions. The love you have for your wife and kids is so pure and beautiful and you express it so eloquently every time.

    I was very happy that you were freshly pressed as that’s what allowed me to find your blog (and you clearly deserved the honor of being FP!). Congratulations on the 2-year birthday and I look forward to many more wonderful posts!

  20. Ross Morgan June 26, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    I’ve been following you for months now, and love your posts! (I thought it’d be a blast to join you on your trip to visit ‘Tatoonie’, just not going to happen I’m afraid. (At least not yet) 🙂 Your dedication for your family is awesome, and I hope as my daughter grows up, I can be half as awesome as you have been. Congrats and I look forward to following you more!

  21. Kami Tilby June 26, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    So glad I stumbled on your blog this year. Reading about your dad adventures puts a smile on my face and gives me hope for next group of adults kids like yours will become. I’m certain you inspire at least envy, if not action, in other dad’s who read about how you interact with those little people in your life. They are lucky kids. Sounds like undorkmommy is a blessed woman as well. Here’s to another great year of blog posts and fun adventures!!

  22. William June 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    It has been inspriational to read your posts as I went through my first year of fatherhood and first six months of blogging. Your writing helps with even the roughest “poop-splosion” days. Looking forward to reading on!

  23. imstillk2 June 27, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I haven’t been able to read every post…but I shall. Give me time. 🙂 I love your blog, and as a dorky mama, you’ve got mad respect from me. And you have a Facebook?! Consider yourself followed! Please keep writing…but maaaybe take like a few days off so I can catch up. 😉

  24. Diana June 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I have read and enjoyed your blog many times and keep encouraging my hubs to do the same. Thanks for you fresh, down-to-earth perspective! Keep it up.

  25. larva225 June 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I’m touched you mentioned (noticed) me. In all seriousness, while I may not be a dork dad, I’m a dork mom. I think you are able to verbalize things that my husband can’t (or not quite as well). I appreciate the vista from the other side of the spawn!
    Congrats on your 2 years and here’s to more.
    I’ll have to find you on Facebook. I’m not cool enough to Twitter.

  26. Christian Toto June 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Congrats on the anniversary. I know I had plenty of goals in mind when I started my Daddy blog, but I quickly learned there are plenty of unexpected benefits from keeping a web-based diary. Sounds like you’ve learned a similar lesson, and you’re a better Dad because of it. Onward and upward in year three…

  27. kjysten June 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    As your OLD English teacher, I’m so proud of how eloquent you are. I enjoy your blogs immensely and feel I know your whole family now. Keep up the stories and comments. The kids will be thrilled to have it some day. (Or not – you can always embarrass them with their first boy/girl friends.) You’ll always have a special place i my heart. LUV :>

  28. Rock June 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Well, as someone who once shared close quarters with you and a vast majority of your collections of movie memorabilia, posters, action figures, comic books and the like, I should have something more profound to say. I should be slightly more annoyed that I am but an afterthought when I think of many days/nights we watched “The Simpsons,” went to the movies, etc. However, I am not remotely surprised that you went on to write a blog about being a dad, nor am I remotely surprised at the profound influence you have on your ridiculously cute and happy looking children. You always were predictable… right down to your payday splurge of two cans of spaghettios (that ::shudder:: you ate right out of the can), six pack of creme soda, two frozen tv dinners that always made into the refrigerator instead of the freezer, and a bag of cookies. So, none of this is surprising. But that said, congratulations on all you have accomplished, your family, and your blog! And, as a diehard HP nerd myself, it is fun knowing that your daughter is so enamored of the series and is a fan of Emma Watson (a very worthy choice for her fandom). I fully expect that Episode V and Episode VI will be out in public with you speaking “Wookie,” and someone will undoubtedly wonder if they need to get some pretty butterfly nets and haul you all in. But, again I have nothing much to say except what I always did all those years ago… You are a dork!

  29. kmabarrett June 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Keep on Dorkin’ Daddy-O! LOL!!

  30. Nerd Dad June 28, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Well deserved success Dork Dad. Always great to read your posts, my personal favourite was the hovercraft – truly inspired. I aspire to doing daft things like that!! I love it that there is someone as unashamedly nerdy (OK, Dorky) as me out there. What is the difference between a Dork and a Nerd anyway?

    • dorkdad June 28, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      I guess, technically, I’m a geek. But I’m not about to go renaming the entire blog.

  31. Laura Raastad June 29, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Sam…I am so amazed at the things that you post. You are an amazing Dad and all of us dorkie parents love to read of your adventures. You set the bar high my friend. Congrats on year two….I look forward to what is comung next!!! Yay!!!

  32. Anonymous July 4, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Really enjoy your posts and share a dorky affinity with your love of all things Star Wars ever since seeing the original at Gromans Chinese Theatre in LA far more years ago than I care to think about. Keep up the great work!

  33. Linda Hancock October 18, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I just read this blog for first time and will keep reading it ! I am a grandmother of your children’s classmates and had heard about the Science Party you gave which completely enthralled them. I was impressed before but I am even more impressed by your heartfelt writing. You make me laugh and you make me cry. Wonderful reading – keep writing!

    • dorkdad October 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      And you make me blush.

      Thank you.

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