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The Anniversary Post

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 19 June 2008 07:32

A tale of blogging from a wandering web Gypsy

After many hours, 360+ posts, nearly 1000 comments (not including spam – he he) and countless thousands of visitors from more than 100 countries - we have hit another landmark on the trail. Two years of wandering, rambling and ranting!

“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit,
 I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” - - Hemingway

To mark it, why not take the opportunity to highlight some of what makes this my second home… care to ride along?


What gives with the domain name?

To start with let’s get the easy stuff out of the way; WTF is with the domain name

Fire HorseI realized quickly how peeps might be struggling with the name when I heard Danny once attempt it on WebMaster Radio as… "HooooMaaa" …. with an inquisical WTF? tempered tone - Forgive me folks, the name is a troubling tale, allow me to elaborate;

Huo Mah (or Ma) = Ho-ma : (or if you feel adventurous = Who-oh-ma)

It means of course; Fire Horse - and the Blog, inventively enough; the FireHorse Trail

It stems from my years as an avid practitioner and student of the Martial Arts and Chi-kung. It is merely my Chinese astrological symbol – more on that here.  This should also help clear up my penchant for eastern flavours and honorable offerings as well….

Once merely an intranet with a domain easily remembered, for me at least, this blog became somewhere to vent and post answers to common questions I’d run into. Certainly in hindsight something more memorable, easy to pronounce that related to marketing might have been a good idea for a domain …. But it’s not how things have worked out, ok?

Glad to finally put that one to bed... sigh..


Favourite Parts of riding the trail

The people! Hands down the best part of my blogging experience has been the people along the way.

Along the way I ranted with MadHats, talked to socialites, watched young guns blaze and had guest riders when in need…. And those are just the guest posts here. I have also met others from every corner of the world with both professional and personal interests akin; nothing short of astounding for to this aging equine.

In the end there has been 2 that standout, that helped more than they know; Uncle Dude and Mr. B. While the Dude is shy, allow me to say that Mr. Bill Slawski has been one of the best parts of making an arse of myself and subsequent travels through social networking 1.0 to 2.0. You see, while I enjoy marketing, I love search. We all have a passion for some aspect of our job; it is what keeps us going. When you’re an SEO ‘nutter, Bill is the guy to talk to (and maybe Michael Martinez, if you’re wearing a helmet, or that Rand guy before the Dark Side got him - I jest FishMan).

Bill is the quintessential search geek and was even the one to gently nudge me into using more imagery around here last year… Being able to bounce ideas around is when the adrenaline starts to pump through my laptop and is the best this adventure has borne for me. Thanks for the support and exchanges Bill, looking forward to many more.

Some Fun with Bill and Dave; The Magic bullet – The quest for Social Search sensibilities


Memorable Moments

Since I am in the throws of handing out good vibes to fine peeps - why not more? We simply can't pass up the chance to mention the support recieved from a variety of peeps and places including;

Jordan Kasteler for being a great guy, supporter and his kind words

Collective thoughts for having a Social Media Ninja Contest – was right up my alley and fun to be a part of (more on these masochists soon)

All of the great folks that dropped by over the last while to guest post – great to have some variety and help when in need!

And of course - The Colombo awards (Mike Blumenthal) and Paul from NorthRock, for unmasking me and ensuring a legacy of being a Joker; truly would have it no other way (sad ain’t it?)

Sphinn DevilSites that deserve big thanks for encouraging my madness …

  1. SEO by the Sea (again and again)
  2. Search Engine Land (Sphinn and Danny for so many things)
  3. Search Engine Journal for a mention that lead to TechCrunch love
  4. AllTop (and Guy for dropping by and being a good egg)
  5. SEO Gurus (Li has been great)
  6. Search Engine Watch
  7. Lisa Barone (at BruceClay Blog)
  8. Steven Bradely (aka VanGogh) for everything man!!
  9. SEO People – great Canucks, love the crew there

Also; Jeff, Shana, ToddKristen and Elizabeth for the personal support… ya’ll help me keep it real!

One could go on and on - to get an idea of some of my other favourite folks, merely have a trek through my blogroll for more of my favs and peeps along the way… there are too mention which is a great thing!

And since you’re here reading, thanks to you as well!


Until we meet again

I have no real tips nor take-away beyond saying one should always try to enjoy what they do and write about what moves you. For me this is cathartic, a form of expression and nothing more. I sell no ad space nor pimp products for cash; merely happy to have a voice.


"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. "
-- Friedrich Nietzsche 


Hope you got to know a little more and we'll see you on the trail again soon - Dave


Popular and Favourite Posts

For those that don’t have the time in this busy world to travel the many trails along the journey, here are some popular posts and others I thought worth sharing;

Search Engine Optimization

The Art of Personalized Search Optimization
The Value of SEO
How to leverage relevance in SEO
Phrase based optimization resources
Google and Query analysis
Yahoo follows up Personalized PageRank with HarmonyRank
How to learn SEO
Beware Google is watching you

Social diet plan

Social Media

The Value of Social Media Marketing
Targeting Social Media Influencers
How to dominate Sphinn in 4 easy steps
Now that was a Plurking hoot
Getting a grip on Social Media Marketing
Qualitative research and Social media marketing



SEO and the little voice in my head
The Ramblings of a MadMan
All about the passion


My latest ventureRants

Hey Google!! Nofollow this!
Alls Fair in Love and SEO
Things that piss me off
Sour Grapes and my wrath
Beware; the Search Engines want your SEO job


.... Here's hoping to make it one more year!





-1 # Samir Balwani 2008-06-19 07:58
Great post man! Congratulations on 2 years!
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 08:11
Thanks for the post and time chatting Samir... I see more fun times on the horizon! :woohoo:
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0 # Kristen 2008-06-19 08:19
David, I hope you know that you are just as important to me and your support has been something I will never forget. Congrats on 2 years, here's to many many more! :-)
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 08:54
Tnx Kristen, glad to be able to help, we all take turns having times of need. Makes for richer lives oui?

As long as blogging doesn't completely stress me out, should be more to come... shall try to keep having fun :side:
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0 # Bill 2008-06-19 09:57
Congratulations on your second aniversary, Dave. Your perspective on the world of search and social media is always entertaining and unique.

Thanks back at you, too. It's been a pleasure having a chance to share notes and ideas with you. :-)

I'm glad that you did start using more images in your posts - taking advantage of a talent like thta makes a lot of sense, and you've come up with some really great ones.

Looking forward to more interesting and entertaining posts to come. And watch out for all of the Yahoo patent applications published this week. They seem to be trying to make up for lost time.
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 10:41
Hiya Bill... entertaining and unique... damn, should have thought of that one... often feel like a bull in a chaniz shop :woohoo:

The images have become a great way to express and amuse and seem to brighten up the place... good call.

Looking forward to more adventures... and Yahoo seems to be on a tear all year as far as search/social patents go... noticed some behavioral stuff this morning... getting there slowly...

Thanks for dropping by and all the suppoer matey... here's to another fun year!
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0 # Steven Bradley 2008-06-19 11:49
Thanks for the love Dave. Now the huomah question has finally been answered. And somewhere along the line I did actually learn how to spell it.

I agree with Bill. Entertaining and unique and your posts always make for an interesting read. I've learned and enjoyed much here.

Now it's on to year 3 eh?
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0 # Zak Nicola 2008-06-19 12:34
Great read Dave, glad you cleared up the domain name. :lol:
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0 # Ken 2008-06-19 13:33
gelukkige verjaardag
anniversaire heureux
glücklicher Jahrestag
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0 # Ken 2008-06-19 13:37
Oh bum! It cut off the rest of the list. Needless to say I spent ages going back and forth to Babel Fish to get the various translations of "Happy Anniversary" for you.
Well, never mind.
Thanks for being the funniest internet marketer on Plurk. You rule dude.
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 13:59
Well, ‘tis the thought that counts… damned Gremlins!!

Once upon a time Matt Cutts talked about linkbait and used SEO as an example of being known for a variety of reasons – segmenting. I thought not to chase anything but work with my strengths… trying to keep peeps feet planted on terra firma and sharing some laughs is me in the real world… so it tends to come out here…

Also, imagery is fun which, as mentioned, Bill thought would liven the place up…

I thank you for the uber wishes, tho’ eaten by the void and look forward to more fun times… enough drama in the industry to entertain, should be easy.

If laughter is good for you, then I hope to be part of your health program
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0 # Elizabeth Able 2008-06-19 14:00
HooBoy and HoooMamma, has HuoMah really been around for two years? :-)

It's been good to get to know a marketing kind of guy who gets that Social Media is about the meeting and greeting, not necessarily about the linking and eating of someone else's low hanging fruit.

p.s. Mr. HuoMamma is sooo phat he inspired me to Stumble a Plurk and put aside the to-do list long enough to Plurk a party.

Thank you for befriending me.
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 14:07
Steven.... The whole domain thing did need addressing as folks are aften confused on what to call this place... and once I heard peeps trying to pronounce it in a few pod/live casts... figured best git 'er done

Really have appreciated knowing you from forums, to sphinn to our work together on blogs... mad props man....

..and appreciate the Canadian content EH
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 14:25
Actually Elizabeth, had it for 3 years, but the first it was merely where I had my intranet for organizing my life.... writing started a year later as I could contain myself no longer and began to rant and post common answers for clients and peeps I would meet on the boards....

Stumbling a Plurk thread... must check, U may be the first.

Just a social search geek.... so friends is what it's about... I just tend to gravitate to those with similar interests and tribulations... been wonderful having you to chat with...

Same time next year? right here?
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0 # Nick James 2008-06-19 15:16
Congrats Dave. Yours and SEPs are the blogs of choice for me when it comes to SEO or social media shenanigans- must be something in the Canadian water. :lol:
Appreciate your honesty and 'occasional' cynicism. :whistle:

To quote the late and great Hunter S. Thompson:

"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up."

Here's to another two years and beyond :silly:
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0 # SexySEO 2008-06-19 15:34
Congrats, Dave! Keep going and all the best! :-)
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 18:15
I like to think it is the huge land mass and space to find freedom that makes Canandians a friendly bunch, happy just to see another person… so good times ensue

I know been Stumbling and Sphinning my madness for a long time now… one of the many, many peeps that could have made this post run on into infinity… always nice seeing you when out and about…

I too have a Hunter S up my sleeve….

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson

Unless I crash and burn, we’ll be seeing you next year.
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0 # Dave 2008-06-19 18:24
Hullo Lora... tnx for also being a trail rider... can't say much for the best, but we try to git 'er done!
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0 # Todd Mintz 2008-06-19 18:45
You devil, you:.) :evil:

Congrats on your anniversary! Keep up the great work and keep writing the good stuff!
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0 # David Temple 2008-06-20 00:30
Congrats, you're always an excellent read. I don't come here for your looks you know, although the new pic may change that. Actually you've stumbled on the keys to success, "it is better to give than receive".

Just one correction though (egads I'm correcting Dave) :whistle: . The Huo is sounded more like h and woe said together, hwoe. After all we don't want people referring to you as a Ho. :P
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0 # Garrett Pierson 2008-06-20 08:39
:woohoo: Great job Dave. I am totally excited for you and you accomplishment. I hope for another two long years of your wandering, rambling and ranting!
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0 # Glen Allsopp 2008-06-20 08:45
Congrats mate, heres to many more years :-)

Personally I always pronounced it like that so I feel quite proud of myself ;-)
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0 # Dave 2008-06-20 09:11
@ Todd, thanks for dropping by, I do my best (at not going overboard)!! I must say I am enjoying guest posters as blogging alone is like listening to the sound of one’s own voice – hopefully more good stuff will be coming from a variety of sources.

@ David – I keep my definitions of success relatively low which helps one find contentment with ease. I like the phonetics though, I can say it, just wasn’t sure the best way to write it.

HWOE works perfectly! Figured you’d have the pronunciation down…

Garrett – hullo my new bro! Another bonus of meeting my PaIR brother Jordan… are we getting much sleep with the new addition to the family? Thanks for the props and much rambling and ranting is likely in my future so far…. Woot!

@ Glen – the name has been a question I get and figured some folks were lost.. easier for me, but could be from the French in school here. Not sure how many years my sanity will hold out, but so far so fun – thanks for playing with me on the ‘Value of SMM’ post… appreciated!

…. And away we go… (having a ranting kind of morning.. must breath)
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0 # Jeffrey Smith 2008-06-20 21:50

To 780 days of telling it how it is. Your a rock with a solid opinion, fearless and wise with character to boot.

Thanks for bringing it to SEO and all things related Gypsy...preach brother.
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0 # Dave 2008-06-21 08:42
Hey Jeffrey, thanks for stopping in!!

Funny thing that SEO... hard to tell it like it is since they don't share the recipe - but I am more than happy to tell it from my perspective.

You have some of the more informative posts in the industry yourself - I simply must get some more useful stuff published soon... sigh...

I shall see you out on the trails bro!
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0 # Chris 2008-10-09 15:46
haha keep up the good work... I love your sense of humor. That's what more SEO sites need... a sense of humor. Everyone's so serious.
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0 # Serbian 2009-01-20 03:54
It looks like that you are more concerned with what the others are saying bad rather than what good the people talk about you..Its one of the things that we need to improve on..and I am also trying to learn this thing..
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