I know that we have a bad economy, so bad that we have a not-yet-President who is running the country from the Chicago Hilton so that the markets don’t implode while Bush gives pardons for cronies.

But can we just take a minute for a reality check? It’s not really bad for people who are young. It’s a part of the world you don’t hear much about in mainstream media. Think about it. Most media is in NYC, and you don’t make a lot of money as a writer, so most people who are writing in the tri-State area are married to bankers. Yes, this is a huge generalization, but it is a stereotype because it’s true.

Two neighborhoods—Montclair, NJ, and Park Slope, NY—are the bastions of media elite married to banker elite. And it’s a combustible moment there, demonstrated by how we get a lot of reporting about how sad it is for the bankers right now. Who are mostly middle aged.

And we get a lot of reporting about how sad it is for older people in the workforce because those are the people getting laid off. The baby boomers love to report about how much discrimination there is against them. And they have huge pulpits to report that from.

Of course, don’t get me started. The baby boomers had a great run spending tons of money they didn’t have and then bitching that the economic rug is pulled out from under them. But there is no mention that Gen X never even had a good run. How about reporting that?

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I was thinking that a new blog design would be frivolous, and I should just write good posts. But then I ran the post about my new headshots, and the comments section was filled with people saying how much they hate the photo on my blog masthead.

That photo is from a time when I was just getting my big writing jobs—at Yahoo Finance and the Boston Globe—and my book was coming out. And the headshot was all about making me look older and wiser than people maybe thought I was.

But, really, I am not big on authority. I’m more about conversation. And I think it’s way more interesting to look a little off-kilter and ask good questions, than it is to look perfect and act like I have all the answers. So I knew it was time to change my photo.

Then I started getting excited about trying lots of new things on my blog.

Then I did what I do best: Found great people to work with.

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In the middle of 2007, I was interviewed by Stephane Grenier for his book, Blog Blazers. The book came out this week, and it’s a nice resource for understanding the approach top bloggers take to their trade. (Examples of interviews include Seth Godin, Steve Rubel, and JD Roth.)

I am publishing my own interview here, with a few tweaks. And I talk a lot about how to have a successful blog.

But my favorite thing about this interview is that it captures a moment in time: when I was blogging full time and making six-figures. I had just sold equity in my blog and was about to spin off my company, Brazen Careerist. My days were spent in a coffee shop, interviewing people about their ideas, and blogging.

It sounds like a great life, and in fact, it was nice. I didn’t realize it was great though. I was in marriage counseling, not making good progress. And I was anxious that I was not doing enough with my blog. I wanted to do better in everything.

And that’s the instructive part, to me: That there were a lot of good things about what was going on at that time, but I didn’t focus on them. I focused on what I wanted next.

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New evidence from famed happiness researcher Richard Easterlin shows that women are happier than men in early adulthood, but at age 41, this switches, and men are happier later in life. Easterlin says this gap comes from frustration over an inability to get married. Because most people want to be married, and if you want to be married but you can’t get married, you are unhappy.

Intuitively it makes sense that younger women marry more easily than younger men— young women are hot, and they are out-earning their male counterparts, while young men are suffering a masculinity crisis. However as everyone ages, the men earn more money and the women have flabby thighs.

But I don’t think the issue is, as Easterlin says, marriage. I think the real issue is children. Having kids complicates a woman’s life in ways that are not so difficult for men. It’s true that men today are more involved in parenting than ever before, but still, children affect women so much that they don’t start earning less than men until they have kids.

Here’s the deal with parenting: men believe they are doing a great job of parenting no matter what they’re doing, and women always think they could do better. So a woman does better in marriage and career early-on, but when she adds kids to the mix, her self-esteem is challenged (second-guessing her parenting) and her ability to support herself is challenged (she earns less money) and she becomes increasingly dissatisfied.

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I will be on a live call today with Guy Kawasaki and John Jantsch. You can sign up to be on the call here.

John is the force behind the Duct Tape Marketing blog, which is a great example of how to use a blog to grow a whole business. Today, his blog looks like an empire.

Guy Kawasaki has a very popular blog that I link to a lot, and he’s author of a bunch of books about entrepreneurship, one of which we are talking about on this call: Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition.

Remember the post about how I got dumped and still made it to a meeting with a venture capitalist in Menlo Park?

But that’s not actually the end of the story. I got back to my hotel, which, you may recall, I did not even need because I was not staying overnight in that area, and I sat on my bed and cried. Normal. Right? I mean, I did just get dumped.

But then I had to go to a party. For those of you who don’t hang out in Menlo Park, which might be 99% of you, there are no real parties there. For one thing, the ratio of men to women is about 1000 to 1. And the ratio of men with life-of-the-party social skills to women is about 1,000,0000 to 1. So all parties in Menlo Park are actually networking events. The line between work and friends is blurred there more than anywhere else in the world. Most people are very high performers, so they can choose to work only with people they want to be friends with. And most people there work all the time, so they have to tell themselves work is not work—otherwise, when would they be doing their personal life?

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The question “Did you vote?” is viral. It feels good when someone asks me that question, and I feel good asking you: Did you vote?

It feels good because voting tells everyone that you care enough to leave work—not always easy—and do something that contributes to the greater good. You should ask that question today–it's a great way to connect.

Here’s what last week was like: On Sunday I flew to Detroit and gave a speech at the Public Relations Society of America. Then I flew back to Madison on Tuesday and met with an investor who only wanted to talk about my blog even though I want him to put more money into my company. Then the farmer slept over Tuesday night, and drove me to the airport at 4 a.m. so I could fly to Ft. Lauderdale to give a talk the Electronic Recruiting Exchange. On Thursday morning I woke up at 4 a.m. again and flew to San Francisco and took a car to Sand Hill Road, venture capital mecca of the universe.

In the car, I called the farmer for fifteen minutes of fun. I should have been preparing for the venture capital meeting. But I was so tired, and I told myself the call would make me perky for presentation edits.

In that car, on that call, the farmer dumped me.

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