Looking forward to 2012, I can't help but think about the new tech rules and laugh at some common tech faux pas.
The Bloggess started me off with a tweet last night about someone sitting on the plane next to her who was boldly demonstrating Tech Faux Pas #1: In public places, respect others by managing your electronic volume. Take some time to understand how to use earpphones and volume controls.
While this may sound fuddy duddy, just put yourself in the Bloggess' place:
Tech Faux Pas #2 - Your ears want a break: Dear people, give us ears a break and manage the noise level when listenting to technology. Please remember that us "ears" need to be taken care of as well (starting as kids). You're not a starfish. Hearing does not grow back. Mess us ears up now, and you'll wind up being one of those people sitting in the movie theater turning to your friend and asking, "WHAT DID THEY SAY?"
Tech Faux Pas #3 - Note to tech companies - please stop with all the patent fighting for things that are common functionality:
Every parent I know is struggling to both connect their child’s allowance to homework and household chores. They are also encouraging their child to manage their allowance wisely, splitting the money between short-term purchases, long-term savings and charity. While my first tech new years resolution is to re-organize my business, my second tech new years resolution is to evaluate all the options to set up a responsible allowance system for my children.
1. Find an online system to manage my kids allowance that also teaches fiscal responsibility: I will be looking for a system that exists in the cloud (online) so I can set it up - then have my kids join to manage their budgeting using their laptops and desktops. Of course - then I can set it up and maintain it using my laptop. I want the system to not only keep track of chores and corresponding allowance payments due, but also allow my kids to save up for higher price items and contribute to charity.
My new career blogging about technology began after I left full time employment in the field of technology consulting to focus on raising three wonderful boys. Blogging introduced me to an amazing social media community, not only online but also at meetups, conferences and social media events. Even though I had traveled plenty for business before having kids, I found traveling for my own business very different than traveling for an employer. It really started to add up. First a conference ticket, then a hotel and taxi. Add in food and a “must have” new pair of shoes, as well as other assorted travel expenses, and I seemed to always exceed my target for travel expenses. Like others who followed a passion that lead to a business, I too learned a little too late that when running your own company, budgeting is a must.
OK, maybe I did not need the new pair of shoes and a new outfit, but considering I spend most work days at home dressed in sweats, I like to spruce it up a bit for business conferences.
So instead of spending less - I increased the budget. This works for the trip - but when I return home reality takes over. I need better fiscal control.
For my trip to BlogWorld Los Angeles in November, I used the American Express prepaid card to manage my spending and pre-loaded it with, for the first time, only the amount in my budget. Because it is prepaid I could only spend the amount I loaded on the card.
The winter holidays are around the corner, with time split between two of my favorite things: family and shopping. The pressure to find “just the right gift” can change shopping for the worse, causing people to shop impulsively and not look for the right deal. When it comes to consumer electronics, prices may look great on “Black Friday” but waiting for the price drops of early December may be an even better deal.
So what is a bargain hunting consumer to do? I am excited to be partnering with Decide.com, a company that empowers consumers to make smart electronic decisions with a 60 terabyte historical pricing database, 8 billion price observations and growing. Decide.com's shopping service predicts when to buy consumer electronics with no regrets by providing information such as price comparison, average release cycle, last release, device’s age, average rating and product details. Their just announcedDecide.com mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch will enable consumers to have the power of prediction in the palm of their hands while shopping. Here are my no regrets shopping tips to make sure consumers are armed with the right information to make the best decisions.
Don't be a sale chaser – while it's true that a few select products go on sale in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll likely regret rushing out to fight the crowds at 5am only to discover there were only 5 TVs available at that price. Spending hours chasing down a special holiday deal can be a big cause of buyer’s remorse. Do your homework and find the real holiday sales.
Stock up and save on electronics for the family – wait for the holiday season to upgrade on the latest gadgets and electronics for her family. For practical and smart gift giving, holiday is a great time to stock up on those items that your family needs – a family computer, TV, other devices for family – and save big.
Don't be fooled – buying an older product model at a fire sale price is not necessarily cheaper. For example, by doing a search on cameras I realized that some of the newer models have better pricing then the models they replaced.
Arm yourself at the moment of purchase: With Decide's new prediction app for iPhone, when you're shopping in the store this holiday, you can know if that product is a deal or not by simply scanning the barcode for an instant prediction. You don’t need to give up on finding a deal even if you are making a spontaneous purchase (like we all do).
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Decide.com.
For parents, the job of helping kids navigate the decision process around whether or not a video game is appropriate is not easy. Online reviews indicate the “maturity” level of a game, while a kid’s peers provide a rating of "cool" or “not cool”, and balancing the two is tricky. As a technology blogger and a mom with a tween boy & twin boys in elementary school, one of my "go-to" resources to learn about video games is the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating and website. They are the wonderful people who create the rating that shows up on video game packaging (i.e. E for Everyone, EC for early childhood, E10+ for children above 10 years of age, T for teen, M for mature).
When I first starting blogging in 2006 one of the first people I followed on Twitter was Guy Kawasaki. He already had a successful business career and was one of the early ones to fully realize the potential of social media. I also read Guy Kawasaki's books. His tips are explained in a authentic way that helped me understand the intricacies of business and social media, and he reinforces these key messages by reaching out to his community with presentations and social media events. One of my favorite social media events was the USS Nimitz Blogger Embark, which Guy, I and a team of bloggers went on together.
Last week I interviewed Guy Kawasaki about his book Enchantment for a REP Interactive video (more details to come on my video). Using his hints and tips were invaluable to me; I now have my own online brand, TechMama, so I can say his tips worked! I looked forward to reading Enchantment to learn more.
Guy Kawasaki and Beth Blecherman talking about Guy's book "Enchantment" during a REP Interactive video. More details about the video to come...
Today is memorial day and over email the social media team that covered the USS Nimitz Blogger Embark 2009 have been reminiscing on what was a trip of a lifetime: the honor of meeting the crew of the USS Nimitz and have the chance to tell their story.
Big thanks to Guy Kawaski and Dennis Hall who were part of the team organizing this amazing event. Biggest thanks to the crew of the USS Nimitz and all US Military we are honoring today who bravely serve our country.
Fresh back from the Consumer Electronics Show (and still loading my pictures from that..), I am back in conference mode and heading to Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
For anyone that has any Apple products in their life, Macworld Expo is the place to be to see exhibits and attend sessions. To find out more about Macword, I talked with Paul Kent, Vice President and General Manager of Macworld about the conference. Here are some of the details we discussed:
Macworld is for veterans & first-timers alike. It is a very inclusive environment focusing on discovery & education, ie. new products, new apps & new tricks on how to use them. I went last year and the only Apple product we had in our house was a MACbook for my son, but because I cover Apple products I wanted to learn about the product marketplace. I left with lots of important information.
While Apple does not have a direct presence, Macworld Expo remains a vital showcase for the fast growing third party Apple products marketplace. Wikipedia has details on the history of the Macworld Expo. There is also a website called Macworld which is different from the Macworld Expo.
FAQ's: Best way to learn more about the show is to stop by - it starts today in San Francisco! Here are some links to learn more about Macworld Expo:
My kids and I enjoy Klutz books because they allow us to learn new and child friendly activities in a fun and engaging way.
The Klutz activity books also help me be the "craft/hobby" mom I always wanted to be! How else would I know how to make a solar car?
Because of my prior fun experience with Klutz, I was excited to be asked to host stop #5 (and a giveaway) in the Klutz Book of Animation - 16 stop blog tour. Blog book tours are fun ways to spread the word on interesting books. LittleTechGirl will be hosting the next stop on Monday - check it out to find another fun giveaway & video feature!
"Anybody with a computer, camera, internet connection and a little bit of creativity can create animated films for the masses. The Klutz Book of Animation is a how-to-guide for this art form. Step-by-step instructions show you how to create a variety of different classic stop motion special effects."
Watch the real videos created here as inspiration to start making your own animation! My kids can't wait to try making their own animation.
To enter to win the prizes listed above, please comment on the post below with what you would do if you won the books? Are you a mom or dad that wants to do projects with their kids? Are you an aunt, uncle, grandmom or grandpop that wants a fun activity to do with the kids are visiting? Are you a big kid that wants to try it for yourself?
--Only one comment/entry per person.
--A Valid email address must be entered in the private "email" section of the comment (not in the comment text). If a valid email address is not provided, another winner will be chosen.
--Winner must be located in North America (Canada/US). Shipments can only be made to Canada/US.
--We are not responsible for any lost packages or incorrect shipping addresses. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Approximate value of prizes may vary.
--Winner will be choosen via Random.org on Friday Oct 1 by 12pm pst.
Disclosure: TechMamas.com did not receive compensation in any form for this post. Techmamas.com did receive a copy of the Animation book to review.
Well - reading the post about the 16 year old millionaire Christian Owens - and the fact that my tween son loves to play with anything computer makes me feel better about sending him to a camp where he sits in front of the computer for part of the day. TechBoy (as my tween son also calls himself) is also my defacto cameraman and editor. Yes, he gets paid in points for his hard work. That is how he earned his electric guitar. So for now my son is breaking even for his business venture, or we can call it "re-investing his earnings in business capital".