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22 posts from March 2009

March 24, 2009

Digital Moms Panel at Google

After SXSW, it was thrilling to hear that the Digital Moms discussion is continuing. Today I was part of a panel at Google that discussed how we (as moms) perform information research and communicate in the digital world. A team from Kellogg was in town to join in on the discussion.  Here is the panel:

IMG_0043 From left to right: Jill Asher  (Silicon Valley Moms Group) Grace Davis (State of Grace), Beth Blecherman (also of SV Moms Group event & TechMamas),  Megan Calhoun (Twittermoms) and Mindy Roberts (The Mommy Blog).

We sat down before the panel to say hi, and although some of us had never met live - we felt like we knew each other already from online social networking.

I will blog in the next few days with some of the notes I took of the discussion, but for now - off to bed.

But before I go to bed, I want to support my fellow mom blogger Grace Davis (we call her the Queen and now Mother to Rock Stars) and plug her stepkiddo and Fiance's bands: Twilight Sleep and Silversun Pickups (after still feeling the SXSW Music vibe...).

Computer Virus Threats Continue: SQL and APRIL 1 Conficker Worm

I just read a post on Geeks! that disusses the "SQL" computer virus. CLICK HERE to read the "Biggest Threat Today SQL Injections" post that has great details about how it works. Here is the YouTube video that goes into more detail (from the post):

Yesterday I read in the New York Times blog about the "Conficker Worm", a virus that is set to run on April 1st (no joke). They recommend making sure everyone has updated virus files, runs a full system scan and makes sure back-ups are up to date before April 1st.  Those steps are good to do anyway to make sure your computers are as secure as possible, even though new threats happen regularly. Windows users should also make sure they have run the "windows update" and "security updates". 

It is unfortunate , but new viruses pop up all the time (so this is not "new"). The only way to try to protect yourself is by installing internet security software, running auto scans, updates and doing regular backups. I also suggest having any personal financial information on a different computer then that used by the family - where lots of web surfing takes place. The more web surfing that takes place on a computer means that there will be a greater risk for computer virus infection.

March 19, 2009

Dell Studio One 19 Family Friendly Desktop

While at SXSW, I received a demo of the Dell Studio One 19 Desktop. What I like about this line is that there is a multi-touch option (comes with a keyboard as well) that would make it a good choice for a kitchen or family room PC. Because the system is an all-in-one it also is a spacesaver. The system I saw also has Cozi.com Family Calendering system loaded. The starting price of $699 is friendly on the budget. Listed below are some specifications from the Dell press release.

Software from Dell:

Continue reading "Dell Studio One 19 Family Friendly Desktop" »

BBC Covers the "Mums Who Tech" SXSW Session

UPDATE: Here is the post on the BBC News - Technology page "The rising power of geek mums".

A fun surprise after the "Moms Who Tech" SXSW09 session was when Peter Price from the BBC walked up and said they wanted some interviews. I also gave him my co-leader Shireen Mitchell's information, she was delayed by a late plane but would be coming in later that afternoon. I was glad to see the BBC covering the Moms Who Tech topic and would be interested to hear from moms in England on how they use technology. Or as they say "mums".

I lived in Maidenhead, England for six months while working for Syntex (now Roche) as a systems project manager in 1994 - before I was married. I was sent to England to design the application security for the SAP system that was being installed. I really enjoyed living in England, especially going to London. I even somehow figured out the strategy for driving through roundabouts (at first it was quite scary).  While there I spent time watching and listening to the BBC and became a fan. I enjoyed many of their radio shows but one of my favorite T.V. shows was "Absoulutely Fabulous", now also in the US.

CLICK HERE to listen to the 3/17/09 SXSW Digital Planet interview interview with me (Beth Blecherman) and a few of the attendee's. If you are one of the attendee's that was interviewed, please comment with your thoughts (you did great!). The Moms Who Tech interview is during minutes 15-20. Gareth Mitchell is the presenter and Michelle Martin & Peter Price produced the show.

Here are some links to BBC Technology offerings:

March 17, 2009

WSJ "The Juggle" On The "Moms Who Tech" SXSW Session

We were thrilled that  Rachel Silverman from the Wall Street Journal blog "The Juggle"  attended the SXSW "Moms Who Tech" session that I lead this week. She wrote about it in her Wall Street Journal blog "The Juggle". I have followed "The Juggle" for some time, and enjoy reading their posts (and interesting comments) on work life balance.

CLICK HERE to read the WSJ The Juggle:  SXSW Roundup: “Moms Who Tech”

Take a look over at the blog post and the interesting comments, and share your thoughts.

Alltop Version 3.0

I am sitting on the plane about to board, but wanted to do a quick post about Alltop version 3.0, which gives the ability for people to create custom collections of Alltop feeds called "MyAlltop".

Here is the info from the Alltop website:

  • Every custom MyAlltop collection is a public page and can therefore be shared.
  • To create your MyAlltop page, go to this page and click on "create an account": http://my.alltop.com/ You can create as many accounts as you like, for example, one for personal use and one for your site.

After you create and account and log in, it is easy to just choose a topic area, then "click" on the "+" mark next to the websites you want to add to your feed. This is much easier then using readers because you don't need to have the RSS feed or URL, that is already set up - you just need to choose which ones to add.

I set up one for my technical reads across multiple categories:

And I read the moms section separately:

I suggest that it is a good idea to have a personal and then one with your "business name". For example, I also have:


I have not set that up yet, but that is my next todo for the day.

March 15, 2009

SXSW Liveblog: Moms Who Tech


***MOMS WHO TECH follow-up session was at Convention Center Level 3 - Room 4 (panelist area) with Shireen Mitchell.

We just finished the Moms Who Tech core conversation at SXSW, we have an amazing set of attendees who sparked a very interesting discussion. Sarah Granger was kind enough to take notes - which I will post soon. I will also be posting the names and websites of the "Moms Who Tech" in attendance.  For those wanting to follow or join in the conversation, we will be using the Twitter hash tag #Momswhotech. Unfortunately, my co-leader Shireen Mitchell's plane was late so I will be twittering using my id (TechMama) when she arrives and timing on gathering for a follow-up discussion for those interested (sometime today - hopefully at 3pm). We were thrilled to have Tiffany Galligan, Experience Director Razorfish in attendance to discuss the Cafe Mom/Razorfish "Digital Mom" study.

Here were some overall questions framing the discussion:

  1. How do moms use tech for communication, information gathering and family management? How is tech a part of their lives as mothers? In careers, school, children's education?
  2. Why are increasing numbers of moms engaging in social media and using technology?
  3. How are moms using technology to politicize & become activists?

When asked why I decided to put this together, I shared that moms:

  • Have digital responsibility for themselves and families
  • Are savvy communicators and community builders who are taking their communication online
  • Multitaskers that will use the available technology to make their and their families lives easier
  • Moms buy technology for their households and are savvy at gathering information (offline and online). Get their information from other moms (and are therefore primary purchasing influencers).
  • Kid’s school and social lives are now online (including HOMEWORK), so technology in family households is a MUST!

Here is the first run of "Moms Who Tech" at the session, will add more as I get the names. If I did not get your name, email me at techmamas(at)gmail(dot)com. If you were a business trying to reach out to moms please also email me your info and I will post about that separately (and thanks for coming!):


Beth Blecherman @techmama http://www.techmamas.com/   http://www.siliconvalleymomsgroup.com

Shireen Mitchell @digitalsista  http://www.womenwiredin.com/

Guest speaker was Tiffany Galligan from Razorfish http://www.razorfish.com/ who discussed the Digital Mom study.

Partial List of Attendees (will add more as I get them):

NEXT UP: I will load the liveblog notes of the session soon. Not to be missed...

March 14, 2009

Moms Who Tech Are At SXSW

To get ready for Shireen Mitchell's and my  SXSW Moms Who Tech conversation (which I am mentioning way too much - sorry but I am excited....) I wanted to see which moms who tech would be at SXSW. Moms here at SXSW are great examples of those that are power users of technology and social media.

Here are some, please email me more to add to the list or reply to me via Twitter - then maybe we can connect while at SXSW.

I am mentioning Laurie Smithwich from Kirtsy because she was going to attend SXSW but had family obligations!

TechMama at SXSW 09

I am thrilled to be at my first SXSW starting today. For those wondering what SXSW is, the about page has a good quote from the National Post "SXSW ...reflects, discusses and showcases trends in culture and media but also often creates them.". I submitted a request for a panel months ago and was thrilled to have a core conversation approved. I asked Shireen Mitchell to co-lead the discussion with me because of her valuable perspective. Our "Moms Who Tech" session will discuss that moms have become power users of technology and social networking. The discussion will examine the gadgets and social media that they use to manage their careers, families and friendships. 

I just got in late last night and am jet lagged but excited to jump on board. I have already twittered with recommendations for interesting panels/conversations to attend (or read about for those not here). So I am not only here just for my session, but to network and learn from the amazing group here in attendence.. More to come!

For now I am off to the Pepsico Booth to do a podcast for their Digital Speak Easy series via BlogTalkRadio. My podcast will be at 3:40pm (Austin time)..

March 13, 2009

SXSW 09 Moms Who Tech Core Conversation - Spread the Word

(reposted from 2/09):

I am excited to be co-leading a session with Shireen Mitchell at SXSW 2009 called "Moms Who Tech". The session is on the "core conversation" track and here is the link for more details:

Moms Who Tech

Sunday, March 15th 2009

11:30 am

Moms are power users of technology and social networking. This discussion examines the gadgets and social media that they use to manage their careers, families and friendships.

Laptop Magazine published in their August 2008 issue: "manufacturers can’t discount the $90 billion women spend on gadgets, or the fact that they influence 61 percent of all consumer-electronics purchases, an increase of 4 percent since 2004."

Pass the word! I will post more details soon. For those coming to not-to-be-missed SXSW 2009, add "Moms Who Tech" to your SXSW schedule.



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