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14 posts from May 2009

May 28, 2009

USS Nimitz Blogger Adventure - Night Before Dinner

Tonight we opened our USS Nimitz blogger adventure with a dinner. The surprising thing is that with a room full of high powered social media types, none of us went near our computers or smartphones during dinner.

Good to know that live discussions are not dead.

Except we did talk about various types of social media including Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and Alltop - but not about blogging. The new focus is about sharing information with your community and filtering your own information to keep track of what is most important.

We also asked questions about the USS Nimitz and heard about the interest that the Navy has in bridging the needs of those on the ship to communicate with the outside world. We will be learning lots more tomorrow. We will all be offline <shriek> during our time on the USS Nimitz -but will report back with our fun and excitement went we return.

Or as Andy Sernovitz said, when we return from our mission.


This is a picture of our lead blogger and organizer for this trip Guy Kawasaki sitting next to Robert Scoble. Both had lots of interesting things to say, but I don't need to repeat any of it. They do quite a good job of communicating on their own with Twitter and Friendfeed! Robert's wife Maryam and their son also joined us for dinner.


Andy Sernovitz is sitting next to  Charlene Li.  Charlene Li and I flew from San Francisco together, and she shared lots of great insight on Leadership and family management. I took copious mental notes about the family management and am sure my three boys will be thrilled to hear the new rules when I return.


Bill Reichert with Guy Kawasaki

Dennis Hall (organizer of the event with Guy Kawasaki)  is standing next to Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Director for the Commander - Naval Air Forces - Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) who invited us all. Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Van Grove were sitting next to the Lieutenant. Pamela Slim was across the way but had to go to an event for her book. Jenny Lawson is as funny in person as she is in her blog, and Jennifer Van Grove was humble about the blog she is a Co-Editor of (none other then the top site "Mashable").


Robert Scoble sitting next to Captain (Mr.) Carroll LeFon, USN (ret.).


I (Beth Blecherman) am sitting next to the birthday girl Jennifer Jones (today is her birthday).


Best of all, after admiring the beautiful necklace worn by Jennifer Leo she told us it is really a teething ring for her 6 month old. Fashion meets functionality...

Using Navy Speak Acronym Widget - Prep for USS Nimitz

I just saw this website Navyformoms.com has a Navy Speak Acronym Widget. The site is not only a great website, but that tool can be useful for anyone. This reminds me of the text acronym website I blogged about in my texting post. It is good to know there are online resources for Navy Moms and for acronyms!

I am heading off to the USS Nimitz blogger trip today. Reviewing the Navy Speak Acronyms, Military Alltop, and the USS Nimitz website were valuable tools to prepare. The good news is that the trip will be the adventure of a lifetime. The challenge will be that there is no Wi-Fi on the trip - so I will be going offline for a couple of days. I will be taking lots of pictures and will be sure to share when I return. For now, here is my post and Guy Kawaski's post from last year to get a taste of the adventure we are in store for!

TechMamas: TechMama Joins The Bloggers Embark To The USS Nimitz
Guy Kawaski (post from last year): 26 Hours at Sea: The Longest Posting in the History of Blogging

Here are some songs I will be singing to prepare: Top Gun And Major-General from Pirates of Penzance (thanks to Andy Sernovitz for the later song recommendation). Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson and I just talked and decided to give each other emotional support during Navy C-2 Greyhound ride..

May 26, 2009

Does Texting Help Or Hurt Communication?

There are two articles that just came out about teen texting and parent/teen communication using texting. Overall, both articles say that texting does help communication. But the "hurt" comes with over or mis-use. Parents should discuss cell phone and texting guidelines, including the consequences and dangers (including predators who text and sexting ). Dangers aside, time spent online can be also important for teen development (via MacAuthur 2008 study) and is an evolving part of the way they communicate. 

Common Sense Media published responsible text tips to help families set guidelines and many sites have summaries of texting lingo - so parents can teach their kids "texting ettiquette". Teens should have a strong knowledge of texting guidelines before they head to college, where there will be even more demand for texting and other forms of digital communications.

New York Times, Katie Hafner "Texting May Be Taking a Toll "

Examiner - "Teens and Texting"

May 25, 2009

Tribute to Our Troops on Memorial Day

J0438767 Throughout my busy day of chasing my kids around I tried to keep in mind the important reason for this holiday: A day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Here is a tribute to our brave troops.

May 20, 2009

Nielson Power Mom 50: It's Official - Moms Are Superheroes

I am feeling my muscles growing as I type this. When I first became a mom I felt powerless and invisible compared to my life as a Senior Manager at a top consulting company. But in reality I knew that moms are the power consumers who make many purchasing decisions for their families. But I am happy to see the tides are turning, the age of the "power mom" is upon us.

First the Razorfish/Cafe Mom "Digital Mom" report came out and I had the amazing opportunity to present with Razorfish at SXSW on the topic of "Moms Who Tech". I was quite thrilled to find out the Wall Street Journal blog "The Juggle" and the BBC covered my SXSW session. Even more thrilled to be called a "geek mum".

And now Nielson has a report out (and Nielson.com blog post by Jessica Hogue) discussing the Power Mom 50. Here is a link Power Moms 50  press release pdf and the Powerpoint presentation listing the Nielson Power Moms 50 list.

Here are two quotes from Jessica Hogue's post that sums it up:  "As CEOs of their households, Power Moms wield more influence than ever before" and "While reaching Power Moms may require more finesse than in years past, the opportunities to observe, engage and develop a truly holistic perspective of these women are there for willing marketers."

I am honored (and giddy) that they had a section for Tech Mom - defined as "Tech Mom are mom bloggers who are also PDA-toting, digital enthusiasts that love to stay connected". Even more giddy that TechMamas is listed as one of the Nielson Power Mom 50 - in that category (along with GeekMommy).  The community section listed Silicon Valley Moms Group in the sections "Portals and Communities connecting moms, which is a community that is near and dear to my heart!

We can all come out from behind our computers, blogs, websites, wireless routers, smartphones, laptops, netbooks, smartservers, DVR's, LCD TV's, Bluetooth earpieces, PDA's, USB drives, digital cameras, video cams, USB Broadband cards and wireless wipes to flex those mom muscles and show everyone we are proud to be momswhotech.

May 16, 2009

TechMama Joins The Bloggers Embark To The USS Nimitz

I was thrilled to be invited by Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Director for the Commander - Naval Air Forces - Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) to be part of a Blogger Embark aboard the USS Nimitz later this month. We'll be flying to and from the Nimitz on a Navy C-2 Greyhound (twin-turboprop Navy Transport) where we will witness Navy and Marine Corps life at sea.

Here is the list of Blogger Embarkees: Charlene Li , Jennifer Leo, Jenny Lawson, Pamela Slim, Jennifer Van Grove, Jennifer Jones, Guy Kawasaki , Bill ReichertJefferson Wagner a.k.a. Zuma Jay, Robert ScobleAndy Sernovitz, Andrew Nystrom , Dennis Hall, Captain (Mr.) Carroll LeFon, USN (ret.), Chris Pirillo, and I (Beth Blecherman).

Guy Kawasaki, Dennis Hall, Bill Reichert Bloggers' Embark meeting 10-08-08Guy Kawasaki is the lead Blogger for our first visit, his second. He had the opportunity to visit the USS John C. Stennis last year. His post, " 26 Hours at Sea: The Longest Posting in the History of Blogging", describes his adventure. The picture on the left is at Garage Ventures when the idea for this Blogger's Embark was hatched (Guy Kawasaki on left, pictured with Dennis Hall and Bill Reichert). 

F-18 Hornets pitch-out

Dennis Hall provided some information on what we will see: "Here is a shot of a scene you will see typically during your embark. It shows F-18 Hornet fighter jets arriving for landings or 'traps' in formation and individually pitching out for their descent to the flightdeck. The Navy Blue Angels fly F-18s."

Here is a subset of the group that could make an early evening meetup in Silicon Valley to discuss the Embark:

Bloggers' Embark icebreaker - Dennis Hall, Beth Blecherman, Jennifer Jones, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li 

Pictured left to right: Dennis Hall, Beth Blecherman, Jennifer Jones, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li

Continue reading "TechMama Joins The Bloggers Embark To The USS Nimitz " »

May 15, 2009

Giveaway: HP DV2 Notebook Campaign meets NBA Sweepstakes

NBA_Barnstar **Comments are closed because contest is over - When contest winners are announced - I will announce the gift certificate and contest winners.

**Update 6/14/09- NBA is still working on details.. winners will be announced soon..

As a mom I appreciate opportunities to engage my kids in playing sports and to see professional sports games with my kids as a bonding experience.  So when Techmamas was contacted to participate in the HP/Microsoft/NBA contest - I knew exactly what I wanted to do (read on to find out..). 


The HP/Microsoft website has an amazing sweepstakes going on until May 31  related to a HP DV2 Notebook campaign. Nm325ua_300

Here are the prizes for that contest:

  • Grand Prize: See Kevin Garnett and the Celtics play a home game in Boston, and an away game in a West Coast city! Includes VIP tickets, airfare, hotel and great HP gear. Grand Prize winner will be announced during NBA Draft 2009.
  • Five other lucky winners will receive a Kevin Garnett autographed basketball.

CLICK ONTO THIS LINK to enter the enter the sweepstakes. But after you do, there is a second opportunity that is being offered as EXCLUSIVE incentive.


TechMamas.com readers have been selected, along with the readers from approximately two dozen other sites for an exclusive incentive for entering the sweepstakes. The contestants are "pooled" between all the blogs to find a winner.

Second exclusive contest details:

Continue reading "Giveaway: HP DV2 Notebook Campaign meets NBA Sweepstakes" »

May 14, 2009

WSJ Video: Handwashing To Fight Disease

I received my daily Wall Street Journal email feed today and saw a link to a article and video by Health Columnist Melinda Beck with a technique for washing hands. I have been trying to talk my three sons through the proper handwashing steps - but decided that a video may be an even better way to show them. With the multiple warnings going around, good hand washing is the best defense against disease.

WSJ Article: Put Up Your Dukes: Fighting Disease With Soap and Water

WSJ Video: A Lesson in Hand Washing

In the modern world of multi-media, showing your kids a video on hand washing may be a way to reach them if nagging has not.

May 12, 2009

Nintedo Press Releases: WiiWare, Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong and eXiteBots

We enjoy using our Wii for screentime fun in our own house. Because my friends know I write about technology, they ask me for information about Wii games. So I decided to add myself to the Nintendo press release site to keep up to date. Here are some recent press releases of interest:

"WiiWare™, the downloadable video game service for Nintendo's Wii™ home console, launched one year ago today. It arrived with a promise to provide a venue for game developers to showcase their ideas, while delivering to consumers the newest, most interesting games available at accessible prices, directly through the Wii Shop Channel in their Wii consoles. With 81 games in its library, WiiWare ensures that there's something for everyone. But beyond quantity, WiiWare offers quality games and experiences for all types of Wii owners.

WiiWare games have been created by more than 40 different development studios, from large companies to small startups. In fact, more than half the games in the WiiWare library were created and self-published by small independent studios, many with five or fewer employees."

Continue reading "Nintedo Press Releases: WiiWare, Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong and eXiteBots " »

May 10, 2009

Outside Activites Are Good For TechMamas

Living the "online" life of a blogger has many advantages, but one of the BIG disadvantages is more time on computer = less time being active (the dreaded "blogger ten").  I am on the hunt to start exercising again, my first step was purchasing a new pair of running shoes. The next step was finding more outside activities I can do with my kids away from the computer. Combing time with kids and exercising is the best of both worlds.

Today we participated in an activity I had on my list: Kayaking. My 6 year old twins are old enough to help with the rowing - and my husband and I each take one with us on a two person kayak. While we are kayaking my older son enjoys Windsurfing.

I even left my BlackBerry in the car during the Kayaking <gulp>. Sad but true, it was hard for me unplug.

I am looking for other outside family activities other then bike rides, scootering and hiking - which we do already. We also do this game called "wrestling on the grass", which comes naturally for my house-of-3-boys. But mama prefers not to wrestle.

Any other ideas for outside family activities?

That is all for now, back outside to spend time with the kiddies...




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