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12 posts from July 2009

July 22, 2009

BlogHer '09 Room Of Our Own Session: Gadgets For Blogging

GS-articleI am very excited to be speaking at a "Room of Our Own" Session at BlogHer titled: Gadgets For Blogging. BlogHer is the premier blogging conference for women bloggers and this year will be held in Chicago.

If you are going to BlogHer  - please come by!

I'm Speaking at BlogHer '09

Friday July 24:

Breakout Session #3 - Room of Your Own 2: Gadgets for Blogging:

So you want to stay ahead of the curve in the latest tech gadgets? In this session, you’ll learn about the newest developments in vlogging, blogging, liveblogging, uploading photos, taking photos, going wireless and using mobile technologies. Get the scoop from Beth Blecherman from TechMamas, Eliane Fiolet, the writer behind Ubergizmo, Gina Hughes, who blogs at Techie Diva and Ponzi Pirillo, who blogs at Ponzarelli. These four women are driven by staying in-the-know about the latest in social media technology and gadgetry.

July 16, 2009

It's Not About The Review, It's About The Relationship & Relevance

I have been trying my best to stay out of the discussion about parent bloggers and reviews because I feel many are missing the point. Susan Getgood (who "gets it" ) wrote a great piece that provides background and perspective: "The FTC is NOT gunning for mom bloggers".

I know many smart and talented moms and dads are sharing their opinions online. Not expert, rocket scientist years of research - but opinion. And that is why I started reading blogs - to read opinions online.

Some are accepting products for review and then sharing their opinions of the product. I have accepted products in many different variations (consignment, review, product samples) to enable me to use different types of technology to share with my readers. I do agree that disclosure is key.

So what about bloggers accepting products?

I am not going to make any sweeping statements, but I read many blogger reviews and use my own vetting to decide whether I find their opinions valuable or not. I can tell when someone is not being genuine, and if so - I don't read the post.

I don't accept advertising on TechMamas (at this time) but I have started accepting sponsorships which I will enclose when I post. Sponsorships enable me to attend conferences and buy equipment I need for blogging. I don't (and will never) do paid posts, when I accept products the agreement is that I will only post what I want to - if it is relevant for my readership.

When I started blogging, I had had left my career (and a salary!) in consulting to enable me to spend more time with my kids. My main inspiration to start Techmamas.com was to have a platform to discuss parenting and technology - and access to information about family technology I could share with my readers.  Accepting technical products for review enables me to use it as a mother and with my family (if relevant). 

As Caroline McCarthy mentioned in her CNET post "Do Mommy bloggers need to grow up":

Continue reading "It's Not About The Review, It's About The Relationship & Relevance" »

July 15, 2009

Geek Fashion, the Geeky Type

I stumbled upon this website Fashionably Geek after reading Gizmodo (a nerdy thing to do - but I not fashionable while reading in sweats).

My kids are going through a big "Star Wars" phase. I saw this Chewbacca tee shirt from a post on Fashionably Geek and could not resist posting about it.

I want one..

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July 13, 2009

Blossom (Mayim Bialik) is now a Mom and on TNT Saving Grace 7/14

It is always fun when TV shows feature moms that I can relate to. One of my favorite secret obsessions (or not so secret anymore) is TLC's "What Not To Wear". Stacy and Clinton and team do a great job of making over people, many moms I know want to nominate themselves to have a makeover.

If only to have a week of shopping in NYC sans kiddos.

I secretly fantasize about them helping me look create a wardrobe of "Tech Mom" fashions  for computer and social media conferences. Maybe they need a special show just for that!

Mayim Bialik was a child star on Blossom in the early 90's and now is a mom of two and was featured on "What Not To Wear". I think they did a great job of making over Mayim on What Not To Wear and really made me think about my regular mom outift of sweats and make-up free skin. The next day I decided to attempt the 5 minute face - which was not so bad - and put on a summer outfit instead of my sweats. Not so bad. But I do like my mom sweats. Mayim was very honest on the show that she does not have time for herself and did not make the time. I, and many other moms, feel the same way!

Here is Mayim's bio from a press release I received:

"Mayim Bialik captured hearts playing the young Bette Midler in Beaches, but is best known for her lead role as Blossom Russon in the early 90’s NBC sitcom “Blossom.” This Fall, Mayim will join the cast of ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” in a recurring role as a high school guidance counselor. Mayim can next be seen in an episode of “Saving Grace” on TNT, and recently appeared in an episode of “Bones”. She also appeared in the season premiere of TLC’s “What Not To Wear” where she got a complete make over. Mayim has also had guest roles on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and HBO’s “Fat Actress.”

Mayim attended UCLA where she received an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, Hebrew and Jewish Studies. She went on to receive her doctorate from UCLA in Neuroscience, focusing on Prader-Willi syndrome.

Mayim lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons. She is very involved in the Jewish community, and lives an eco-friendly lifestyle."


(yes - she is a mom with a degree in Neuroscience!)

I was very excited to see on the same TNT press release that Mayim Bialik will make a guest appearance on the TNT - Saving Grace (another one of my favorite shows) this Tuesday, July 14, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT):

“Mooooooooo” – Tuesday, July 14, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

"During a case that puts Grace’s spirituality to the test, the squad investigates the murder of a Hasidic Jew whose body is found near a herd of dead cows.  Meanwhile, Grace tries to connect with Neely, and Ham’s sister-in-law, Amanda, struggles to get over the death of her husband.

Character Description: Esther (Mayim Bialik) - A Hasidic Jewish woman and the daughter of the murder victim in the episode. She strayed from the Jewish community in her early 20's, but then returned to her religious roots after several years. She is married with 7 children (but you don't see them in the episode)."


I will be tuning in, perfect timing for after the kids go to sleep.

TNT - Saving Grace also has a community and a blog to share thoughts and information.

July 10, 2009

The Magic Behind PBS Super Why

PK_GIRL_MED_C The PBSKids.org website was the first place my 6 year old twins went on the Internet (and the first URL they memorized). It worked well with my Internet filter because I can add the whole PBS Kids website as approved because it is safe. PBS was also the first channel my kids watched on TV. I was happy that educational shows were available that met the changing needs of my kids. When my Kinder twin boys were in preschool, they enjoyed watching Super Why. My twin boys enjoyed the superhero characters and engaging storyline. I was happy that pre-reading skills were worked into the story in a way that made learning fun. Because they are engaged in Super Why already, it was easier to engage them in the Super Why summer Right On Read-a-thon for summer reading practice.

The Super Why area of the PBS website has a section for parents and teachers with the mission of the site being "the mission of this site is to help kids learn key reading skills, including alphabet, word families, spelling and reading comprehension, through interactive online games, activities and more!"

But what I did not realize is how much thought went into building learning into the stories until I went to a Silicon Valley Moms Group event in June that took me behind the scenes. SUPER WHY Creator and Executive Producer Angela C. Santomero and Lesli Rotenberg, PBS' Senior Vice President of Children's Media spoke to the group about the show. 

The following are my own liveblog notes that I took. I tried to type as fast as possible because it was so interesting, so some of this may be re-phrasing:

Continue reading "The Magic Behind PBS Super Why" »

July 09, 2009

Girl (and Mom) Gamers Are On The Rise

Recently I seem to be reading lots about an increase in girl gamers. At SXSW, I went to an interactive panel that discussed getting girls into gaming as a gateway to getting them interested in technology. I also saw that there were lots of activites at SXSW centered around girl gamers.

Today I received information about a NPD study press release that discusses girl gaming is on the rise:

"According to The NPD Group's Gamer Segmentation 2009 report, girl gamers are on the rise.  The study found that females increased by five percentage points to make up 28 percent of console gamers, up from 23 percent in 2008.  This trend can be attributed to the strong sales of titles such as Wii Fit and the recently-introduced EA Sports Active, which allow women to stay active from the comfort of their own homes.  In addition, Wii Sports was very popular among non-traditional gamers, and Nintendo is expecting this momentum to continue with Wii Sports Resort. 

Activision's Guitar Hero and Electronic Arts' Rock Band appeal to young girls who enjoy the interactive nature of the games.  Nintendogs, a puppy simulator and Animal Crossing: City Folk, which allows players to interact with hundreds of animals, are also big with women.  Nintendo will continue to capitalize on this trend with the upcoming launch of Style Savvy this holiday season.  Players become the owner of a clothing boutique, and the game combines creativity and fashion with a collection of trendy clothes, chic accessories and stylish shoes.  In addition, the company regularly hosts Girlfriends’ Guide to Gaming nights, male-free events in cities throughout the country in which young, professional women have the opportunity to experience video games in a social atmosphere.
"

I have seen an increase in my mom friends gaming habits as well in the following areas:

I few weeks ago I went to a press briefing with Nintendo on the new Wii Sports Resort (that has dozen resort-themed activities) and imagine that that game will be used by families for interactive screen time as well.   Wii Sports Resort comes bundled with a Wii MotionPlus - that captures additional movements for more activities (i.e. throwing a frisbee to a dog). Which is really good for me because I told my boys we can't have a pet. So having a frisbee throw with a virtual pet may keep them satisfied for now.

July 05, 2009

It Was a TwitPic July 4th: Moms Using Social Media

Many of my mom friends comment how overwhelming social media is and I suggest taking things slow until you find your social media "mojo". For moms, I suggest a great place to start is Facebook for social and LinkedIn if you want to make business contacts. Start off setting privacy levels as high as possible, then open things as you see fit. 

Guy Kawasaki (a.k.a How to Change the World blog and Alltop) wrote a good post about using LinkedIn. Some good links to find information about using Facebook is on the Facebook website, Mahalo - How to use Facebook article and Mashable's article on privacy settings.

Next I suggest Twitter for those that want to have a "public" online community to share information with. David Pogue just wrote a book about Twitter and Mashable has a post about using Twitter on the go. Twitter can be compared to texting - but onto a "public" website where your "followers" can read and respond to what you are doing at that moment (only 140 characters allowed). You can either open your updates to the public or restrict to only those you approve. Some start out with protected updates but then switch to public to be more open. I always tell my friends that ask my advice about social media privacy - to NOT put any private information online, especially on Twitter. Twitter should only be a place to share information about yourself that is public.

I enjoy sharing what I am doing, reading, posting, struggling with and most of all reading my followers Twitters and replying to them. I will be posting more about Twitter, but for now I want to share my latest social media test: using TwitPic.  Twitpic is a way to share pictures on Twitter (many celebrities use it) by taking a picture with your smartphone and sending it to the TwitPic application - which then posts it on Twitter. I don't like posting pictures of my kids in public forums, so I will probably use it to post pictures with my blogging friends (who are already public) and pictures of events.

Here is my first real TwitPic - I took a picture with my BlackBerry and sent it to Twitpic. It was a picture taken at our family and friends trip to the beach on July 4th. I took the picture of my foot (with my strawberry colored toes) and one of my 6 year old twins (with sandy covered toes). He is constantly growing, just looking at the picture makes me realize his foot is growing as well!

Twitpic1

My test picture was of a grenade water ballon - but I had to take that quick and get out of the way!

July 03, 2009

Canada Moms Blog Road Trip

We are excited that Catherine Conner and Katie York, from Silicon Valley Moms Groups Canada Moms Blog have taken off on a road trip across Canada. I am enjoying following them on their adventures!

Shout out to the Sponsors: GM, Fairmont Hotels and BTrendie.

July 01, 2009

Coming Soon

Silicon Valley Moms Group

Silicon Valley Moms Group was purchased by Technorati.com.

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