19 posts categorized "Communication"

June 15, 2011

Test Drive: Using VoIP for My Home Business Solution

IStock_000007395743XSmall Many work at home moms use their home or cell phones for their business calls. I just recently had the chance to review another alternative for work at home communications (or for any businesses): VoIP. VoIP is not a word many recognize, but it simply means a communications protocol over the Internet. So when using VoIP, instead of make calls using a cell services, an internet connection is used.

Alteva is a cloud (or internet) based communications solution. The phone I am testing is a wireless business phone that will be using the Alteva solution. I am excited to try it for a couple of reasons.

Continue reading "Test Drive: Using VoIP for My Home Business Solution" »

March 18, 2010

Organizing Online Content With Pearltrees

Traveling-geeks-beth-blecherman While on the Traveling Geeks trip to Paris, we had the opportunity to meetup with a French company called Pearltrees. This was our first stop on what was a busy day meeting an exciting group of French companies. Beyond hearing about the companies, I was just happy that I made it on and off the Paris Metro without losing my ticket.

Pearltrees is a collaborative way to share interests online. I was intrigued by the concept of a new way to organize (in real time) my content and find additional content online. I also appreciated the visual nature of Pearltrees, each unique content link is considered a "pearl" while groupings of pearls are "pearltrees". I even imagined using Pearltrees to organize the links I share on Twitter and my other social network platforms, to bring life to archived posts on my blogs that have related topics, find new content and organize interesting conversations that take place online. To better understand the functionality, I started using Pearltrees.

Here's the process I followed to explore Pearltrees:

While on the Traveling Geeks trip I decided to use Pearltrees to organize some of the posts about our trip to Paris (I plan to add more):


After returning to California, I went back to my Pearltree to find a picture to use on my post of the Traveling Geeks group meeting. I revisted that Pearltree to find more pictures for this post.

 Traveling Geeks Paris 09 - a set on Flickr 

Not finding the pictures I wanted in my own Flickr set, I then searched Pearltrees for more Traveling Geeks content and found Pearltree stories in English. From that, I found fellow Traveling Geek Olivier Ezratty's Picasso albums. 

 Some photos... 

I could of also found that Pearltree via a Google search for Traveling Geeks. Here are the results when I performed a Google Search on "Traveling Geeks Pearltrees":

"Traveling geeks !!!! by PED - Pearltrees
PED created the pearltree Traveling geeks !!!!. Check out: Pearltrees Beta Launches on Wednesday: Will Let You Archive the // down the avenue: Pearltrees: A ...
www.pearltrees.com/PED/1501612/ - Cached"

I checked those albums and found these pictures of the Traveling Geeks meetup with Pearltrees.


The Traveling Geeks getting ready for the briefing.


The briefing started with an explanation of how Pearltrees works from Patrice Lamothe.


The Pearltree team and one their workspaces. 

Pearltrees meeting pictures photo credits: Olivier Ezratty . Picture of Paris Metro photo credit Beth Blecherman.       

My next step will be to create some posts with tips on what I have learned about Pearltrees. More to come..

Disclosure: I met the Pearltees team while on the Traveling Geeks trip to Paris/LeWeb where I first started using Pearltrees. Disclosures about the Traveling Geeks can found here. After using Pearltrees, I wanted to learn more so I spent some time using it. Recently I started advising Pearltrees.  What I blog about are my own opinions.

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"

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...).

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...

February 07, 2009

President Barack Obama Sent Email With Link to YouTube Video on Economy

This is a really good sign. I never received emails from George Bush. Infact, I never received much information from his administration (it was always through the news). With the new administration on board, I decided to sign up through BarackObama.com to receive notifications.

In a step to me that confirms that the "change" has begun, I received an email this morning with a link to President Barack Obama's YouTube video on the Recovery House Meetings. Let me say that again I RECEIVED AN EMAIL COMMUNICATION FROM PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA WITH AN UPDATE ABOUT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY HOUSE MEETING. Our President is communicating via email, YouTube videos and other online networks - which means more Americans will be able to see that information.

My 6 year old twin is watching it with me and said "President Barack Obama sent mommy a YouTube video"...

December 12, 2008

CNN iReport

CNN has a section of their website that is open to the public to submit their pictures, audio and video called "iReport". It is an interesting way to see what is going on. There is a good mix of news, personal interest and one area for a year in 30 seconds (which are slide or video clip snippets of one year of events). Here is link to one made by a mom with two boys (and it rhymes..).

I decided that because CNN Heroes inspired me to theme my HP Magic Giveaway for Mom/Dad Heroes, I would submit my first iReport of this event. I took a picture of a split screen, the top screen is a small part of the CNN Heroes website, the bottom split is the TechMamas Mom/Dad hero post.  So here it is, my first iReport (weeeee)...

October 30, 2008

Kids that Are Kept Away From Technolgy, Parents That Are Widly Overprotective

Sarah Lacy, author of the book "Once Your Good, Twice You're Lucky - The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0",  could not have said it better when she posted "Quick Hide Your Women and Children! TWITTER IS COMING!. One line in that post really stood out to me:

"Keeping your children from using some of the most socially transformative tools modern technology has ever seen was at best wildly overprotective and at worst setting them up for a lifetime of disadvantages."

I hear many moms discussing that they want to keep their kids away from "evil technology", when really what is needed are limits, internet safety controls and regular education to help kids understand safe use of technology (including privacy settings when needed). Otherwise, you may as well just keep your kids in a hut out in the middle of the woods. Because technology has opened the world up with information and opportunities to network. The dangers are there, but so are the dangers for walking to school now adays..

The key is to educate your child to prepare them for a life in the digital world. Do you want them to the be the only kid going to college that did not start online social networking months in advance? Or that does not know how to type when homework can be handed in online starting at 3rd grade or earlier? Or understands that entertainment technology is fun, but needs to be used within time limits?

September 05, 2008

Yahoo! Messenger Shares Survey about Online Etiquette

I just received this email from Yahoo! and thought it would be interesting to share... Happy birthday Yahoo!

Yahoo! Messenger Turns 10 and Reveals the Truth About “Netiquette”

Here is a summary, but the details of the survey are listed below:

Rules of netiquette:

  • It’s ok to…
    • Wish someone a happy birthday via IM (according to 68% of the young adults surveyed)
    • Say thanks! With an IM (57%)       
    • RSVP through instant message (55%) 
  • It’s NOT ok to…
    • Apologize via IM (only 21% of young adults said it is acceptable)
    • Break up electronically (8%)       
    • Communicate the death of a loved one with an IM (10%)

Communicating with Kids:

  • BRB (be right back)     
  • LOL (laugh out loud) – believe it or not 56% of young adults admit to using LOL in their regular speech!     
  • TTYL (Talk to you later)


Continue reading "Yahoo! Messenger Shares Survey about Online Etiquette" »

August 24, 2008

Hey, Today Joe Biden Sent Me An Email

Yesterday, Barack Obama sent me an email announcing his VP choice: Joe Biden. Today, Joe Biden sent me an email introducing himself! I feel special....

From: Joe Biden <[email protected]>
To: Blecherman Beth <xxxx>
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 10:46:56 AM
Subject: Hello

Continue reading "Hey, Today Joe Biden Sent Me An Email" »



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