19 posts categorized "Going Virtual "

April 18, 2007

Using Google Translate for Periodismo Ciudadano

Grace D and I have been emailing back and forth about a Spanish blog that picked up our posts on the Mexico Earthquake and Citizen Journalism. We saw the links to the blog "periodismociudadano.com" but initially could not read it until it was translated. I enjoyed my private Spanish lessons many years ago to prepare for business trips to Mexico and Spain. I don't know if it is my mommy memory or just the amount of time but I have forgotten my Spanish.

So, I used Google Translate to help me translate the posting from Spanish to English. It is very easy:

  • OPTION 2: TRANSLATE TEXT: The field above that is for translating particular text (Translate Text). I used that to translate the name of the blog "periodismociudadano.com" or periodismo ciudadano which I found out is "citizen journalism".

I was doing this at 11pm at night, sitting in my pajamas reading an amazing Spanish language blog on citizen journalism. The comments/discussion about citizen journalism after the post were so engaging.  I decided to look for a place I can find listings of other foreign language blogs to read. I had the opportunity to travel to world for business, now I can see what interesting people from around the world are thinking, while I am sitting in my pajamas. No business travel required.

Relevant Links:
For those who use Yahoo mail, there is also a translation tool that can be used from Yahoo called Babel Fish. Both Google Translate and Babel Fish are free.

Translation sites can be helpful for to use with your kids for school projects. But be careful, you don't want to give them an easy way to cheat on their Spanish homework.

April 13, 2007

Breaking Twitter News, Citizen Journalism and NPR


I just popped into Twitter to see what my Twitteritas were up to, and GraceD had a link to her post on the earthquake in Mexico City. What is interesting about this - is that people broke the story with entries into Twitter. As GraceD calls it "Citizen Journalism 2.0":

"That this is Citizen Journalism 2.0, a mix of new web social networks and tools - Twitter, flickr - hooked in with blogs, webcast, chatrooms, video feeds, and mobile devices. "

All of the social networking and web 2.0 tools are giving ordinary citizens the access to post breaking stories, without delay, spin or editing. I find this type of information the most interesting to read. Some may say that citizen journalism is flawed because it does not go through an editorial process. I say that everyone should get the full story: mainstream news coverage along with the raw information available from citizen journalists community sites (Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Huffington Post, BlogHer) to see what people are really feeling. Or accessing mainstream media that have citizen journalism projects like MSNBC, New York Times and CNN. Along with Wall Street Journal building community with blogs and the interactive reporting of the Washington Post .

This is also a great opportunity to give children a different view of world events. But be careful, some of the information may be too graphic for young kids so it is important to pick and choose what citizen journalism or even mainstream journalism that you share with them.  I do not know what the right age is to let them see the "whole" story. Maybe that should just be something that organically happens when they start asking. My friends with kids in high school said their sons learned many lessons on world events by listening to NPR while commuting to school. Not such a bad idea.....

Links if this leaves you wanting more:

Dec. 2006 providing a history of Citizen Journalism

June 2006 post on The People Formerly Known as the Audience.

April 10, 2007

Do you want content delivered to your Twitter Account?

My friends and I are completely hooked on Twitter. Maybe bordering on addiction...Now that I know there is a place that my friends are talking about what they are doing, I feel the need to check in regularly.

The Feedblitz blog announced they were enabling their publishers to deliver content to their subscribers via Twitter.  Hmmm, I may have to think about this new feature. I don't know if I want content delivered to my Twitter account. I just got used to reading the group chats there.

On the other hand, If I am hanging out there so much, maybe I could get a few alerts delivered to my account. Which would help satisfy my multi-tasking addiction.

April 08, 2007

TripAdvisor: Hotels Read It!

Travel A friend of mine, her hubby and kids were on a vacation recently, but the house they rented has no hot water. She tried to contact the landlord, but got no response. Then she mentioned that she should report it to TripAdvisor.com. That is the first time I heard of that site so I decided to take a look.

TripAdvisor.com has the following info in their about section:

"TripAdvisor® is the largest travel community in the world, with more than 5 million unbiased reviews and opinions, covering 250,000+ hotels and attractions. With more than 20 million unique monthly visitors worldwide (source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2006), TripAdvisor® features real advice from real travelers and easy access to major online travel sites, including Expedia.com®, Orbitz, Hotels.com® and American Airlines, for great deals."

The site even has a humor section that is made up of a blog with snippets of the reviews from the site:

"But what do we really talk about over lunch at TripAdvisor? The stuff we can’t publish. Whether it’s funny, rude, bizarre, potentially libelous, incomprehensible, or all of the above, we love it, and we think you will too."

But does it really work? For those customers who report issues with vacations - does the site help them get it resolved? Well, I happened to be reading the New York Times travel section today and my question was answered in an article titled " The Web Gives Hotel Guests The Last Word":

"Nearly every morning, over his second cup of coffee, Tom Brady, general manager at the Affinia Chicago, logs onto his computer and surfs over to TripAdvisor.com to see if there are any new postings about his hotel.

“It’s an obsession,” he said. If the review is positive he moves on. If it’s unfavorable — like the complaint posted in March from a guest who had received a $90 parking ticket because of a valet’s error — he’s on it immediately. In that case, he marched straight out to the valet to find out what had happened. After identifying the guest, he made sure that the company issued an apology and a reimbursement for the ticket."

Funny, because I just stayed at the Affinia Manhattan and was very impressed with the customer service. So, maybe the hotels with good customer service read their reviews.  Who knows, but it does make me want to come back to this site the next time I travel. I always like to mix professional travel reviews with those from real customers to get information on my travel destinations. Traveling with kids is hard enough, so the more information I can get - the better.

March 30, 2007

Virtual Vacation with The Silent "I"

March07 I met Glennia originally because she is one of the contributors of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. Then I started reading her personal blog: The Silent "I", Glennia's adventures: foreign and domestic. Being a mom of three boys, including twin preschoolers has made it tough for me to travel. So visiting her blog is a virtual vacation for me.  Her travel index offers a taste of many places across the world: Greenland, Oahu, Mammoth Cave National Park, Galapagos Islands and the list goes on... Her writing is so rich it takes you along for the journey.

Best of all, she talks about traveling as a family with her husband and son - which is giving me the courage to start thinking about traveling with my sons (and I need lots). Glennia is honest about the excitement and the challenges. I choose her post on "Kauai: The Garden Island" for the March Perfect Post awards at Suburban Turmoil  and Petroville even though it was in February because I am still thinking about it. The post starts out giving a taste of the area's beauty:

"What we didn't expect was that we would both fall ass-over-tea kettle in love with the place, with Kalapaki Beach, the view from our balcony, the giant swimming pool with its dizzying array of spitting fountains, the tropical garden and the ginormous koi pond--all of it."

And then the challenges of taking her son to the beach while her husband is taking a nap. I felt the same way she did when I just took my older son to the beach, fearful but also wanting to support his independence (after proper swim lessons):

"I'm not sure when I became such a buzz-kill, but I believe it was at the moment that I gave birth and was bestowed the title "mother."  All I could think of was, "thank God you did not drown" and had to put aside my somewhat irrational fear to say, "Please don't go out so far."

Everyone learned a good lesson and went on to have a great night together. And I had alittle taste-o-Kauai. I really enjoyed the pictures of her son running by the beach, I could almost hear those waves crashing and smell the sea air. If they had the perfect vlog awards, I may add in my favorite virtual vacation vlog: Beach Walks with Rox.

Put the Silent "I" and Beach Walks with Rox together, and you have the perfect virtual vacation....

March 28, 2007

Do you Twitter with your friends?

Twitter The web 2.0 world has brought many new and exciting ways to communicate with your friends online - without speaking a word. Twitter is the new social networking buzz; it allows users to send a sentence or two about what they are doing at that moment, using their moble phone, instant message or by entering it into an online form on the Twitter site. Here is the help and lingo page that has more info on how Twitter works. You can also learn juicy tidbits at the Twitter blog. The privacy features allow you to either add your twitter to the public timeline or to the friends that you invite. If you wonder "Why everyone's talking about Twitter"check out the Time magazine article. The article brings up the lingo "microblogging or moblogging" for what users are doing with Twitter; it is a quick way to do a micro-micro blog post (two sentences) for those who do not have time to blog.

I first heard about Twitter at BlogHer Business 07 last week. I knew I had to try it, so I set up a profile but then was shy to start. I wondered what I should talk about. Then blogger celeb GraceD invited me to be her friend (which I was honored), so I decided to do my first twitter to her. What do you know, I am blogging about microblogging.

This may be a fun way for moms to commuincate with a group of friends, local or anywhere in the world. If your teens mention being interesting in using Twitter, I would suggest that they only allow their group of friends to read their twitters. Twitter's terms of use state that users must be 13 years of age or older.

March 14, 2007

No Time to Shop, Go Virtual

Froogle_image_1Originally posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog

Taking care of kids and holiday shopping can be overwhelming. Just in case you forgot someone, here are some virtual certificates you can put under the tree or stuff in a stocking. I am sure your loved one won't mind a copy of a on-line receipt as a gift. You can just say that you wanted to give them the option to chose what they want. That is a true gift (do ya think they will go for it?).

If you want to stay away from the mall but still buy some gifts, here are some tech gifts you can get at your local computer or some office supply stores: high tech gifts at rock bottom prices, stocking stuffers, cool gadgets and gizmos, Engadget's holiday gift guide or the C/Net holiday gift guide. I like the Fingergrear Computer on a Stick or a general USB memory stick as a back-up for my files or when I need to file share. And they will fit into a stocking.

Just to keep things in check, you can visit the mommysavers for tips on saving money and information on computer rage so you don't destroy your new high tech gifts.

December 31, 2006

Lazy Top Ten Linklove for 2006


What does a blogger do on a community blog when most of the wonderful contributors and founding team are on vacation? Links. And what better links on the last day of 2006 then "Top Ten". Now, I could do my own. But why do that when there are experts already on the job. So, I give you the links to the best "Top Ten" lists. For taking the lazy route, it did take some work:

  1. I read "What's Online" from the technology section of the New York Times. That section had an article called "The Lazy Top 10 Anything" by Danny Mitchell.
  2. That article listed Kyle Bunch of Blogebrity.com, who questioned the word lazy but thanked "Danny Boy" for mentioning them. He also created the "Top Ten Blogebrities of 2006".
  3. Blogebrity offered that list to laist.com, who were also picked up in the article. Laist then created a "Top 24 Best New York Times Best Of Stories of 2006" back at the New York Times.
  4. I had to go to Digg.com to get the actual list of "Top Ten Blogebrities of 2006". I was too lazy to search the laist site myself. Funny that Kevin Rose is on the list.
  5. And finally, laist then mentioned the "Fimoculous' list of Best Of Lists". Which is the best top ten list because it aggregates all the 2006 top ten lists.

Phewww, that was hard work! Did I miss any top ten lists?

December 23, 2006

Do Moms Like to Share their Look?

Share_your_look_1Orginally posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog

I was cruising around my favorite blogs when I saw an interesting post on TechCrunch - Women, Clothes, Style, Ugh:

"There’s a trend emerging on the Internet, and it isn’t pretty. Well, it is pretty, but it’s bad news for those of us with absolutely nothing to add to the conversation. Those of us without a sense of style."

And there are also some really interesting comments on the post.

Michael Arrington was referring to the new trend that mixes social networking with fashion. Three  companies allow users to create a profile and then post their outfits (Style Diary, ShareYourLook, and Shoutfit). Other members can comment on each other's outfits. Kind of like what happens every time my friends and I go out together. But this would allow me to have that type of interplay on-line with people from around the world (ShareYourLook is now in 20 countries). I think it sounds really interesting, except that ability for others to comment on your outfit. Being a mom on the run, sometimes I don't have a chance to look in the mirror. I get home at the end of the day and wonder how I could have let myself out of the house with a piece of play dough rubbed on the side of my sleeve. If I use one of these sites, I will have post my outfits only when I had a babysitter that enabled me to take a shower. Unless there is a section on these sites for best outfits to chauffeur kids around.

I looked at Style Diary and Share Your Look.  I like the front page of Style Diary that has a listing of new outfits, street style and cool finds.  ShareYourLook seems easy to sign use, has a good tagging system and style blogs. I know some early trend setters that have already incorporated fashion into their blogs: Mary Tsao with her fantastic flickr " What I Wear: Suburban Housewife Edition", Pamela Hornik with her Favorite Things and Sarah Granger's Segmented comments on fashion. We also had our fashion topic day, but did not include pictures of ourselves in outfits. Mainly because we all were outraged at the skinny jean trend.

I think I will give ShareYourLook a try. I would like hear if other moms would use these on-line fashion social networking sites.



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