46 posts categorized "How To"

September 15, 2011

Fun At The Sony Photo Fun Mom Event And Using The Cyber-Shot WX9

image from www.flickr.com When I received the invite from Kimberley Clayton Blaine (TheGoToMom) and Sony Electronics to attend a day of photography and pampering I was excited to enjoy the event and see my fellow bloggers. But my tech obsessed side was looking forward to checking out the new Sony Cyber-Shot WX9. The Sony Photo Fun Mom Event inspiried me to get out of my "work at home" sweats off and get my fashion on. Or - at least - attempt to.

Here is a video from the Event:

Sony Photo Fun Mom Event from Kimberley Blaine on Vimeo.


The event brought together a fun group of bloggers to enjoy San Diego, experience the Cyber-shot WX9 and get headshots from celebrity photographer Brian Smith.  His project/book, "Art and Soul", has the goal of raising visibility and funding for the arts and art education.

image from www.flickr.com

All the event pictures from the day were taken with the Sony Cyber-shot WX9 camera and I enjoyed experimenting with some of the special features. The WX-9 has 16.2 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, 3.0" screen, Full HD 1080 video, "Exmor R" CMOS sensors and my favorite settings: 3D Sweep Panorama and a "soft skin" setting. Best of all, it is small and light enough to pop it in the back pocket of my jeans or in my smallest purse. No more lugging my heavy DSLR camera around.

Starting off the Sony Photo Fun Mom Event was a during the first night dinner at Anthology.

Continue reading "Fun At The Sony Photo Fun Mom Event And Using The Cyber-Shot WX9" »

June 07, 2011

Secrets to My success: Guy Kawasaki's Social Media and Business Tips (with info on current deal!)

Enchantment When I first starting blogging in 2006 one of the first people I followed on Twitter was Guy Kawasaki.  He already had a successful business career and was one of the early ones to fully realize the potential of social media. I also read Guy Kawasaki's books. His tips are explained in a authentic way that helped me understand the intricacies of business and social media, and he reinforces these key messages by reaching out to his community with presentations and social media events. One of my favorite social media events was the USS Nimitz Blogger Embark, which Guy, I and a team of bloggers went on together. 

Last week I interviewed Guy Kawasaki about his book Enchantment for a REP Interactive video (more details to come on my video). Using his hints and tips were invaluable to me; I now have my own online brand, TechMama, so I can say his tips worked! I looked forward to reading Enchantment to learn more.

 Guy Kawasaki and Beth Blecherman talking about Guy's book "Enchantment" during a REP Interactive video. More details about the video to come...

Deal alert, read on to find out details..

Continue reading "Secrets to My success: Guy Kawasaki's Social Media and Business Tips (with info on current deal!) " »

September 07, 2010

Lifescoop Blog: Kid Desk 2.0 Upgrade - Enter to win $250

The ever so clever Clever Girls Collective invited me (@TechMama) to participate in a back to school challenge on the My Life Scoop blog (powered by Intel). It was great timing because I was in the middle of a challenge of my own: how do I redesign my 11 year old's kid desk to get ready for middle school and to have enough room to hold his technology AND projects?

Take a look at my post on My Life Scoop blog titled "Contest: Kid Desk 2.0 Upgrade - Be In It To Win It": the winning comment/solution will be awarded $250.00 gift card.

I am in need of a kid desk upgrade 2.0 - please share your ideas and enter the contest!

Disclosure: I am being compensated to write the post on My Life Scoop - but am in desperate need of a desk for my tween so I can't wait to read the comments!

August 13, 2010

Story: How 16 Year Old Made His First Million Dollars Via Gizmodo

I was reading TechMeme and I found this article on Gizmodo that discussed how a 16 year old named Christian Owens (yes - that is SIXTEEN YEAR OLD) made his first million dollars inspired by none other then Steve Jobs. This me feel alittle better about the outrageous amount I spent on computer camp for my tween.

Well - reading the post about the 16 year old millionaire Christian Owens - and the fact that my tween son loves to play with anything computer makes me feel better about sending him to a camp where he sits in front of the computer for part of the day. TechBoy (as my tween son also calls himself) is also my defacto cameraman and editor. Yes, he gets paid in points for his hard work. That is how he earned his electric guitar. So for now my son is breaking even for his business venture, or we can call it "re-investing his earnings in business capital".

Continue reading "Story: How 16 Year Old Made His First Million Dollars Via Gizmodo" »

April 12, 2010

Understanding Pearltrees: A New Way To Organize Web Content

TG01 Many people search the web, read content every day and share that content. While advances in search technology has made finding information easier and easier, saving and organizing information in a way that captures a story or conversation can still be very challenging.

I just posted on Techmamas.com about my first experience with Pearltrees.com; I was on a Traveling Geeks trip to LeWeb and Pearltrees was one of the French companies we met. Being a visual person, the Pearltrees online application offered me the tools to capture and organize online information in a visual format that also reflected the storyline behind the issue being discussed. I decided that my next step was to use it and see what happens. What happened - is that adding content to Pearltrees became part of my daily workflow. I now find it to be an essential way to organize the content I view daily, in a way that I can organize, share and embed in my blog. Being a busy mom, Pearltrees saves me the time of going back to capture relevant links or discussions  - because I am now doing it as part of my daily workflow. Simple bookmarking works linearly. Pearltrees enables the story to be told in a more visual way.

I easily created Pearltrees for conversations, issues and topic areas I am researching. My online peeps started taking notice, saying things like "there goes TechMama, creating those pearly things again" and "wow, Pearltrees looks great but I need to learn how to use it".

Months later, when I took on a project as adviser to Pearltrees, I had the opportunity to learn even more about the site and share the information I learned.


The way many people currently organize web content is by using bookmarking sites, which are organized in a linear, menu-style format.  Pearltrees works differently because it is a visual mapping of content that can be "dragged and dropped" into different visual trees. The Pearltrees.com FAQ's describes this process in the following way. "Pearltrees is a collaborative network that lets users create, enrich and share the world of their interests. In Pearltrees, everyone creates a world and uses parts of others' worlds to extend it. By doing so, everyone contributes to the overall project: building the first human organization of the Web."  It is not only a way to "create, enrich and share the world of a user's interests but also keep at hand the great content they find everyday on the web."

A Pearltree is made up of Pearls. A Pearl is simply a link to web content that a user wants to save and organize.  The content can be a blog post, article, Tweet, picture, video or any other online media that has a permalink/URL.


Continue reading "Understanding Pearltrees: A New Way To Organize Web Content" »

October 18, 2009

Just helped friends customize their blog, that was fun!

Many parents who consider themselves non techie are now either reading, setting up blogs of their own or trying to understand blogging because their tweens/teens have blogs.

Luckily, I started blogging over 4 years ago and now my son, who is 10, is just becoming interested in blogging. Today I had to the honor of helping dear friends - that are going on an AMAZING year long sailing trip - finalize their blog. For anyone that is interested in following a family that set sail for a year - click here to see the blog: Mitgang/Gottesman Sailing Voyage Aboard Whatcha Gonna Do .

They had done a great job of setting up their blog and picking a simple background with text that is easy to read, but I helped them add some important details: categories, setting up RSS feeds so their friends can subscribe to their blog and other details. This was my first time using Google Blogger and I found it easy to use. I started blogging on using the blogging platform "Typepad" and have been using that ever since. I also have blogger friends that use WordPress. There are also other platforms to use as well.

So now I decided to work on a post that will help beginners understand how to create a "basic" blog. My first step is to do some research. I will be posting soon with details, please add any hints for beginners creating a blog to this post. One thing I will be looking into is - how to set up controls if it is your tween/teen setting up a blog (public versus private).

More to come...

September 07, 2009

Web Management Tools For Students, Teachers and Parents

It is that time of year when I ponder what is the best system to manage my family's schedule and as a room parent - how to manage the class information. So I took my quest online. Here is what I found so far....

Mashable had some great posts on web tools for students and teachers, so I started by reading those posts.


Mashable - Back to School: 15 Essential Web Tools for Students 

(Evernote, Notely, Grademate, Backpack, StudRails, Diigo, Delicious, Mindmeister, Google Docs, Etherpad, SlideRocket, Wikidot, Citeme, EasyBib and Zotero) CLICK here to read the student post.


Mashable - Back to School: 10 Terrific Web Apps for Teachers

(SchoolRack, SchoolTool, Curriki, Edmodo, Shmoop, Footnote, ClassMarker, Bookgoo, DOC cop and TeacherTube) CLICK HERE to read the Teacher post.

I know teachers who create their class sites using Dreamweaver, blogs or TeacherWeb.


Here are some web tools for parents who have kids in elementary school/highschool. I hope to add more to the list:

1. Google Calender/Docs: Many parents are using Google Calender to manage their calenders and Google Docs to keep shared documents in the "cloud" online.

2. Smartphones - Many parents manage their calenders using their smartphones and corresponding calendering systems. Smartphone calenders can also sync with outlook, iCal and Google Calender - which makes it easy to share info with other family members, use desktop management or online tools.

3. Cozi.com has an online family organizer system that includes online calender, shopping list, todo lists and family journal.

Continue reading "Web Management Tools For Students, Teachers and Parents " »

August 16, 2009

How To Load Video to Blogs - And 11 Video Hosting Sites

Many bloggers are starting to incorporate video into their blogs (called "vlogging"). We are excited at Silicon Valley Moms Group to have started a video series called A Byte Out of Life sponsored by Yahoo. Here is a video that I enjoyed participating in - about Moms, Celebrities and Twitter. Here is a link to my post on Silicon Valley Moms Blog that provides a background. The Video is included in the post, hosted on our the Yahoo Video website. Because my post has a video - it is considered a "vlog". There are also great vlogging sites to follow, such as GoToMom.TV.

I am also participating in a fabulous group of fem tech bloggers in a site called "Gadgetspin". While our site has videos (our first was at the exciting Virgin American - Orange County inaugural flight), our focus will be on livestreaming. Livestreaming is when you post video live from an event. Gadgetspin is in beta and will be launching soon.

Because I am starting to vlog, I spent time researching different video hosting platforms to load video to. After the video file is loaded to the hosting site, "embed" code can be generated and loaded to  blog posts. Listed below is a summary of the steps and the video hosting sites I know of. If you know of others, please comment on this post with a link to the website.

STEP 1: CREATE VIDEO FILE: There are many gadgets bloggers can use to record video. Some use the internal webcams of their computer, some an external webcam and some a video camera. The Flip Camera has a pop-out USB drive for one button upload and software for editing. I will post soon with other alternatives for video cameras (a whole other topic!).

STEP 2: LOAD YOUR VIDEO FILE TO A PLAYER: Once you have a video file - you need to load that file to a video hosting site that provides a player (the square and buttons around the video) and the embed code that enables loading to a blog. Here is a list of 11 video hosting sites I know of:

1. Yahoo Video: http://video.yahoo.com/

2. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/

3. Vimeohttp://www.vimeo.com/

4. BlipTV http://blip.tv/

5. One True Media: http://www.onetruemedia.com/ This service allows you to do all types of editing using photo montages or video - then upload online, send as a DVD or email.

6. Vlog It: There is supposed to be a option for a 15 day free trial but I could not find it. The product is made by Adobe. I purchased the $29.00 version and will give it a test run.


7. PhotoBucket: You can use Photobucket to load and then generate embed code to share with a website:

8. Windows Movie Maker: For Windows Users - you can use Windows Movie Maker for free to upload video to (and edit) - then generate embed code using one of the video hosting partners they recommend:

9. iMovie: For MAC users iMovie does have a function to upload to blogs/websites. If anyone has tried this - it would be great to share:

10. Flickr: With a Flickr Pro acct you can upload a limited number of videos and generate embed code:

11. Brightcove: Used by web marketers and media companies.

12. Update 8/16 - TheGoToMom added a open source video platform to the list - Kaltura: http://corp.kaltura.com/

Update 8/20: Lifehacker published a post asking for the best video sharing site. There are other sites listed on that post including Viddler, Veoh, Megavideo, BitTorrent, Daily Motion, and Exposure Room .

Update 10/6. The GoToMom once again helped me identify another platform: Delve Networks

Each has their own process for loading and then displaying embed code. Some are free and some charge for hosting. Please be aware that video privacy settings need to be "public" to display on a blog. Please make sure your video has all "public" info. For families wanting a private place to load videos to, they should look at sites with multiple levels of privacy such as Vox or Plumkeeper.

STEP 3: COPY EMBED CODE FROM PLAYER INTO YOUR POST: Copy" then paste the embed code into the html section of your post - in the spot that you want to the video to display.

***Check the width of the column you are display the video and change the width in the embed code if the width is too big.

For Example, here is some code that has a video the width of 500 pixels:
embed style="width:500px; height:326px;"

You can just change the width to "480":
embed style="width:480px; height:326px;"

March 05, 2009

Need For Speed, Need For RAM

J0407065 When I received my refurbished laptop in the mail 6 months ago, the first thing I did after I unwrapped the package was install another 1GB of RAM (the laptop only had 1GB). As I do more graphics and multi-tasking, I am starting to crave more RAM.

While reading my online RSS feeds, I saw a good article about RAM at Laptop Magazine. CLICK HERE to read it if you are craving more speed with your computer.

February 07, 2009

Stanford & Common Sense Media on Safe Social Networking

I am thrilled to see organizations like Common Sense Media and  Dr BJ Fogg of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab provide valuable information on safe social networking for teens including IMPORTANT information on privacy controls. So here are the links, parents take a look and learn:

I hope to go to the Facebook class for Parents at Stanford and will print out the Common Sense Family Media agreements for my kids.  It is important for all parents to be proactive and help themselves and their families learn about/implement proper online safety.

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