4 posts categorized "Traveling Geeks"

December 21, 2009

Geek is a Global Language - But Twitter is Not (yet)

Logo-trans During the blogger embark on the USS Nimitz this past May, I enjoyed learning how social media is being used aboard an aircraft carrier at sea. Similarly, when I was invited to join the Traveling Geeks trip to Paris, I looked forward to experiencing social media in France first hand. Especially with - as fellow Geek Matthew Buckland referred to - a "top secret, Illuminati-type organization". Except we were not secret about anything as we all share openly our thoughts online.

True to expectations, only moments into the first Traveling Geeks French start-ups meetings and LeWeb discussions, the similarities and differences of social media around the globe quickly came to light. Similarities were easy to see in the programming and features of application development, which quickly proved to a be a global language. As for differences, they fell primarily into three buckets  (with comedy insight provided by a Current TV video on the bottom of this post):

1. Where are the girl geAnneTG09eks in Paris? I know there are girl geeks in Paris; I  found a link to  my favorite Girl Geek Dinner organization in Paris. I did enjoy talking with Anne-Celine Jeanneau from Zoomorama (pictured, right) at the Paris Digital Content Companies Incubator. While fellow Traveling Geek Eliane Fiolet lives in the US now, she was born in France and is one of the most knowledgeable geeks I know! I was thrilled to see Geraldine Le Meur on the LeWeb stage, someone who ranks TOPS in my Tech Mom Twitter list.

When I visit different countries, I don't keep track of how many women versus men I am meeting with. But I do enjoy seeing women globally communicate their strong, social media voice. In Silicon Valley, I connect with girl geeks through BlogHer, She's Geeky, Anita Borg Institure, Women 2.0, Girl Geek Dinners and Girls in Tech (and more). While I don't expect every area to have so many groups, I do enjoy meeting with local girl geek organizations while I am traveling and sharing ideas. Renee Blodgett and Eliane Fiolet worked hard to have diversity in the Traveling Geeks crew. Back in the US, BlogHer is researching into how women use social media: "BlogHer Team to Bring Research and Insights About How Women Use Social Media, Blogs to the White House and Republican Leadership".

2. European Geeks OuTG0901t Style Silicon Valley Geeks: While Silicon Valley geeks put on a clean tee shirt for tech conferences, European geeks take it up a notch. Here is a random  geek waiting in line for LeWeb. I told him I was chronicling European Geek Chic. He looked confused but smiled for the camera. To top it off, he and many other Euro-geeks paired the geek uniform of jeans with a nice pair of (non-sneaker) shoes.

Just to keep up with the style, I put on every black and stylish piece of clothing I had. If I had time, I would of shopped from the assortment of beautiful french scarves to take my outfit up a notch. Luckily I am back home in my gym clothes, which is my preferred blogging uniform.

3. Where are the conversations? Person to Person or Twitter to Twitter?: In Silicon Valley, online social networking ID names rival business cards as a means for introduction and maintaining contact; I introduce myself as "TechMama on Twitter". My perspective is that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are required applications for global business interaction, especially for those wanting to do business in the US. These applications are becoming the center of the conversation, with complimentary applications being built around them.

Continue reading "Geek is a Global Language - But Twitter is Not (yet)" »

Traveling Geeks 09 Paris: Microblog via Twitter

BlackBerry_Bold My platform of choice during theTwitter Traveling Geeks 09 trip to Paris was first Twitter to microblog, then loading the microblog items to a blog post (my blogging platform is Typepad). Twitter is an application that allows people to share what they are doing at the moment in 140 characters or less. My niche on Twitter is to share parenting and technology updates, so this information would fit within my framework.  At LeWeb I learned about Seesmic so I hope to try that out as an interface for my next microblogging adventure. I will also be experimenting with using the BlackBerry app for Whrrl to capture "stories" on the run.

I purchased an AT&T 200 MB International data plan for my BlackBerry Bold in preparation for microblogging in Paris, using my own daily calculations to make sure I would not go over (which is very expensive). All of this preparation would allow me to enjoy the tour, capturing the key moments while not taking too much time away to prepare blog posts until I returned home. Although microblogging does now allow in-depth analysis, it does capture the key points.

The International Data plan also helped me keep my smartphone email and social media app. addiction satisfied during my trip to Paris. The thought of a smartphone without a data plan was too much to handle.

Here is my Twitter Stream from the  #TG09 Traveling Geeks 09 trip to Paris. Each tweet is from my Twitter stream unless it has a "RT" or retweet in front of it. I took out my Twitter ID (TechMama) and hashtags after the first few to make it easier to read. 

Continue reading "Traveling Geeks 09 Paris: Microblog via Twitter" »

December 10, 2009

LeWeb: Queen Rania Discusses Digital Darwinism and 1Goal Initiative For Global Education

DSC_0199 In the age of digital media, it is inspiring to see women with a global presence utilizing different social media channels for communication and public good. On Day 2 of LeWeb conference, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashermite Kingdom of Jordan spoke not only about "The human race living in a digital space" but of her global education initiatives.

Queen Rania is a role model for living in the digital space; she is active in the following social media outlets:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/queenrania

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/QueenRania

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/QueenRania

Website: http://www.queenrania.jo/

On her website, Queen Rania lists her initiative areas including global education. The initiative she discussed during her talk is called 1Goal (http://www.join1goal.org/). Here are the goals from Queen Rania's website:

"1GOAL is a new campaign to raise support for Education for All, and hold world leaders accountable to their promises. 1GOAL brings together the experience and expertise of the Global Campaign for Education with the passion and power of football through FIFA."

Queen Rania asked everyone to take a second and spread the word on 1Goal, so I decided to share over Twitter. She then explained her reasons for getting involved in social media  Here are some notes I took from her explanation:

"The human race living in a digital space. Doing more then just documenting - you are part of new field of digital anthropology that let us represent ourselves online.  A "digital Darwin". My virtual self can get closer to more people then my real self. It is hard to connect to people when you are a Queen. But online people are not afraid to speak their minds. It has created a space where everyone is free to say what they please and help spread ideas and causes. I get dubbed "Monarch on mission". I can't help but get excited by what I see. Can the real time web bring real time change? Can it tackle real time challenges? What we need now is to amplify our actions, offline people will have to listen. Education for all. Around the world there are 75 million kids out of school. more then 55% of those are girls, denied the chance to read a book less read a computer.  With every year of education, income increases by 10%. If children were educated it could save 7 million cases of HIV in the next decade. "

So Queen Rania took her cause to Twitter. She asked her followers if online activism can change real world problems? Queen Rania's followers wondered if it would be "difficult to get everyone out of computer chairs, they think that virtual movements lead to virtually nothing."

She challenged us by saying "with all the digital talent in this room, we can help. Dedicate one moment for 1Goal ". MySpace has stepped up to work with 1Goal. At LeWeb Queen Rania had a chance to meet with Facebook and Twiiter.

Queen Rania then left us with a few more digital words of wisdom: " The challenge is to deepen the link with the web and the world, for people to make their own leap from digital interaction to activism. To bring real change to humanity. To make livestreaming - life changing!"

November 27, 2009

TechMama is Traveling - With None Other Then The "Traveling Geeks"

J0436607 Million Mile Frequent Flyer Status is not all it is cracked up to be...

Before I joined Deloitte, I was an international computer auditor.  This gave me the opportunity to travel to Mexico, Spain, Sweden, England, Puerto Rico, France and all over the United States. The business trips were back to back for weeks at a time and luckily they were all BK (before kids). I thoroughly enjoyed the travel but I had no - um - personal life.

Now I have the personal life, but fitting in travel is not easy...

With three amazing but extremely active boys, a wonderful husband (Neil Blecherman) and multiple blogs to manage - I try to limit my traveling to only key events. My involvement in social media has given me the opportunity to connect with an amazing network of bloggers from both BlogHer and the Silicon Valley Moms Group. My programming/systems project management background led me to also show my geeky side by connecting with technology and social media bloggers. I created a personal blog to discuss my perspective as a tech mom (TechMamas.com) and am starting a vlog called GadgetSpin with Eliane from Ubergizmo, TechieDiva, and Ponziarelli. But no matter how much I develop my online network, attending conferences/events to have old fashioned "live interaction" is still the best form of networking.

Bloggers gone traveling...

There are some amazing social media connectors and community builders and when they call about an event - I jump on board.  They look for stories that need to be told or discussions that need to be sparked - then match bloggers to the stories to bring information online. One connecter is Guy Kawasaki who organized an amazing blogger embark on the USS Nimitz and introduced me to Alltop (now I have MyAlltop!). Robert and Maryam Scoble and Steve Brobeck organized a blogger bus to CES last year that gave me the opportunity to spend time with an engaging group of bloggers. One of the bloggers on board was Christine Lu. When she informed me about the ReThink Hawaii conference, I decided that was a great work-cation opportunity. I also view my partners at Gadgetspin as connectors. Eliane and her Ubergizmo team just recently organized Ubergizmo10 - well worth the drive to San Francisco. There are also multiple circles of moms who have used their community building, shopping and writing skills to form online networks.

I have been following Renee Blodgett for some time and enjoy her insights on social media. I also view  Renee Blodgett as a social media connector and community builder. She is one of the co-founders of a group called Traveling Geeks . The Traveling Geeks website describes it best: "Traveling Geeks is a consortium of entrepreneurs, thought leaders, authors, journalists, bloggers, technology innovators and influencers who travel to countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote new, innovative technologies. The initiative was founded by Jeff Saperstein and Renee Blodgett in 2008."

Traveling Geeks 2009 - Paris

When I was invited to join their Traveling Geeks/Paris trip, I knew that was one adventure not to miss (no matter how many mom-planning-loops I had to jump through). I can't wait to see what is in store for the Traveling Geeks Trip to Paris, which includes attendance at LeWeb. I plan to be online sharing the trip with my readers as much as the international connections allow. The Twitter hashtags for the trip are #TG09, #travelingeeks. Their is also a Facebook fan page and a Twitter ID: @travelinggeeks.

Now back to my search for an unlocked GSM smartphone international data plan and international Broadband card!

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