Slider by IWEBIX

Create Professional Graphic Designs With Canva – Now on iPad

Whether you are a social media professional or just a professional in any career -  graphics is an important part of presentations, events, group, online and meeting communications.  In the past expensive and complicated graphics software was needed to create and “size” graphics. I have been following and learning about social media from Guy Kawaski for years and recently he shared information about Canva as a great website to create graphics. I started using Canva for my social media and professional graphic projects and was thrilled at how easy it was for even people like me (graphically challenged).  I just received a press release that Canva is now available on the iPad, which makes it even easier to create graphics on the go!

 

Canva for the iPad

 

The press release explained:

“Canva makes it amazingly simple for everyone to create professional quality graphic designs. Its online design platform brings together a simple drag-and-drop design tool and a library of more than one million photographs, graphics and fonts, allowing anyone to take an idea and present it beautifully in print or online.

Canva can be used to design almost anything: presentations, posters, blog content, cards, online marketing materials, invitations, flyers and so much more. For more information on Canva, visit the website or follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest.”

 

Key Features from the press release:

 

  • “Design for work, and play. Never worry about dimensions again. Easily design for social media, blog graphics and print. Create social media graphics with ease. Professionally designed layouts that are perfect for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

Canva for the iPad

 

 

  • Design on your iPad or the Web. Create a design on your desktop computer, edit it on the go.
  • Collaborate with anyone, anywhere. Canva lets you share and edit your designs with friends, clients and coworkers.
  • Choose from one million images and hundreds of fonts. Design with 1 million photos, graphics and fonts, or upload your own.”

 

 

Canva for the iPad

 

Canva for the iPad

 

 

 

For example, I was on a tight deadline to write a post about tips for finding your kids first phone. Canva enabled me to quickly add a text banner to my graphic that looked great across social media platforms.  I also use Canva to size my graphics for different online platforms. The flexibility to either find my own graphics or use Canva’s vast collection ensures that I can always get what I need. I also follow Peg Fitzpatrick for great social media tips and she explained in her blog the power of maximizing content with visual marketing and tips to better visual marketing using Canva.

 

Here is a video about Canva for more information:

 

Listed below is more information from the press release:

 

Canva Launches App to Bring Amazingly Simple Design to the iPad

● Canva app brings professional design to the iPad

● Canva reaches 870,000 users and 6.2 million designs

● Renowned investors have invested $6.6 million

 

 

Sydney, Australia — 15/10/14 — Australian startup Canva today announced the launch of the Canva app for iPad. The app brings together a simple drag-and-drop design interface with a library of more than one million photographs, graphics and fonts, and it makes creating graphics fast and easy.

 

Canva CEO Melanie Perkins“Canva makes graphic design amazingly simple for everyone, allowing any idea to be beautifully presented in print or online,” said Canva CEO Melanie Perkins. “We are excited to extend this experience and now allow people to design at home, in the office or on the go. In the past year since our launch we have been overwhelmed by the many ways people are using Canva every day. Our new app brings everything people love about Canva to the iPad.”

 

Canva’s iPad app is free to download and provides access to Canva’s library of millions of stock photographs, illustrations and layouts. Users can upload photos from their device or Facebook account, or pay per premium element when they publish their design. Canva also provides professional designers with a faster way to create layouts and collaborate with clients, removing the need for frustrating back-and-forth email exchanges. The iPad app makes it especially easy to collaborate on the go.

 

Canva has been backed by investors including Facebook Director of Engineering and co-
founder of Google Maps Lars Rasmussen, Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman, and funds including Matrix Partners, InterWest Partners, and 500 Startups.

 

 

Guy Kawasaki CanvaFormer Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki, who recently resurrected this title when he began to work for Canva said, “Canva realizes the creative potential of the iPad. The app is beautiful and it’s intuitive, just like the iPad. It allows everyone to create beautiful designs for work and play.”

 

 

 

Canva will be available in the app store starting from today. Find out more at http://about.canva.com/ipad.

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is a press post.

 

 

 

 

 

GoDaddy ReBrand And New Hosting Services


 

Years ago when I started my business (TechMamas.com) I bought my web address (domain) from GoDaddy. Throughout the years I received great support for my domain, including numerous calls to their support line when I had to make changes. Because my business was online, my URL was an important part of my brand. It was a way for people to not only find my website, but it was a home for my writing, speaking, professional work and connecting with my community. Many small business owners are always looking for advice on how to create a website. When I was contacted by BlogHer about participating in GoDaddy’s campaign to share information about their redefined mission, I was interested to learn more. Listed below are some of the key details shared to me about the new GoDaddy mission which is centered on helping small businesses:

 

  •  GoDaddy views those working to make their business dreams a reality as GoGetters. They want to help GoGetter’s leverage the power of the internet.
  • They redesigned, reshaped and streamlined their user experience and their products are now geared towards helping small businesses.
  • Their new launch comes after months of research and extensive customer segmentation analysis. They brought in technology talent and senior leaders from companies such as Microsoft, Google, Intuit, Yahoo! & eBay.
  • The women presented on the GoDaddy site will be inspirational to represent small business owners. For example, their brochure at BlogHer showed a small business woman who hosts her site Recipe For Fitness with GoDaddy.

 

 

 

On their website, GoDaddy has a small business section with links such as: Choosing the right website address, setting up an professional email address, pros and cons to building your own website versus hiring a professional, website planning worksheet, 10 must haves for designing your website, how to get more visitors, SEO, how to secure your website, how to promote your business on a small budget and more.

 

Many small businesses that have blogs use a platform called WordPress. GoDaddy offers (shared) WordPress Web Hosting including offering performance features such as spreading traffic across multiple servers (when traffic spikes), security and support to fine tune your blog to help it run smoothly. I was surprised to learn not only about their WordPress hosting but also their economical pricing, that currently has unlimited space, bandwidth and email accounts for under $10.00 per month. GoDaddy also created a WordPress plugin called P3 Profiler that helps to improve load time.

 

So what do you think about GoDaddy’s new marketing and product focus? Click here to let them know if they are on the right track.

 

 
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All the words are my own.

 

 

 

 

BlogHerPro 13: Brand and Bloggers Keynote Discussion


 

Last week, I posted details (and a discount) for #BlogHerPro ’13 Conference For Professionally-Minded Bloggers.  This week, I would like to highlight a subject covered at the October 23 discussion, where I will be one of the keynote speakers. The topic is, “Monetization: Brands & Bloggers Keynote Discussion” with some fantastic fellow social media professionals including Ana Picazo of Finding BonggaMom, Jim Lin from Ketchum PR and Busy Dad Blog, and Sarah Penna from Big Frame.

 

When the panelists held our first organizing conference call a few weeks ago to prepare for the conference, the conversation was enthusiastic and covered much ground. We could have talked the whole day about making money from our brands. Here are some of the key concepts I will be covering. Please comment with any thoughts you have on Monetization: Brands & Bloggers!

 

Because I am a believer in plans (per my book “My Parent Plan”), I decided to give my Brands and Blogger tips in the form of a 5 year plan based on my 6 years of blogging, looking over what made money and what could have been done better to monetize. I started blogging from a passion for technology but waited years to assemble a business plan to make money.

 

I believe that anyone considering professional blogging or social media entrepreneurship should create their business plan from the beginning to help them create a monetization structure that supports their business. In social media, there needs to be a balance between creating a community and creating a business. Many parts of creating an online community do not involve monetization, requiring engagement, listening, giving information and sharing perspective. As Guy Kawasaki expressed in his book, Enchantment , you need to “enchant” your customers to have a success business.

 

The key for anyone setting up a social media business is to engage the target community while also building a business, all the way being very clear what social posts are “editorial” and which are “advertorial”.  These rules are important for both FTC disclosure compliance rules as well as keeping an authentic relationship with your audience. Another key part of a business plan includes creating a monetization structure to get paid for “work” (which means not working for FREE). As many social media professionals have learned, that balance can be a challenge.

 

Every business person needs to feel empowered to get paid a relevant wage for their work.  “Relevant” means that the wage should be reasonable when compared to what is being paid in the market for that service, taking into consideration factors such as audience, influence and engagement.  At the same time, there is no magic formula to determine pay in social media so just analyzing numbers or statistics may not show the true influence of that engagement.

 

I chose early on to focus my blogging content on technology because I realized that women are the power consumers of technology and want to participate in that conversation (editorial and advertorial).  As Jennifer Elias wrote in her SV 411 article about BlogHer Pro13:

 

Listed below are TechMama’s recommendations on a 5 year Business  Plan for Professional Bloggers/Social Media Entrepreneurs:

 

 

By Year 1:  Develop your PLAN (incl. working w/brands):

  • CREATE BUSINESS PLAN:
  1. Define business goals, online brand, niche, target audience, social media platforms and tools, media kit, brands to build relationships  with (press &/or paid),  when/if you need to hire help and how you will enchant your customers online.
  2. Define monetization strategy (what are your service & rates) Ask yourself:          

If you are your own “start-up”, then how will you get funding?

 

Are you making a living from social media or another job(s)?  

 

  • CREATE CAREER PLAN:  Types of jobs, work skills & what you need to earn. Define what is “paid” work and what is professional brand building.
  • DEFINE COMMUNITIES FOR OUTREACH (community = engagement)
  • MANAGE RELEVANT LEGAL ISSUES : Learn about (or hire lawyer ) FTC/Disclosure  & contracts (esp.  service, exclusivity, name/likeness)
  • ANALYZE  MARKET TRENDS:  implement tools to keep AHEAD!

 

 

Year 2-5:  Focus, Assess and Revise Plan (no pain, no gain)!

 

  • FOCUS: Refine “business” to focus on specific services (paid) and brands (i.e campaigns, spokesperson). But always put your AUDIENCE first. Keep “press” relationship with brands for editorial content.
  • ASSESS & REVISE:  Assess ROI of your business. Do you need to make changes to your business strategy to reach your business (and financial) goals? IF so – create new business opportunities or pursue another job .

 

PRIORITY CHECK : Always make sure your personal life (family) and medical/financial health are a priority!

 

Along with creating a business plan, social media entrepreneurs should also spend time to understand the different types of relationships they can have with brands. Here are the ways I define my relationships with brands:

 

EDITORIAL: First and foremost I value the press/editorial relationships I have with brands because it allows me to obtain information that I can then share over my social media channels to my audience.  If community = engagement, then engagement = editorial sharing. I find that my audience wants to hear my editorial perspective on the topics I cover and share their perspectives with me. I feel that type of conversation is the most important to have in social media. It is also good to look at working with brands for editorial purposes as also building a (mutually respectful) professional relationship. Although this type of relationship with brands does not involve any sponsorship, it may at a future time (with proper disclosure).

 

ADVERTORIAL (SPONSORED): This type of relationship with brands that involves either sponsored posts, advertising, ambassador, spokesperson or other paid projects. Before working with brands in this manner I always suggest to have a media kit to provide clear information on what services you offer and what rates you charge. To understand what are the relevant rates to charge, it is helpful to have an understanding of are market rates for specific services or if  you have special factors for charging a premium. I feel it is important to feel empowered to get paid for work and look at your ROI (return on investment) for the amount of time you spend on a project versus what you are being paid. In the 5 year plan “focus” phase, this is especially the time to review ROI and say “no” for projects that don’t meet your criteria.  I also feel it is important to always keep an authentic voice when working on advertorial posts.

 

This is also a phase where understanding contracts (or as I said hiring a lawyer to help) is very important. For example, I focus close attention on sections in my contracts such as exclusivity, services, name/likeness, compensation and ownership. But each contract is different and I learn new things every time. Luckily I had a great lawyer help me understand contracts for the first few years (and still use them on occasion).  The FTC Disclosure rules are also something very important to comply with for all advertorial posts.

 

PERSONAL BRAND BUILDING:

Another type of relationship with brands is what I call “personal brand building”. For those starting out, it may be mutually beneficial to work with brands (non sponsored) in your niche to build up experience and meet new communities.

 

As I mentioned before, it is always important in any phase of your business to share an authentic voice with your audience and give “goodwill” back to social media communities you participate in.

 

Please share your tips for interacting with brands and what type of business plan you found helpful for your social media business.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored series. My words are my own.

 

GoDaddy launched a new brand strategy last month that revolves around small businesses. ‘It’s go time’ is a comprehensive company-wide messaging transformation supported by a refined GoDaddy user-experience and reinvigorated products sharply focused on helping small business owners.  Check out this article by The New York Times.

 

 

 

 

#BlogHerPro ’13 Conference For Professionally-Minded Bloggers

*GIVEAWAY IS OVER – BUT PLEASE FEEL FREE TO USE FRIENDS DISCOUNT SHARED BELOW!.

BlogHer as been a big part of the most “important” reason why I got involved in social media: Community! I joined in 2006 because I had pivoted from a career in a top consulting firm to starting my own business. Over the years I have gained the value of not only meeting a great community of social media entrepreneurs but also learning so much  from BlogHer and the BlogHer conferences. That is why I am especially excited to attend BlogHer Pro 2013 as one of the Keynote Speakers on the  Monetization: Brands & Bloggers Keynote Discussion with some fantastic fellow social media professionals including Ana Picazo of Finding BonggaMom, Jim Lin from Ketchum PR and Busy Dad Blog, and Sarah Penna from Big Frame.. BEST YET – I have a discount code and am giving away TWO BlogHerPro13 conference passes! Can you tell that I am excited to be sharing the fun with others?

 

Just check out the other BlogHer Pro 2013  panels and speakers that include content management, mobile and business intensive workshops. Here is a link for where to  register for BlogHer Pro 2013 and more details: “BlogHer PRO is a multi-track conference for professionally-minded bloggers looking to take their business, marketing, and technical skills to the next level. Improve your knowledge and hone your skills on everything from personal brand to personal finance to personal privacy.” Honestly, this conference is also for anyone in business that wants to learn more about the powerful medium of blogging and social media for business.

 

DISCOUNT CODE: First of all I have a friends discount code to share (because my readers are my friends of course!Use Friends Discount code, PRO13FF, for 30% off registrationRegister today!

 

GIVEAWAY:  Second, I am giving away ONE CONFERENCE PASS to BlogHer Pro 2013 for TWO WINNERS (one conference pass will be given to each winner – 2 winners total).

TO ENTER: Please comment on this blog post (by Oct. 11, 12pm PST) and then share on Twitter that you have entered this contest.

DETAILS:  PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST BY OCT 11, 12PM PST. To enter, please comment on this post then tweet out “I entered @TechMama’s #BlogHerPRO ’13  giveaway  http://bit.ly/GDRZf4″.  For the comment please share what type of questions you have about being a social media professional? Do you have legal, SEO, content, questions about interacting with brands or general questions about how this all works? Or I would love to hear your story on how you use social media professionally.

 

WINNER CHOSEN AT RANDOM: The winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org and will be notified by Oct. 11 at 2pm pst. Winner must respond with confirmation by October 14 2pm pst.

 

Rules: 1. One Blog Post comment per person. One Blog Post comment is equal to one entry (so only one entry per person)  2. Winners are limited by geography to US residents only 21 years of age or older. 3. If a valid email address is not provided in the entry, another winner will be chosen. 4. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. 5. Approximate value of prizes may vary. 6. All decisions are final. 7. All Federal, State and Local taxes and travel expenses associated with receipt of prize is the sole responsibility of the winner. 8. By entering any giveaway on this website you release Techmamas.com from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action.

 

 

Disclosure: As a speaker on the Keynote Panel discussion for BlogHer Pro 13, I was assigned conference passes that I decided to share with my readers. All of my words are my own. The idea for this giveaway was also my own.

 

Building Success: Using Bing Webmaster Tools

 

As part of my preparation for BlogHer PRO, I had the opportunity to speak to Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program. He will be leading the lunch Keynote titled, “Lunch, and Keynote Brought to You by Bing — Growing Your Audience and Influence with Social + Search”.  Forrester explained to me the details of his personal journey: to share with others how to build success and how to leverage your business assets to become successful. He also believes that to deliver a quality product you need to have customer interaction.  His two books, “Turn Clicks Into Customers: Proven Marketing Techniques for Converting Online Traffic into Revenue” and “How to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your Blog” detail how a business can increase customers and generate revenue with blogs.

 

We discussed many different topics related to blogging and one was of particular interest. Forrester discussed the new features of the Bing Webmaster tools including the “Link Explorer, SEO Analyzer/SEO Reports, and updates to current tools such as our Keyword Research Tool (beta), and our URL Removal Tool.” Bing Webmaster tools (available to anyone) detail standard info including queries, your site’s ranking and where you were shown. The tools also send alerts and when combined with Bing crawler you can proactively manage bandwidth by time of day. Another option is to set controls that someone else manages for your website. With Link Explorer you can not only see who is linking to you, but also who is linking to your competitors. BingBot offers the ability to have a crawler fetch your blog’s URL then have a search engine assess the code on the page and come back with a status. For example, you can watch out for signs of hacks in your websites such as really long links. Forrester shared important advice for all bloggers: we should get to know what “normal” code looks like on our website so we can spot when it has been hacked.

 

In addition to all of these tools, Bing is now the first search engines to provide SEO advice to users. This is accomplished with SEO Analyzer, which scans a URL then shares what SEO work needs to be done.This tool helps you know what SEO work needs to be done now, helps you learn more about SEO from a trusted source and can help you test fresh areas of your site quickly.
When I checked out the Bing Webmaster Tools online, I was happy to see blog posts from the Bing Webmaster blog that explains key product areas. For those who want to find out more, there are Bing Webmaster Guidelines blog posts and  free recorded webinars . The Bing Webmaster Getting Started Checklist is a great place for the user to start outlining the process and tools to build workflow. This checklist covers areas such as how to configure your site reports and data, Webmaster diagnostic tools and SEO Analyzer.

 

Here are some of the blog posts that are great resources not only for Bing Webmaster tools but also for SEO and reporting:

 

For more information, check the BlogHer Pro live blogs.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  

 

BlogHer ’12: How To Prepare And What to Wear

 

BlogHer’s 8th annual conference will be held in New York City on August 2-4, 2012 and for the sixth consecutive year I am heading out to join in the fun, connect with my fellow bloggers and hear about the latest blogging & social media tips, tricks, trends and strategies. As I shared in a recent post about what people learned from previous BlogHer conferences: “Because blogging is an isolating activity – BlogHer also invigorates me by connecting with the amazing network of “BlogHers”!

 

I will be speaking this year (i.e. getting my geek on) at the BlogHer 12 Geek Bar.
Check out the schedule and make sure to sign up for some great sessions. I am leading the discussion titled, “ Managing Social Media Via Mobile: Android OSMaximize your mobile device to get the most of social media! Learn best practices, top apps, and security precautions you need for Android”. ANDROID OS users – PLEASE SHARE your favorite ways to use social media on your Android device by commenting on this post. I also look forward to hearing tips from others at the conference.

 

Because I’m a BlogHer veteran, here are my tips for how to prepare and what to wear to BlogHer 12 – NYC version!

 

STEP 1 – “The Schedule”:  The first step is to confirm all of your travel arrangements including hotel and transportation. Many of us made plans months ago (especially those of us traveling to New York City). Five weeks before BlogHer, I always like to circle back and confirm my travel arrangements. One year, I realized that I had made an airplane “reservation” but not purchased the tickets (luckily I still was within the month before so I made a new plane reservation).

 

The next step is review the BlogHer12 agenda and start putting together your schedule. Check out the official BlogHer ’12 party plan and update your schedule with some nighttime fun. It is important to make sure you plan time to visit the BlogHer Expo to see the exhibits and interact with the sponsors. Those who want to start early can attend the BlogHer Evening at the Expo Hall event the night before the conference. If you are new to BlogHer, there are official parties every night that offer additional opportunities to network. Those who have been to BlogHer before may attend one of many other social events that go on around BlogHer as well. But my key piece of advice is to network as much as is comfortable – but not overdo it.  Don’t pay attention to all the crazy plans that everyone else is setting up – create a schedule that works for you and allows you to connect with the bloggers most important to you. Also make sure to reach your hand out and introduce yourself to people you don’t know and make new connections.

 

 

Step 2 – Take Your Schedule Mobile: To prepare for the busy conference schedule, make sure your personal schedule is not only organized but also on your mobile device via an online calendar or mobile app. One important mobile app to download is the official BlogHer12 mobile app that is available via iTunes for iPhones or the BlogHer12 app for Android phones on Google Play. The CrowdCompass page will also have other mobile apps that are available for BlogHer12. For those with Windows Phones, The Windows Marketplace also has great mobile apps for networking.

 

I also like to have “backup” paper printouts of my schedule just in case my battery runs out (but some prefer not to use paper). On the topic of batteries – I suggest everyone bring a mobile battery charger because batteries can run out and you will not have time to charge during the day. I will do another post on battery chargers – but I am always happy to help people find one that works for them. The key is not to buy the cheapest – but buy the one that really works. While there are budget friendly mobile device battery chargers that work well, the key is to test it before you leave for the conference and keep the packaging/receipts just in case it does not meet your needs.

 

 

Step 3 – Prepare Your Networking Materials: With all the technology available to share contact information, I still prefer good old fashioned business cards. Therefore, my next tip is to make sure you schedule time to print business cards before you leave for BlogHer. I usually print around 500 to have enough for passing out to old and new friends and at the BlogHer Expo hall. Some of my colleagues prefer to print even more. At past conferences I have seen bloggers use creative ways to share their own professional brand by giving away branded screen cleaners, business card holders, bags, bracelets and tee shirts. I have also seen creative business cards that fold and have headshots printed on them. When preparing materials for BlogHer, it is important to comply with the guidelines for sponsored bloggers.

 

But there are also technology options that can enhance the sharing of contact information. For example, if you print a QR code on your business card then those with QR code readers can scan it to load your contact information. Or even have your QR image on your mobile device to share. Many mobile apps (even SMS applications) share contact information, but when sharing contacts via mobile devices it is also important to consider the security implications. I will cover some of my recommendations in another post  and please do share your favorite contact sharing mobile apps if you have some recommendations.

 

 

 StI'll be wearing cute shoes to BlogHer '12ep 4 - What to Wear: When attending a conference one of the key questions is what to wear. For social media conferences, all outfits should be camera appropriate for all the pictures and instant uploading that takes place. Personally, I also focus on comfort for my feet to survive all the walking of long days in big conference halls.
I’ll admit it… I love wearing heels. I’m always on the hunt for comfortable, stylish shoes and went through years of trying different brands of shoes with heels. I have even tried to find comfortable flats and stylish sneakers. While sneakers are of course the most comfortable, I did not want to give up on my search for the perfect pair of heels. Luckily, several years ago I bought my first pair of Sofft shoes and they passed many years of walking miles at the Consumer Electronics Show. After I had already decided that Sofft shoes were my comfortable and stylish shoe of choice and filled my closet up with different pairs, I did get the opportunity to review some of their new 2012 Spring Summer shoes (disclosure – I received shoes as part of that review, but all of my words are my own). I had already been a Sofft Shoe customer for years before the review opportunity.

 

Here are 5 of the 7 pairs of Sofft Shoes I have purchased over the years…

 

 

My clothing strategy is to plan something comfortable for the day, that can withstand the heat of New York City in the summer -but also has layering to adjust to air conditioning indoors. Sometimes I will bring a dressy top to change into if I don’t have time to switch clothes before the night events. I also bring some dresses to change into for those nights I feel like taking it up a notch. I try to choose outfits that fit within my personal style, but also feel comfortable when I am sitting on the floor at sold out conference sessions. I have also learned that just because I love silver sequin tank tops together with a jacket does not mean that it photographs well on me (sequins can accentuate a twin mom’s tummy). I realized that for my shape I like to have solid black or jewel tones, throwing in accent pieces with patterns that works for photographs. I also like to layer with either a shirt, wrap, sweater, jacket. Lately I have been obsessing over the look of women’s tailored jackets over tee shirts as a great way to have outfits with clean lines.

 

 

 

Step 5 – At the conference, have an open mind to learn, network, have fun and meet new people: Go to BlogHer 12 with an the goal of learning, networking and having fun. Set a goal to not only connect with old social media friends but also meet new ones. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Check the pictures of some of the social media BlogHers you read about online but have not yet met and introduce yourself. Take the time to meet new people and ask them about their site and interests. At the same time, try to catch up with your existing social media friends because social networking is not complete without the “live” connection.

 

I look forward to connecting “live” at BlogHer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Training: To Time, Jamie Grumet, Mashable and Lemmings Following Along

In a perfect storm of posts lately, “mommy blogging” and “attachment parenting” have become the hot topics of conversation.  I have not blogged about my own personal stories for some time because I have been focused on helping one of my children through his own “perfect storm” transition in his life. A transition that will not be a part of any of my blog posts. Why? Because it is not related to my social media niche – it is personal.

 

What has snapped me out of my self imposed personal “opinion” writing seclusion? It seems that while everyone embraces the new world of sharing – many keep forgetting some basic media 101. Media 101 are the rules I use to engage in the social media sharing world. I am not saying I have it down to perfection – but my personal “media” rules do help guide me in this new environment where the lines between news and opinion have blurred. So I thought I would my personal opinion to Time Magazine, Jamie Grumet, Mashable and everyone else that should consider developing their own Media 101 rules.

 

Media Training 101:

 

  1. Dear Time Magazine -  While I really appreciate you including me in your 2011 Time Top 140 Twitter Feeds list (seriously – I do appreciate that). And even though you forgot to include me this year (maybe you left my out by accident), I am still a regular reader of Time magazine and have the online site included in my daily RSS feeds. I also understand that journalism is journalism,  and while it may seem tempting to be provocative with your cover photo and your headline – I suggest in the future you just pick one and not both. It is kind of like accessorizing with fashion – it you are wearing an over-the-top beaded dress that has bright colors, you need to tone down the accessories to let the dress shine. Of course I think every problem can be solved with a fashion metaphor. Another good tips is not to use the term “mommy enough”. All moms that raise their kids in a loving environment are “mommy enough”. Enough said.
  2. Dear Jamie Grumet – You should feel proud that you are raising your kids in a loving way. Don’t ever let anyone judge you for that. It is great to see the parent blogging community come out in support as well (including MomsLA).  But when you talk to journalists, reporters and those in the news business – realize their job is to be provocative and to start conversations. Sometimes they do that in a way that is detrimental to you and your family. It is not personal – it is just the business. I like to consider what my kids will think when they are older before I pose for public pictures with them. But of course – finding that balance is a moving target as they get older. Currently it seems everything embarrasses my 13 year old. Also, the internet likes to make fun of things in something that is called “Internet meme“, which can be a magnifying force.
  3. Dear Mashable- You have enough amazing writers that are moms, so when posting about “mommy blogging” please get input from one of them.   Also – don’t use the color pink and aprons in infographics talking about moms, that is so 1950′s. From a term standpoint, the appropriate one to use is “parent blogging” because Dads are also a big part of the blogging community. The real story is that parenting is challenging and isolating at times;  parents started blogging as a way to share, get information and interact with others. While many parent bloggers have created businesses around their blogging, it started out as a passion and still is so for many others. The parent bloggers that have businesses from their blogging either have a professional background related to their niche or a new found talent that they are taking to the next level.
  4. Dear blog readers – Please don’t become lemmings and take the bait when journalists become provocative, that is their business (i.e. to get people to read their article!). MommyPsychologist brought up the lemmings concept and I agree. We can’t forget that part of journalism is provoking conversations. I think in situations that are offensive, it is important to state our objections by commenting. Or share your perspective with a blog post that creates the image you want. Sabrina Parsons from Forbes shared her version of an attachment parenting picture: her with her baby in a sling. Most of, don’t buy into the mommy ways – parents need to not judge each other (I agree with Christy Matte on that one).  But in many situations, humor is a good way to respond.  For example,  MamaPop blog did a good job of using “humor” to respond to the Time breastfeeding cover controversy. Humor is also another good way to parent (laughing is good for you!). Update: MamaPop also snagged an interesting interview with Dr. Bill Sears!

 

While it may seem that I am being a lemming as well to jump into the controversy discussion, I view this as sharing my opinion on media interaction (and throwing in some of my own humor). I did not take the bait, I feel that every mom who raises their kids in a loving environment is enough. I have to admit – the controversy did bring up some amazing blog posts. But when it comes to using humor,  Jenny Lawson (a.k.a The Bloggess) is the Queen of finding appropriate respones to outrageous media questions.  Next time I will ask her to share her media 101 rules. Or maybe Taxidermy and Media 101 rules.

 

 

 

Intel “What About Me?” – Picture Of Your Digital Life (Twitter Party)

sponsored post

Like many entrepreneurs these days, I share my professional brand and parts of my personal life online using various social media platforms. While my main focus online is to curate the most relevant tech information , I also consider myself a fashionista who has found stylish heels that can make it through a week at Consumer Electronics Show (fashion), clueless in the kitchen and always looking for easy recipes (food) and a number one fan of her twin sons’ Little League baseball team (sports).  But I do wonder what a snapshot of my digital life would look like. That is why I was excited to try a tool created by Intel called “What About Me?”. The tool captured a snapshot of my social media life in an infographic to represent the topics and updates I share.

 

 

So, what would a snapshot of your digital life look like? Here are the steps to create your own digital snapshot:

 

Step 1: Visit the “What About Me?” page and follow the prompts and approvals to add your Twitter, YouTube and/or connect with Facebook:

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Wait until it processes – and run a mouse over the circles to have some fun while waiting.

 

 

 

 

Next, click on the results and see your digital life. There image has different areas that cover the topics, stories, popular updates, pictures, mood, connections and when you clock in.  The areas represent different types of updates – but it mainly covers Facebook. There are also buttons to share the results on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+ and save as an image.

 

 

 

 

What shocked me about my results? Here is a video where I talk about my “What About Me” tool results – please share yours!

 

 

Update 5/18: party concluded on May 17 7pm pst. Winners were announced on Twitter:  $50 Best Buy gift cards went to @simplyandreah , @immortalb4 , @helyn4, @littlecrunchy and @paramedic_mom.  $250 Best Buy gift card to @thattweetthing.

 

5/17/2012 Twitter Party info:

Please join co-hosts @IntelEdge @LittleTechGirl @TechMama as well as panelists @TechSavvyMama @Tech4Moms @scrappinmichele and @c2cmom for a Twitter Party where we share our results and discuss how we use social media.

Details:

Intel “What About Me?” Twitter Party
Date: Thursday May 17 5-7pm pst (7-9pm cst and 8-10pm est)

Co-hosts: @IntelEdge @LittleTechGirl @TechMama  Panelists: @TechSavvyMama @Tech4Moms @scrappinmichele and @c2cmom

Hashtag: #IntelSocialButterfly
Create a snapshot of your social media life by visiting this link http://bit.ly/JNQUwk  to create your own infographic. Then share your results and how you use social media during the Twitter Party.
Prizes are: Five (5) $50 Best Buy gift cards and (1) $250 Best Buy gift card will be randomly awarded.
To qualify for the prizes please follow 3 steps: (1) please RSVP here (link will be added TBD) , (2) tweet out your What About Me? image with the hashtag #Intelsocialbutterfly and (3) participate in the Twitter Party.
For details and contest rules visit Little Tech Girl and TechMamas (click to bottom of this post link for contest rules).

 

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Intel. All opinions are my own.

 

 

Also check out CoolMomTech ‘s also post on the What About Me tool

 

 

SOCIAL BUTTERFLY TWITTER SWEEPSTAKES Official Rules:

 

Continue reading

 

Moms Gone Wired Article in Dallas Observer News

This morning I saw a tweet with the name "Moms Gone Wired". At first I did not see the link to the article, but then a Twitter buddy of mine (Bonggamom) pointed that out that the article mentioned TechMamas.com along with other blogs written by moms.

The article titled "Moms Gone Wired: One Woman's Journey Through the Mommy Blogosphere to Gain Parental Prowess and Free Stuff" is written by Alice Laussade. While the term "free stuff" in the title misses the point (of my journey at least) – it is great to see coverage of the journey many moms have made through blogging. My journey to create TechMamas.com was to have a place that I could start a discussion on parenting, technology and gadgets. My technical background before becoming a parent helped me see that the "tech – mom " voice was missing from online discussions. But that was 2005 and blogging was just starting to catch on. Now I am proud to say that in 2010 that there are many moms that are now utilizing blogs to re-create their careers and get their voices heard online. Just looking at my about page and to the network of amazing moms I have met through Silicon Valley Moms Group, BlogHer and other social media (reflected on my many Twitter lists created to keep track of them) has made my journey completely worthwhile.

Even if I had to give up the small amount of free time a busy mom of three boys has – including exercising regularly – and became dependent on the second shift after the kids go to sleep to keep up with everything.

My participation in blogging and social media has opened up career opportunities for me in a way that is flexible with my schedule as a mom. The key for me is that I am passionate about the topics I cover (parenting, technology, gadgets, social media). I am passionate enough that it has been fun and interesting keeping up with my blog reading through my RSS feeds and Alltop, Twitter, Facebook and organizing my info on Pearltrees. "Free stuff" is worthless to me;  relationships, networking and information are important to me.

Yes, sharing information for the good of the people – that is what Dooce, I and the other not so secret sect of power moms do with our blogging…I type that with a bwa-ha-ha-ha" Dr. Evil laugh similar to what Dooce responded when asked in the article "if she plans to use her powerful power mom powers for good or for evil".

I also type this while realizing if I don't head out the door in the next 5 minutes I will miss yet another opportunity to exercise because I just "had to" write a blog post. If I am going to be a super hero power mom I need to keep in shape. But I need to do that while making sure I pick up my kids at carpool time. Can I meet that challenge?

 

Organizing Online Content With Pearltrees

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):

TravelingGeeks

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.

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.