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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 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.

 

Dent The Future Conference 2013 Press Trip: Sun Valley

I was lucky to be invited many years ago on a magic bus ride to CES, which was the first time I had a fun adventure with the team from Parnassus Group (Steve Broback, Jason Preston and more). Over the years they always had the pulse of social media,  organizing events such as Tweethouse and It Won’t Stay In Vegas at CES.   So when I was invited to join the (pre) Dent The Future 2013 press trip in February (to check out the location) organized by none other then the Parnassus Group, of course I said yes!

 

Dent The Future (March 24-27 in Sun Valley Idaho) is a new conference that “explores the magic and science of visionary leadership and groundbreaking success. They aim to translate the success of great leaders in business, politics, or charity into a set of lessons for those who would “put a dent” in the future.”

 

While I had some scheduling challenges (including Spring Break for my kids) so I won’t be able to attend Dent this year, I already put it on the schedule for next year. I will look forward to bringing my whole family with me to enjoy Sun Valley while I experience Dent 2014.  Those who will be following the conference from afar like me can do so by following Dent on Twitter (hashtag #Dent2013).
 

 
Listed below are some of the details from the “Pre” Dent 2013 press trip in February. We had an amazing trip that was not only filled with fascinating discussions on social media, but also with the beauty and fun of the fabulous Sun Valley Resort. I will be writing another post with more details (and sharing my pictures) about Sun Valley Resort (which was a highlight of the trip!).

 

 

This is a picture I tweeted from Sun Valley on our last night of the trip – enjoying a great dinner at a local restaurant.
 


 

#dent2013  @sbroback @bikehugger @pop17 @scobleizer  @svalleysunshine  @techmama @visitsunvalley  @shaunacausey  @jasonp
 


 

Our group lunch on Bald Mountain included yummy food, beautiful location and lots of social media talk!
 

#sunvalley @sbroback @jasonp @scobleizer @chasejarvis @pop17 @shaunacausey ..@techmama @neilblecherman #dent2013 pic.twitter.com/qyOkry58

 

Here is a summary of some of the locations we visited (post with full details will be published soon):

 

  • Yummy places we ate during our trip included: Knob Hill Inn, Della Mano Restaurant, The Kneadery and the Konditorei for breakfast. But there are many other places to eat.
  • Zenergy Health Club is a great location for a workout and spa treatments! http://zenergyts.com/
  • Here are the two websites to find out more information about Sun Valley Resort: www.visitsunvalley.com  and www.sunvalley.com. We stayed at the Sun Valley Resort Inn and it was beautiful. There is a great transportation system to go to the mountains, it is not crowded and the weather is usually sunny (per the name “Sun Valley”).  The resort is very family friendly – and even has a mountain that is perfect for beginners or family skiing called Dollar Mountain. The other mountain (Bald Mountain) is great for Intermediate to advanced skiers.  The Sun Valley Snowsports School has lessons for all levels (and even family lessons). I was excited that they have a “fundamentals” day program for kids (8:30 – 3:30) that includes lunch. There are also programs for Intermediate or Advanced kids as well. There are other winter activities such as ice skating and sleigh rides.

 

**My next post will share more details about the beautiful and family friendly Sun Valley Resort.

 

Disclosure: Travel related expenses were provided to the press covering this event.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macworld Expo 2011 Jan 27-29 in SF – Conference Not To Miss!

Fresh back from the Consumer Electronics Show (and still loading my pictures from that..), I am back in conference mode and heading to Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

For anyone that has any Apple products in their life, Macworld Expo is the place to be to see exhibits and attend sessions. To find out more about Macword, I talked with Paul Kent, Vice President and General Manager of Macworld about the conference. Here are some of the details we discussed:

  1. Macworld is for veterans & first-timers alike. It is a very inclusive environment focusing on discovery & education, ie. new products, new apps & new tricks on how to use them. I went last year and the only Apple product we had in our house was a MACbook for my son, but because I cover Apple products I wanted to learn about the product marketplace. I left with lots of important information.
  2. While Apple does not have a direct presence, Macworld Expo remains a vital showcase for the fast growing third party Apple products marketplace. Wikipedia has details on the history of the Macworld Expo. There is also a website called Macworld which is different from the Macworld Expo.
  3. FAQ’s: Best way to learn more about the show is to stop by – it starts today in San Francisco! Here are some links to learn more about Macworld Expo:

Timing for the Jan 27- Jan 29 show: http://www.macworldexpo.com/hours

List of the more then 230 exhibitors for the show (over half of them are first time exhibitors): http://www.macworldexpo.com/expo

Here are some more details: Press releases that show events and announcements, Featured Artists, Mobile Apps Showcase, and the most important – Women in Technology session!

For PC folks that are curious about the Apple side, stop by!  I am packing my Windows 7 PC and iPad to head to the show, they do allow PC’s in the conference!

RMXWWMDSTWD6

 

Hanging at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Line Show NYC

I am excited to be heading to NYC to attend the CEA Line show June 22/23 to listen, discuss, learn and speak on a subject near and dear to my heart: consumer electronics.

Natali Del Conte   (CBS/CNET Correspondent) is the Conference Chair and Suzanne Kantra (Founder and Editor in Chief Techlicious) is the CEA Line Show spokesperson. They will be there along with speakers on the theme "Consumer Tech Reality Check '10".

I am speaking at the CEA Line show on something I obsess, read, discuss and rant about every day: Mom Tech. Fellow mom tech Andrea Smith from ABC news is also speaking.

 

Heading to 140conf NYC for Panel: Born Today – Innovating for our future

I am heading to NYC for the fun and always engaging 140Conf. The conference starts tomorrow and the website stated that the focus will be "taking a hard look at something Jeff Pulver
calls “The State of NOW” and the continued effects the worldwide
adoption of social communication platforms such as twitter is having on a
number of industries including: Celebrity, “The Media”, Advertising,
Politics, Education, Music, Television, Comedy, Real Estate, Public
Policy and more
."

My panel will be 4/20: Born Today – Innovating for our future

Participants:

Alice
Wilder
(@alicewilder)
- Psychologist and maker of Kidos, Blues Clues, Super Why and Think It
Ink It

Beth Blecherman (@techmama

Maya Bisineer (@thinkmaya) -
founder of @memetales

Stephanie Aaronson (@SAGalluch) – Senior Director, PBS Kids
Communications

We already had a fascinating discussion on our panel pre-call. I am sure the panel will be just (if not more) fascinating.  The concept of innovating for our future (kids) is very relevant, especially taking into account the way our children already absorb and understand technology on a deeper level then their parents.

Not that I am talking about our own family..(ok, I admit it – I had a fear of creating an iPod playlist because there were so many options so my 11 year old did it for me.. geez..)

 

TechMama is Traveling – With None Other Then The “Traveling Geeks”

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 theirTraveling 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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My Work-cation at ReThink Hawaii

When Christine Lu contacts me about an event, I do everything I can to show up. She is one of those connectors that brings interesting people together to spark amazing discussions. My husband Neil Blecherman and I decided to join go to the ReThink Hawaii conference after she notified us. We not only looked at it as a chance to network and  but as a vacation; we had not been away for longer then a day together in 10 years – since we started our wonderful family of 3 boys!!.

Here is a picture of the ReThink Hawaii attendees, my husband and I are in the middle left – Christine Lu is at the front. Because we wanted to spend some time at the beach, we did not get to attend all the sessions. On the last day we enjoyed going to TEDx Honolulu just before we jumped on the plane. I enjoyed seeing the TEDx video to explain the passion that is spreading around the world. The TEDx Honolulu organizers (including L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine and Traci Toguchi and also did a great job of pulling together a compelling program. I look forward to when the TEDx  Honolulu videos are loaded. Of course, I am somewhat bias because of my excitement to hear my husband’s TEDx speech (Neil Blecherman).

Being in semi-vacation mode, I decided to cover this trip via smartphone – using Twitter to capture my thoughts.My husband attended the Sustainablity/Eco session we both attended Social Media Business Summit Co-organized by Christine Lu, Rick Calver, Jim Turner.  I enjoyed speaking on a panel at the summit about Parent Bloggers with Jim Turner. The “Re-tweets” below with my picture are from an attendee who shared some of my key thoughts as I spoke. I also enjoyed hearing Jim Turner’s perspective as one of the original parent bloggers who also runs a successful media business called One by One Media. We both shared that we don’t make money from blogging – blogging is a way for us to share our voice. We have other businesses that compliment the blogging. I summarized a few of my key answers when asked why I blog.  Why TechMama blogs: “blogging a great platform for creating an online brand and image, blogging creates my voice but make money on other things (i.e. books, consulting), the three overall reasons I blog is community -relevance – voice. that’s why

Here is a summary of my Twitter stream from the conference. I will be looking at new ways to micro-blog, including trying the BlackBerry Whrrl app I just loaded.

TechMama’s Twitter Stream from ReThink Hawaii:

Continue reading

 

Register for CES before Deadline And Come to MommyTech

CES is the Consumer Electronics Show and one of my favorite conferences to see the latest and greatest in electronics and gadgets.

DEADLINE: Registration is free before October 1st, but is $100 after that. So REGISTER NOW!

Very exciting this year is that MOMMYTECH is added to the lineup at CES.

Here is some information from their website:

“Mommy Tech is both a one-day conference and a four-day exhibition to be held January 7-10, 2010 at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow. This conference plus
expo will explore all the key trends impacting this $90+ billion dollar marketplace.

  • Mommy Tech Summit – Friday, January 8 -
    co-produced by industry veteran Robin Raskin, will spotlight top
    thinkers and product creators for the mommy market. Empowering moms with technology that helps them juggle priorities, stay connected with their own families and other moms, and savor their multiple roles in life, is the central theme of this conference.
  • Mommy Tech Expo – January 7-10, 2010 -
    will be located in the front of the North Hall at the Las Vegas
    Convention Center.  The Mommy Tech Expo will showcase the latest in portable devices, wireless phones, notebooks, photo sharing services, and accessories that appeal to expectant moms and young families. Get a firsthand look at the latest in baby monitors, warmable baby wipes, room monitors, GPS devices for finding straying children, and much more.”

I will be speaking on a panel for the MommyTech summit and spending time at the Expo. Join me at CES this year by attending MommyTech Summit and Expo.