NYC Adventures With Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium : The Video!

 

At the recent launch of Office 365 Home Premium in New York City’s Bryant Park, I had the opportunity to experience the new features of Office while talking to some very exciting people (keep reading to find out who!). The Microsoft Office 365 experience center showcased the services and applications (for example Word, Excel, PowerPoint and check out OneNote) that together comprise the new Office and demonstrated how they work together for a great experience that helps you amaze, share, connect, explore, create and imagine.

 

These days, I’m constantly amazed at when and where I can actually get things done. The new Office provides me with instant access to my documents and information offline or online, enabling me to be more productive by utilizing brief segments of my day to get things done for my family and myself. The option to use Office 365 on five devices (including PCs, Macs and Windows tablets), stream full Office apps to any Windows 7 or 8 PC, and use Office Web Apps on mobile devices also gives me the flexibility work how I want. After all, being more efficient during the day simplifies my life, and makes my nights less hectic.
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Check out my new video on BlogHerTV that not only shares a VIP tour of the launch but also showcases interviews with interesting people. See what busy mom and Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman says came to her rescue managing her life as a mom. Hear what my blogger buddy Jen Singer from MommaSaid.net can do from a waiting room at the Vet and learn tips from Office Insiders regarding how they are using the new Office to make their life easier. Of course, considering where I was (Bryant Park on a beautiful winter day), I had to put on some ice skates for a New York City winter adventure. Luckily, Jen Singer decided to join in the fun!

 

 

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?

 

BlackFriday A Bust, Will Try CyberMonday

While my cyber-buddy Erin (Queen of Spain blog) was a Black Friday sales virgin who needed protection – but ended up saving $110, I ended up feeling like a Black Friday sales sucker – but a confirmed sucker after I read the post on Slate titled ” BlackFriday Is For Suckers“.  I posted on TechMamas.com with every Black Friday sale online site and Twitter ID to keep posted on the Black Friday sales . But I decided to sleep in and the discounts for the tech items that I tried to use online had “limited” use – so they had all expired by late morning. I then jumped in my minivan to hit a few technology stores in the afternoon, none of which had deals on the high performance technology I was looking for (but lots of sales on TV’s – which we need but can’t afford to upgrade right now!). Of course, I was looking for some high end technology with specific models in mind. If I was flexible, I could of found some deals.There were also “bundles” available on Black Friday which offered accessories if technology was purchased. But I have also seen this bundles advertised online.

Looking back, the sales I saw via the major technology manufacturer email and Twitter sales updates were even better then Black Friday sales. Yet – on Black Friday there were deals to be found on other consumer items. Another mom friend found lots of Black Friday deals in stores for kids clothes.

Overall – To enjoy the real deals on BlackFriday you need to have a list and identify the stores that carry those items and stick to that list. Ask yourself if shopping late at night or first thing in the morning will really save you that much compared to the regular sales?

Just for fun, now that I do have the specific technology identified (down to the model number) that I need to shop for – I will give Cyber Monday a try. Otherwise, I decided to jump on the regular sales that show up in my email inbox and deal Twitter ID’s that I follow, instead of waiting for special “sale” days.

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It’s Holiday Season, Time To Start Shopping

Other then spending time with family and friends,  I look forward to holiday shopping. As someone who is obsessed with gadgets, the holiday shopping guides are a fun way to see what the latest and greatest gadgets are. I decided that there are so many different flavors to choose from, that instead of one holiday guide I will be posting about different products by manufacturer. I have found that many families I know get comfortable with one manufacturer when it comes to technology and want to stay within that line. But technology shopping for me is like going to an ice cream store – there are many flavors I like. Infact, my house is filled with multiple technologies from multiple manufacturers – I shop products that are relevant for my families needs.

Over the last few months I have not posted but I have been fast and furiously using, reading and obsessing over gadgets. At the same time I am getting lots of questions about what products are out there. So over the next few weeks I will be posting the new, interesting or just plain relevant technology gadgets out there for families. My view is that "practical" is the new gift, so holidays are a perfect time for technology purchases.

CNET, Laptop Magazine, Consumer Reports and other technology magazines/websites have good buying guides. David Pogue  (on video and in their columns) and other technology journalists like Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal (AllThingsDigital blog) talk are good resources for information about technology/gadgets.  Stores like Staples, Radio Shack and Best Buy also have sections on their websites and store flyers with holiday recommendations. Online sites like NewEgg , Amazon and others also have holiday information. I read lots of different sites and voices about technology gadgets – my TechMama GoodTechReads Twitter list is full of different information on social media, technology and gadgets. My next move may just be to split my Twitter group and have one specifically for gadgets!

But I receive the most information from my fellow bloggers and mom communities, which I will be viewing and talking with to find even more of the latest and greatest gadget gift recommendations.

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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.

 

WINNER – Back To School Giveaway: Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop & Accessories

WINNER of Dell Inspiron & Accessories: Random.org helped us randomly pick commenter: Amanda Hellen

We contacted Amanda and here is what she said:

"I cannot wait to use this!!  This Dell
is going to help with school and work!  I am enrolled in school and can
work from home and work with a database for my job so this is perfect!!
I want to pinch myself.  My current laptop is so slow.  Yay!"

***********************************************************************************************************

When PR for Walmart contacted me with some information about their back to school technology offerings – I asked if they had anything to giveaway to Techmamas.com readers. They said yes, so here is all the info. Note – this is not a paid post, but it is something TechMama likes doing: giving away products to her readers! Here is the information from the press release and details about a giveaway:

PRESS RELEASE INFO:"Student needs are rapidly changing and Mom has a greater focus on affordability than ever before.  That is why Walmart is making a commitment to provide students and parents with a wide variety of laptops at unprecedented savings. Walmart worked closely with brands like HP, Dell, Acer and Toshiba to find the best laptops for students and offer them the best prices.   Starting at 8am on Sunday, July 26th Walmart started offering first-ever $298 Compaq Presario Notebook with 3 GB Memory and an Acer Notebook with an 8-hour battery- perfect for back to school.  In August, Walmart will offer an HP Netbook and Toshiba Notebook with a 17-inch screen, among others.”

Last month Walmart introduced a new colorful assortment of  the Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop at $498 in black, blue, pink, red, purple and aqua to match Walmart’s Back to College color pallets of furnishings and accessories for dorm room décor. "

Pink_dell_inspiron_1545

GIVEAWAY: One TechMamas reader will be randomly choosen to win ONE Pink Dell Inspiron 1545 PLUS the accessories listed below in pink (except for the Western Digital Hardrive which is red).

Also available in a variety of colors, the computer accessories for this giveaway include:

Continue reading

 

Radio Shack “Netogether” Event – Tech Makeovers in SF and NYC

I am excited to be heading to San Francisco tomorrow, appointed by RadioShack along with my Gadgetspin.com partners (Gina Hughes from TechieDiva, Ponzi Pirillo from Ponzarelli.com and Eliane Fiolet from Ubergizmo) to do tech makeovers in an event celebrating the expanding line of tech products now offered at RadioShack.  Listed below is information from the press release:

"..RadioShack will host Netogether, a three-day event taking place
in New York City’s Times Square and San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza
on August 6, 7 and 8.  The event will connect the cities with two,
massive, 17-foot laptop computers with webcams that allow live video
and audio exchanges.  Netogether will feature live music, celebrity
appearances and unique contests to demonstrate how technology can keep
people connected – even 3,000 miles apart.  Consumers are invited to
visit the event and chat with friends or family via the laptops, or to
join in the conversation online at www.radioshack.com/theshack, where
they can offer real-time comments on the live video feeds."

Lee Applbaum, RadioShack’s Chief Marketing Officer added in their press release “We have tremendous equity in consumers’ minds around cables, parts and batteries, but it’s critically important that we help them to understand the role that we play in keeping people connected in this highly mobile world,” … “You will see a real focus on mobility and wireless products from leading brands in our new advertising.

Also:

  • RadioShack announced last month the addition of T-Mobile to its
    lineup of wireless carriers in 4,000 stores as part of its strategy to
    increase its authority and share in mobility and connectivity.
  • RadioShack also announced a partnership with seven-time Tour de
    France winner, Lance Armstrong, both to sponsor his new American
    Pro-Tour cycling team and to work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation
    and LIVESTRONG campaign in the global fight against cancer.

Before RadioShack asked me to be participate in the event, I had noticed during my regular shopping trips to buy electronics kits for my kids that I was seeing more and more technology carried at the Radio Shack stores – such as digital cameras, web cams, laptops, netbooks, smartphones (even the Palm Pre and BlackBerry brands), Bluetooth headsets, gaming gadgets and even MP3 players like iPod.

Infact, one time when I visited Radio Shack looking for parts to build a light switch from scratch for my 10 yr old's science project, the Radio Shack salesperson not only helped me find the right components – but sketched a picture of how to put it together. Then – best of all (really a true story) – the salesperson helped fix an echo problem with my Bluetooth headset that I was using with my BlackBerry smartphone.

For those near Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco or NYC's Time Square, stop by! Those in need of technology makeovers – please bring your story. Who knows – maybe you can get a technology makeover with products such as digital cameras and netbooks. Those far away or at work can watch the live events at the Radio Shack "Netogether" website or on the Netogether Facebook page.

DISCLOSURE: While I am being paid to participate in the Netogether event, this post is NOT a paid post.

 

Fun Times with Technology Retailers

I am going to be posting over the next few days with interactions I have had with some technology retailers. The truth is, I go to FIVE different technology retailers in Silicon Valley to buy my technology – and it all depends on what I am buying, what new items the retailer has, sales and where I happen to be. Yes, it is that shopping triangle all moms know about – when a business has a location that maximizes the short amount of time each day a mom has – then that is a big plus. If the store is on the way to the grocery store (where I need to go almost daily with three boys) – then an even bigger plus. Some stores are all-in-ones, where you can get new summer bathing suits, iPod speakers and that new Nintendo Wii game at the same time. If I am looking for a specialized technology item like a microphone for my video cam – then I need to go to a more specialized technology store.

But friendly/knowledgable sales people are also a big plus. Best of all for me are friendly geeks that work at technology retailers.

When possible, shopping online is the most convenient because you can compare pricing and have it shipped to your door. Many retailers also have online web only sales, so visiting a retailer's online website is a good idea to do some research in advance of a visit to the store. There are also shopping applications for mobile phones and websites that help you find items (even set up alerts for items you want to buy).  There is also the option of using basic web search engines such as Google or Bing to assist in a technology product search.

I hope to cover these different technology  shopping options over the next few weeks.

Question for my readers: Where do you shop for technology? Online or at a retail store? Do you have a favorite or shop do you around?

 

Noise Induced Hearing Loss And Technology Use

This is a guest post by of Dr. Marcella Roper Bothwell, MD, FAAP  of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery about their recent survey. I was contacted by them to particpate in a conference call – and then I asked them to write a guess post about hearing loss and use of technology. Here it is.

________________________________________________________________________________

If
you worry about your kids listening to their iPod at full volume or watching
their portable DVD player with headphones while you hear the entire dialogue,
you are not alone. A recent survey by the American
Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
found that four in five
Americans are concerned about hearing loss due to ear buds and that hearing
loss is a top medical concern for parents. And with good reason: Three
million children under the age of 18 have some form of hearing loss
, and
nationwide, more
than 10 million Americans suffer from noise-induced hearing loss
.

Hearing
is the brain’s interpretation of sound or sound pressure from the outside
world. Loss of hearing can be divided into two categories: conductive and
sensori-neural hearing loss
. Sound is ‘conducted’ to the nerve for
perception. Any abnormality in the external ear, canal, tympanic membrane, or middle
ear bones, or fluid in the middle ear can cause conductive hearing loss. This
type of hearing loss can sometimes be reversed.

Continue reading

 

“Moms Who Tech” Birds Of Feather Session at Web 2.0 SF

I was excited to carry on the conversation we had at SXSW about "Moms Who Tech" that was so lively, we just had to keep it going.

On Thursday April 2, 7pm at Web 2.0 (Not to be missed conference in SAN FRANCISCO) I moderated the Birds of a Feather  "Moms Who Tech" session. Details were:

This session will be a conversation about how moms are using technology
to manage personal, social and family management tasks. This session is
relevant for moms (parents) who want to discuss how they use
technology, moms with a technology/programming background and
marketers/companies with technology products that want to learn about
social media outreach to families.

TIME:  Thursday April 2, 7pm

Moderator is Beth Blecherman  Founder TechMamas.com (and Co-Founder Silicon Valley Moms Group) - 
Co-hosts:
Sarah Murgel, User Experience Lead – Razorfish  (Razorfish/Cafe Mom Digital Mom Report)
Martha Feingold, VP Horn Group (and mom blogger)

UPDATE: Posts on the event are listed on Susan Etlinger's blog and the RazorFish Digital Design Blog (post by Sarah Murgel).

HERE ARE SOME LIVEBLOG NOTES (please excuse errors – these are liveblog notes). We decided to focus more on blogger outreach for this discussion because most attendees were interested in that topic:

LIVEBLOG:

-Sarah Murgel from Razorfish is discussing the Digital Mom Report with Cafe Mom.

-Martha Feingold, VP Horn Group is discussing her view as VP Horn Horn group, mom of 4 and a mom blogger for Silicon Valley Moms Blog. Her kids use cellphones.

-Susan Etlinger is also VP Horn Group.
Her personal blog is Family Room. Today is Autism awareness day. As a
mom blogger she get's pitched regularly.  She is also apart of an
informal mom blogger network that provides support and influences each
other.

Continue reading