Hanging with Yahoo Motherboard and Yahoo Shine

Years ago when I realized I could not use my work email for personal use – I set up a Yahoo email address. I still use Yahoo Mail and view my RSS feeds via myYahoo page.  So when Yahoo created a Mother Board program for outreach to mom bloggers, and I excited to participate.

The first Mother Board Summit was mid-July, I was excited to see the fellow Motherboard members, meet the engaging Yahoo team and connect with a brand that I am already a power user of – to learn more about their applications and properties.

As I de-brief from my trip to BlogHer10 in NYC August 6-7, I can’t help but think of the fun I also had connecting with my fellow Motherboard members at conference and spending time at the Yahoo Shine booth.

The theme of the Yahoo Shine booth at BlogHer was “re-invention” – with videos discussing how women re-invented themselves displayed on screens as well as live video interviews being filmed at the booth to share more re-invention stories. I decided to share my own re-invention story with a video interview. Lucky for me, they had a makeup section and artist to help touch up my makeup before I went on. I had been in a hurry that morning at BlogHer10 and did not put my contacts in – so I needed some makeup “re-invention”!.

After I recieved the make-up “intervention” I was ready to discuss my career intervention. Jumping off the “Partner” career track as a Senior Manager at Deloitte to have my twins (I already had an older son) was a hard choice. I always felt that becoming a mom was the right choice – I just could not find the right work/life balance after I went back to work with my first child. I began blogging as a career 2.0 and online social networking to build a new professional network, which I could do on a flexible schedule (and the second shift – which is after the kids go to sleep). Then I did lots of hard work to build an new online brand (TechMama) – all of which helped me re-invent myself professionally.  Here is my Yahoo Shine reinvention video:

Back to the Yahoo Motherboard Summit details:

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RE: Twitter Who To Follow Feature – I would rather follow the real Walt Mossberg

I value using Twitter not only as a social media tool but as a way to interact real time with an engaged community.

So I end up spending lots of time each day on Twitter.

I read about the new “Who To Follow Feature” and was curious to try it. Suddenly it appeared on my Twitter screen – so I was excited to view the recommendations. Then I received a suggestion to follow the Walt Mossberg puppet twitter ID.  Being a tech snob, of course I already follow the “real” Walt Mossberg and leave puppets to shows that my kids watch. At the same time I realized that I was – of course – already following Walt Mossberg so maybe it is good to diversify with some puppet Twitter accounts. Hmm…

I see that The Bloggess was referred to a shrink but Virginia DeBolt posted on the BlogHer site that she did find some good recommendations via the Twitter “Who To Follow” feature.

I am on the fence, I currently find more value in searching my favorite tweeps’ Twitter Lists. I wonder what other Twitter users think of the new “Who To Follow” feature?

Or maybe the Walt Mosspuppet will be the new Walt Mossberg so the “Who To Follow” feature also helps identify future trends?

 

 

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS PEARLTREES?

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

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

Continue reading

 

Twitter Virus Gone Viral: “Is This You?” (Don’t Click on That Link!!)

I did a quick check on Twitter this morning and I saw lots of direct messages (or DM's) with the same type of wording – which always sets off phishing or virus alarms for me. I NEVER click on those links and neither should anyone else!

Phishing is defined on Wikipedia as " the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication". A computer virus is defined on Wikipedia as "A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, adware, and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. "

So I decided to see who else was having this issue by sending out a Tweet (without any links!) – and I received lots of replies by my followers that also received those DM's. "This You" is trending on Twitter!

Mashable posted on the topic. I did not follow any short URL's – but went to the Mashable website to find the post: http://mashable.com/2010/02/24/this-you-phishing-attack/

Here are some examples of what the Twitter direct messages look like. Remember – DON''T click on the links or else you will spread the virus to your followers!!

Twitter DM text: "haha. This you???? (PHISHING LINK)", "This you???? (PHISHING LINK)".

Clicking on the link does what Graham Cluley's post explained "If you click on the link you are taken to a fake Twitter login page, where hackers are just waiting for you to
hand over your credentials. In fact, they can automatically post the
phishing message from your account as soon as you hand over your
details
."

Unfortunately, several of my followers clicked on that link and their accounts were taken over – which is why I received the DM.

Enjoy Twitter but stay safe, never click on links unless it is from a trusted source. Think before you click on any links from followers via a reply or a direct message to you. The signs are usually there so keep an eye out: phishing and viruses attacks regularly try to sneak into our online world.

Here is a post I did on another phishing incident: "Dear Phisher: You Are A SCAT and NOT Wells Fargo" http://www.techmamas.com/main/2009/01/computer-phisher-wells-fargo-.html

Here is a link to the Anti-Phishing Working Group website: http://www.antiphishing.org/

Update 2/25:

TechMeme shared link of post from Graham Cluley's blog titled "This you???? : Phishing attack hits Twitter users".

Graham Cluley also posted with "Malware and spam rise 70% on social networks, security report reveals"

 

Traveling Geeks 09 Paris: Microblog via Twitter

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

As I said in my post about global “geek” language, we had a dream team of geeks on the trip: Renee Blodgett, Matthew Buckland, Amanda Coolong, Kim-Mai Cutler, Olivier Ezratty, Eliane Fiolet, Tom Foremski, Phil Jeudy, Frederic LardinoisRobert Scoble , Sky Schuyler, Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz, David Spark, Ewan Spence, Jerome Tranié, and Robin Wauters. For full coverage of the Traveling Geeks Paris Tour 09 click over to the website. To follow the Traveling Geeks, there is a Facebook page and a Twitter list.  there is a I would have included more of the social banter that went on between the geeks, but I did not think it could be easily translated into 140 characters:


If we were not taking pictures, video, blogging, podcasting, microblogging, then we were talking about the gadgets we use to do that. If we were not talking about gadgets, then we were talking about the businesses or social media. We did all of this while walking all over the beautiful streets of Paris, at meetings or meet-ups, or running to and from the Paris Metro. But it was on the Paris Metro – that an stylish elderly French woman helped us understand that at times our laughing or conversation got too loud; she turned around to me on the Metro and said “Shhhhh” (international language for BE QUIET!).

 


techmama‘s Traveling Geeks Paris Tour 09 Twitter stream:

  1. techmama Shout out to #TG09 co-orgs: Eiane Fiolet f/ @ubergizmo, Renee Blodgett @magicsaucemedia & Phil Jeudy – Sky & for IT http://bit.ly/5W4xdu
  2.  techmama @kimmaicutler and @techmama along with the other TravelingGeeks at #TG09Paris 1st night dinner,we had a fun trip on metro to get to dinner
  3. techmama Learning about http://www.moblieglobe.com – seemless international calling. Wished I would of signed up before I left.. #TG09 Paris
  4.  #TG09 kick off diner with The traveling geeks @magicsauce @fredericl @robinwauters @kimmaicutler @tomforemski @acoolong @techmama (and @olivez @ubergizmo @dspark @ewan and @jimsky7) 
  5. techmama Les Traveling Geeks Goes to Paris Mashcast video is now LIVE http://is.gd/5epU2 @TravelingGeeks
  6. techmama Amazed-great reception my AT&T 3G on BlackBerry Bold in Paris, #Twitter & #Facebook also quick response.Next step is testing WiFi on netbook
  7. RT @pearltrees Some @travelinggeeks in Pearltrees right now #tg09 #leweb #pearltrees http://twitpic.com/sijsu
  8. Learning about @pearltrees – Allows you to organize your fav content on web & get connected to people who share interests #TG09
  9. @PearlTrees interface allows you to manipulate and move your content, can create Pearls from Tweets & Tweets from Pearls #TG09
  10. @PearlTrees can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, email, embed (incl.your blog) and every PearlTree has their own URL #TG09
  11. Looking at @PearlTrees screencast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvJ9aDVyLUw  #TG09  
  12. Looking at the @Travelinggeeks #TG09 Flickr pictures http://travelinggeeks.com/photos/ #fb 
  13. Visiting http://siliconsentier.org/ Silicon Sentier, a cluster of 150 small & middle IT companies in Paris or nearby #TG09
  14. At Silicon Sentier #TG09 -Learning about MXP4, interactive listening, remix & personal playback site. http://www.mxp4.com/
  15. Meeting at La Canteen w/ Invest in France Agency & Cap Digital, @soufron from http://www.capdigital.com/ introduced the event #TG09
  16. Invest in France Agency & Cap Digital event #TG09 – Learning about http://www.musicovery.com/ Time article; http://bit.ly/11JjGc
  17.  RT @soufron @techmama have also a look at Cap Digital, the mothership of them all : http://www.capdigital.com/
  18. Cap Digital event #TG09http://www.musicovery.com/ Built matrix based on psychologist model -music and mode parameters used to link songs.
  19. Cap Digital Event #TG09 Listening about CiTu http://www.citu.info , CiTu is dedicated to research in emerging media fields.
  20.  Cap Digital Event #TG09 CiTu http://www.citu.info, mentioning http://theartcollider.org/
  21. Paris – Hearing from BearTech http://bearstech.com/
  22. Paris Learning about Feedbooks Buy, Borrow (from library), Subscribe, Sample or Download books. http://feedbooks.com/
  23. @robinwauters Agreed, why is it that my Flickr pictures are uploading faster here in Paris then at my house in California?
  24.  Paris – Learning about XWiki http://www.xwiki.com/  
  25. Paris – Learning about af83 http://www.af83.com/
  26. At Orange Labs, They have home wireless gadgets, TV subscription service, playback and website.
  27. #TG09 Orange Labs websites: 61 million unique visitors worldwide, partners with newpapers and Wikipdia ( @orangewikipedia ) 
  28. Orange Labs has a search engine website: Search text, video and audio.
    Mixes news and content on same subject but dif. languages
  29. @johnlpainter yes, lots of video and pictures on the http://www.TravelingGeeks.com website
  30. Website for Orange Labs Search http://www.2424actu.fr (live soon)
  31. Orange Labs has moblie apps, agregates moblie access to favorite social media and feeds, incl Twitter picture MMS feature
  32. Presen. by Cedexis ,which provides collective intelligence platform
    that enables next gen traffic management strategies (no site yet)
  33. Hearing about Cedexis Radar (crowd based perf. monitoring)- compares mult. data centers, delivery networks, and cloud providers
  34. Hearing about Cedexis Open Mix-Cloud-based Global Traffic Management
    Platform(enables dynamic decisions based on real-time data feeds)
     
  35. Paris @juliencoulon (Co-Founder) gave presentation on Cedexis, site will be up soon
  36. Talking with @jxo – who advises and mentors entrepreneurs (has international clients).
  37. At Paris Innovation Reunion, The Paris Digital Content Companies Incubator http://www.incubateurparisdev.com/ hosts 100 startups 
  38. #TG09 Paris Innovation Reunion discussing reasons2choose Paris: market in heart of Europe, quality of life, wired city….
  39. #TG09 Paris Innovation Reunion: Hearing from Int13 – next gen mobile games http://www.int13.net/fr
  40. @Scobleizer just explained to the incubator group that they all need to be on Twitter.  @Scobleizer “World-brand-building http://bit.ly/5Vof3Z “)
  41. Paris Innovation Reunion – CityZeum travel info for web and mobile http://www.cityzeum attracted 7 million travelers this year  
  42. Paris Innovation Reunion- Scan and Target http://www.scanandtarget.com/ solution for real time text mining for web and mobile contents
  43. Paris Innovation Reunion- Rue89: Pure player news website (produce news in collaboration with news and experts) http://www.rue89.com/   
  44.  Paris Innovation Reunion – Gostai produces universal robotics software platform http://www.gostai.com/ 
  45. Paris Innovation Reunion- Zoomorama is a solution for zoomable images (a international team of developers) http://www.zoomorama.com/   
  46. Paris Innovation Reunion- Stribe: Plug and play service to instantly create a social network on any website http://www.stribe.com/
  47. Paris Innovation Reunion – Path Motion developed a career planning and job search tool http://www.pathmotion.com/
  48. Paris Innovation Reunion -Website to find tutors http://www.teacheo.com & http://www.blueteach.com/ -online toolkit for live teaching 
  49. Paris Innovation Reunion – MLstate code to build web applications http://www.mlstate.com  
  50. Paris Innovation Reunion: Stupeflix – http://www.stupeflix.com/ turns your pictures, videos, & text into professional videos. 
  51. http://twitpic.com/srvsr#TG09 at Just arrived to #LeWeb, discussion about enabling more people to use technology
  52. Microsoft Bizspark provides tools for startups, discussing having one application that goes to many platforms incl. moblie Theme of #LeWeb is Real Time Web – Real time feeds for visual (photos, video) and social apps like Twitter  
  53. Microsoft BizSpark initiative has 1000 partners, business relationships w/ Twitter, Facebook and MySpace 
  54. Discussing iPhone app for LeWeb, probably picking up this tweet b/c I used #LeWeb hashtag, integegrates Ustream and Facebook
  55. @TravelingGeeks are meeting with @RichardatDell at #LeWeb   
  56. In Aug 2006 @RichardatDell was given role to monitor and engage social media #TG09
  57. Dell actively monitors social media to listen and engage with customers, customer input is worked into customer design and support  
  58. @RichardatDell explaining Dell social media channels include Twitter, blogs, Facebook pages
  59. @ConfFar #LeWeb is in Paris, attendees are from all over the world
  60. Two other Dell Twitter IDs are @Dellservergeek and @mdomsch to provide tech server info
  61. Dell sales (current data) f/ various Twitter outlets globally is 6.5 million
  62. Dell connects to 3.5 million customers across social media outlets
  63. Good Dell Twitter ID to follow for families is @edu4u
  64. Retweet @kristiewells Two years ago, there was only one Twitter app — today, there are over 50k. #leweb
  65. RT MySpace opening up their real-time ‘stream’ as well. Let the data flow… #leweb
  66. (RT )kristiewells  MySpace opening 3 APIs: (1) search for people, images/videos, (2) public access to user activity stream/profile, (3) commenting #leweb
  67. (RT)MagicSauceMedia
    #tg09 #leweb Hanging out at Microsoft BizSpark lounge at LeWeb; the traveling geeks are blogging up a storm…
  68. Taking a look at Answers.com http://www.answers.com/
  69. @AnswersDotCom has Twitter ID and other social media outlets  
  70. Talking w/ @clubcooee http://www.clubcooee.com/ 3D messanger client with chatrooms ,social media & social sharing #Microsoft BizSpark
  71. Taking with @tobiaspeggs about @oneriot Real time search engine #Microsoft BizSpark 
  72. Other #Microsoft BizSpark co. at #LeWeb : Huddle (online collaboration platform) http://www.huddle.net
  73. Other #Microsoft BizSpark co. at #LeWeb : Xobni for people to manage, organize, and search e-mail http://www.xobni.com   
  74. Enjoying my time at #LeWeb with Traveling Geeks http://travelinggeeks.com/
  75. #TG09 Reading @robinwauters @TechCrunch post on Twitter at #LeWeb http://bit.ly/6D7737 50,000 regist.apps2date-been built using Twitter APIs
  76. http://twitpic.com/stpxx#TG09 At #LeWeb party at Hotel De Ville, Paris
  77. http://twitpic.com/swo0a#TG09 #leweb Watched Tony Hsieh discuss @zappos culture of happiness, advice “don’t chase money – chase vision” # 
  78. http://twitpic.com/swofs #TG09 @loic & Geraldine Le Meur 2nd day of #leweb @leweb Great conf.to learn about European&global web trends
  79. http://twitpic.com/swove #TG09 #leweb @chrisbrogan:“put human face on business & how the web is going to do that -by building
    Trust Agents
  80. Created pearltree: TravelingGeeks – check it out here: http://pear.ly/dQHD (will be adding another Traveling Geeks Pearltree for more)
  81. Posted about @QueenRania ‘s #leweb talk about social media and activism: http://bit.ly/85cdEf
  82. Finished at #LeWeb heading out to our last night out in Paris. We are all going to finish putting up posts http://travelinggeeks.com/
  83. RT @jowyang Slides: Three ways companies can develop strategies to respond to real-time way. http://bit.ly/91I2vB
  84. RT @olivez My main stage photo gear @ #leweb is 70-200mm 2.8 with x2 extender on a Canon EOS 5D II. 1500 pics so far today. It rocks. #tg09.  
  85. RT @dspark My summary of the entire show. “The cool and not-so-cool from #LeWebhttp://bit.ly/7ENbbx #tg09  
  86. Enjoyed Paris and #LeWeb, getting ready to go back to California.
  87. Flying back f/ Paris,Checked International Data plan f/4 days in Paris on my
    BlackBerry emailing & Twittering: Plan is 200MB,I used 153MB
     

 

Olivier Ezratty

 

 

 

This post is written by Beth Blecherman of TechMamas.com. Reproduction of this article with permission only. This was a sponsored trip organized by the Traveling Geeks. Disclosure policy can be found on the Traveling Geeks website. Bitly short URL for this post: http://bit.ly/8as0ZQ

 

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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Shopping Tech? Here Are Some Black Friday & Cyber Monday Tips

I shared many times over Twitter that although I am a “TechMama” my laptop needs replacing. I am a heavy computer user and my computer is over 2 years old. So this weekend I will be looking online for Black Friday Sales 2009 and Black Friday ads like many others. One of mom friend’s computer died but she is waiting for this weekend to buy a new one. Other moms I know are looking for technology as holiday gifts for their families. Holiday time is the best time to buy technology as the new “gift” (my slogan). So for those getting their sneakers on to shop for Black Friday Sales ads, here is where to go for online Black Friday Sales 2009 and some things to think about before you go. Some sites even offer printable coupons to bring along to the store. I will be posting throughout the weekend with hot technology and toy gift ideas.

NOTE: Gizmodo posted with a good point – there are some items that can be found online at the same or better prices then BlackFriday prices, so best to do some comparison shopping online. At the same time, many manufacturers are having big sales this time of year, so finding deals will not be a problem. PC World posted that Black Friday doorbusters are for suckers.

Where to go: This Wall Street Journal article confirmed my list of what sites list Black Friday Sales 2009: “Where to Find Black Friday Deals“. I have already been following Black Friday Ads, BlackFriday.info and the BlackFriday Twitter account. Mashable posted about how social media is used to find Black Friday deals (including Facebook). The New York Times byte blog posted with more online Black Friday 2009 sites to follow such as CheapTweets on Twitter. I did go into an Apple store to ask about around Thanksgiving and they said there will be a sale. By going on the Apple website I saw that the Apple sale day is November 26.  I also follow many computer manufacturers on Twitter and have seen lots of deals through Twitter: SonyElectronics, HP News, HP_IPG , Dell, Dell Outlet, Toshiba Laptops. The big retailers like Staples, Radio Shack, Best Buy and online retailers like Amazon Twitter Deals and NewEgg also share deals.  I also go to their websites and signup for newsletter updates which sends deals to my email inbox.

What to consider: My recommendation is to sleep in and shop online. The New York Times reported that retailers will extend Black Friday. Other articles said that the high end items are not the main items on sale. So my suggestion is to decide on your needs and what alternatives fit with those needs.

How to choose the right technology gifts: I have been looking at all sorts of technology and I can honestly say that in many situations there are more then one “perfect” fit. The first step is to identify what your needs are then start to look for overall technology solutions. Then review online buying guides to understand what features you should be looking for. My favorite online buying guides are on CNET, Laptop Magazine buying guides, DPreview and reviews on gadget blogs like Ubergizmo, Engadget, Gizmodo, TechieDiva, Gear Diary, Boy Genius Report, Gear Live and of course TechMamas. My favorite shopping site is Cool Mom Picks. Bing.com also has links to guides such as “Laptop buying guides“.

NEED A NEW HOME COMPUTER? Do you need another computer for your kids to do their homework? Then consider desktops if the computer does not need to be mobile or laptops for mobile use. I was just quoted recently in an article by Laptop Magazine on Netbooks for Kids. Netbooks are a great alternative for mobile use – but I suggest having a docking station with a bigger screen for home use. Older kids may be responsible enough to have their own laptop, especially if their homework requires computer use. Tablet PC’s may also be the right fit because of their flexible screens. Desktops are the most budget friendly and will have bigger screens that not only are easy on the eyes for homework, but if the Deskop has the right features can be used to watch videos, movies or even TV shows. There are also lots of accessories that compliment home computer users such as backup drives, media smart servers, home wireless servers, wireless keyboards & mouses, webcams and more. There are many printer options these days including the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web.

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Twitter & Social Media for Support & Healing: Cyber Hugs to Anissa Mayhew

I just recently took one of the Twitter psych tests and it turns out I am very connected but not very emotional on Twitter.

I wondered, is that a good or bad thing? Was that darn test insulting me or setting me straight?

I do admit that I try to keep my emotions offline and my words of wisdom online. My strategy is to share news and information about technology relevant to moms, families or anyone involved in social media. But it is times like these where I feel emotion index will be rising……

For some time I have been dealing with some of my own treasured family members that have cancer. It is such a personal struggle I have found it hard to share online. But I gain strength by reading the posts from a strong network of cancer bloggers (some of which are Silicon Valley Moms Group bloggers including Susan from Why Mommy, Linsey from MeTooYou , BlogHer bloggers, and more). 

Another special person who has showed their strength online by sharing their family experiences with cancer  is Anissa Mayhew. I met her when she wrote for Deep South Moms Blog but then starting following her personal blog Free Anissa and another blog called "Hope4Peyton" about her experiences with childhood cancer.

But on Wednesday I saw information on Twitter about something that happened to Anissa and I got really worried. Then I happened to be talking to Barbara Jones first thing that morning and she informed me that Anissa had a stroke. It has been inspiring to see the support online for Anissa through a blog posts with information on how to support the family  (and Mister Linky lists where people can share their posts on Anissa) to a page set up on CaringBridge.orgLotus Carroll created a page to enable those wanting to put  twibbons on their Twitter profiles. Even the Bloggess did a great job of posting her emotional and (as she does so well) funny thoughts and practical links to help Anissa. A PayPal link was set up for those that would like to help the family using PayPal.

But the most powerful posts are those from Anissa's husband who is posting on Hope4Peyton.

A big cyber-hug and get well prayers for Anissa!

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Parents Texting and Tweeting – The Commercial

I was sitting on the sofa, using a lapdesk and my notebook to blog, Facebook and Twitter after the kids went to sleep tonight. When what happens, I turned on the TV (so I could add another type of media to my night) and this commercial came on. It was a Verizon commercial where the KIDS are lecturing their texting and tweeting parents about their lack of online social networking etiquette. The commercial represents the new modern world: it is well known parents are as addicted to online social networking as their kids.

Geek Sugar also found the commercial amusing..

Mobivity posted 2/09 on a related note "Text Messaging is not just for kids anymore". That post included the following excerpt from Ars Technica:

AT&T conducted 1,048 online interviews with parents  to get a feel
for their usage patterns. They found that 76 percent of parents feel
that their children are more likely to keep them abreast of their
activities through text messaging than other methods. 73 percent said
that their kids were more likely to respond to a text message than
other methods of communication, and a full half of parents feel that
text messaging with their kids makes them “cool.”

So now I can add feeling "cool" to my activities tonight.


 

It Was a TwitPic July 4th: Moms Using Social Media

Many of my mom friends comment how overwhelming social media is and I suggest taking things slow until you find your social media "mojo". For moms, I suggest a great place to start is Facebook for social and LinkedIn if you want to make business contacts. Start off setting privacy levels as high as possible, then open things as you see fit. 

Guy Kawasaki (a.k.a How to Change the World blog and Alltop) wrote a good post about using LinkedIn. Some good links to find information about using Facebook is on the Facebook website, Mahalo – How to use Facebook article and Mashable's article on privacy settings.

Next I suggest Twitter for those that want to have a "public" online community to share information with. David Pogue just wrote a book about Twitter and Mashable has a post about using Twitter on the go. Twitter can be compared to texting – but onto a "public" website where your "followers" can read and respond to what you are doing at that moment (only 140 characters allowed). You can either open your updates to the public or restrict to only those you approve. Some start out with protected updates but then switch to public to be more open. I always tell my friends that ask my advice about social media privacy – to NOT put any private information online, especially on Twitter. Twitter should only be a place to share information about yourself that is public.

I enjoy sharing what I am doing, reading, posting, struggling with and most of all reading my followers Twitters and replying to them. I will be posting more about Twitter, but for now I want to share my latest social media test: using TwitPic.  Twitpic is a way to share pictures on Twitter (many celebrities use it) by taking a picture with your smartphone and sending it to the TwitPic application – which then posts it on Twitter. I don't like posting pictures of my kids in public forums, so I will probably use it to post pictures with my blogging friends (who are already public) and pictures of events.

Here is my first real TwitPic – I took a picture with my BlackBerry and sent it to Twitpic. It was a picture taken at our family and friends trip to the beach on July 4th. I took the picture of my foot (with my strawberry colored toes) and one of my 6 year old twins (with sandy covered toes). He is constantly growing, just looking at the picture makes me realize his foot is growing as well!

Twitpic1

My test picture was of a grenade water ballon – but I had to take that quick and get out of the way!