Breakfast at BlogHer – The Blogging Angels Event

BlogHer - over 3,000 women over 3 days learning, networking, swagging and connecting.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  But BlogHer is only the star that smaller, hectic events orbit around in a mass of party hopping, celebratory, slightly insane universe.  Not content to merely attend BlogHer we Blogging Angels were fortunate enough to team up with a fantastic boutique PR firm, Zebra Partners headed by the supremely talented and knowledgeable Perrin Kaplan and throw a blogger branding breakfast.   We invited 50 awesome bloggers across niches and geography to join us for a hands-on branding workshop, learn the ins and out of media appearances, presenting yourself and creating your brand.

We were fortunate to have a slew of great sponsors like Striiv, Zuzee, Qualcomm Snapdragon, Kidzania, Her Interactive and more.  Plus two of our favorite brands who supplied us with super cool treats for our guests:  Mabels Labels who created personalized twitter handle labels and tags for our bloggers and Crazy Bitch Tea who made sure all of the ladies went home with tea to tame the most frazzled of post-conference nerves.

You can read all about it on the Blogging Angels blog – but listening to the podcast is way better.  That’s where you’ll learn all the juicy details, and hear why Eventbrite got my halo and horns this week!  Get it together Eventbrite!

Listen here!

Writes Like an Angel – Lisa Belkin Dishes with the Blogging Angels

There are certain women journalists who have inspired me as an essayist and writer waaaay before the word blogging was invented.  Anna Quindlen was one and Lisa Belkin the other.  Aside from writing for The New York Times both women had a voice that spoke to me as a young woman starting out in the world – in college and afterwards – as they wrote frankly about work/life balance, feminism and in varying degrees, motherhood.  As a Film major and American Studies major in college I was steeped in the cannon of feminist literary, social and film criticism.  But few mainstream journalists were talking about the real issues on the ground in a way that made “women’s” issues a normal, worthy part of the public discussion.

I always looked forward to Lisa Belkin’s New York Times Magazine stories and later her Life’s Work columns.  When she launched The Motherlode blog on the nytimes.com site I was thrilled.  Not only is it an enormously vibrant community but it gives further discussion to so many of ideas and stories in the paper that normally would be a “lifestyle” piece and nothing more.  It also has a way of really tapping into the current ethos (and neuroses) of our current state of parenting like nowhere else.  Last year I was such a fangirl that Amy Oztan took pity on me and swung me an invite to a lunch Lisa Belkin held for parenting bloggers at the New York Times cafeteria.  We’ve been trying to get her on the Blogging Angels podcast ever since, but coordinating schedules is never easy.  Then, last month at BlogHer, Nancy Friedman luckily attended the same session as Lisa Belkin and jumped a the chance to have her record with us right there in the hotel in San Diego.  Unfortunately Heidi had an outrageously fabulous event to attend at the same time and couldn’t make this podcast, but we did our best and Lisa Belkin was a guest angel extraordinaire!

Listen in and hear all the scoop on the New York Times and bloggers, the future of journalism and all sorts of dishy stuff on parenting, mom blogging and what it all means.  Really, all that in a mere 40 minutes.  She’s that good.

Lisa Belkin Podcast  or listen on iTunes!

Avatar Kinect: My Avatar is Ready for Her Close-Up

Last week The Blogging Angels went on their first top-secret mission.  The location: The NYC Microsoft offices.  The Background: To learn all about the new Avatar Kinect and demo the technology.  The Mission: To create our own Avatar Kinect project and show it off to the world today – July 25th, official launch day.

I have owned an XBox and Kinect since the Kinect debuted late last year.  My daughters love it and though our downstairs neighbors might not be so enthralled with the fact that they ARE the controller – jumping, running, stomping – I think it’s amazing.  The Kinect is truly one of those technologies that makes you feel like the future is now.  It’s every science fiction film turned into reality.  And that is even more true with the Avatar Kinect.

We decided to film an intro to our podcast using Avatar Kinect.  The four of us, each in our own homes in and around NYC, created avatars – styled, dressed and primped them.  Though I had to change out of my original fab outfit when Amy and I showed up on our virtual talk show set wearing the same red dress.  A virtual fashion horror!

We had to rehearse our timing to land in the talk show set in order.  It took a few rounds of practice to get our schtick together.  We are used to talking over one another – that’s part of our charm – and the Avatar Kinect is like an etiquette teacher, it doesn’t like that.  But, luckily for us, it is all for girls that raise their eyebrows and talk with their hands as much as their mouths.  We had a ball trying out the various sets – I think gabbing in space was our fave.  I can only imagine where this is going to lead.  The potential for creating an avatar and having these pseudo face to face discussions is endless.   It really is a new horizon.

Check out our new podcast intro and let me know what you think!

The Consumer Electronics Show: Days 1 & 2 Quick and Dirty Recap

Consumer Electronics Show

Image via Wikipedia

Right now I’m writing from my swanky Las Vegas hotel room in between attending the world’s second largest trade show – The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and heading out to dinner with my fabulous conference sponsor Microsoft Windows 7.   It’s not easy to fit in writing and reporting with all the booth touring, miles of walking and endless waits for shuttle buses to haul the over 125, 000 attendees back and forth to the convention center.  If you really want to know what an 8 hour day inside a massive structure, deprived of sunlight and under the glare of endless flat screen panel displays can do to you listen to our Blogging Angels Podcast for our exhausted, half-demented round up of day one.

As for me, I’m focusing on the brands I know and love and use as a mom and as a blogger.  (And as a tech geekess)  I arrived here with a new Windows Phone on loan from Microsoft. I’ve been playing with it for a about a week and so far I love the  intereface.  As a long time iPhone user I appreciate the very different look of the Windows Phone, the large tiles that allow for easy access and readability, the way you can customize the interface, the integration of Facebook with your contacts and the smart search functions.  Plus, the HTC phone I’m using has a huge screen.  At a show where tech is everywhere and everything it’s been fun to have a phone not many people have really seen or played with – a real conversation starter.

Booth Tours:

I’ve been to Kodak, Panasonic, Raw Talent Guitar, Neer Life and working the Microsoft Windows 7 booth at Mommy Tech.  Here’s my Twitter Feed from the last day and a half to give you an idea of everything I saw today.  There will a more detailed post after CES when I’ve had time to absorb the enormity of it all…

Excuse the typos – trying to tweet and listen and report on a phone doesn’t make for well checked tweets

Want to Win a Gorgeous Dell Inspiron Laptop? Then, Listen Up!

Over at my podcast The Blogging Angels we are dishing on Twitter parties and blog giveaways.  Shockingly we have a slew of opinions about these social media tools and the right way to do them.  But, we couldn’t just sit back and talk about them – we decided to host a giveaway of our own!  Thanks to our friends at Intel we are giving away a super beautiful, really fast 17-inch Dell Inspiron Laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor and Intel WiDi (that’s wireless display for you Luddites – with an adapter you can stream from your laptop to your TV -yup, it is cool).

So click on over the The Blogging Angels to find out how to enter (and if you listen to the podcast you will learn about the extra 2 ways to enter the giveaway!)  We’re moms, we believe in rewarding good listeners!

Good Luck!

Microsoft is Only Human – Two Guest Angels Join Our Podcast

Over the last 3 months I have been part of a Microsoft Windows Live netbook blogger program.  They loaned me a seriously adorable Asus EEE netbook tricked out with Windows 7 and all the Windows Live tools and set me free to play around with it, travel with it and discover how these new products engage with my family and work lives.  I have come to love my little Asus – and not just because it’s pink and sassy (yes I know how much like a girl that makes me sound and I don’t care) but because I am always on the go and it has become this city mom’s best travel companion.  There has also been an unexpected side effect of being part of this Windows Live program and that is getting to know some of the great, smart, genuine people at Microsoft – especially on the Windows team.  Ben “The PC” Guy Rudolph and Lisa Worthington are two of these Microsoft PR mavens who have lent me not just a netbook, but also their time and advice.  Last week while they were awhirl with the Microsoft Open House product showcase, media blasts, endless demos and meetings they took the time to come on up to our Upper West Side recording studio – or Angel Nancy’s fab apartment as it is known to the non-social media world – and record a podcast with us Blogging Angels.

What did we talk about?  Well, you’ll have to listen to find out, but some of the highlights include Ben’s insane mastery and memory of every PC bloggers and non-bloggers should be considering.  How mega-brands like Microsoft envision the blogger/brand relationship.  How Lisa and Ben separate their work and personal lives, even while blogging on the Windows Team corporate blog and maintaining an authentic Twitter presence.  And of course lots of just good old dishing and laughing because they were with us of course!

You can listen to the podcast and leave a comment at The Blogging Angels or as always on iTunes.

Let Me Conference You in – The Ins and Outs of Web Conferences

I’m convinced that the best way to make money blogging is to hold a conference on how to make money blogging!  Of course this is also true of screenwriting and most self-help guru seminars too.  But conferences hold a special place for social media people and women bloggers in particular – they are a place to connect in real life, put faces to avatars and Twitter handles, network, get inspired and feel like you are a part of a community.  Learning about your craft and your field – well that’s always good too.  So this week on our Blogging Angels podcast we are spilling the beans on which conferences we’re going to next year, which ones we’ve liked in the past, if sponsors take women bloggers seriously or just as potential marketing bait, and if women bloggers get the short end of the Web Conference stick.

Tune in now on Blogging Angels – or as always on iTunes.  And why haven’t you subscribed already?   It’s so much better that way!

Stop Copying Me! Plagiarism, Scraping & Other Unwanted Forms of Flattery

Yes, in this week’s Blogging Angels podcast I actually admit to cheating in High School by handing in my boyfriend’s report on Crime and Punishment the year after he had handed in the very same paper.  In my defense I had read the book in 9th grade and so in a little sociology experiment decided to see if my teacher truly did favor the boys over the girls by handing in the paper that had earned my boyfriend a 100%.   I got a 94%.  I proved my hypothesis!  And felt justified as only a jaded teenager can.  (but I’ll be writing more about my lame high school later this week …)    Why did this come up in this week’s podcast?  Because we are dishing the dirt on plagiarism on the web, blog stealing and other forms of copying that plague bloggers in this vast virtual world.  How can you protect yourself?  What is the value of online writing?  And is Dr. Roehmer still allowed to teach AP English?  OK, that last one is really just my mind bending question.

Tune in to get the answers on the Blogging Angels or listen up on itunes.  Plus check out who got golden halos this week and the other links that can help keep your work safe.

Is Blogging the Same as Writing? And other burning questions…

On this week’s Blogging Angels podcast we are discussing the ins and outs of being a professional blogger.  And what does that even mean?  We reveal our individual humble beginnings and where we think the blogosphere is heading.  We tackle Twitter and its capacity to suck you in and drain all of your blogging impulses, or not.  Plus this week we start our latest feature – the Golden Halo award for the links, people, posts, or tweets on the web that deserve an extra glowy shout out from The Angels.

Listen to the latest Blogging Angels podcast or subscribe on itunes so we will magically appear in your music library on a regular basis.  Heavenly right?

Parenting Doesn’t Stop at The Computer Screen – Internet and Real Life Safety for Kids

Today over on the Blogging Angels Podcast I’m talking with my 3 co-hosts about when we let our kids move up the independence ladder.  Do you have filters on your computer and browsers?  At what age will you give your kid a cell phone?  Have you had the internet safety talk with your kids – and should that talk be separate from any other safety talk?  And seriously, why is getting hit by a car really what all the Blogging Angels are most afraid of for their kids?

Listen to what we have to say – and weigh in at our blog or our Blogging Angels facebook page.  Plus check out the great links to all of the resources we talk about on the podcast.  From sleep-away camp to internet safety we’ve got you covered.