The Month In Review: Is it February Already?

My blog has become a neglected child as the new year blew in and with it a flurry of activity for KidzVuz.com.  Trying to find balance between my various online and offline endeavors has not been easy – and I won’t even talk about work/life balance because I’ve already referred to my blog as one of my children.  Never a good sign.

So, while I vow to myself not to forget the reason I did all this to begin with – to write – I figured I’d do a totally cheating thing to do and catch up with the Top 5 Awesome Moments and Events I Forgot to Write About In January:

1.  KidzVuz.com was named one of Cool Mom Tech’s Top 15 Coolest Websites of 2011!  We were pretty excited to be chosen alongside Pinterest and the Amazon Android Marketplace.  Now we’ve got even more to live up to this year.

2. CES 2012! Gadgets and gizmos galore of course, like the fabulously curvy and light Sony S Tablet and the Live Streaming enabled new Sony BloggieLive .  I was lucky enough to be given both to try out and will be reporting back in the month ahead.  To get a better idea of all the great new techie products we saw at CES check out these TWO Blogging Angels Podcasts taped live at CES!

High Atop CES With Ben Rudolph (recorded in the Microsoft Booth)

CES Wrap-Up with TechMama (that’s Beth Blecherman to you Luddites!)

3. CES Press.  Nancy Friedman and I had two great interviews while at CES for KidzVuz.  One aired live and hasn’t been reposted yet so stay tuned.  The other was on the Pulse Network with Butch Stearns and you can watch it here.

4. Also at CES I spoke on a panel about mom bloggers and brands during the Living in Digital Times Summit with Beth Blecherman of TechMamas and Cool Mom Tech and Stacy DeBroff of Mom Central.  The panel was moderated by Lori Schwartz of McCann Worldwide and included a really interesting presentation about mom influencers across all spheres.  I hope to publish the report when it becomes available next month.  Basically, it showed how incredibly influential moms are to each other – whether on the playground or online, and how that translates into all sorts of magic (or tragedy) for brands.  Good stuff.

5. Finally we’ve been planning our first event of the year, co-hosting the grand opening party for 50 mom bloggers and their families to celebrate the opening of the new J&R Jr. store in downtown Manhattan.  I am so incredibly excited to be working with J&R since I basically grew up in the music store.  Seriously.  But that will be its own post coming soon.

And that’s what you missed last month on Beccarama.com.

Onward!

The Big Toy Book & KidzVuz BlogHer Sweet Suite 2011

As if BlogHer weren’t awesome enough we threw a huge party for over 300 women bloggers in conjunction with The Big Toy Book.  Along with all of the fantastic toy and game sponsors like Adora, Leapfrog, Xbox 360 Kinect, Briarpatch, Shainsware, Activision and many more –  we were lucky enough to have Microsoft lend us 6 gorgeous PCs for the event so we could display the kid-generated sponsor reviews all over the party space.  As if super cool toys weren’t enough, our guests were also admiring the laptops in funky colors and spectacular displays.  If you’re still back to school shopping for a PC check these out!

  1. Pink Dell Inspiron 14R:  1st generation Intel Core i5 processor, 640GB HDD, 4GB RAM, Starts at $549
  2. HP Pavilion DV6 in navy blue: 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor, comes in umber, red, blue, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, $749
  3. Sony VAIO C in neon green:  2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor, up to 750GB HDD, up to 8GB RAM, comes in 6 bright colors, starts at $749
  4. Acer TimelineX in blue: 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor , 13.3” display, 4 GB RAM, 500 HDD, $793.23
  5. ASUS N53JQ:  1st generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 640GB HDDpremium sound, all aluminum chassis, $900
  6. Toshiba E305:  2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor, 640GB HDD, 6GB RAM, backlit keyboard, Best Buy Blue Label PC, $849

We loved getting the kid reviews for our sponsors before and after the event and now we have a little taste of what it would be like to be Santa Claus.  There is something very rewarding about handing a 30 pound swag bag full of truly awesome products to very happy and excited guests!  And we really loved working with the amazing women at The Big Toy Book: Laurie Shacht, Reyne Rice and the outrageously hard working and creative Corine Ingrassia.  Next time in New York City!!

Here’s a glimpse of the  photostream from the unbelieavably fun and fantastic Sweet Suite 11 Party at BlogHer 11.   It was a special night and a great way to kick off BlogHer 11 in San Diego!

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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!

CES – Hookers, 3D TVs and Dancing Mops: You Have to Hear it to Believe It

The Blogging Angels and Chris Brogan at CES 2011

While the Consumer Electronics Show may be over the rehashing has just begun.  The Blogging Angels recorded a podcast every night of the show – and because we like our tech reporting with a side dish of gossip and laughter we give you the honest truth about what it’s like to be women at a tech trade show in Las Vegas.  It ain’t pretty.

We had some serious highlights – being sponsored by Microsoft Windows 7 and getting to hang out and work with the wonderfully smart and talented Lisa Worthington and other fab Microsoft mavens was one of the best experiences we could have asked for.  We were given Windows Phone 7 (the HTC HD7) to try out for the month starting at CES.  I am personally loving the phone but you can hear all about why on our podcasts.  And, a big one for me since I do the post editing for our podcast we were loaned a gorgeous Yeti Mic courtesy of Blue Microphone.  We were one of the first people to try out the new Yeti outside of the company – and we didn’t have to lug our mixing board and individual mics to Vegas.  And editing was a breeze.

We also had an interview with Social Media guru extraordinaire Chris Brogan.   Haven’t seen the final version yet – but it was so great to meet him and have a chance to schmooze about women in tech and the whole mommy-blogging thing.  You know how we love to talk about moms, brands and getting paid.  Of course it’s Vegas so we also talked about bad toupees and booth babes – we’re well rounded like that.

So listen in to the 3 CES Blogging Angels podcasts to learn what’s hot in tech, what you should be on the look out for in the coming months and what we think is worth buying or using now.  Plus dancing Swiffer mops!  For Real.

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

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.