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!

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!

Guest Angel Katie Rosman Joins The Blogging Angels

In honor of our special guest

We were so excited to have Wall Street Journal reporter, author and all around fabulous Michigander Katie Rosman join us as our guest on the Blogging Angels Podcast this week.  If you haven’t read her memoir about her mom, If You Knew Suzy you are in luck because it just came out in paperback.  You can hear all about her witty and insightful WSJ column where she mingles the personal take on social media with the professional view of a seasoned reporter.  Plus we just dish – about writing the personal, our love of Twitter and lack of patience for those who don’t get it, why Faygo Red Pop is nectar of the Gods and why our kids look so much cuter on Facebook than when they’re right in front of us whining.   Also, we bring up George Will.  You’ll have to listen to understand.  Trust me, this is a good one.

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.

IOU – or Maybe Not. Figuring out the Blogger-Brand Relationship

 

New York City Serenade

Image by joiseyshowaa via Flickr

 

Bloggers in New York City are lucky.  There is no other way to say it.  Events are easy to come by because all of the brands are well represented in NYC and their PR people are great at throwing parties, lunches, breakfasts, outings and round tables that they like to fill with bloggers – particularly mom bloggers.  Add to that the TV shows that film here – Martha Stewart, Nate Berkus, The View, The Today Show, etc. and you get a lot of media opportunities not afforded to your average blogger.  Add this to all of the PR pitches for giveaways, sponsored posts and product reviews and you can stack your blog with nothing but posts about events and swag.

But what if you don’t want to write about it?  What do you owe a brand when you attend an event?  Do you have to be brand loyal if you’re an unpaid “ambassador?”  The Blogging Angels tackle these issues head on this week.  And not surprisingly don’t all feel the same way about these issues.  Listen in or subscribe on iTunes and let us know what you think!