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!

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.

Getting Your Share of Blogging Dollars

Money, money, money – there is no escape from the discussion lately about women bloggers (and mom bloggers specifically) and what/if they’re getting paid.  Though thankfully the talk seems to have moved from IF to WHAT more often than before.  I was inspired this week by a survey request from Kim Moldofsky of Mom Impact and Hormone-Colored Days that asked for all sorts of payment information from bloggers in order for her to gather information to be used in an upcoming panel at Blissdom later this week.  We often talk about compensation in general, nebulous ways – not wanting to attach a dollar amount to ourselves publicly but also not sure if that dollar amount measures up to what others in the industry are getting.

This week I have takes on this topic.  My first is my latest piece at Mom Blog Magazine, Someone’s Getting Paid- Why Aren’t You, where I actually give dollar ranges for various assignments.  I can’t wait to see the comments and if any bloggers out there will chime in on the amounts I cited and dispute or affirm them.  My second go around at compensation (and where we name names about who is NOT treating bloggers right) is on my weekly podcast, The Blogging Angels.  We had an amazing guest this week in Nicole Feliciano of Mom Trends.  If you haven’t checked out her site you must.  Continue reading

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.

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.