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SXSW Liveblog: Moms Who Tech


***MOMS WHO TECH follow-up session was at Convention Center Level 3 – Room 4 (panelist area) with Shireen Mitchell.

We just finished the Moms Who Tech core conversation at SXSW, we have an amazing set of attendees who sparked a very interesting discussion. Sarah Granger was kind enough to take notes – which I will post soon. I will also be posting the names and websites of the “Moms Who Tech” in attendance.  For those wanting to follow or join in the conversation, we will be using the Twitter hash tag #Momswhotech. Unfortunately, my co-leader Shireen Mitchell’s plane was late so I will be twittering using my id (TechMama) when she arrives and timing on gathering for a follow-up discussion for those interested (sometime today – hopefully at 3pm). We were thrilled to have Tiffany Galligan, Experience Director Razorfish in attendance to discuss the Cafe Mom/Razorfish “Digital Mom” study.

Here were some overall questions framing the discussion:

  1. How do moms use tech for communication, information gathering and family management? How is tech a part of their lives as mothers? In careers, school, children’s education?
  2. Why are increasing numbers of moms engaging in social media and using technology?
  3. How are moms using technology to politicize & become activists?

When asked why I decided to put this together, I shared that moms:

  • Have digital responsibility for themselves and families
  • Are savvy communicators and community builders who are taking their communication online
  • Multitaskers that will use the available technology to make their and their families lives easier
  • Moms buy technology for their households and are savvy at gathering information (offline and online). Get their information from other moms (and are therefore primary purchasing influencers).
  • Kid’s school and social lives are now online (including HOMEWORK), so technology in family households is a MUST!

Here is the first run of “Moms Who Tech” at the session, will add more as I get the names. If I did not get your name, email me at techmamas(at)gmail(dot)com. If you were a business trying to reach out to moms please also email me your info and I will post about that separately (and thanks for coming!):


Beth Blecherman @techmama

Shireen Mitchell @digitalsista

Guest speaker was Tiffany Galligan from Razorfish who discussed the Digital Mom study.

Partial List of Attendees (will add more as I get them):

NEXT UP: I will load the liveblog notes of the session soon. Not to be missed…


Adoption, Dad, Moms and Eco on Alltop

I posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Group about a website called Alltop that aggregates subscriptions for blogs in different topics together for one stop online reading. The Graco blog has one of the best definitions of what blog subscriptions/feeds are (and fun blog posts) for those needing more info on that topic…Now there are more categories added related to parenting:

Or just check out the main Alltop page for other areas such as gadgets (for the real geeks), career, sports and fashion (great combo). Those needing an online break can go check out the books Alltop to find their next great read.

For those also needing help finding their Twitter mojo just visit Twitterati Alltops to read conversations from some of the top twitters. Mobile users can read Mobile Alltop.

Flock_01_125x125_2 Best yet, in honor of Earthday, it is important to mention that Alltop partnered with "Flock" an eco-friendly browser that comes preloaded with Alltop topics.


Yahoo Shine Ask’s Question: What Is The Right Age to Get Technified?

Yahoo has a new site called "Shine", which is one-stop place for women to go on the web. I went to the press event and will discuss more about the site, but for now I wanted to pass on this post from Charlene Prince Birkeland (Shine staff) called "The Digital Dish: Is there a "right" age to let your kid get technified?".

It brings up a good question I have discussed often.  I always respond t to wait until your kid asks, otherwise let them play and have live social/sports interaction instead. But if they do ask, the first stop should be a honest discussion about internet safety and education (geared towards their age). Then it is good to spend time finding software that fits their needs. I will post later with some new sites I have found that my 9 year old plays that are filled with fun math games.


Your Own Personal Technology Review Team

Instead of having a team of people to help me review products like some
organizations, I need to fit in writing about technology between school
drop off and pick-up. So, I put my own team of experts together and
they are called "review sites" and "tech columnists" and "tech
magazines". It is mind blowing how much information review information
is available.  Here are the details for the strategy I used to find my personal technology review team, and I suggest those seeking technology advice should also put their own team together (see the bottom of this post for my technology team).

My strategy is to pick the outlets I feel provide good
information, understand that each has their own slant and then take all
the information and try to see what pops out for me. For example, one of the most popular sites for digital camera reviews is  Yet they are very technical in nature, so some may want
to add visits to CNET reviews, Digital Camera HQ and your favorite tech columnists like David Pogue from the New York Times, Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal or Yahoo Tech.

I was also delighted to find a New York Times article along the sames lines of this post (that I started writing weeks ago..). The article is titled "A Universe of Gadget Advice" and gives a great example of John Boutin’s (the reporter) strategy for finding the right technical information online. Overall, I find this time of year the best time to obtain reviews on technology because of the holiday gift guides. These guides can be useful not only for the holidays, but to choose items for the after holiday sales and any items that were on the "buy" list for the rest of the year.

When you find the sites you like, I suggest setting up online subscriptions or "RSS Feeds" to review the headlines for these sites on a regular basis. You can have the feeds loaded to an aggregator like Bloglines or to your email homepage with Google or Yahoo. RSS Feeds can be used for specific categories like technology feed for CNN or for the whole blog feed similar to the blend of all Yahoo Tech advisors feed. To set up the RSS feeds, just look for the word "subscribe" or "RSS Feed" on the website that you want to add, the instructions are usually easy to follow.

I also suggest setting up print subscriptions for your favorite newspaper or tech magazines. I still enjoy looking over the New York Times or Wall Street Journal as well as some of my favorite tech magazines in print. And there is something about reading the print edition that goes best with my cup of coffee in the morning.

Ok, that last point was in my dreams because lately it seems that my mornings are consumed with feeding and getting my three boys ready for school. So if you are a mom in my position, still keep the print subscription for quiet moments, RSS feeds to your homepage for when the kids go to sleep and email RSS subscriptions to read the information from your email or on your smartphone. Look for email subscriptions that are sent from the publisher with no header from the feed service (like offered by Feedburner) and that also offer plain text or html emails. I find these their feeds are easy to read on my BlackBerry Curve.

TechMama’s Personal Technology Team:

Holiday Gift Guides:

Blogger Holiday Guides:

Tech Columnists:

Technology Review Sites:

Knowledgebase (there are no solid guarantees that all knowledgbase info is 100% correct, some sites are user driven so find the resource that fits your needs and keep looking if the answer does not seem correct):

Did I miss any? Please comment to add your favorites….


NYT – David Pogue Linklove: Digital SLR’s, File Transfering and Cell Phones for Kids

I recieve feeds from the New York Times Thursday Circuits section to my email. Today had an link to an interesting article on File transfering by David Pogue. He said (on flight during a business trip) that his "brain turns to mush when I have to wake up too early. I’d forgotten the two-gigabyte folder of photos."  I was so happy to see that because being a parent means that your brain regularly turns to mush. So any advice he can give would be helpful. His article discussed the different ways to do file transfers (using chat programs or FTP). And information on a program called "Pando".

Then I went over to his main site (Pogues Pages) and found another great article on Digital SLR’s. Being a blogger and a parent means that taking pictures is a must – and having a good camera really makes a difference in picture quality.

I also found a video he made on "Cell Phones for Kids". I did my own review so it was great to have a chance to see his perspective. Take a look! He somehow got a tiny toddler to answer the phone saying "hello" and a teenage girl that said "A cell phone where I can ONLY call my parents, yeah….". Funny, because I got the same response from my 8 year old when I asked him about a phone that could only call us ("you mean I can’t call my friends….).