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Facebook Family Tech Chalkboard: Tips and New Features

Facebook Family Tech ChalkboardWhen Facebook reached out to me and other parenting journalists to attend a “Facebook Family Tech Chalkboard” meeting at their campus, I was excited attend a press briefing on their new features.  As parents we have the dual role of using Facebook to communicate with our own friends (and family) as well as advising our teens on topics such as privacy and social media etiquette. Those of us with businesses or websites also use Facebook Pages to engage with our customers or readers.   Listed below is a summary of the topics discussed.



  • Facebook Groups Updates:
    • Facebook groups is a great way to have separate discussions with different “groups” of friends. I wrote a post (Tips For Moms on Using Facebook Groups) that discussed the different types of groups and details for setting up Facebook Groups. At the meeting we shared stories on how we use Facebook groups.
    • Facebook Groups for Schools: We learned about Facebook feature called “Groups for Schools” which allows people with an active school email address to join groups at their college or university. I am happy that Facebook still has this feature to allow only people in the college (that have the college “email” address) to join the college Facebook group.


    Facebook groups for schools

    Facebook groups for schools Photo credit: Facebook


  • New Facebook Feature “Save for later” The new Facebook “Save” feature enables you to save items (links, places, movies, TV and music) you find on Facebook for later. From a privacy standpoint we learned that only you can see the items you save unless you choose to share them with friends. This is a feature that is especially important to me  lately because while I find the most interesting articles on my timeline, I rarely have time to read the full article. Now I can “save” it and come back to it! Sometimes I flip back and forth in my Facebook timeline between top stories and most recent to see what articles people are sharing. But I always seem to go back to “top stories” because that is where some of the most talked about articles seem to show up.  My next step will be to create my own Facebook “friends lists” of my tech friends, parenting friends and more to help curate updates on my timeline (which I can now share!).


Facebook Save

New Facebook Save Feature. Photo credit: Facebook




  • Facebook Privacy Checkup:  The new Facebook feature called “Privacy Checkup”  offers a guided approach to setting up privacy controls. It will take users through steps to “review things like who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile“. While I already went through the Facebook privacy settings with my teen when he first set up Facebook (and for myself), the privacy checkup is also a good way to have a guided review of settings.






  • Facebook Login & Anonymous Login: New Facebook login features, announced at the last Facebook Developer’s conference, offers “a brand new way to log into apps without sharing any personal information from Facebook, along with a new version of Facebook Login with even better privacy controls.” The  announcement explained the three new features as:

1. Anonymous Login:An easy way for people to try an app without sharing any of their personal information from Facebook.”

2. Facebook Login:A new version that gives people the option to pick and choose what information apps get.
3. Redesigned App Control Panel:A central place for people to see and manage the apps they use.


Facebook Anonymous Login

Facebook Anonymous Login. Photo credit: Facebook



The ability to signup for new apps without having to share all of my personal information is an option I have been looking for some time. App developers have a year to utilize this new feature so we will see this rolling out soon.



The last topic we discussed was Facebook Pages. I not only have a Facebook page for TechMamas but also manage some Facebook pages (and ad campaigns)  for clients so this is an area of great interest to me. At the same time, there is so much information to cover on this topic that I decided to split it up to be covered in my next post on Facebook Pages (so keep an eye out for that post coming out soon!).


At the end of the event we had a tour of the Facebook Campus and could not help but have some fun in the Facebook store with fellow parenting journalists – including Jessica Rosenberg who helped me model some fun tee shirts!


Facebook Family Tech Chalkboard Tour



Disclosure: The Facebook Family Tech Chalkboard was a press event. This post is a press update.










Tips For Moms on Using Facebook Groups

Tips For Moms: How To Use Facebook GroupsHow people communicate has changed significantly thanks to social media networks, especially Facebook which covers family, friends, business networks and more. I have written before about Tips for Parents: Facebook Privacy Settings for Teens but this time I wanted to cover Facebook Groups. It is important that parents understand online security and privacy settings in social networks, then help educate their kids and set up regular communication to help guide them when needed. In addition, moms can use Facebook Groups in several ways to assist in their own communication. I even showed my teen (and did it for myself) how to create a Facebook “close friends” list to see more of their updates on his timeline.



Lately it seems that every conference I attend, social media groups I am involved with and “In Real life” groups I join use Facebook Groups as communication central. I even have a Facebook Group for a business group I joined in college (made up of business majors from my alma mater). They use a Facebook Group to keep in touch and coordinate events. I recently attended their annual reunion and it was magical to sit with them in real life and catch up on information beyond their frequent online updates.


Coincidentally, I was able to join this local reunion because I was in town speaking at a social media conference which used Facebook groups to organize attendee communication.


As a mom, Facebook groups are a powerful tool to help organize school, meetup, sports and even fitness group meetups. I just joined a Facebook fitness group with other moms to help inspire us to exercise. My experience as a Facebook Admin for many groups helped me gain information that I have shared with other moms to help them set up their groups. For example, the Facebook Group Admin Help section has basic information on privacy and settings.


The most important decision for setting up a Facebook Group is whether your group will be open (anyone can join or be added or invited by a member), private (anyone can join, but they have to be added or invited by a member) or closed (anyone can ask to join or be added or invited by a member). I view Facebook Groups as set up for group communication. Some of my friends have businesses and they want to communicate with customers. I suggested Facebook “Pages” to them as a great tool for customer and community interaction. My next post will cover setting up Facebook Pages.


One of Facebook Group’s features is the ability to store files (including DropBox files). For social media conferences, we create group files that contain everyone’s website URL and social media profiles so we can follow and connect with each other online. You can also load photo’s and video to Facebook Groups. I recently just started using this tool called Canva to create not only Facebook graphics but also Facebook banners for Groups and Pages.


I also stress the importance of establishing Facebook Group community guidelines with admins such as banning people who say inappropriate things. Communication can flourish in a Facebook Group that is focused on a theme (i.e. fitness, networking group, conference, mother’s group) and, in the same light, shut down if members don’t speak to each other in a respectful way, keeping inappropriate topics and language off the group’s timeline.


Managing any group of people can be challenging, especially one that is online. But with the right guidelines and members, it can be a vital source of connection and information exchange.


Facebook did some research related to moms and Facebook Groups and shared it to press. The information below is from that Facebook press release.


Facebook Press Release: Insight from Moms Group



  • Check the Group daily, as often as News Feed
  • Access via both mobile and web; also utilize email notifications to see new items in email and flag for follow-up


Why they use Groups

Top Reasons:

  • A robust resource – Group members are from all over the US and the world, so you feel that you can ask a question and get a variety of responses and perspectives.
  • They can relate – Moms can ask any question to see if someone else has gone through the same thing, what the outcome was, any first-hand advice.  Your friends or family may not have children, or children at the same age, whereas in the Group, you can connect with other moms in the same situation that you’re in.
  • It’s separate – The Group is separate from other friends/family/co-workers on Facebook so you feel comfortable posting in a secure, like-minded forum.
  • It’s fast – “It’s so easy to post a question and get several responses within minutes”


How they connect w/ other moms


Moms use Facebook Groups mostly to connect with other moms outside of their friends/people they already know, in some cases developing deeper connections –

  • “I have friended many of the women in this group, even though I have never met them. I started to recognize certain names and stories. I felt like I knew these women personally. So I would reach out and say hi and then our friendships began.”
  • “There are a few groups that have been spun off from this group. In some ways, there are moms that I see in multiple groups and stay in contact with them more than I see my husband’s posts!”
  • Some noted that the Facebook Group is even more supportive than local meet-ups in-person.
  • “I use a local meet-up group as another source of information and way to meet people, but this group is by far more supportive. Interestingly, my local group has since moved onto Facebook.”



Facebook Groups is an easy way to connect and share things with family or specific sets of people like teammates, coworkers, or anyone with a shared interest. Over 500 million people use Groups each month and hundreds of thousands of Groups are created each day with the goal of connecting with others on common ground.


Below are some tips from Facebook on how to create a Group as well as how to continue to maintain a successful and active Group:


How To Create a Group:

  • On web: From your homepage, go to the Groups section on your sidebar and click on Add Group. Click Create New Group, from there a window will appear where you’ll be able to add a group name, add members and select the privacy setting for your group. Click the Create button when you’re finished.
  • On iPhone: Tap More, then under Groups, tap Create Group and enter Group name, description, privacy setting, and an icon.  Tap Create in the top-right corner to confirm.
  • On Android:  In the menu, scroll down to Groups, tap Add Group, enter the group’s name and select the privacy setting.  Tap Continue to confirm.


How to Join a Group:

Go to the group you want to be part of and then click Join Group in the top-right corner. You can also join any Open group that you see on the About page of someone’s Timeline by clicking Join.

  • You may have to wait for a group admin to approve your request. In some groups, you can also be added by a friend who’s already a member.
  • Customize Your Groups Privacy Setting: You can select one of three privacy options for each group you create: Open, Closed or Private.
  • Open: Anyone can join or be added or invited by a member
  • Closed: Anyone can ask to join or be added or invited by a member
  • Private: Anyone can join, but they have to be added or invited by a member.


Tips for Creating and Maintaining a Successful Group:

  •  Post Early & Often: Groups are more successful when the Group founders visit the Group early in its existence and post more often – get your Group started with posting on topics that encourage members to engage, share from the get-go and Like posts from other members.
  • Spread The Word: Groups thrive when more than just the original Group founders invite people to join – add additional people as administrators for the Group and encourage other Group members to invite their friends or networks. For Open groups, add tags like life, sports, food, and more so that other people can find your Group and join.
  • Make it Visual: Facebook found that flourishing Groups include logos, pictures, descriptions, or other visuals.  Consider adding a link or visual to every post on the Group page. You can also add files to your Group – here’s more info on sharing stuff from your Dropbox with your Facebook Group.
  1. On your group’s page, start a new post and click Add File. You’ll see a “From Your Dropbox” section next to Facebook’s regular file uploader.
  2. Click Choose File. If you haven’t already, sign in or create a Dropbox account. If this is your first time, you’ll also be asked for permission to link your Dropbox account to Facebook.
  3. Select the file from your Dropbox, and a link to the file will be added to your post. You can also include a message with your post.

You can curate your News Feed for content posted to your Groups.  If you’d like to modify what you see from your Groups in your News Feed, click on the drop-down in the upper right hand corner of a post on News Feed, and select one of the following options:

  • I don’t want to see this
  • Unfollow your Friend
  • Unfollow the Group


You can also control the Notifications you receive from your Groups.  On the Groups page, click on “Notifications” in the upper right hand corner and select one of the following options:

  •  All Posts
  • Friends’ Posts
  • Off



How do you use Facebook Groups?



Disclosure: This is a press post.




Tips For Parents: Facebook Privacy For Teens

Facebook Privacy TeensWhat is the most scary thing for parents of teens? Lately, it seems to be their kids using social media and other online platforms to network. Online social platforms, including Facebook, are now one of the key ways teens socialize with their friends. Beyond protecting privacy, there is also the issue of teens over-sharing information online that they later regret.


My first tip for parents regarding their kids’ online social networking habits is to first educate themselves and THEN educate their kids. Regular dialogues with your kids about online safety is an important step in keeping them safe. The next step is set up family rules and communication guidelines. In our family, we have rules about privacy settings in each of the social networking applications. Our rules also include positive reinforcement: to earn their freedom to use a new platform, they need to show their responsibility by coming to us first to discuss privacy and safety.


In conversations with my three boys about their use of social networks, I want them to feel safe coming to me with questions and issues. If they feel threatened or lectured to, the conversation quickly ends. So I explain to my sons that there is no “real” privacy online and anything they share should be appropriate for a future employer to see it and STILL give them a job! At the same time, I tell them that mistakes happen and it is best to talk about them and develop a strategy so the mistake is not repeated. I even share real life horror stories to show them what HAS already happened to some teens and stress the importance of understanding the privacy settings of all online networks. We also spend time going over the settings in each of the networks they use to set up appropriate privacy controls.


Facebook is one of the main platforms I use to network with friends and family online so I supported my kids to use it as well to network with their friends after they turned 13. When I received a recent press email with some details about Facebook privacy settings I was thrilled because it was something I was looking into to help educate my kids. Here are some privacy setting and graph search tips from Facebook to help start the conversation with your kids!


Tips for Helping Set Up Your Teen’s Facebook Account from FACEBOOK:

1. It may sound obvious, but help your teen be selective with profile information. This includes photos—cute is okay, provocative is a no-no. You can also navigate to “update info” in the blue menu bar with your name and edit basic info, contact information, work and education, and interests, making sure the privacy setting is always “Friends” and not “Public.” It may sound obvious, but no contact info (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.).
2. In this same vein…you can help adjust his or her privacy settings. Click on the little wheel next to the “Home” button; from the dropdown menu, hit “Privacy Settings.” Here you can change the default privacy settings for when your teen posts photos and updates, and control whether his/her account pops up when people do public searches. Note: DON’T forget Timeline and Tagging privacy settings—always make sure tags are restricted to “Friends” so that photos other people post of your teen are only seen by his/her friends.
Facebook Privacy settings
**Note – The image above is a screen shot from my Facebook account as visual example..
3. Have your teen set up login approvals and notifications (via the Security Settings page), both extra security features:

o   With login notifications, Facebook sends you an alert each time someone logs into your account from a new place.

o   Login approvals are like login notifications, but with an extra step; if you turn on login approvals, you’ll be asked to enter a special login code each time you try to access your Facebook account from a new computer or mobile phone. After you log in, you’ll have the option to give that device a name and save it to your account.

 o   You won’t have to enter a code when you log into any of these recognized devices. The benefit here is so that Facebook can be sure it’s you logging in from an unrecognized device, and not an impostor you; you’ll also receive an email confirming you logged in from an unrecognized device so in the instance you can always be sure you’ll know when and from where you’ve logged in.



And, when all is said and done, the most important way to keep your teen safe online is by starting a conversation. After all, technical controls don’t always solve every problem. You don’t need to be a social media expert to ask questions and begin an ongoing dialog. Have these conversations about safety and technology early and often, in the same way you talk to your teens about being safe at school, in the car, etc.



One way to begin this conversation is to ask your teen why social media is important to him or her. You might also ask him or her to show you how to set up your own Facebook Timeline, so you can see what it’s all about. Discuss what’s appropriate information to share online—and what isn’t. Ask them about privacy settings, and suggest that you go over them together regularly.



Facebook Graph Search: A safe, secure way to discover new things online

Teach your teens how to use Facebook Graph Search (the basics):

1.       Click on the search bar at the top of any Facebook page

2.       Begin typing your search (ex: Friends who live in Walnut Creek and like soccer)

3.       As you type, a list of search suggestions will appear below the search bar

4.       Choose one of the suggested options or finish typing and hit Enter

5.       Click “Refine This Search” to narrow your results by things like location or date



Types of things your teens can search for using Graph Search:

You can search across people, Pages, friends, photos and other content shared with you on Facebook, such as their education, hometown, current city, interests, as well as places, restaurants, books, movies, games and music they like



You can explore Graph Search in a variety of ways, like putting together keywords for things that are of interest. Some examples of things you can search include:

o   My friends who live in my city

o   Ski resorts visited by my friends

o   Restaurants nearby that are liked by my friends

o   Photos of my family members



You can also combine phrases together, or add things like locations, timeframes, likes and interests to get more specific; for example:

o   Movies liked by people who like my favorite movies

o   Photos of my friends in June 2011



Graph Search privacy

Keep in mind Facebook has a feature called secure browsing, which is turned on by default (https). This feature makes it harder for anyone else to access your Facebook information without your permission.



To double-check you have secure browsing turned on, go to your Security Settings; click the Secure Browsing section; make sure the box provided is checked:

o   When you have secure browsing turned on, the address bar in your browser should begin with “https://”



Who can look for posts in Graph Search?

o   The people you’ve shared your posts with can see them in their Graph Search results

o   For example, posts shared as Public can be seen by anyone (including people not on Facebook) and can show up in anyone’s Graph Search results.

·         You can adjust what others can see on your Timeline and who can see the things you share, and you can choose who can search for you using your email address or phone number. You can also limit the audience of past posts and make it so that only your friends can see these photos or status updates you’ve previously posted.

·         A great resource is the privacy shortcuts, which are accessible from the lock icon and offer common privacy tools – like Activity Log which lets you review who can see or find things you’ve posted or have been tagged in.



How does it work for minors?

o   Like adults, minors can appear in search results, but Facebook protects sensitive information about them (contact info, school, Birthday) from appearing in search to a public audience.




How does your family handle setting up privacy settings on online networks? Do you have regular family conversations about privacy with your kids?




Disclosure: This is a press post.




Heading To NYC for Book Expo & To Showcase Updated “My Parent Plan”

I’m excited to share that this week I’ll be attending BookExpo America (BEA), the largest author and book event in the nation. The show is being held from May 30th to June 1st at the Javits Center in New York City. You can find me and my book, My Parent Plan: How to Create a Family Project Plan to Organize Your Life and Kids , at Booth #377, where I’ll be joined by Alicia Dunams, and other Best Selling Authors with their new and popular  books. (*SEE bottom of this post for launch events  BOOK SIGNING times).



An updated version of my book, “My Parent Plan – How To Create A Family Project Plan To Organize Your Life and Your Kids” is now up on Amazon and I will be bringing copies to sign at the Book Expo. The book combines my experience as a Mom of three, quickly-growing boys plus my 20 years in professional project management to help parents understand the process of creating and working through a parenting plan based on their individual family’s needs and personalities. My Parent Plan empowers parents to step back to think about their daily, weekly, seasonal and yearly activities and set up a plan in advance. This gives families the time to find the right information, identify budget-friendly options, consider the needs of each family member and make informed choices to create the optimal family plan.
Without a plan I would have never had time to write this book. When I share with friends and colleagues that I wrote a book, and they know all the other things I have going on they frequently respond, “what – you wrote a book?”  The most wonderful thing is that many of these individuals either have book ideas, are writing a book or have something special they want to share. We discuss the importance of turning dreams into goals, then goals into plans and plans into action. One of my favorite parts of writing this book has been using the tools I talk about to empower other people to reach their goals while facing the challenge of work life balance. Luckily I had a plan that helped me juggle my priorities while keeping family on the top of the list and keeping other lower priority items on hold. For example, I have not washed my minivan in MONTHS. I even took a picture of my minivan so that if anyone asked how I do it, I could show them my secret. Success in one area requires trade offs in lower priority areas.
On topic of success, one of my dearest friends , Barb Gottesman, is not only an amazing life coach but also had life-changing adventures with her family sailing the Pacific Ocean for 2 years.  It was a story that needed to be told so I suggested to Barb, who already had a plan to write a book, to join in the Best Seller program. I am so proud of her – she followed through and (shriek of excitement) she is joining me and the other authors at the Book Expo in New York to announce her new book. Two moms heading to the Book Expo America in New York…proud to show their professional voice reflected in their new books!



Barbara Gottesman is the author of “How to Slay a Pirate: Lessons on Success from Sailing the Pacific”. The reference to ‘pirates’ in the title refers to the negative self talk that robs people of their dreams.  Barb describes her book as the ultimate guide for setting goals, slaying pirates, and achieving what you’ve only dreamed of until now. It delivers five surprisingly simple lessons and strategies for turning your vision into reality and reaching your true potential.  Accompanied by travel blog excerpts from her own nearly two-and-a-half year family sailing adventure across the Pacific (through Mexico, the South Pacific, and into Australia), How to Slay a Pirate delivers a candid account of challenge, risk and reward to make a compelling case for why finding and following your passion is essential.




Beth BlechermanMy Parent Plan“: May 30 from 1-2pm, May 31 from 11-12pm and June 1 from 1-2pm. I will have an additional special signing on May 30 from 2:00 -2:30pm



Barbara Gottesman How to Slay a Pirate: Lessons on Success from Sailing the Pacific” will also be signing her books during the following times: May 30 from 1-2pm, May 31 from 11-12pm.  She will have a special signing on May 30 from  3:30 – 4:00 pm.


Joining Barb Gottesman and I  will be five other authors from our Best Seller group including:


  • Diane Beck, author of Project Management Secrets: Fortune 500 Project Manager Reveals How to Succeed in the Trenches.
  • Melissa Steach, author of The Housing Project: Decorating a Home That Tells Your Personal Story and Reflects the Real You.
  • Suzanne Letourneau, author of Soar with Vulnerability: 11 Insights to the Full Enjoyment of Your Life.
  • Bill Paravanno, author of Knees for Life: The Natural Approach to Eliminate Chronic Knee Pain and Have Strong Healthy Joints That Last a Lifetime…Without Surgery
  • Dr. Sherri Vie, author of Dr. Vie’s Vedic Weight Loss Secrets: Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Love Yourself.



BookExpo America will also feature exhibits, conference sessions, networking and autographs. I can’t wait to share the updated version of my book  and experience the excitement of being part of the world’s largest author and book gathering. If you’re in the Big Apple, stop by, pick up an autographed copy of my book, and join in the excitement!
MAY 30 MEETUP (NYC): Bush Street Press and Alicia Dunams, Founder and CEO of Bestseller in a Weekend™ organized a  Meet-up on May 30. Please join us! Click on the following link for more information:



JUNE 4 VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH: You’re invited! Don’t miss out on my virtual book launch party on June 4 from 1 PM to 3 PM (PST).  Win a free autographed copy and some cool prizes. Also learn about the book-writing process, the good and the bad, from me and 7 other non-fiction debut authors by attending our virtual book launch party on June 4 from 1-3 PST. It’s sure to be informative, enlightening, and fun! Sign up for free here:


“My Parent Plan” is available on Amazon (CLICK HERE to buy).





Katie Couric, BlogHer, Sheryl Sandberg: Women Social Media Leaders That Rock

The recent episode of the “Katie Show” helped Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her company celebrate a major milestone, 1 Billion global users. Many of those users are my family members. As Mark Zuckerberg expressed in a blog post this month, We believe that the need to open up and connect is what makes us human. It’s what brings us together. It’s what brings meaning to our lives“.  Facebook has offered me exactly that, a place where my family and friends connect. All online social networks face privacy issues (I will be talking about that more in another post). With Facebook, I am happy there is a place where all of my family and friends have profiles and I can keep up with their latest antics no matter how busy their or my life may become.


In addition to Facebook enabling me to stay connected to family and friends, I also enjoy seeing COO Sheryl Sandberg showcased as a great role model for younger women pursuing tech careers. On the “Katie Show”, Cheryl was a clear symbol of female success in the high technology industry.


Here is my summary of some my favorite highlights from the “Katie Show” with Sheryl Sandberg:

  • Katie Couric asked if Facebook was worried about not being the “new thing”? Cheryl Sanderg said the initial fear was that Facebook started with only college students. Would they stay active users when mothers, grandmothers, and teachers joined? Everyone stayed because Facebook made it easy for them all to connect.
  • Katie asked how people use Facebook to discuss political campaigns? Cheryl  explained how conversations that used to happen around the “watercooler” now happen on Facebook (and the “watercooler”). There are 170 million Facebook users in the US which is greater than the number of people who will vote. Eighty percent of Facebook users are outside the U.S. and Canada, and people around the world use  Facebook in some common ways.
  • Katie then asked about the dark side of being connected, including spam and scams: do those things keep you up at night? Sandberg explained that every technology ever invented has positive and negative uses. The more powerful the technology, the more powerful the use.
  • Katie discussed an inspirational story about a daughter who posted a Facebook update sharing that her mother needed a new kidney.  A friend of a friend of the daughters saw this, knew she was right blood type and contacted the daughter to donate her kidney. The whole story was heartwarming, the mother got a new kidney and the daughter feels like she has a new “sister”, the generous women who donated her kidney. The full story is discussed in a post on the Katie Show site “A reason to connect and donate“.
  • Facebook business success stories were discussed with one women in the audience (Mandie from Got What it Cakes) sharing that after she joined Facebook and her friends started sharing, her business doubled and doubled again. Mandie explained that she is a proud mom conducting business in her kitchen and her Got What It Cakes Facebook page has 6200 fans (now over 7,000).


Talking about role models… Katie Couric has been my media role model for years. She not only wrote a New York Times best-selling book titled, “The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives“, but also is a dedicated cancer advocate. And she is one of the most successful anchors along with being a fellow working mom.  Her bio listed:

In September 2006, Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. Couric served as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric until May 2011… On May 31, 2006, Couric completed a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY show. In October 2011, the Wall Street Journal called Couric of the “most successful anchors ever” at the TODAY show. Couric joined the Disney/ABC Television Group in Summer 2011 and serves as special correspondent for ABC News….. Beginning in September 2012, she will host a new syndicated daytime talk show, Katie.”



What some may not know is that Katie Couric was one of the early news anchors to understand the value of social media and parent bloggers.  Around the time of BlogHer Business 2008, I was contacted by Katie Couric’s production team at “The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”. It was part of their social media outreach to promote the show. I was already such a big fan, not only because of  Katie’s trailblazing career in news, but also due to Katie’s intelligent, engaging, professional and inspirational presence on any show where she appeared. I had started a list titled, “TV women to learn from”, because I had a goal to film television Tech Segments. Later that year, as I started making TV appearances, I could not help but wonder how much of my own personal style in front of camera was developed by watching Katie.


The most exciting thing about the initial social media outreach from the Katie Couric team was that it led to a studio tour offered to me and a selection of mom bloggers in New York City for the BlogHer Business conference (2008). The BlogHer community, founded by inspiring female leaders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins in 2005, is another social media powerhouse that has the largest community of women who blog.



I have to admit… part of why I chose Katie Couric as my role model back then was also due to her great fashion choices (including fantastic shoes!). To prepare for the studio tour, I got myself a  Katie Couric haircut (forget the Jennifer Aniston!) and a matching jacket.  Needless to say, when I finally met Katie Couric together with my mom blogger colleagues, she was as engaging in person as she was on television.  She was also very savvy about social media, asking insightful questions and sharing her perspective. And I just may need to submit that picture as a Katie Clone!


In August 2012, Katie Couric was the lunchtime Keynote at BlogHer12 in New York City and it was so great to see her on stage again (I was in the audience cheering her on)! Bringing the story full circle, a highlight of my 2012 BlogHer Conference was a brief meet and greet with Katie before she gave her Keynote lunch.  Although I did not qualify as a Katie clone this time, I did have a chance to tell her I was looking forward to watching her show when it debuted the following month.


I am happy that there are multiple other social media platforms I can use to interact with the Katie Show (back from my home in San Francisco area) including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. There are great behind the scenes videos on YouTube and Google+.  During shows they have bloggers participating in many ways. Fellow tech mom Heidi Leder was not only in the audience for the Facebook show (which I was following via the #Katie Twitter Hashtag), but she also wrote a feature post on the website about how Facebook Keeps Her connected. I also feel lucky to have so many women social media leaders that have blazed the trails to offer ways for us all to connect offline and online.


What are your favorite ways to connect online?