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CES 2014: Internet Of Things

Beth Blecherman CES 2014I am here at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2014) and excited to share the lastest and greatest new tech coming out. To follow my updates, check TechMama on Twitter. I just came back from the preview called “CES Unveiled” and was thrilled to see new innovations (such as a wireless crockpot with temperature controls via a smartphone), multiple devices and wearable technology that use flexible sensors that communicate via the Internet to provide all types of information.  Those advancements relate to what I have been reading for some time about the “Internet of Things”. The Huffington post shared some statistics in an April 2013 article: “By 2022, the average household with two teenage children will own roughly 50 Internet-connected devices, up from approximately 10 today, according to estimates by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This trend has been dubbed the “Internet of Things“. So we can look forward to more household devices giving all types of new feedback, like our own team of personal assistants.

 

The Internet of Things was the inspiration for the panel I will be moderating at MommyTechSummit CES on Jan. 8 called “Future Moms” (at 2:55pm). But there will be many other relevant discussions and keynotes so for those at CES please stop by starting at 8:30am. There is also a MommyTech “Tech Zone” at the Venetian Level 2 with a great set of exhibitors. For those at home, there is MommyTechTV that will be streaming throught CES, or come see us live at the Venetian booth 71201. I will be co-hosting with Andrea Smith and can’t wait to discuss the latest family technology.

 

What new technology are you looking forward to using?

 

 

 

RedRover Expands To Local Event Listing Streams

Red Rover appWhen I hear of apps and websites that make parents lives easier, I always love to share the details. I just received the press release for a new feature the site RedRover. RedRover offers a fun and social way to search for local activities.  The press release explained “RedRover users follow event listing streams from their favorite places or brands  — kind of like Twitter, but for time-based activities.  The mobile app and website then give the user the ability to sort by date, distance, age groups and categories. The result is a swift and pain-free decision-helper.” I look forward to checking it out and will share more details soon as it comes to San Francisco. RedRover’s Founder and CEO, Kathryn Tucker, shared information about Founding a startup as a single mom on Huffington Post Parents. RedRover currently covers New York City and will be expanding to other cities soon.

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE:

RedRover Introduces Brand New Service So Families Can Have More Fun

 

NEW YORK (March 8th, 2013) – Today RedRover launches a revolutionary new platform to make parents’ lives easier and more fun. Offering parents a new and truly innovative way to discover the things going on in their town that are just right for them, RedRover has broken new ground in social software by launching a unique and clever platform into a demographic long underserved by innovative software.

 

RedRover users follow event listing streams from their favorite places or brands  — kind of like Twitter, but for time-based activities.  The mobile app and website then give the user the ability to sort by date, distance, age groups and categories. The result is a swift and pain-free decision-helper.

 

“Parents lives are hard enough,” says Kathryn Tucker, RedRover’s Founder and CEO, and mother of two. “I wanted to build a service that eases the burden around trying to figure out what to do — there is too much information out there and no easy way to reduce it to just what’s right for me. My goal is to find the easiest way to connect parents with the kind of high quality, fun events they are looking for.”

 

Partners like The American Museum of Natural History, 92Y, and the New York Public Library were quick to sign on. Tucker reached out to more than 200 institutions nationwide and was met with a warm reception. “These non-profits, which have wonderful programming for kids, saw the point of RedRover immediately. The inefficiency of search for parents has kept traffic from their doors. It took no time for them to see the value of a service which consolidates all the available choices and suggests events to the people most likely to enjoy them.”

 

From the New Victory Theater and Central Park in NYC, to the Denver Zoo, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, The International Spy Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, RedRover is filled with high quality kid-friendly things to do. Museums, libraries, sports teams, film festivals, farmer’s markets, and nature centers are all publishers on the platform.

 

RedRover partners have the opportunity to publish events in real time and color their event listings with descriptions, photos, directions, and even offers the ability to buy tickets. RedRover gives partners, venues and marketers, a brand new mobile way to reach their customers.

 

“The New York Public Library is proud to be a founding content provider of RedRover. RedRover will promote the diversity of programs available to parents and children, and the Library is excited to share the thousands of free family and educational programs offered by the Library throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island,” said Johannes Neuer, NYPL’s Associate Director of Marketing.

 

RedRover is available on iPhone and iPad as well as on the web at https://redrover.co.

 

The new platform is launching first in New York City with plans to launch in Atlanta, San Francisco, and across the country in the coming weeks.

 

Makers: Women Who Make America Documentary #MakersWomen

10-2-2014 UPDATE: The second season has started (Tuesdays) airing on PBS.

 

I am excited to share that on Tuesday, February 26th the documentary called “MAKERS: Women Who Make Americais debuting on PBS (check local listings) and includes a powerful list of inspiring women that are “groundbreakers who have sparked change, been firsts-in-their-fields, and paved the way for those who followed“. I had the opportunity to attend a press event months ago where they had some of the amazing Makers Women  in attendance (including Gloria Steinem and our own local Lisa Stone of BlogHer ) while they showed us some clips from the documentary.

 

 

 

Along with the ones I mentioned above, some others highlighted in the documentary are Katie Couric, Linda Alvarado, Brenda Berkman, Judy Blume, Carol Burnett, Ursula Burns, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Geraldine Ferraro, Theresa Kane, Billie Jean King, Maya Lin, Susan Love, Marissa Mayer, Robin Morgan, Sandra Day O’Connor, Maria Pepe, Michelle Rhee, Condoleezza Rice, Faith Ringgold, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Zainab Salbi, Sheryl Sandberg, Phyllis Schlafly, Barbara Smith, Martha Stewart, Kathrine Switzer, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Barbara Walters.  The Makers.com program description from the PBS website explains: “Review the story of how women have helped shape America over the last 50 years through one of the most sweeping social revolutions in our country’s history, in pursuit of their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity and personal autonomy. The documentary builds on the unprecedented multi-platform video experience from PBS and AOL: MAKERS.com.”

 

The Makers press release also described “cast of partners behind the documentary that brought it to life – took a team effort, just like the movement overall!”:

 

  • PBS, for giving a national televised platform and broad community and grassroots network;
  •  AOL, for creating an engaging online experience at MAKERS.com;
  • and Simple ® facial skincare brand, for providing resources for production and promotion and sharing a like-minded vision of celebrating women whose authenticity, ideals and pioneering spirit inspire others every day.

 

 

 

The red-carpet premiere event in NYC was star studded and included interviews with many of the amazing women in the documentary:

 

 

MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Credit: Courtesy of Rahoul Ghose/PBS

 

 

 

 

The press release also had a quote from one of my inspirations “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.” ~ MAKER, Gloria Steinem.

 

 

Beth Blecherman (TechMama) with Gloria Steinem at the Makers Women Silicon Valley press event.

 

Having the opportunity to meet Gloria Steinem at the press event even inspired me even more to do my part to contribute to the movement. To start, I will be watching MAKERS: Women Who Make America on Feb. 26 on PBS !

 

10-2-2014 UPDATE: The second season has started (Tuesdays) airing on PBS.

 

Disclosure: This is a press update.

 

 

 

Safe Haven Movie Tech Press Tour: Romance meets Social Media

The movie, Safe Haven, will share the romance by opening on Valentines Day, February 14th. In my last post, I shared my thoughts about the movie, a must see romantic thriller! I was fortunate a month ago to join the Author/Producer, Nicholas Sparks, and one of the movie’s stars Josh Duhamel, as well as the Relativity Media team for part of their tech press tour. How unique and exciting to see a movie include tech partnerships as part of their launch, giving fans new ways to expand their movie experience. With an engaging cast (including Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough), a beautiful set, and a great story written by Nicholas Sparks, the movie delivers on all fronts.
 
 
The San Francisco Safe Haven tech tour included the following stops:
1. PopSugar: The Safe Haven team stopped by PopSugar where they had a fun “cupcake” ambush of their editors and posed for pictures at a photobooth. Both Josh Duhamel and Nicholas Sparks were great sports posing for pictures with each and every one who waited in line for a picture, all with equal enthusiasm! They even let one specific tech mom sneak in for a picture she will never forget.
 
 

Safe Haven Movie Tech Tour (Josh Duhamel, Beth Blecherman – TechMama, Nicholas Sparks)

 

 

1. One Kings Lane:
Safe Haven provided One Kings Lane with approximately 20 décor items from the set.  One Kings Lane will execute a Safe Haven sale on or around 2/14 for 72 hours where they will sell the set décor, signed books from Sparks, and a signed script.  Proceeds will benefit the Nicholas Sparks Foundation.  I can’t wait to see what set items will be available for sale considering that the movie set location was scenic Wilmington and Southport, North Carolina.

 

 

2. Shutterfly :   Nicholas Sparks and Josh Duhamel engaged with a big group of fans at Shutterfly, taking photos together and answering questions.

Save Haven Movie Tech Tour at Shutterfly Offices (Nicholas Sparks, Shutterfly employee and Josh Duhamel.

 

 

They inspired enough romance from talking that CEO of Shutterfly Jeff Housenbold gave a kiss to his wife at the end of the event (everyone cheered).

Safe Haven Movie Tech Tour at Shutterfly Office ( Jeff Housenbold, Nicholas Sparks, Josh Duhamel)

 

 

The fun Shutterfly offer available now for anyone is: Send 5 free Shutterfly cards to the people you love! Use promo code: safehaven at www.shutterfly.com/safehaven  to redeem this offer by 2/25/13.

 

 

3. Twitter:  The Safe Haven team also stopped by Twitter’s headquarters and participated in a screening organized by Twitter Movies (with Twitter staff)

 

 

Safe Haven movie tech tour – Twitter Movies interviews Nicholas Sparks and Josh Duhamel

 

 

After seeing Josh Duhamel and Nicholas Sparks in action, I realized they understood not only the art of making movies and books, but also how to engage with their fans in a genuine way. Nicholas Sparks shared that interactions in social media can foster quality listening… and listening produces measurable data. He listens to social media conversations on books and movies regarding what the fans like and don’t like, and that helps him analyze what people really want. In addition, the Safe Haven team realizes that social media is not only important, but is also growing.  You can follow the Safe Haven movie on multiple social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more! Safe Haven is now out in the theatres, so click here to find out movie times.

 

 

Disclosure: This was a press event.

 

 

Facebook Announces Graph Search Beta – My Initial Thoughts

Today at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park CA, Facebook announced Graph Search Beta. I was following the Mashable Live blog for Facebook Graph Search Beta announcement. On that feed, I saw the blog post from Facebook announcing the Graph Search Beta. Facebook explained:

 

 

“Today we’re announcing a new way to navigate these connections and make them more useful. We’re calling it Graph Search, and it starts today with a limited preview, or beta…..

 

Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook….

 

With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook…..

 

Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public. We’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook….”

 

 

Emily Price from Mashable also shared on the live blog: “Bing is integrated into Facebook, so you can do web searches within Facebook — so “Weather in Menlo Park” will pull up weather results from Bing“.

 

The key thing to understand is that privacy settings are now even more important. Here is a link to a post about the privacy settings: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch/privacy.

 

Here is a link to sign up for the Facebook Graph Search Beta waiting list: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch.

 

My initial thoughts are:

1. This is an effective way to search for people, places and photos your friends are sharing (and the Bing integration is a great feature).  If you are looking for restaurant, vacations, TV shows, movies, music etc. I would find this very useful.

 

 

 

2. Assuming you can only search for information your friends are sharing (via the Privacy statement), this still means that you need to feel comfortable that anything you share on Facebook (Page likes, photos, conversations) etc will now be more easily found by your friends. So if you have an obsessions with anything Hello Kitty, it is important to understand that all of your friends on Facebook can easily figure that out. I suggest that anyone using Facebook read the section on How privacy works with Graph Search.

 

I will spend more time reading over the new information on Facebook Graph Search and add more of my thoughts. PLEASE share your initial thoughts.