At the recent launch of Office 365 Home Premium in New York City’s Bryant Park, I had the opportunity to experience the new features of Office while talking to some very exciting people (keep reading to find out who!). The Microsoft Office 365 experience center showcased the services and applications (for example Word, Excel, PowerPoint and check out OneNote) that together comprise the new Office and demonstrated how they work together for a great experience that helps you amaze, share, connect, explore, create and imagine.
These days, I’m constantly amazed at when and where I can actually get things done. The new Office provides me with instant access to my documents and information offline or online, enabling me to be more productive by utilizing brief segments of my day to get things done for my family and myself. The option to use Office 365 on five devices (including PCs, Macs and Windows tablets), stream full Office apps to any Windows 7 or 8 PC, and use Office Web Apps on mobile devices also gives me the flexibility work how I want. After all, being more efficient during the day simplifies my life, and makes my nights less hectic.
Check out my new video on BlogHerTV that not only shares a VIP tour of the launch but also showcases interviews with interesting people. See what busy mom and Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman says came to her rescue managing her life as a mom. Hear what my blogger buddy Jen Singer from MommaSaid.net can do from a waiting room at the Vet and learn tips from Office Insiders regarding how they are using the new Office to make their life easier. Of course, considering where I was (Bryant Park on a beautiful winter day), I had to put on some ice skates for a New York City winter adventure. Luckily, Jen Singer decided to join in the fun!
This morning I saw a tweet with the name "Moms Gone Wired". At first I did not see the link to the article, but then a Twitter buddy of mine (Bonggamom) pointed that out that the article mentioned TechMamas.com along with other blogs written by moms.
The article titled "Moms Gone Wired: One Woman's Journey Through the Mommy Blogosphere to Gain Parental Prowess and Free Stuff" is written by Alice Laussade. While the term "free stuff" in the title misses the point (of my journey at least) – it is great to see coverage of the journey many moms have made through blogging. My journey to create TechMamas.com was to have a place that I could start a discussion on parenting, technology and gadgets. My technical background before becoming a parent helped me see that the "tech – mom " voice was missing from online discussions. But that was 2005 and blogging was just starting to catch on. Now I am proud to say that in 2010 that there are many moms that are now utilizing blogs to re-create their careers and get their voices heard online. Just looking at my about page and to the network of amazing moms I have met through Silicon Valley Moms Group, BlogHer and other social media (reflected on my many Twitter lists created to keep track of them) has made my journey completely worthwhile.
Even if I had to give up the small amount of free time a busy mom of three boys has – including exercising regularly – and became dependent on the second shift after the kids go to sleep to keep up with everything.
My participation in blogging and social media has opened up career opportunities for me in a way that is flexible with my schedule as a mom. The key for me is that I am passionate about the topics I cover (parenting, technology, gadgets, social media). I am passionate enough that it has been fun and interesting keeping up with my blog reading through my RSS feeds and Alltop, Twitter, Facebook and organizing my info on Pearltrees. "Free stuff" is worthless to me; relationships, networking and information are important to me.
I also type this while realizing if I don't head out the door in the next 5 minutes I will miss yet another opportunity to exercise because I just "had to" write a blog post. If I am going to be a super hero power mom I need to keep in shape. But I need to do that while making sure I pick up my kids at carpool time. Can I meet that challenge?
While my cyber-buddy Erin (Queen of Spain blog) was a Black Friday sales virgin who needed protection – but ended up saving $110, I ended up feeling like a Black Friday sales sucker – but a confirmed sucker after I read the post on Slate titled ” BlackFriday Is For Suckers“. I posted on TechMamas.com with every Black Friday sale online site and Twitter ID to keep posted on the Black Friday sales . But I decided to sleep in and the discounts for the tech items that I tried to use online had “limited” use – so they had all expired by late morning. I then jumped in my minivan to hit a few technology stores in the afternoon, none of which had deals on the high performance technology I was looking for (but lots of sales on TV’s – which we need but can’t afford to upgrade right now!). Of course, I was looking for some high end technology with specific models in mind. If I was flexible, I could of found some deals.There were also “bundles” available on Black Friday which offered accessories if technology was purchased. But I have also seen this bundles advertised online.
Looking back, the sales I saw via the major technology manufacturer email and Twitter sales updates were even better then Black Friday sales. Yet – on Black Friday there were deals to be found on other consumer items. Another mom friend found lots of Black Friday deals in stores for kids clothes.
Overall – To enjoy the real deals on BlackFriday you need to have a list and identify the stores that carry those items and stick to that list. Ask yourself if shopping late at night or first thing in the morning will really save you that much compared to the regular sales?
Just for fun, now that I do have the specific technology identified (down to the model number) that I need to shop for – I will give Cyber Monday a try. Otherwise, I decided to jump on the regular sales that show up in my email inbox and deal Twitter ID’s that I follow, instead of waiting for special “sale” days.
Other then spending time with family and friends, I look forward to holiday shopping. As someone who is obsessed with gadgets, the holiday shopping guides are a fun way to see what the latest and greatest gadgets are. I decided that there are so many different flavors to choose from, that instead of one holiday guide I will be posting about different products by manufacturer. I have found that many families I know get comfortable with one manufacturer when it comes to technology and want to stay within that line. But technology shopping for me is like going to an ice cream store – there are many flavors I like. Infact, my house is filled with multiple technologies from multiple manufacturers – I shop products that are relevant for my families needs.
Over the last few months I have not posted but I have been fast and furiously using, reading and obsessing over gadgets. At the same time I am getting lots of questions about what products are out there. So over the next few weeks I will be posting the new, interesting or just plain relevant technology gadgets out there for families. My view is that "practical" is the new gift, so holidays are a perfect time for technology purchases.
Very exciting this year is that MOMMYTECH is added to the lineup at CES.
Here is some information from their website:
“Mommy Tech is both a one-day conference and a four-day exhibition to be held January 7-10, 2010 at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow. This conference plus
expo will explore all the key trends impacting this $90+ billion dollar marketplace.
Mommy Tech Summit – Friday, January 8 –
co-produced by industry veteran Robin Raskin, will spotlight top
thinkers and product creators for the mommy market. Empowering moms with technology that helps them juggle priorities, stay connected with their own families and other moms, and savor their multiple roles in life, is the central theme of this conference.
Mommy Tech Expo – January 7-10, 2010 –
will be located in the front of the North Hall at the Las Vegas
Convention Center. The Mommy Tech Expo will showcase the latest in portable devices, wireless phones, notebooks, photo sharing services, and accessories that appeal to expectant moms and young families. Get a firsthand look at the latest in baby monitors, warmable baby wipes, room monitors, GPS devices for finding straying children, and much more.”
I will be speaking on a panel for the MommyTech summit and spending time at the Expo. Join me at CES this year by attending MommyTech Summit and Expo.
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Beth Blecherman a.k.a “TechMama”
TECH BLOGGER: Shares straight talk and tips on tech, lifestyle and travel across many social media platforms including blog TechMamas.com and Twitter @TechMama. She is well know for past articles in Mashable, Laptop Magazine and Cool Mom Tech and Dot Complicated.
INFLUENCER & SPOKESPERSON: TechMamas.com media coverage includes Time.com, Forbes.com, PCMag, Parents.com, WorkingMother and more. Beth has represented many top brands as a Spokesperson online and on TV.
SPEAKER: Her speaking opportunities include SXSW, Web 2.0, BlogHer, 500 Startups MamaBear Tech Conference, Draper University and UC Berkeley Extension.
TECH CONSULTANT: Consults with businesses and tech startups on UX design, mobile app testing, growth marketing, social media strategy, marketing automation and online branding. Led social media campaigns by working with brands to reach their marketing goals.
PAST: Senior Manager of Business Process Integrity at Deloitte, Co-Founder of hyper-local national mom blog network called Silicon Valley Moms Group - sold to Technorati.