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iVillage Launches New Celebrity-Centered Blog Where the Celebrities are the Bloggers

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Social Media has opened up a whole new world for celebrities and the ability to connect with their fans. From their tweets on Twitter to their status updates on Facebook, they can personally reach out to their fans. Social media makes celebrities more real, more relateable and a lot of celebs are completely on board with that.

Another way for celebrities to connect with their fans is through blogging. They can let us know first-hand what’s happening in their work-life and home-life.

iVillage is using their large reader base of women and launching a new celebrity-centered blog, where the celebrities are the bloggers. They understand how much their readers love to hear about the personal lives of celebrities and want to share in their life experiences.

Angela Matusik, iVillage‘s Chief Content Executive, told The Hollywood Reporter “We know that our readers love hearing from celebrities about what they’re going through in their real life, especially when it comes to parenting and being a mom”.

Kicking off their new blog, called CelebVillage, is Denise Richards. Her very first article is about life with newly adopted daughter Eloise, as well as older daughters Sam and Lola. Denise will write for the blog once a week for the month of October. Singer Alanis Morissette will take over in November, followed by Dancing with the Stars contestant Ricki Lake in December.

Who would you like to see jump on board with CelebVillage and write about their personal lives?

The World Loses Steve Jobs: What Happens Now?

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Steve Jobs passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, on October 5, 2011. Although no official cause of death has been reported, Jobs had suffered from pancreatic cancer in the past and underwent a liver transplant in 2009. He stepped down from his role as Apple’s CEO in August due to his health problems, and when the news of his death hit the Internet, Apple posted a picture of him on their homepage (see above) alone with this simple message:

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

Jobs leaves behind his wife Laurene, the person he called the love of his life, along with four children.

But you know all this already.

I found out about Jobs’ death on Twitter, and for at least ten minutes, I don’t think I saw a single tweet that was about any other topic. His death took over the trending topics and, I’m guessing, is the reason why the fail whale came out to play for the first time in a long time. I saw messages of mourning from every corner of the world. One of my favorites (and I apologize that I can no longer find who originally tweeting this was “Stevie you’ll always be the apple of our i” and another, which I thought was beautifully perfect simply said “iSad.”

You don’t need another blog post to tell you that we’ve lost one of the greatest minds in the world, whether you are an Apple fan or not. Despite that fact, you’re here reading this, so I would like to pose a question to you instead: What happens now?

The world goes on. Despite the death of someone so world-changing, the earth won’t stop rotating. Even in our tech microcosm, life will continue. What happens now is that great people will go on to build upon the foundations that Jobs has given us to create things that even he couldn’t have imagined. Hundreds of years from now, new technology will be possible because of what Jobs did in his lifetime. What happens now is that we all are challenged to fill the gap, that hole created in the world when he passed away.

No one can replace the incredible Steve Jobs, but if we all try just a little bit harder to be amazing at what we’re doing in life, whether that’s blogging or social media or community management or raising llamas or driving race cars or something else…if we all try just a little bit harder, I think we’ll honor his memory well.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with a video of Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Speech to the students at Stanford. He was standing before that class to deliver his speech, but I feel as though maybe he was actually speaking to all of us.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc[/youtube]

Another TechCrunch Writer Leaves, But on Good Terms

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TechCrunch writer MG Siegler announced early yesterday morning he’s leaving the tech blog as a full time writer. The timing may seem odd given the latest TechCrunch drama, but Siegler insists this latest move has been a long time in the making.

In a blog post titled “On the Next Venture”, Siegler says that yes, he is becoming a VC.

Enough with burying the lede: yes, I’m becoming a VC. I couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m joining CrunchFund as a general partner. It’s my honor to join Mike and Pat in that role. And I thank them for the opportunity.

Erick Schonfeld also announced Siegler’s leaving on the TechCrunch blog. He says that although Sielger is leaving TechCrunch as a full time writer, he will still write for them as an outside columnist, but on one very specific topic: Apple.

“While MG will only be working full time as a writer at TechCrunch for another month, I am pleased to announce that he will continue to write for us after that on a regular basis as an outside columnist. The scope of what he will write about will be very narrow: Apple. He won’t write about startups or venture capital. And just like he has always done, he will continue to follow our editorial standards, which require strict disclosures for any kind of conflict whatsoever—financial, business, or personal.”

Of course the web is covering this story with headlines such as “The Tech Blogger Bubble is Here” and “Tech blog writers hit the big time“. Some are skeptical about the announcement, while others are focusing on why hiring tech bloggers seems to be a popular thing to do right now.

What does Siegler have to say about this “tech bubble” and crazy valuations?

For all the talk of “bubbles” and crazy valuations, I think most overlook something very fundamental: technology continues to permeate all of our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine just yesterday. This will only continue to increase over time. Technology startups are at the forefront of this. What we’ve seen up until now is just a taste of what is to come.

We wish MG Siegler (read this if you are dying to know what MG stands for; not that it will answer the question for you) the best of luck in his new venture.

So tell us – what are your thoughts on all of the happenings within TechCrunch and the technology blogging realm as a whole?

Image: Twitter

Dads Are Parents, Too

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Session: How Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes
Speaker: Bruce Sallan

This may come as a shock to many in Hollywood and MSM (Main Stream Media), but dads are parents, too. What happened to the honorable, if somewhat staid dad that used to be a staple of Hollywood? Spencer Tracey in Father of the Bride? Or, Robert Young in Father Knows Best?

THAT dad is now Homer Simpson, The Family Guy, Al Bundy, and in movies the dad that can’t figure out how to put a diaper on so he gets pee in the schnozzer! Funny. Not funny when it’s a mom. They would get major protests if they portrayed moms anything like they portray dads. Boycotts, Newsweek/Time covers, Ellen, The View, even Dr. Phil (who I don’t really think is a man…shhhhhh).

The above Comic Strip is a creation of Aaron and Bruce Sallan

I am (@BruceSallan) moderating a panel at BlogWorld LA called, How Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes with Jim Lin of Busy Dad Blog (@busydadblog), Ron Mattocks (@CK_Lunchbox) and Kevin Metzger (@theDadvocate).

We will ask how dads became the butt of jokes, what we are doing to correct that stereotype, and how ALL parents can be honored and celebrated for doing what is probably the most important job we can do.

Hear what Bruce has to say about his session and why you should come to BlogWorld LA:

See what other speakers are saying about BlogWorld LA.

Join Bruce and his community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6pm -7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts. Bruce Sallan, author of “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation” and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View” gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming THE Dad advocate. He carries his mission with not only his book and radio show, but also his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter.

Type-A Parent Track Coming to BlogWorld LA!

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This year, the Type-A Parent Conference is partnering with BlogWorld & New Media Expo to offer a BlogWorld parent blogger track. The track will be two full days of the conference, Friday and Saturday, and jam-packed with learning and take-aways for moms and dads who blog, as well as business who want to connect with and understand the space. If you’d like to see which parents have already registered for BlogWorld, be sure to see my Parents at #BWELA list on Twitter.

The Type-A track lineup is:

  • Just a Mom” is No Excuse – Professionalism and Productivity Count with Heather Solos (@heathersolos) and Angela England (@angengland) – After hearing more than one blogger make the excuse “Oh well, I’m just a mom,” they realized that motherhood is no excuse for lack of professionalism. Nor is it a hindrance to productivity! They will discuss how to maintain a professional demeanor, without sacrificing the reason many of us choose to stay home – our families! Together we’ll also share tips and tricks for maximizing productivity and help bloggers focus their to-do lists to the most important and effective items.
  • How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes with Bruce Sallan (@brucesallan) moderating with Jim Lin of Busy Dad Blog (@busydadblog), Ron Mattocks (@CK_Lunchbox) and Kevin Metzger (@theDadvocate) – Dads often get a bad rap in the media, but dad blogging provides an opportunity to dispel some myths and demonstrate that the modern dad is, in fact, a competent and involved parent.
  • Creating a Media Kit with Francesca Banducci (@SITSgirls) and Allison Talamantez (@swaygroup and @aztalamantez) – This presentation will cover what a media kit is and why you need one as a blogger, the most common elements of a media kit, examples of media kits to get you started and the five essential elements that all media kits need. Attendees will also get a handout to fill out throughout the presentation, which will serve as a template for them to create their own media kit.
  • Monetizing Your Parent Blog with Adam Keats (@akeats), Sheila Dowd (@xiaolinmama and @clevergirlscoll), Sarah Pinnix (@reallifesarah) and Leah Segedie (@bookieboo) – Yes, parent blogs can generate cash. This panel will offer tips, examples of successes and warnings of pitfalls when it comes to earning real money through your parent blog.
  • Exposed! When Blogging Gets Too Personal with Cecily Kellogg (@cecilyk), Anissa Mayhew (@anissamayhew), Michele Chestnut (@chelechestnut) and Erin Kotecki Vest (@queenofspain) – Parent blogs often include sharing details of our personal lives, but what happens when life gets a little too exposed? Four bloggers who have dealt with everything from health issues and trolls to personal and political debates will share tips and takeaways on how to cope, how to set boundaries, and how to deal when blogging gets too close for comfort.
  • Avoiding Parent Blog Design Mistakes with Melanie Nelson (@chilihead) and Brittany Vanderlinden (@mommywords) – Find out about the most common parent blog design mistakes, with an explanation of why they are mistakes that turn off visitors as well as concrete steps to fix those issues on your own blog. The audience will walk away with clear steps to make their blogs more visually attractive and user friendly.
  • Podcasting for Parent Bloggers with Maria Bailey (@momtalkradio) and Tamara Walker (@momrn) – Two long-time and established podcasters will share tips on getting started with podcasting, where to broadcast, developing a podcast theme and regular guests and topics, and building an audience.
  • Reaching the Digital Family: Marketing Strategies with Mom and Dad Influencers with Amy Lupold Bair (@resourcefulmom), Adam Cohen (@dadarocks), Janice Croze (@5minutesformom) and Josh Becker (@dadstreet) – There’s no question that brands and agencies are looking to reach not only the online mom, but the entire digital family. What are the best strategies to connect with this growing market, and how do mom and dad bloggers approach their unique audiences differently when representing companies?
  • Maintaining Privacy While Living Publicly with Jessica Gottlieb (@jessicagottlieb) – This is a very hands on session where bloggers can learn a lot of tips for how to keep their life private while still maintaining intimacy with their audience. It will cover registering your site, deciding to use your name, privacy via social networks like Facebook and Twitter, safety with location-based services, turning private moments into universal stories and public information found online.
  • Breaking Into Parent Vlogging with Jenny Ingram (@jennyonthespot) and Clay Nichols (@daddyclay) – If you’ve ever thought about delving into vlogging, but were intimidated by it or just didn’t know how to start, two seasoned parent vloggers will offer this basic session to get started.
  • (Track Keynote) Parent Bloggers Mean Business: Building Success, Respect, Confidence and Income with Kelby Carr (@typeamom) – Yes, parent bloggers can and should take themselves seriously. After all, if you don’t, who will? This session will cover the importance of putting on your game face as a parent blogger, and earning the respect and finding the confidence to break into success. Attendees will learn how to position themselves and their blog as a business, get tips on dealing with naysayers and the stereotypes that frequently hold bloggers with “mom” and “dad” in their name back, and find out how to leverage their blog’s success to branch out into other endeavors, and ultimately make a real and livable income.

RESERVE YOUR PASS! If you haven’t reserved your pass or hotel rooms yet, you’ll want to register now! BlogWorld official partner hotels are offering Discounted Rates (from $120/nt), Free Wi-Fi for attendees, and and all have just undergone multi-million-dollar renovations–so you’ll be in a fresh, vibrant and comfy new room during your BlogWorld stay! And…we’ve lined up Free Shuttles for you too! Check out your hotel options.

School District Proposes Social Media Policy for Teachers

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After the English Teacher at a Philadelphia high school was suspended for things she said about her students on her blog, it made schools take a closer look at their policies and propose a social media policy.

The teacher has since won her court case and is allowed to teach again, but the whole situation definitely taught the schools that they need a more detailed policy for teachers to follow.

Tuesday night, the Central Bucks school board in Pennsylvania proposed a new social media policy.

It bans teachers from posting anything online that is “disruptive to the educational process”, as well as “provocative” statements or photographs. It also prohibits “online activities that would jeopardize the professional nature of the staff-student relationship.”

Some other interesting ideas proposed were not allowing teachers to call or text students, or emailing them from a personal account.

Over the next few weeks and months, the school board will ask for input from teachers, students and parents before anything is passed.

What are your thoughts on this new detailed policy? Does your child’s school have one that you know of?

Social Health Track Coming to BlogWorld LA

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Through the use of social media and digital technologies, patients, physicians, nurses and caregivers are obtaining information, sharing data and connecting with other like-minded individuals to help them make informed decisions that impact health outcomes.

At the 2011 Social Health Track at the BlogWorld & New Media Conference in Los Angeles, organizers will bring together e-patient advocates, healthcare professionals, caregivers, healthcare providers and manufacturers to share insights, best practices and to discuss how digital approaches and social networking can be better used by patients and professionals to improve healthcare.

Sessions in this focused track are for people who are interested in how the social web can be used to positively impact society, from members of the social health community (e-patients, e-doctors, online nurses and members of industry, etc.) to those interested in the effective application of digital and online technologies for change.

Sponsored by:


Scheduled panels include:

  • Shoot From The HIPAA
    Speakers: Terri Polick, Jamie Davis, Kim McAllister
  • Whiteboard Session
    Moderator: Marc Manseau
  • Can Social Media Improve How Healthcare is Managed?
    Speaker: Scott Monty
  • Credibility in the Healthcare Space
    Speaker: Shwen Gwee
  • Establishing Guidelines for Companies to Operate Successfully Online
  • Physicians Engaging Online in Social Health
    Speakers: Zoe Dunn, Dr. Bryan Vertabidian, Dr. Jen Dyer
  • What Companies Can Do to Support Patients’ Needs
  • The Use of Digital Applications and Tools to Change Behaviors to Improve Health
    Speakers: John De Souza, BJ Fogg

RESERVE YOUR PASS! If you haven’t reserved your pass or hotel rooms yet, you’ll want to register now! BlogWorld official partner hotels are offering Discounted Rates (from $120/nt), Free Wi-Fi for attendees, and and all have just undergone multi-million-dollar renovations–so you’ll be in a fresh, vibrant and comfy new room during your BlogWorld stay! And…we’ve lined up Free Shuttles for you too! Check out your hotel options.

Military Track Coming to BlogWorld LA

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… by C. Blake Powers

Yes Virginia, There Is A Military Track At BlogWorld

Wait! What? Why?

Well, there is a military track for a number of reasons, and this year’s track is very different. Members of the military, and military families, were early adopters of new and social media. It was a means of keeping in touch, and sharing important information within the community. It rapidly became an important means of sharing topical and accurate information about the military, strategy, tactics, and more with the military-interested public.

Sites such as the Mudville Gazette, the Thunder Run, and Blackfive quickly became the go-to sites for the public and the media looking to get timely information on what was going on. These sites and others also became a place where people could ask questions, debate topics, and — even more importantly — get reliable information and help on care, benefits, and other issues that affect the wounded and those returning.

As social media came of age, the sites and the people behind them moved into that arena as well. Some of the discussions and debates have moved to realtime or near-realtime in that environment, and information can be shared much faster as a result. The net result is also that members of the military, as opposed to the military itself, are adapting and adopting quickly to the changes, and want to get ahead of the curve as much as they can.

So, last year we asked those attending what they would like to see on this year’s track. We listened, and have a stellar line up that should be of interest to all attending Blog World.

Our first panel on Thursday is at 1:30 pm (1330 hours) and features documentary film maker and communications consultant JD Johannes talking on “Quit F’ing Guessing: Using Math and Behavioral Economics to Win the Battle of Ideas” He will be sharing tried and proven means of measuring and maximizing the impact of your blog.

Our second panel starts at 2:45 pm (1445 hours) and features Jim Brown of Slingshot SEO, talking on “SEO for Specialty Content” He will be exploring how SEO and content marketing are not just for large blogs, but especially important for those dealing with specialized content.

The final panel starts at 3:45 (1545 hours) and deals with the very serious topic of “Blogging Through Loss.” Rachel Porto, a military widow, and Mandy Myers, who’s lineman husband was killed on the job, will talk about the ups and downs of dealing with the loss of a loved one while sharing life and loss in new and social media.

We hope that you will join us for these very special and interesting panels. The topics are of importance to the online military community, but are equally interesting and important to almost anyone in new and social media. Come join us, learn a bit about us, and — most importantly — learn about important topics from experts in the field.

Mom Blogger Infographics

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Infographics are fascinating. The visual representation of data will put something into perspective if done well. I decided to search for infographics related to mom bloggers. Here are 5 mom blogger infographics I found.

The Business of Mommy Bloggers

This infographic created by Overstock.com is from 2010 and depicts many of the facts about mommy bloggers.

Risks & Rewards of Being a Mom Blogger

Jennifer James created a few infographics to clear of some of the misconceptions along with the risks and rewards of being a mom blogger. Click on the infographic to see all 3 infographics.

Marketing to Moms

This infographic shows the best ways for brands to influence moms. Brands need to be where the moms are if they want to get noticed.

What a Mom is Worth!

This one isn’t just about mom bloggers, but all moms. This sure puts into perspective the amount of time that it takes to be a mom. We haven’t even added in the time to blog yet.

Via: DegreeSearch.org

ROI of Mom

Ever wonder whether it’s worth keeping mom around? This infographic shows you the ROI of Your Mom.

Have you seen any mom blogger infographics?

ConAgra’s Blogger Campaign Backfires, Bloggers Not Happy

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Have you seen the Pizza Hut hidden camera commercials where it shows the surprise on people’s faces when they are told the pasta they are eating is from Pizza Hut and not some fancy Italian restaurant?

Well, it seemed to work okay for Pizza Hut, but ConAgra tried something very similar with a group of food and mom bloggers in NYC and it didn’t go as planned. In fact, the bloggers aren’t one bit happy about the event.

To make a long story short, several bloggers received this email from the PR company Ketchum who were handling the ConAgra blogger campaign:

We would like to invite you to an exclusive underground restaurant, Sotto Terra, with George Duran and Phil Lempert in New York City – only open from August 23-27, 2011. Please see the attached invitation for details – we hope you join us!

Most of the bloggers knew there would be a catch of some sort, but what they didn’t realize is that the four course meal they were promised was actually the Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna by Marie Callender’s, a frozen line from ConAgra. Hidden cameras were placed around the dinner, meant to capture reactions from the bloggers eating the lasagna, as well as the Razzleberry Pie, also from Marie Callender’s.

Stephanie Moritz, senior director of public relations and social media at ConAgra, told The New York Times the plan was to use these hidden camera reactions as promotional videos for YouTube and their website.

Here are a couple of reactions from the bloggers who attended the event:

From MomConfessionals: “Our entire meal was a SHAM! We were unwilling participants in a bait-and-switch for Marie Callender’s new frozen three cheese lasagna and there were cameras watching our reactions.  I’ve got a sense of humor so I was okay with it and I had been enjoying myself up until that point, but I could tell that the rest of the participants were not.  Everyone feigned weak shock and faked approval of the frozen meal.  My guests were eager to leave all of a sudden and refused to sign the release.  I felt awful!” – read the entire post here.

From Chubby Chinese Girl: “THE CATCH FOR ALL THIS!? Well apparently, our main course and dessert, the lasagna and pie came from “Marie Callender’s” FROZEN BOXED MEALS. All George did was a la Semi-homemade style of stacking the lasagna and sprinkling fresh herb, then putting the pie in individual cups and topping it with vanilla ice cream. At least that explains why it wasn’t the amazing dinner I was expecting. I had a good laugh about it. Took a while to sink in, the whole night seemed like such a long and elaborate set up. I was a bit annoyed and truly disappointed/shocked, that George would be part of this at all. Specially the misleading way he talked about “his” favorite way to make lasagna, the ingredients, sharing with family and friends bla bla bla. Oh, and were were all being filmed! (J and I walked out without signing any waver. So I better not see us in any promo video). George said goodbye to us and hoped we weren’t “upset” about this whole thing.” – Read the rest of the post here.

Moritz told the NYT, “It was never our intention to put any bloggers or their guests in an uncomfortable position and for that we are sorry”.

She also said they offered to refund the bloggers for any expenses such as cab fare and babysitting fees. You can read the rest of this very interesting story here.

Do you think ConAgra and the PR agency crossed a line they shouldn’t have or are the bloggers over-reacting? We would love to hear your thoughts on this story.

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