Launching Moms

by Angel Amy on March 26, 2012

We were thrilled to have two great guests up to our swank Upper West Side studio recently for an engaging session about a new website, Launching Mom, designed to help moms who are also entrepreneurs connect and share resources.

Those two guests were Heather Reinhard (@ThetaMom) and Corine Ingrassia (@ComplicatedMama) who are also bloggers, with the sites Theta Mom and Complicated Mama, respectively.

With so many women-owned businesses starting up (especially online) and looking for a community and resources, Corine and Heather want Launching Mom to be their go-to place. They joined the Blogging Angels to talk about collaborating, grass roots promotion, and balance.

This week’s links

Heather and Corine built their site on the Ning platform, which is easy to maintain, and scalable. Mom Bloggers Club is also built on Ning.

Heather is a brand ambassador for MomAgenda.com.

Trumpeting Media and Splash Creative are examples of partnerships with more than two partners.

Qwips.com started out as a husband-and-wife team, but investors don’t like married couples.

Nancy cites Silicon Valley Moms as a good reason to make sure you have a partnership agreement in place just in case problems arise.

Between the offensive ads and the elephant kerfuffle, GoDaddy.com is a very divisive company in the mom blogging community. Making a rock video out of an elephant hunting trip didn’t help.

Liz Gumbinner made very good points after the Super Bowl as to why David Beckham in his underwear is OK but the GoDaddy.com girls are not.

Kim Moldofsky’s (Mom Impact) presentation at Blissdom (you can see the slideshow here) about what bloggers make was anonymous, but Cecily K’s (Upper Case Woman) post for MomCrunch was not.

Amy gave her Golden Halo to Houzz.com, which is basically home design porn. Many thanks to Jill Asher for telling her about it.

Rebecca gave her Golden Halo to the new weekly podcast on Slate about grammar, Lexicon Valley.

Corine gave hers to all of the bloggers who showed support for Susan Niebur and her family in the time leading up to Susan’s death, and Audrey McClelland while her husband Matt was in the hospital.

Nancy gave hers to a new anonymous blog, Snaps to my Wild Hair, which she thinks is written by her friend Alice, but doesn’t know for sure.

And Heather gave a bonus halo to KidzVuz.com, since co-owners Nancy and Rebecca are the very definition of Launching Moms.

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

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We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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Plagiarism. It happened again, in a high-profile way, in the mom blog space. A well-known blogger, Amalah (and we apologize if we pronounced your blog’s name wrong, repeatedly), detailed in a post how her words were stolen. The woman who stole them seems to be at the center of several dramas, but this is the latest and, we think, it may just be the end of brands wanting to work with her.

This week’s links

“The Plagiarist’s Tale” in The New Yorker.

The plagiarized article in question was published this week on Babble’s Being Pregnant blog.

According to one blogger, Kristin Ruiz had a history of questionable behavior regarding other people’s content.

Cecily K  and Lisa Belkin both use other people’s words in ways that don’t break any ethical rules, and start interesting discussions.

Carol Cain once had her blog posts stolen and passed off as someone else’s.

Jayson Blair is famous for posting articles from places he’d never been to.

Liz Gumbinner published a great post a while back, The Blogger’s Ten Commandments of Don’t Steal Our Shit

Angel Amy wrote about the Chrysler Contest Fail, which coincidentally also involved Kristina Ruiz.

BlogHer is a good example of a site that runs popularity contests the right way – you have to register, and you can vote only once.

Nancy gave a rare (but deserved) self-halo to a picture that her mother-in-law sent her recently.

Amy gave her halo to Stephanie Schwab for her post on Social Media Explorer, The Decline of Blogs (and How PR can help avoid it)

Last, Angel Amy said that Kristin Ruiz had originally published the post in question on her own blog, but it was actually posted on AlphaMom.com. Amy regrets the error, and the other Angels managed to talk her back down from the ledge of Nancy’s apartment.

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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What is a sponsored post really worth?

by Angel Amy on February 14, 2012

Recently Cecily K. posted a very interesting slideshow on Babble’s MomCrunch laying out how much 25 bloggers charge for sponsored posts. She included a formula for how to get to a starting point for how much to charge if you have no idea. The blogger numbers and the formula started a fantastic discussion, both on Twitter and in the post’s comments, and we used the post as a jumping off point for our own discussion on what sponsored posts are worth, when we work for free, when we work for products and trips and access, and when we flat-out think companies are trying to take advantage of us.

This is the closest that a couple of us have gotten to yelling at each other across the table. Money does that.

Whether you agree or disagree with what Cecily posted, it’s a fascinating subject, and I think we could have talked about it for hours – not just the numbers, but whether or not bloggers should be giving up this info publicly. Angel Amy was one of the bloggers who participated in the survey, and she thinks it’s important to get those numbers out there, to help other bloggers in their negotiations. What do you think? Is it just tacky, or is it time to lay it all out there and help each other make more money?

This week’s links

Jessica Gottlieb listed the highest sponsored post rate in the survey, at $1,000.

Kred.ly is a new-ish site that is giving Klout a run for its money in gauging twitter influence.

The post we discussed originated with another post of Cecily’s, Mommy Bloggers for sale: $7!

We’ve all done sponsored posts through the Clever Girls Collective.

Amy, Rebecca, and Julia Beck attended a fabulous, delicious party hosted by Jennifer Perillo. Thanks, Jennifer!

Amy gave her golden halo to an article in Digiday about why publishers are betting on sponsored posts.

Heidi gave a golden halo to all of the mom bloggers who’ve had babies lately, who have been posting fabulous pictures of their adorable little babies, including Jessica Shyba and Jen Rabulan-Bertram.

Nancy gave halos to Family Travel Forum, Traveling Mom, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Omni Hotels for sponsoring and/or running the recent Family Travel Conference.

Rebecca gave a halo to all of the Social Media Women out there who took down the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and to Joanne Bamberger for her excellent new website, The Broad Side.

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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CES Wrap-Up with TechMama

by Angel Amy on January 15, 2012

We are LIVE from Caesar’s Palace!

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L-R: Heidi, Beth, Rebecca, Amy, Nancy

No, really, we recorded this episode in the swankiest hotel suite I’ve ever seen. We all attended a great dinner hosted by Sony and Techlicious at a huge suite at Caesar’s (THREE bathrooms!), and since Angel Heidi works for Techlicious they let us stay in the suite afterwards and record.

We were thrilled that Beth Blecherman could stay with us, since we’ve been trying to get her on the show for a while – not easy since we usually record 3,000 miles away from where she lives.

In a way, Beth is one of the Godmothers of The Blogging Angels, because she was a co-founder of the Silicon Valley Moms, which spun off the NYC Moms, which is how we all met in the first place. She’s also the founder and CTM (Chief Technology Mom) of Techmamas, a fantastic site that, according to its tag line, curates the best of tech and social media for families. It’s a great resource.

So, the five of us discussed the most interesting things we saw at CES, the trends we spotted, and the future of mom bloggers at CES.

And hookers. We can’t come to Vegas and not talk about hookers.

This Week’s Links

The Haier transparent TV has no consumer use that I can think of (it’s probably for store displays), but it’s really, really cool.

The WowWee AppGear airplane, which attaches to an iPhone, is just the tip of the augmented reality iceberg.

 

Heidi’s son has an AppBlaster, which is definitely less weird than Amy’s son shooting at his family’s floating heads on his Nintendo 3Ds.

Amy stopped by the Art Pro Nail Printer and had the Blogging Angels logo printed on her nail.

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The Rose Gold ZENBOOK Ultrabook from Asus is gorgeous, as is the HP Spectre slimbook with Gorilla Glass.

The charity website Whatever It Takes is definitely worth a look.

Amy loves that the Steadicam Smoothee is priced for amateur filmmakers.

The new Smart TV from Lenovo runs on the Android operating system.

Sesame Street Kinect will bring interactive TV to a whole new level.

And last, a shout-out to Grace Duffy – we love you right back!

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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High atop CES with Ben Rudolph

by Angel Amy on January 12, 2012

Blogging Angels and Ben

L-R: Nancy, Rebecca, Heidi, Amy, and Ben; Rebecca & Amy didn’t get the red shirt memo

The Blogging Angels are back in Vegas for another round at the Consumer Electronics Show, and we were thrilled to sit down this afternoon with Ben Rudolph from the Windows Phone division of Microsoft, in the Microsoft Loft high atop the chaos below on the show floor.

Hell, we were just thrilled to sit.

We talked with Ben about Ultrabooks, the new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone and the just-announced Lumia 900, and the $100 challenge that Ben has been running on the show floor. We also talked apps vs. experiences, Microsoft’s future at CES, and our friend Ben had an announcement that nothing to do with phones, CES or Microsoft!

We also gave a roundup of the most interesting things we’ve seen so far at CES, including Disney Appmates, the Casio Digital 3D Printer, GeoPalz, and the Samsung Galaxy Note. Plus much more that we simply don’t have time to write down here because we have to get back to the show floor!

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The new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone

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The just-announced Nokia Lumia 900

Galaxy Note Charicature

Amy had her caricature drawn by an artist on the Samsung Galaxy Note

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Thanks for joining us Ben!

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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Our Best and Worst of 2011

by Angel Amy on December 30, 2011

Looking back on 2011 a lot happened. So much it’s hard to believe that it all happened in just one year! But it did, and we’re giving you an entire Halos and Horns episode – what we loved and hated last year working with brands and navigating the mom blogging universe.

And yes, the Blogging Angels’ furry mascot, Bentley, was quite vocal during the first part of this episode. We think he’s upset that he doesn’t have his own mic.

This week’s links

Rebecca attended the Mom Congress conference in Washington D.C. as the representative from New York State.

Nancy loved an Intel event at held Olives (we all love Intel – even Amy is happy to get off of her couch for them).

Heidi loved the Skylanders launch event, which included pjs for the kids!

Ford gave bloggers time with Bill Ford Jr., which Heidi thought was special.

Jen Wagner’s event for Popcap Games, at EN Japanese Brasserie, was a favorite for Rebecca.

Corrine Ingrassia got a shout-out from Nancy for the KidzVuz event at BlogHer.

Gay NYC Dad got a shoutout from Rebecca for…coupons? :-)

Nicole Feliciano is an example of a blogger whose kids are no longer in diapers who still writes about baby products, as opposed to us Angels. Target your pitches well!

Ford, Playstation and Microsoft got special mentions from Heidi.

Jennifer Perillo is a good example of how the “online” and “in real life” friendships have blurred this year, and we think that’s a move in the right direction.

We hope you had a great year! You’ll be hearing from us next from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where we’ll be talking about the hottest, weirdest, and most interesting new tech products that may be coming to stores and websites near you.

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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Traveling Mom Kim Orlando

by Angel Amy on December 20, 2011

If you have a blog you know how difficult it can be to coordinate everything – what will run when, which events you’ll go to, and how you’ll get everything done in a way that looks polished and together. Multiply that by dozens of writers, and you’ve got a site like TravelingMom.com.

Traveling Mom founder Kim Orlando sat down with us to talk about managing a large website, weekly twitter parties (Mondays at 9pm., #TMOM), twitter vs. Facebook, why travel writing is the best job she can imagine for herself, and much more.

This week’s links

Kim uses Hashtracking.com to gauge the effectiveness of her twitter parties. Heidi also mentioned TweetReach.

You never know who will find your URL if you get it out there on a t-shirt, like perhaps a VP from Spa Finder.

Amy’s been losing weight on Slim-Fast, despite baking more than ever (because she enjoys torturing herself).

Kim gave two golden Halos. The first went to SouthWest Airlines and Windows for their free airport holiday photos. The second went to City Buzz, for including Traveling Mom in their segment that runs continuously on hotel room TVs.

Heidi gave a Halo to Angel Amy for organizing a campaign with One.org called 12 Days of Change. She also gave a halo to Penelope Trunk’s post on TechCrunch titled “Stop telling women to do startups.”

Amy gave her Halo to Gail Dosik, of One Tough Cookie, who has a fantastic site about cookies and cakes and who makes the most beautiful edible creations. And is just a nice, generous person to boot.

Rebecca gave hers to GothamGal Joanne Wilson for her post about why she supports women-owned start-ups.

Nancy gave a Horn to an article in Slate, titled “Don’t support your local book seller.” She also gave a Halo to Jeff Bullas, for his post “20 Stunning Social Media Statistics.”

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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It’s been a while since we last put up a podcast, but we hope it’ll be worth the wait.  Because today we are putting up a conversation with Jeff Steir, the founder and creator of Qwips.com, a new Social Voice Platform.

What’s a social voice platform?  Glad you asked.

With Qwips, you can add up to 30 seconds of audio to a Facebook photo, a tweet,  a blog post – even a comment. (Amy wants to just say “Duh-oy!” and thinks it will be much easier with her voice than trying to spell it. Just look at how I spelled it. She’s right.) Turns out, there are audio emoticons on Qwips already. (We suggested the teenager exasperated snort).  Jeff tells us that our social media conversations are really stories.  And how do we tell stories?  With our voices.

Qwips is social media for your voice.

Of course we Blogging Angels believe in the power of talk…it’s what we do! So we love the idea of Qwips, and we think you will too.

Here are this week’s links:

There’s Qwips.com, available on itunes and online.

Jeff told us that 6 billion photos are posted to Facebook each month. Yikes.

Amy tells us that she thinks the best thing about Qwips will be the ability to convey sarcasm.  She’s been lobbying for a font called Sarcastica.  But I bet she didn’t know there is an official Sarcastic Font: Sartalics. Seriously. Really. I’m not being sarcastic.

Rebecca talks about the memory site Proust.com, which Nancy was all impressed with because she thought it was going to be a hoity-toity literary reference and have something to do with Madeleines. Ah well.  At least she knew what the reference might have been.

This week’s Halos and Horns went to:

Nancy gave Horns to paper.li for the endless onslaught of faux newsletters in her Twitter Stream.  Rebecca defended the paper.li folks, saying it was just misused, but not all bad. Whatevs.

Too bad Nancy didn’t yet know about Proxlet.  Amy gave a big halo and little horns to them.  Proxlet helps you keep your twitter stream free of whatever it is you don’t want to see.  Whether it be Tweets from a particular person, with a particular hashtag or from (for Amy) Triberr or (for Nancy – well, see above). The little horn they got was for also blocking DMs.  Bummer.

Rebecca gave her Halo to an article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine about how Facebook is trying to change COPPA laws (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and get children under 13 on its site. Hmmm.

Our guest Jeff Steir gave his halo to Pepsi, for having the effervescence to sponsor the social/TV component of The X Factor, and taking the lead in the putting the big bucks into the social space.

Heidi, sadly, had NY/NJ Transit issues and didn’t make it on the podcast that day…so you can guess who gets her horns!

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

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Twitter Party: Redbook Magazine’s No Judgement Day

by Angel Nancy on November 28, 2011

Remember before you were a parent?  You’d see some mother in an airport giving her kid a lollipop at 8:00am, and think “I would never give my toddler a lollipop for breakfast!” Or you’d hear some kid whining at the supermarket about how he just had to have the junkiest junk food in junkfood history, and think, as the mother threw said junk food into the cart in exasperation, “I’d never give in to a whiny kid like that!”

And then you had a kid.

And then, as you pacified your kid on that plane ride with a mouthful of candy, and served up your  second meal of pre-packaged who-knows-what in a week, you stopped being so judgey.  Right? Right? Well, mostly right.  We all still judge sometimes.

Well Redbook Magazine knows all about it.  And that’s what they’ve decided that November 30th is No Judgement Day. For every mother who is doing the best she can (and yes, that’s all of us), they’re starting a movement to banish all mom-on-mom criticism and get women to start supporting each other.

You can join the conversation by tweeting @RedbookMag  and @bloggingangels your #dontjudgemebecause moment.

For me, it’s #dontjudgemebecause I dread soccer games more than visits to the dentist.

Then, you can join The Blogging Angels and Redbook for a Twitter Party this Wednesday, November 30th at 1pm eastern, to share what makes you feel judged, what you’re not going to be ashamed of any longer (parenting wise, that is), and feel the love of other non-judgey moms in cyberspace.  You can even add the No Judgement Twibbon (like a ribbon for your Twitter Avatar) showing your own non-judgey support of the cause!

And there will be a Facebook Giveaway from Redbook!

See you at the Twitter Party Wednesday at 1pm est/10 pst — use hashtag #DontJudgeMeBecause

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Eating and grieving with Jennifer Perillo

by Angel Amy on October 8, 2011

The Blogging Angels have been trying for a while to coordinate schedules with Jennifer Perillo, a very in-demand food writer and blogger, and the stars finally aligned. Unfortunately, they aligned less than two months after Jennifer lost her husband, Michael Perillo, very suddenly.

Jennifer’s posts about food have always been very personal. She never just puts up a recipe. There’s always a story that goes along with it, often related to family, especially her daughters or her beloved Mikey. Her blog has taken an even more personal turn lately: food writing has taken a little bit of a back seat as she writes about her late husband and her new normal in a way that is both raw and beautiful. But she’s been getting back into writing about food slowly, and her posts have been more eloquent than ever.

We sat down with Jennifer over some banana bread that Nancy made for us. Please join us as we talk about writing, grieving, friendship, and – of course – food.

This week’s links:

Amy uses Duncan Hines Premium Brownie Mix to make her brownies, and Jennifer loves them. There, the dirty secret is out.

Jennifer’s banana bread recipe sounds absolutely scrumptious!

Jennifer’s favorite butter is Kerrygold, but recommends Land O Lakes for us regular people who don’t have access.

Want to churn your own butter? Both Lefferts Historic House and Queens County Farm will let you.

Jennifer wouldn’t have met Gluten Free Girl, the White on Rice Couple, or Bowl Licker if not for the food blogging community.

Jennie’s “A Pie for Mikey” tribute to her late husband went viral, and thousands of people made this pie shortly after her husband’s death.

Life is short. Use the damn butter.

Nancy gave her Golden Halo to The Duchess of Fork, who posted a recipe from Jenny of Picky Palate for Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. And no, you can’t substitute Trader Joe’s Jo-Jos or Newman-O’s. They have to be Oreos, because Oreos are the best.

Amy gave her halo to Danielle Wiley and her post on Babble’s MomCrunch about how to figure out rates for sponsored posts.

Jennifer gave her Golden Halo to Erica from Ivory Hut, Maggie from Three Many Cooks and Aimee from Simple Bites and under the high chair, who started Bloggers without Borders. Their first campaign was a college fund for Jennifer’s daughters.

And Rebecca gave her halo to Savvy Blogging for a post about high level planning and low level planning for your blog.

You can listen to the podcast below, or subscribe on iTunes. Don’t forget to give us a great rating!

To download this episode to your computer directly: right click here, then click “save link as”

We’d love for you to weigh in! Leave a comment, we’ll talk back.

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