Posts In Progress
Jan 17 2011

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. I have a few mulling around in my head and a guest post waiting to be published that I haven’t had time to review. In case you are interested, here are the potential titles of those posts: “Signal to Noise – What Really Is Noise?” and “Everything In Moderation – What Really Is Moderation?” and “Helping Young Moms Go To School” and “Something About Entrepreneurship (well, that’s not really the title but I guess it could be!).”

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10 Questions to Answer as You Work to Build Your Blog Brand
Nov 17 2010

This post is a stop along Tanya Peterson’s Blog Tour 2010.  Tanya is the blogger behind Blogelina, where she writes about blogging your way to success.  Be sure to check out all the other stops along the tour and enter to win $100 to use in improving your own blog!

10 Questions to Answer as You Work to Build Your Blog Brand

As you seek to make your blog known, there are several important questions to consider and answer:

What is the end purpose you want to accomplish?

First and foremost, when considering how to build your blog name and brand, you need to answer the why question.  Why are you blogging?  Having a clear idea – for yourself – of what you are seeking to achieve through all your hard work will focus your branding efforts and make your work more effective.  Define your vision and all the other questions below will fall in line to make your branding efforts a success.

What are your goals to get to that purpose?

Now that you know more specifically what your vision is for you blog, decide on two or three goals for your blog.  Make them as specific as possible.  Where do you see your blog being in 5 years?  Dream big.  Is there a blog that you admire and want to emulate?  Decide what goals would help you do just that.

What steps will you take to reach those goals?

Now that you have a couple of overarching goals, what steps are you going to take to reach those goals?  Determine what you want to accomplish on your blog this year, this month, this week, and so on.  Write down your goals. Revisit them often and revise them as needed.

Who is your target audience?

Now it’s time to do a little research and determine who exactly it is that you want to reach with your blog.  Who are you seeking to benefit?  Try to be as specific as possible.  Instead of just wanting to reach moms, decide to reach stay-at-home moms who blog.  The more focused and specific that your niche is, the more success you will have in marketing to your reader.

Who are your competitors?

Do a little more research to answer this question.  Look at the other blogs reaching your target market.  What are they doing that works?  What doesn’t seem to be working?  If the occasion arises, ask the bloggers in your niche about their success.  How did they get to be where they are?

What do you have to offer above and beyond your competition?

Again, take a look at the other blogs in your niche.  What are some things that you can offer to your readers that isn’t already being offered?  What about your blog will make readers visit it instead of the hundreds of others out there?  Be sure to determine the answer to this question – and then use it in your advertising.  Let people know why your blog is different… and why they’ll love it!

When people think of you, what do you want them to think of?

When someone remembers your blog, what do you want to come to mind?  Do you want them to think of how informative it was, how fun it was to read, how beautiful your design is, etc.?  Pick one or two specific things to focus on and put your efforts into standing out in those ways.

How will you market your brand?

Will you use a recognizable image?  Do you want people to know your face?  What will be your elevator pitch?

Where will you market your brand?

You can have the best blog that features the most helpful content out there – but if you can’t get it in front of the people who want to read it, it’s going nowhere.  Think about your target audience.  Where are they hanging out?  Where can you get in touch with them?  Do some research and brainstorming to find out – and then get there and start talking about your blog.

Have you considered doing a Blog Tour?

Guest posting is a great way to get the word out about your blog – and to build your brand!  If you’re interested in going on your own guest posting tour around the blogosphere, you can find more information at my Blog Tour homepage.

Taking the time to answer each of these questions clearly in your own mind will focus your efforts in marketing your blog.  More focus will then result in more success.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, networking | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

About Writing
Sep 24 2009

I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’m not writing as frequently as I have in the past on my blog.  This is due to a variety of things being led by lack of time and inspiration as well as logistics.  I have also been doing some personal hand written journaling so some of my writing needs have been met through that avenue.  The thing about writing, at least for me, is that I often have to have a spark of inspiration to start something and then it usually flows.

When I started this blog over 2 years ago now, I felt like I was forced to write because I started it as a tool to promote and build awareness of my business, Babble Soft.  So I dutifully wrote.  Somewhere along the way, the duty wore off and I started to enjoy it.  The comments helped but even when the comments weren’t numerous, I knew hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people were reading (thanks to feedburner, google analytics, and wordpress stats tools), and I was getting something out of it too.

It has became a vehicle for me to sort through and share insights in business, parenting, and life in a somewhat thoughtful, crafted, connect the dots sort of way.  For some of my posts I take all the swirling raw thoughts and attempt to distill them down into something usually coherent and sometimes imbibed with meaning that only myself or those close to me can sometimes fully understand.  Yet hopefully most people take something away that helps them in business or life…or if not maybe it’s sometimes entertaining?

Since I’ve started blogging, I have come to better appreciate the nuances of writers whose works we analyzed in depth in high school or college English classes.  As much as we try to infer from their writing what they were experiencing or trying to convey, we will miss much of it.  We probably made up stuff that actually never crossed the writer’s mind at all and did not pay attention to certain words and phrases that were full of meaning to the writer herself, but to other than maybe a few people who shared her space in time would be summarily dismissed.  As a woman writer, I’m particularly aware of how women writer’s even 50+ years ago had to make sure their writing not only lived up to their image as the fairer, weaker, well mannered, and sublime sex but also didn’t offend those who could not fathom the depth of a woman’s knowledge, insight, and passion.

As a South Asian, naturalized American, woman writer writing on the topic of entrepreneurship, leadership, management, (the aforementioned still typically a man’s world) and parenting, whose family sometimes reads her blog, I choose my words as carefully as I can.  Outside the blog, the words sometimes come out a lot messier, less filtered, and a bit more humorous for some reason.  The constraints and richness those life experiences and labels give me have added greatly to what moderate success I have achieved as well as sometimes to my self imposed dramatic misery.  :-)

I have made two attempts to write a larger body of work to publish.  One was a fiction novel I started back in 2001 after leaving my first company about a devastatingly handsome, blue-eyed, Jewish male CEO, an Asian female CEO, their relationship, and their different experiences starting technology companies.  I created an outline, table of contents, and generated probably about 16 pages and then soon after got pregnant.  My first readers (my sister and cousin) seemed to like it, but because life with kids started I left it sitting idly in my computer. Fortunately I printed it out because in one of our upgrades, the soft copy disappeared.  I’ve since scanned it back in and one day hope to do something with it.

The second attempt was to write a book on the meaning of life which I discovered most people were uncomfortable talking about so I morphed it to the meaning of success.  I got many more people to speak with me but couldn’t really find the right way to pull it together or an interested publisher, so I morphed that project into the university alumni magazine articles on the Success Profiles page of this blog.  The great thing was that I actually got paid for those articles!

I sometimes get frustrated at not having the time or energy to finish that fiction novel, but I keep recalling something that one of the wives of the people I interviewed for the Meaning of Success book said.  She was a writer and interestingly she wrote about being a vegetarian and hating people who eat meat I think, but she said ‘let the writing marinate in the juices of your life.’   Which thinking about that statement right now is ironic considering you probably marinate meat more than you marinate vegetables.  But anyway, she said writing can’t be rushed and it will happen when the time is right.  Whenever I say this on my email club of college friends, my screen writer by night and document proofer friend by day, Robb Lanum, who lives in Los Angeles, gives me a hard time and tells me what he pictures when I say that.  A description of his vision is not suitable for this blog but it has something to do with the word ‘juices,’ and he’s a guy so you can probably infer the rest!

On an unrelated note, Robb finally finished a script based on a challenge I gave him two years ago to write a main stream script.  He completed it a few weeks ago and I, The Annoying Challenger, still have not had the time to read it and others on our email club have already read it.  It pains me actually.

So I keep wondering when all this marinating will be done and when the juices of life will be more manageable so I can write a book that might get published some day…

Oh and by the way, stay tuned for some interesting news about Babble Soft in the next few weeks! 8-)

Author: | Filed under: blogging | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Babbling About Business and Parenthood
Jan 3 2009

I’ve changed the tag line on the header of this blog from ‘babbling about business, babies, and parenthood‘ to ‘babbling about business and parenthood.’  I haven’t done any posts about babies in a long time and given that I finally completed my daughter’s baby album, I’ve closed the book on the baby stage of my life.

However, that does not mean I won’t be doing posts about babies ever again.  Nicole, my new partner and resident baby sleep expert, and I will be putting some baby related posts up on The Babble Soft Blog.  Our NEW blog (designed by none other than Swank Webstyle, who designed this blog) just went live last week and we don’t even have more than our “Hello World” post on it yet, but we’ll soon be posting baby tips and advice on a periodic basis there.  We welcome great guest baby tips as well!

I’ll continue to post about the collision/intersection/graceful (and not-so-graceful) interweaving of the entrepreneurial similarities between business and parenthood here on entrepreMusings.

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In The Blink Of An Eye, It Is Over
Dec 31 2008

magic-8-ball-2009-1magic-8-ball-2009-2And so 2008 comes to an end and the old saying ‘time flies’ is yet again reaffirmed.  It seems to go faster with each passing year, especially with little kids jumping all over you, sucking your energy dry underfoot.  Each year is a smaller fraction of our total lives.  To our kids each day seems like an eternity full of laughter, playing, occasional tantrums, asking their parents for candy, and fun!  And to us grown ups, the movie of our lives keeps going faster…slipping through our fingers….with fond and sometimes hard memories behind us and interesting times ahead. 

So I’d like to thank all of you dear readers for joining me on my entrepreneurial parenting and business journeys.  I haven’t spent much time trying to monetize my blog, and I don’t make much money from it.  So your blog comments, your emails, your conversations, and your tweets mean so much to me!  Most of us bloggers don’t blog for money, we blog to share ideas and to create conversations whether on or off the blog that might not have happened before. 

My favorite form of compensation comes from those of you who comment directly on a particular blog post.  The way to a blogger’s heart, after all, is through comments left on her blog. :D

But, I also very much enjoy the comments from those who recieve the free blog updates via email who simply hit ‘reply’ and let me know their thoughts.  I get many replies on twitter, and I wish someone would figure out how to integrate tweet replies directly into the blog comments, but that hasn’t happened yet (as far as I know).  

And then there are those of you who I talk to on the phone or see in the business community who mention they read my blog and mention a particular post.  I’m often taken by surprise by who reads my blog and what their interpretations are of my posts.   The people who know me well usually know how to read in between the lines, and I keep it fairly tame because my mother and my favorite aunt read my blog!  I wouldn’t want to shock them too much.

Special thanks goes to my husband, Erin, (who I honestly don’t think really reads most of my blog posts or he might feel more compelled to comment on some of my snarkier ones) for making sure this blog works smoothly.  He upgrades the blog when a new version comes out, he installs the latest/greatest WordPress plugins that help make this blog as effective as it can be, and helps troubleshoot any random technical glitches that occur.  He is our resident rocket scientist, and I have yet to see a technical problem that he can’t figure out. 

THANK YOU AGAIN DEAR READERS for enriching my life!  Have a HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, and JOY-FILLED NEW YEAR!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship, parenting, twitter, wordpress | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

The Entrepreneurial Ledge
Nov 20 2008

I had to talk myself off the entrepreneurial ledge yesterday.  Of course there is the often publicized glamour of entrepreneurship and then there is the unsung story of the not so glamorous side.  I think most entrepreneurs are a little bit neurotic, myself included, so when I heard that the first company I was founding CEO of officially shut down recently, I entered a state of…well I still haven’t figured out what state that is.  

The company was alive for 11 years.  For 11 years it provided experience, salaries, products and services to employees and customers.  I left in 2001 and my husband, Erin, who was the CTO left in 2003, and we have had nothing to do with the day to day operations since.  But the profound affect it has had on me cannot be reduced to mere words.  In many ways, it was like my first child (without the diaper changing).  It was a difficult parting of ways for me both personally and professionally.  

I knew a few good people who were still there and through the years they have reached out to me to help them find another job or share their experiences about working there.  Good people came and went.  Some bad ones came and went and some bad ones stayed, but overwhelmingly greatness was among us.  I heard about the company shutting down a few weeks ago but just mentioned it to a group of college friends on an email group I’ve been a part of since 1995 (pre-social networking sites for people who love mushrooms, pre-blogging, pre-twitter).  I had convinced one of the guy’s in the group to join us for the journey and he replied by saying this: 

Aruni – I know I’ve poked at you and Isochron since I left but I have to say it was the best business class I could have taken. This piece of Oil Field Trash was polished quite a bit while in Austin. I do want to thank you and Erin for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. From that trial I learned sooooo much. I’m not sure I ever put it together sufficiently for you guys to know what the experience meant for me. Thanks! You and Erin were a rock I could depend on during my time in Austin as well. It meant a lot.

When I read his note on my phone before going in to an invitation only IBM Women Entrepreneur’s Webcast event held at IBM, the flood gates cracked a little.  I was sitting in my car in the parking lot so I had to pull myself together and go in.  The rest of the day I was on edge and I still am. 

I had to walk into my day job after the IBM Webcast and deal with bureaucracy, with people wanting 5 approvals to get something done, with collections, with employee allocations, and with being extremely underpaid because I’m doing much more than I was hired to do.  I had to suspend reality to make it through the day.   I repeated to myself “floodgates don’t open at work” over and over.  If I was a man and punched the wall, it would be more acceptable.  I had a “What am I doing with my life?” moment.  I had a “I’m working for ‘the man,’ I have two kids, I’ve been married for 7 years, we have a house and car payment, I have to keep our insurance benefits, our savings have sunk due to the crazy economic situation, and I feel trapped” moment. 

I had already committed to guest lecture at an executive MBA class yesterday evening so I went in not knowing what would come out of my mouth.  I shared the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and received several questions about Babble Soft and my day job.  I was surprised at how calm I felt giving my talk given the emotional roller coaster I had been riding all day.  One of the students took my card and said he wanted to see if he could help me get introduced to someone for a possible opportunity for Babble Soft.

I also happened to receive an email through facebook from one of my former students (I taught entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin) who happens to be expecting a baby.  He sent me a link to a new book by Randy Komisar who wrote The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living (a book I made required reading in my class) called This I Believe.  Komisar writes about the Deferred Life Plan and how we make excuses about not doing what we want to do and putting off things until the time is right.

So despite all of that, I talked myself off the entrepreneurial ledge because I live in the real world.  The real world is where I have two beautiful children who smile and laugh.  A world where I tell my son after he ate a big dinner tonight that he was a ‘hungry hippo’ and he immediately replies and says in a comedian (trying to make his voice sound deep) tone “There’s a Hungry Hippo in the House!”  My daughter laughs, and I look at him with a smile on my face and know instantly he got his sense of humor from me. 8)

[Hippo photo by my friend Sandy Blanchard]

So I take solace from some words my day job boss told me the other day.  When I asked him why he wanted to hire me he said ‘because he heard I was a natural entrepreneur and he wanted one on staff.’  When I thought about those words later in the day, my soul said ‘thank you grandpa’ because he is who I gained my natural entrepreneurial tendencies from…I just happen to be a woman girl.

I hope both my children will be able to express themselves throughout their lives in ways I was never able to in the past but aspire to in the future.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, social networks, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

A Vote for Brown, Brains, and Change!
Nov 4 2008

I haven’t written about politics on my blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because I think everyone has a right to their own opinion and my blog is primarily about business and parenting…not politics.

However, given that a historic, unprecedented event has just happened in our lifetime, I felt compelled to write this post.  I am SO excited that Barack Obama was elected to be the next president of the United States!  Not just because I agree with much of his political philosophy, but also because he’s brown, has brains, and has the potential to heal wounds created throughout the world.

If you are someone who has not grown up with brown skin, this might not make sense to you but in my opinion this is a huge affirmation of the American dream.  My uncle, a geography professor, was turned away from a restaurant while visiting Virginia New Mexico because of the color of his skin.  When I was 8 or 9 years old, a blonde little boy turned to me in the walkways outside my elementary school and yelled at me calling me the ‘n’ word.  I had never heard that word before, yet I felt the hate emanating from this young boy, and I still remember the fear I felt standing there all alone wondering why this boy hated me so much. 

I’m not even Black (I’m South Asian), but I (and other members of my family) were lumped into the non-White category.  When I lived in West Texas, the difference was even more pronounced.  I grew up self conscious of my skin color and even now I have moments where I wonder if I truly fit in…despite being married to a White man!   Women and Black men have had to consistently work twice as hard and be twice as good to be recognized at the same level as White men in this country. 

Time will tell if Obama was the right pick, but the fact that he was picked in this country in 2008 means to me that we’ve reached a turning point in our history.  People who are not White and not even men (thanks to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin) now have a living breathing example of how it can be done.

Obama, to me, epitomizes working hard (no riding daddy’s coattails), focusing on education, prioritizing family values, and taking a thoughtful analytic (that man is smart!) approach before acting.  As an added bonus, he appears to know how to speak proper English! :-)

Not only has he broken color barriers, he has broken social media barriers.  He has run the biggest, first, and most effective political campaign that has ever been run (oh what money can buy)!  By his campaign’s avid use of twitter, YouTube, blogs, MySpace, email campaigns, etc., he has single handedly affirmed an entire new industry and demonstrated how using the Internet and social media can have a huge impact on the success of campaigns, businesses, and causes.  If there was any doubt by individuals and big companies as to the efficacy of social media, it has now been shattered!   

I was 3 when I came to the United States with my parents, and we landed in Pennsylvania.  I was 21 when I became a naturalized citizen in New Mexico.  I am now many years older, live in Texas, and tonight I saw the window of opportunity open wider for my light brown kids…

God Bless America!

Author: | Filed under: competition, diversity, parenting, social media, success, success story, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

Adventures in Blogging
Sep 9 2008

I’m sure many of you have noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much recently.  It’s not due to lack of desire, but due to lack of time and mental energy.  I have a full list of topic ideas I want to blog about, but by the end of the day after interesting and bureaucratically taxing events, kids, dinner, husband, baths, teeth brushing, catching up on Babble Soft stuff and personal emails, I feel pretty dazed. 

I have blog posts floating around in my head with rarely enough thoughtful time to get them down in a post.  Fortunately, I have had some timely guest posters who have filled in some of the gaps. 

I can’t say I’ll be able to get to a blogging pace (in the near future) that can keep up with my blogging ideas given my current schedule and life situation, but so far I’ve done a better job at posting than Marc Andreessen, founder of Ning and formerly Netscape, who hasn’t consistently blogged since May 2008!  But he’s running a heavily venture backed company so I’m guessing he has just a few more people breathing down his neck than I do.  

I’m glad I’m not in his shoes right now in this economy, with the news constantly talking about the questionable results of social networks from a business model perspective, and with some of the widget partner issues his company is facing.  But Marc’s a tried and true entrepreneur so I’m sure he and his team will figure something out.  If not, he is a millionaire and married to a millionaire so chances are they won’t be out on the streets any time soon. 

Yep, it’s all relative and I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the opportunities yet to come.  Thank you to all of you loyal readers for sticking around!

UPDATE: On an interesting note, Seth Godin, the famous author and blogger on marketing tips & ideas, did a post on September 10 called How often should you publish? and in it he says: “Key assertion: you don’t publish it unless it’s good. You don’t write more blog posts than you can support, don’t ship more variations of that software than your engineers can make marvelous.”  So I guess my haphazard blogging is OK because it fits what I can support!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, social networks, venture capital | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Blogger Mom, In Your Face
Apr 12 2008

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on Thursday, April 10, 2008 called The Blogger Mom, In Your Face written by Sue Shellenbarger featuring none other than the most well known mom blogger on the Internet today: Dooce.  She has been blogging for close to 7 years now…before most people (including myself) even knew what a blog was!  I got the opportunity to meet Heather Armstrong (a.k.a Dooce) at SXSW and exchange a few words with her after she finished her panel.  She is such a down to earth person.

I think it’s great that the WSJ has chosen to highlight a mommy blogger who according to the article might be making as much as $40,000 per month on ad revenue for her blog!  Wow!! It’s not without its downfalls though because full time blogging for that kind of money is a crazy, often stressful job.  I blog very part time (3 or so posts per week) so I can’t say I can relate to the stress of full time professional blogging, but I can certainly imagine it…especially if I had to post original, often personal content every day like Dooce does.

According to the WSJ article, “Among the Web’s 200,000-plus bloggers on parenting and family, few have succeeded to the extent of Ms. Armstrong; countless at-home parents would love to be in her position. But less obvious is the behind-the-scenes price an at-home mom pays to shoulder her way to prominence in the blogosphere — giving up her privacy, sustained time off and any remnants of work-family boundaries at all.”

Sue Shellenbarger did a fantastic job with this article by illustrating both the ups and downs of professional blogging, unlike the recent New York Times article called In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop which emphasized primarily the negative aspects of blogging as a profession and inferred that full time blogging can be fatal.  If they had mentioned how many journalists had died in the same period, then I think it might have made the article a bit less biased against blogging.  Check out Marc Andreessen’s funny take on this article called The New York Times Covers Blogging including statements like “Bloggers Have Bad Breath,” “Bloggers Have Herpes,” “Hitler Probably Blogged,” and “The Bloggers Have WMD.”

Other mommy bloggers that were highlighted in the WSJ article are:

5minutesformom.com
designmom.com
parenthacks.com
scribbit.blogspot.com
fussy.org
notesfromthetrenches.com
stirrup-queens.blogspot.com
izzymom.com
suburbanbliss.net

Asha Dornfest at Parent Hacks linked to a guest post on my blog about traveling with a baby and I saw a significant amount of traffic because of her mention, which goes to show that she definitely deserves to be on this list!

If you think there are a lot of mommy bloggers, you should check out Twitter because there are a ton of mommy tweeters out there.  In fact, Wendy Piersall at eMoms at Home just did a post listing the Moms on Twitter and the list is still growing! 

I have to say it’s much easier sometimes to come up with 140 character or less tweets than full blog posts!  I wonder if we can monetize our tweets.   Anyone want to pay me $10, $5, $1, 25 cents for a tweet? :D   Twitter are you listening reading?

Oh and if you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my feed because if I survive the next 5 years of motherhood, maybe I’ll end up being one of the top mommy/entrepreneur bloggers!  Unlike Dooce, however, I will have to hire someone other than my husband to help me figure out how to monetize my blog…

Author: | Filed under: blogging, mom, mother, twitter, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Johnson & Johnson Invited Me to Baby Camp!
Apr 7 2008

jjbabycamp.gif

So if you are plugged into the blogosphere you no doubt heard about Johnson & Johnson’s baby camp.  I was one of the lucky ones invited but either a) my email filter ate the first round of invites or b) I was one of the mommy bloggers who was added to the list later. So by the time I got the invite and responded, they were already full…plus I couldn’t go anyway.

I did want to blog about it when I first got the invite but since I wasn’t able to attend, I didn’t want the world to know why I couldn’t attend.  All were good reasons: 1) my husband was out of town, 2) my cousin and family were visiting from New York on a trip planned quite some time ago, and 3) they were full.

I haven’t read a lot about the outcome of the camp yet.  A few posts on the blog storm about the invite process, who was not invited, the fact that babies weren’t allowed to come, and why some were uninvited because of various reasons including they were attending the BlogHer business conference or were nursing can be read here:

Queen of SpainSo you want to talk to mommy bloggers?

City MamaNeeded something to talk about at the BlogHer conference.

Maryam ScobleFirst Night and Going to Camp

Mom 101Johnson & Johnson Baby Gate

Robert ScobleJ&J ‘breaks into jail’ with baby camp (check out the comments on this one for a nice letter from J&J trying to explain the situation)

I have met in person or communicated via email with all of the above bloggers except for one.  I’m anxious to see what happened at the camp.  Right now when I type in “Johnson & Johnson Baby Camp” into Google I only see links on the first page to posts about how they mishandled the invitation process.  I’m anticipating that they ‘saved face’ at the camp and the bloggers who attended will have much to share with us when they have a chance to write about it.  The coordinators said they would send me information after it was over so I’ll most likely do another post on this soon.

Overall, I think it was a great move on J&J’s part to make a visible first step to ‘friend’ the mommy bloggers.  Yes, they made a few mistakes but, just like starting a new business, trial & error is part of the game. If they learn from their mistakes, I’m sure it will all end up on a positive note!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, networking, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads
Mar 22 2008

What do 5 White Men, Rebranding, and Dads have in common?  Well other than the fact that Dads are usually men, probably not a whole lot.  These are just some of the interesting things happening around the blogosphere.

5 White Men Talk About Social Media was written by Connie Reece at Every Dot Connects.  Connie is a huge presence in the world of social media especially here in Austin, yet was overlooked for a panel on Social Media the Chamber of Commerce was putting on.  She voices her frustration at women still being “invisible” even when they are playing a major role in the world of social media.   Connie got me started in blogging almost a year ago!  She is also one of the main reasons the Frozen Pea Fund initiative got started as a result of Susan Reynolds struggle with breast cancer.  Here’s a quote from her post:

This afternoon I got an email from fellow Dot-Connector Brenda Thompson with the subject line: “Five White Men Talk About Social Media.” That got my attention and I opened the email right away. …

It irked me too. It’s not like the organizers would have had to look very far to find some outstanding women to speak, and I’m not just referring to myself. In less than 30 seconds, Brenda and I came up with a list of five or six local women who would have made great panelists.

See, lists are easy to make. But women on lists are still invisible if conference organizers aren’t looking for the list.

Looking Minnesota. Feeling California and The Gaping Void Between Our Brand And Our Audience were two recent posts written by Wendy Piersall of eMoms at Home.  After her recent trip to SXSW Interactive, she realized she needed to rebrand because many of her readers are not eMoms or even parents!  I love Wendy’s blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because she is open and honest about her experience as an entrepreneur and she readily shares her blogging and business tips.  We met through our blogs, had a couple of phone conversations and when we finally met in person at SXSW, it was like we just “got each other” as entrepreneurs and as moms!  I’m not sure if she has come to a decision on the new name, so go check out her posts and give her your 2 cents!

AllTop Dads launches.  Thanks to Guy Kawasaki of How to Change the World my entrepreMusings blog is near the top of AllTop Moms blogger list.  It’s a great place to go to check out all the top mommy and daddy bloggers.   If you don’t know Guy, he was once asked to interview for the CEO position at Yahoo! take on the CEO position of Google and he turned the opportunity to interview down thinking there’s no way Google Yahoo! would amount to much.  He often refers to it as his $4 billion dollar mistake, but he reflects back and realizes that instead he was able to be involved in his children’s lives, which is priceless!  

So as I said when I began this post, there isn’t much in common between these links, but all are great reads!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, dad, diversity, father, mom, mother, parenting, random stuff, social media, working dad, working father, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

My Blog Has a PageRank of 5
Nov 7 2007

After doing my post on The Google Trap, I happened upon Pearl’s post at Interesting Observations on Find Page Rank of Every Page of Your Site.  She found a link to a site called Live PR where you can enter your URL and it tells you the page rank of your landing page and all other pages associated with your blog.

As I mentioned in my Google Trap post, I honestly had no idea what the page rank of my blog was.  Well after entering it at the PR Live site, it turns out it’s a PR 5 which apparently is a pretty good thing!  Many of my individual posts range from 0 to 3 rank, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the http://www.entrepremusings.com/ was a PR 5.

Oddly, it says a post of mine called New Web Template Site is PR 5, but I don’t have a post that has that name.  Also, the number one viewed post on my blog on planning my son’s transformer themed birthday party has a PR 0.

I then asked Pearl in the comment section of her blog what PageRank really meant, and she sent me the following links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank
http://www.google.com/technology/

PageRank Explained

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.” Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages’ relative importance.

Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don’t match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines dozens of aspects of the page’s content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it’s a good match for your query.

Thanks Pearl!  Because of you I know more today than I did yesterday about PageRank. :-)

Author: | Filed under: blogging | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Blog Action Day Is Coming. Are You Ready?
Oct 11 2007

I, along with thousands of bloggers around the world, will be writing a post related to the environment on October 15, 2007. Check out the Blog Action Day site and see how you can get involved. They have even created a nice video about it on YouTube:

Author: | Filed under: blogging, environment | Tags: , , , | Comments Off