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Pinterest is Like Crack

Pinterest is like crack for online addicts.  Since I analyze all things digital for clients, it’s part of my job to keep up with online trends and hot social media trends.

I didn’t join the Pinterest wave until a few weeks ago—and became completely hooked in less than 24 hours.  I’m not alone in my Pinterest obsession.  According to VentureBeat:

Emerging social network Pinterest, an addictive site that lets people spotlight products and items they like, is helping drive increasing amounts of traffic to retailers, according to a new infographic by Monetate.

Pinterest, which attracted nearly 11 million unique visitors in mid-December, is now one of the top 10 social networking sites. It’s one of the rare cases of a social network generating strong word-of-mouth interest without much help from the tech community. The site is especially popular with females and arts and crafts enthusiasts between the ages of 25 and 44.

Pinterest is a smart tool to engage potential customers for certain businesses.  One reason Pinterest is so hot is because…it’s fun. The simplicity and fun of Pinterest should be noted by those who want to create a hot online community—if you make it fun and easy—people will come!

If you are a fellow Pinterest addict, feel free to reach out to me.

You can find me pinning away as michellelamar12. (http://pinterest.com/michellelamar12)


Instagram is an iPhone, iPad and Android app that gives photos a “vintage” look.  Instagram makes it easy to share your photos from Instagram and it’s one of the most popular mobile apps around.  Simply Zesty has an excellent article about Brands on Instagram that is a must read!  Here’s a quick preview of the blog post from Simply Zesty:

Instagram is a service that has all the early adopters on board and has over 4 million users already and one of the first signs that it could go on to be something even bigger is the fact that brands and businesses are pouring in there.

The highly visual nature of the site means that it is relevant to a lot of them in different ways and there are already some great creative ways in which photos are being shared. You can expect plenty more brands to start joining Instagram over the coming months and it really is good to see some of the bigger ones already there.

You can reach out to me on Instagram!  You’ll find me posting pics on Instagram as michellelamar.

New book Mom Blogging For Dummies by Wendy Piersall contains an interview with me!  I am totally honored to be featured in this book.   Wendy profiled my experience as a mom blogger in Chapter 18: Ten Successful Mom Bloggers.

Wendy Piersall has been blogging professionally for more than five years. She has written for Entrepreneur.com, been featured on NBC’s Today show, and was named one of the most influential moms online by Nielson. Wendy runs the Woo! Jr. Kids Activities Network and frequently speaks at blogging conferences.

If you want to know how to start a mom blog, this is a must-read!  Check out Mom Blogging for Dummies!

23andMe: DNA Analysis

I’ve been hired by many companies to launch their brands or products online via blogging and social media outreach campaigns.

23andMe hired me to be part of a team to launch a community for their organization.  The team at this company just blew me away.

23andMe is a DNA analysis firm founded by co-founded and co-managed by Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey. Anne is also the wife of Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google.

The company does amazing work in the area of DNA analysis, taking complex testing direct to the consumer. 23andMe is not a mainstream consumer brand yet but it will be in time.

Here is a link to the Pregnancy Community on 23andMe. The community was launched in March 2009.  I wrote about 23andMe over on Huffington Post.

This was an interview with Anastasia Goodstein, author of TOTALLY WIRED.  The interview is from 2007 but I think the content stands the test of time.

Last week I talked to Anastasia Goodstein, author of TOTALLY WIRED.  I talked to her for a long time for my other blog over at Disney’s Family.com.  I broke up my talk with Anastasia into two parts because it was so long.

The second part of my talk with Anastasia Goodstein, author of TOTALLY WIRED, is below.
You can read the first part of this post by going here.

Question:  Are there any “average” guidelines for how much time a child should spend online?

Every parent has to decide what level of technology use is appropriate for their child. You decide what they get to use, where they get to use it, and when they have to turn it off. Bill Gates allows his 10-year-old 45 minutes of recreational screen time a day during the week (it goes up to an hour on the weekends). Tweens will want to IM or instant message. It’s a fun way of chatting with friends or “buddies,” especially when you’re too young to drive. If you decide to let them IM, just make sure you know everyone on their buddy list and keep the computer in a family space so you can occasionally monitor the chat.


Question:  My younger daughter has friends in Club Penguin.  What about online communities?  Which ones are safe?
Most online communities are for teens 13 and up (MySpace is 14 and up). Tweens can try out being a part of an online community on sites like Club Penguin or Imbee.com. If you decide to let them have a profile on MySpace or Facebook at 14 or 15, it’s fair to require that they show it to you periodically, especially at 14.   A good website for parents is Common Sense Media.  Common Sense Media has ongoing reviews for parents of websites and games.

Question:  What’s your advice on cell phone use?

Many parents are buying cellphones for tweens as a way to keep tabs on them. There are companies like Firefly Mobile and Kajeet that make starter phones just for this age group so that you can easily limit their use.

With cell phones, you have to be clear about what the text messaging limits are and go over the bill with them each month.


Question:  What’s the main idea that you want to get across to parents with TOTALLY WIRED?

Whatever you do, just keep talking — even if they roll their eyes at you. Ask your tweens and teens to show you their favorite sites and games and how they work. Getting involved in their online lives will ultimately make you closer to your kids both online and off.

If you begin setting limits and establishing open communication with tweens, you can build trust and begin to give them more privacy and autonomy as they get older. With older teens, it’s important to talk to them about managing their online identities — using privacy settings and being aware that if they keep a public profile or blog, anyone may stumble across it like their friend’s parent, a college recruiter, future employer or teacher.

I have the book TOTALLY WIRED and I’ve found it very helpful.  If you want to read more about Anastasia Goodstein’s book, go to www.totallywiredbook.com for more information.

Healthy Child Healthy World has named me as a one of their new Parent Ambassadors.

Healthy Child Healthy World is a non-profit organization that works to help parents protect children from harmful chemicals found in the environment and in the products we use every day.

Healthy Child is on a mission to increase awareness one parent at a time.  The organization was created because more than 125 million Americans, especially children, now face a historically unprecedented rise in cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD/ADHD, and learning and developmental disabilities. Credible scientific evidence increasingly points to environmental hazards and household chemicals as causing and contributing to many of these diseases.

Healthy Child Healthy World has named 21 volunteer Parent Ambassadors, including actress Amy Brenneman to expand awareness about the environmental hazards that are dangerous to our children.

The Parent Ambassadors are part of an on-going effort to create a safer world for children everywhere. Healthy Child Healthy World has assembled individuals with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and expertise. Here are a few of the many parents and activists who are part of this organization’s efforts to educate families and protect children:

Jeffrey Hollender -President, Seventh Generation, Inc.
Anna Getty – Green Living and Holistic Lifestyle Expert
Erin Brockovich – President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, Environmental Advocate
Sheryl Crow – Musician
Olivia Newton-John – Singer, Actress, Environmentalist

A recent CNN special, Toxic America investigated the toxins people are exposed to on a daily basis, with a focus on children. Toxic America featured new research linking early exposure to harmful chemicals with obesity, autism, ADHD, lower IQ, sexual reproduction issues, cancer, and more.

For More Information about Parent Ambassadors

Healthy Child Healthy World Website

Twitter @healthy_child

Are you going to the Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament? If you aren’t going—you need to change your plans!

The Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament is a chance to have fun AND give back to Children’s Mercy Hospital. Hometown celebrities Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis and Rob Riggle will be hosting the shindig on June 5.

I’m a huge fan of Children’s Mercy.  My youngest daughter Kate had emergency surgery last year and the folks at CMH were amazing.

To find out more about the Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament, check out the website for more details www.bigslickkc.org.  You can also follow Big Slick on Twitter @BigSlickKC or on Facebook!