Things to Come

As you may have noticed, Modern Media Mom has been sitting quietly for the last several months. The last actual post I wrote was a “Happy New Year” post.

Not a good thing for a site which touts itself as being a resource for up-to-date tech news. Just sayin’…

While this site has sat silent, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to expand it to make it even more useful for families and individuals looking to use technology to simplify their hectic lives.

It’s become more important than ever for me to do this in my own life, as it has changed dramatically in the time that I’ve been away. Technology is becoming even more central to my day-to-day life as I prepare for some big personal and professional changes.

Therefore, while my posts will continue to be informative, there will also be more of a personal element to the posts, as many of the things will be tips and ideas that my family and I will have tried out. They won’t just be tips on how to use sites you’ve never heard of, but tips on how to use sites and apps you already use in a different way.

I look forward to sharing these things with you, and I hope that you find them as helpful as I have.

As always, I want to make each of you a part of this site; if you have tips and tricks I’m happy to share them with readers.

photo credit

Holiday Guides for Technophiles

present

Is there a technophile on your gift list? Or maybe you are the one hoping for some gadgety goodness under the tree.

Use these guides to help make your lists, and maybe, if you’ve been good this year, you’ll find something from one of them under your tree:

cnet: Holiday Gift Ideas Broken down into manageable categories, there is even a Tech for Foodies and Cheapskate category. (also includes a way to create your own wish lists)

Digital Trends: 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

ZDNets: Holiday Tech Gift Guide

PCWorld: Holiday Gift Guide

The Ultimate Blog Party is Here:

(I’ve been a fan of Janice and Susan since 2006 when I first started blogging, and I’ve been so excited to watch their sites grow over the years. They are brilliant, savvy women. No one does sites for women better than them.)

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Welcome! I hope that you will enjoy your visit and return to MMM often.

I’m always late to the party (actually, last year I managed to be the very first person on the UBP Mr. Linky. But that was an exception), so let me just jump right in with my intro:

I am Karla, the founder of Modern Media Mom. I’ve been blogging at my (neglected) personal blog, Looking Towards Heaven, since March of 2006. I love blogging. Recently, my other sites: Fruition Designs (where I sell Mommy Cards, stationery and Blog Design) and Modern Media Mom have nudged out a lot of my personal blogging time, but I’m trying to find more balance with it all.

My mission here at Modern Media Mom is to help you sort through the technical talk so that you can actually use the internet and technology to make your life easier.

Peek around. Hang out! You are sure to find useful and helpful information here.

I also have the latest headlines in technology that are relevant to you.

I’d love it if you’d subscribe (see that bright orange RSS button in the upper right corner? You can subscribe via feedreader or email) and spread the word.

You can also follow Modern Media Mom on Twitter.

If you have a blog or a mom-business, be sure to join in the fun at 5 Minutes for Mom!

PS: Enter UBP09 on your Blog Design order form, and you’ll get 10% off the Completely Custom package, 15% off the CompletelyUnique package and 20% off Completely You package, from now until March 30th.

The Do's and Don'ts of Connecting with your kids on Facebook

family-portraitphoto: cole24_

A few weeks ago, I sat down with teenage techie Jordan Drake,19, who broadcasts a podcast on technology, as well as a live call-in radio show and website, called Digital Life Radio. Since Jordan scored his first job (and a Macbook Pro) from Rush Limbaugh when was 16, he’s been working professionally helping people make technology work for them.

Because Jordan is a computer genius, and a teen, I asked him about the protocol for parents who want to connect with their children on the popular social networking site Facebook. “Facebook can be a great way to show your kids that you want to connect on their level, but it can also be a sure fire way to embarrass them if you’re not careful,” Jordan says.

First, a parent who’s not familiar with Facebook must expand his/her vocabulary with a few Facebook terms.

Friend: (n) a person with which you have connected and have mutual access to public information. (v) to request to become “friends” with someone. (ex: “I’ll friend you on Facebook”) Past tense: Friended. I’m not lying, people actually say this!

Wall: (n) the front page of a Facebook Profile, where friends (see above) can post notes, links, photos and videos.

Status: (n) the statement at the top of your profile page where you post what you are doing at the moment! You can also integrate your status update with Twitter, but that would require a whole new menagerie of vocabulary words!

Facebook: (n) The actual Facebook website. (v) To send a message, write on one’s wall, or otherwise connect on Facebook. (ex: “I don’t have time to talk right now, just Facebook me later”)

Here are Jordan’s suggestions for what and what not to do:

Do:

  • Be honest with them about what you are trying to do. Let them know that you are trying to communicate with them, not “spy” on them or encroach on their space.
  • Talk to them beforehand, and ask their opinion. You don’t want to be shocked when your child refuses your friend request!
  • Approach your kids’ friends only if you know them personally, and would feel comfortable doing so in real life. Would you strike up a conversation at the mall or church? Go ahead and “friend” them, but don’t be too disappointed of they don’t respond.

Don’t:

  • Do anything sneaky in order to gain access to your child’s Facebook Profile, always be honest and open.
  • Approach your kids’ friends whom you do not know in person, or wouldn’t strike up a conversation with in public
  • Fill up your child’s profile page with comments from you. Keep in mind that they still need to have space and protect their “cool cred.”
  • Post embarrassing photos or stories about them without permission. The 2 year old bath tub picture? Probably not a good facebook photo! Now once they are married with kids of their own, post away… the more embarrassing, the better!

Jordan is a homeschooler, and noted that the parent/teen Facebook interaction may be different in different family situations. Homeschoolers seem to be more likely to socialize as families, and therefore be more comfortable interacting with their friends’ parents. The bottom line is to communicate with your teen; find out how he/she feels about you being on Facebook, and what boundaries and guidelines you want to set for your online connection. And most of all, express that you love and respect your teen, and you want to use technology as a way to deepen your relationship. I bet you’d be surprised how fun it’ll be!

How do you use technology to connect with your teen?

When Sarah isn’t winning “Tech Mom of the Year,” she blogs at www.reallifeblog.net , and is founder and editor of www.HighCountryMomSquad.com. Find Sarah on Twitter at www.twitter.com/reallifesarah .

Jordan Drake, teen, podcaster, tech genius and all around cool guy, produces a podcast and radio show at www.DigitalLifeRadio.net and Tweets from www.twitter.com/jdrake90 .

Coming Soon:

Are you looking for a place to learn how to use all of today’s technology to make your life easier?

We are sure this will be the place you come back to again and again to help figure it all out.

Bookmark the site. You’ll be glad you did.