Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Personalize Your Laptop For Cheap With Laptop Skins

The reason I love KoloBags is not just the style, it's the fabulous prices. You can look tech savvy for very little. The company who is know for it's cute and stylish tech accessories has released laptop skins. Just slap them on your your laptop and be stylish why protecting your investment. You don't have to worry about them falling off, they are made of high quality vinyl and a special adhesive... and the best part, you can trim them to fit your laptop.



One of my favorite products? The super cheap sumo laptop sleeve that Paris Hilton was wearing when she left her acting coaching class in July of last year. Soo cute!




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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Virtual Dressing Rooms... Have They Gotten Any Better?

Back in 2002 virtual dressing rooms hit the scene with the promise of making shopping online much easier and less scary. This fad was highly debuted in the fashion and technology world, and then, like every fad, sort of faded off the radar. The Technology Starlet decided to go into the world of virtual dressing rooms and see if they make us wanna leave the real dressing rooms alone and opt for the these online worlds.

Virtual Dressing Room #1: Watch Me Change by Gap

I have one word for this virtual dressing room... HORRIBLE! If I look that bad online, then you can bet that I would never ever ever ever ever buy anything from Gap using this web application. It's obviously meant to be for fun only, the choice of clothes are limited, and my aviator did a corny dressing room dance at the end, it was absolutely disgusting. The best outfit I could come up with was this Ellen Degeneres type get up with jeans, a button down shirt, and a blazer.. no accessories, no dresses, nothing cute at all!

Virtual Dressing Room #2: My Virtual Model

Me trying on a top from H&M and pants from Sears


Me strutting my stuff in a bathing suit from Lands End

My Virtual Model is the best virtual dressing room I found so far. You can find this interactive web app anywhere. My aviator actually looked decent, even though I struggled to match the skin color. The clothes were pretty much amazing, the lines with the most clothing that you could actually purchase included H&M, Lands End, Sears, and Couture Candy. And the best part? My aviator could travel from site to site and try on different clothing. I didn't have to recreate an aviator every time I visited a store. Check below as I visit Glam's find your fave jeans store and LouLou's fave evening wear picks.



All in all this post was a lot of fun and me an my aviator are getting along great.

Next Week.. virtual interior decorating.

***UPDATE 1/30/2008***
After this post I stumbled upon Knicker Picker, the first online video shopping dressing room. This innovative site has videos of models of three different shapes and sizes to allow consumers to see what particular lingerie would look like on them. Definitely worth a mention!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Taser C2...beauty really does hurt!


Tasers, yes tasers, have turned fashionable. These little buggers are soooooo cute! Just to give you a quick overview about them:
  • serious take down power
  • maximum length of 15 feet (4.5 meters)
  • affects the sensory and motor functions of the peripheral nervous system
  • penetrate up to two cumulative inches of clothing
  • lightweight
  • four designer colors
  • cute accessories
Well worth the 299.99 price tag. The idea behind the design is not to look like GI Jane when you leave a business meeting and walk to your car, or leave a party at night. You wanna look professional or sleek and sophisticated.

So, wanna get your girlfriends interested in the C2? No problem you can host a C2 party, think tupperware party, and make some major money for you self. Contact the company for more info here. You can also watch the Taser C2 video infomercial to learn more.


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Hillary Clinton on technology and other issues that appeal to young adults

Ask Hillary 2, a video on YouTube, shows the candidate answering tough questions from young voters about technology for rural areas and other hot issues. Check it out below.



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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Samsung Makes Fashion Phone


image from mobile magazine

The SGH-L310 (left) and SGH-L320 (right) are not just fashion phones, but get this, you can create a shopping list, count calories, and have a perfume-matching system. At first I was a little put off by this, I mean, is this a phone for a house mom?

But, for skeptical techies like me and my readers, Samsung stayed away from too much pink and added Bluetooth, a camera with 2 megapixels, and external displays that happen to be concealed.

Unfortunately for us in the United States, Russia will be getting the phones first and then Europe. No mention of America... I'm researching a USA release as we speak! You can read more at mobile magazine.


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Sugar Inc. & Internap Join Forces



One small step for Sugar Inc. one large step for women bloggers everywhere.

Bloggers are starting to get noticed. Internap Network Services Corporation announced that they have engaged in a contract with Sugar Inc. to provide Internet business solutions which includes managing a server and a network infrastructure to support Sugar Inc's popular network of blogs. This is not a small contract... did you know that Sugar Inc. receives about 6 million viewers, unique viewers, a month?!?

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Women Power Bloggers: Inside the Minds of Today's Successful Female Bloggers Pt II


<<Go To Women Power Bloggers: Inside the Minds of Today's Successful Female Bloggers Pt I

This is part two of a two part series featuring women bloggers who have changed the way the world views them and their readers (for more background on this article read part one). I communicated with four very different women bloggers (Chanel Ward/Hip Candy, Charlene Li/Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Michele Obi/My Fashion Life, and Julie Strietelmeier/The Gadgeteer) and asked them the same five questions:



  1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

  2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

  3. How has blogging advanced your career?

  4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

  5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?


After talking with these women I realized that a "power blogger" has nothing to do with your ranking on a list but the quality of your posts, the awareness of your reader's needs, and the ability to look beyond fame and fortune and stay true to your subject matter. Today's featured bloggers are Michele Obi/My Fashion Life, and Julie Strietelmeier/The Gadgeteer.


Julie Strietelmeier / The Gadgeteer


Julie Strietelmeier is a self proclaimed gadget freak and she is proud of it. Considered a blogging legend to readers, the industry, and me, she started The Gadgetter on Geocities' free community pages in 1997. That's right, 1997... before blogging became mainstream. Now, with its humble beginnings as a Geocities' community, The Gadgeteer is one of the most trusted site on the web for product reviews. I love Julie's site because she does something that many technology bloggers have a hard time doing, me included, her site gives you real hands on reviews, not old news or "fluffy" highlights. With a cult following, over 140 product reviewer have contributed to her site and a massive number of readers, Julie explains to Technology Starlet readers her take on women and blogging as well as following your dreams.


What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The Gadgeteer ( http://the-gadgeteer.com ) is a consumer product review blog that has been in existence since 1997. Presently, we have over 1800 reviews and articles dealing with a wide range of products from the Apple iPhone, to LED flashlights and tiny RC helicopters. I started The Gadgeteer because I've always been a geek that enjoys playing with gadgets, gizmos and electronic toys. If it has buttons and beeps, I have to have one!

If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

The people that read my blog are voracious info geeks that want to know the real info on the latest gadgets on the market. They don't want to read regurgitated press releases, but want real world info that can help them make informed buying decisions.

How has blogging advanced your career?

In the 10 years that I've been writing reviews, I've been recognized by notable publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The NY Times and by behemoth companies like Microsoft. All that is fine and good, but I get more happiness from people that email me to say that my reviews really helped
them figure out how to spend their hard earned money.

On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

That is a very low percentage and I think it might be related to the topics that current women bloggers have chosen to explore. I really believe that the percentage will improve remarkably in the years to come as we branch out into different areas.

If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

Don't give up. If you have a real passion for your topic, then keep writing about it. You know the saying "Build it and they will come"? I think we should update that saying to be "Write it and they will read". Keep building your content and the rest will follow.


Michele Obi / My Fashion Life


I am very excited to talk about this blog. I used to have one favorite fashion blog, now I have two. Even though, honestly, I am ashamed to admit it, as a fashion lover, I stumbled upon this blog only 2 months ago (sorry Michele). However to redeem myself, I must confess that I have visited it almost everyday since then, two to three times a day, and not because I was writing this article, but because I am offically obsessed with My Fashion Life. Michelle Obi is a woman of very few words, but don't let that fool you. If you have ever visited her blog, My Fashion Life, then you know how addicting the site is. My first visit resulted in me going through archives and reading short and witty fashion commentary for over 2 hours, and I am not exaggerating. The site intrigued me, it's style was fresh, it's design was alluring, and the posts... well let's just say the author is genius. The post are like the fashion industry, informative, to the point, and leaving you waiting for more from the mysterious woman behind it all. Michele Obi, a Londoner, is a power blogger and I don't think anyone in the fashion industry or the blogging community would disagree with me, especially her readers who range from me, to designers, to photographers, to advertisers, to serious fashion professionals. My Fashion Life, founded in 2003, is a cool mixture of a weblog and a e-magazine that focuses on catwalk designers, street fashion, daily news tips, and where to find accessories and vintage designer clothes online. This blog alone is constantly being tipped as an industry resource, but Michele won't mention you just cause you are a designer, in her words, her blog focuses on "talent rather than hype". That boldness and love of fashion is why My Fashion Life is mentioned in InStyle Magazine, Newstyle, the Lifestyle section of Daily Mail, and many more. Michele Obi, a blogging celeb here and in London, has created a bar that many fashion bloggers strive to reach, and frankly...only a handful probably ever will.


What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

My Fashion Life is focused on fashion. I have a love for fashion and knew straightaway that I wanted to blog about all things fashion related.

If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

My Fashion Life readers are sophisticated, smart and stylish.

How has blogging advanced your career?

Blogging has been a valuable marketing tool and subsequently I’ve had a number of offers for freelance work etc. Aside from my career, blogging has also allowed me to connect with some great people who share similar interests.

On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

I honestly don’t know. Most of the blogs I read are written by women. I think it depends on the niche. For example I know that within the fashion blogging arena there are many women that are considered top bloggers.

If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

Keep persevering and blog with passion.


That concludes this two part series of Women Power Bloggers: Inside the Minds of Today's Successful Female Bloggers. I hope you learned as much as I did about true passion. I came into these inerviews thinking that successful women bloggers were focusing on bloglist, links, ads and other popularity contest and I came out learning that they are passionate, focused, determined, and most importantly they genuinely care about their readers and their niches.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Campbell's Soup adDRESS Your Heart Campaign


I am sooo excited about this post! February is my favorite month, not only because it's black history month, but it's also American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America so Technology Starlet decided to find out how this cause, technology, and fashion were being used together.

I didn't have to look far because designers everywhere are getting ready for the annual Go Red for Women Campaign, a national campaign to fight heart disease in women. My favorite sponsor for this cause would have to be Campbell's soup.

Campbell's soup has combined technology and fashion in an innovate way by incorporating user opinion and interaction, fashion design, and a good cause. They really did a good job on supporting the campaign and you can get involved too by following my steps:

1. You can go to Go Red With Campell's and vote for the dress that Toni Braxton (read her story), a heart disease survivor should wear to kick off American Heart Month.The website design is interactive and the dresses, designed by Lisa Perry, are inspired by Campbell's soup labels, and are really cute.




By the way, me and the majority seem to favor dress number two entitled "Silver Spoon". It's sleek, elegant, and to me.. screams Toni Braxton. (see below and go vote)



2. Now for the best part... you can design your own dress at Campbell's website and submit it to join the Red Dress Community. Just design your dress using the interactive web app, fill out some personal information and a small paragraph on why you love your heart and voila, your dress will be showcased with the other community members (939 dresses and rising). Check out my design below.



3. For those that would rather shop online, there are plenty of things available to support this campaign. You can purchase a t-shirt from Campbell's Art of the Heart t-shirt designed by Michael Vollbracht for Bill Blass. And of course, 50% of the proceed go to the cause.

Also, available at most Brighton stores you can purchase a $50 dollar bracelet, limited edition of course, which displays the campaign's signature red-dress motif. And to make your purchasing decision easier, for each $50 bracelet sold Brighton will give $10 to the American Heart Association.

6. For all you cyber chics with little cash, you can download cool things from Campbell's website to help the cause. Just go to the download site and you can be rocking a cool desktop background or something cute for your favorite instant messenger.



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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Make Your Design Portfolio Slideshow POP For Cheap

Those who know me, know that my main focus is graphic design, I love designing and creating things using unconventional software and resources. However, my 9-5 job focuses on managing a community technology center for a non-profit organization. Working for a non-profit has taught me, and my IT staff, how to make things happen technologically for pennies on the dollar. I have learned how to use open source and low priced software to make things work that outsiders think we spent thousands of dollars on.

Drawing upon that experience, and my love for graphic design, I’ve put together a tutorial on making a sleek design portfolio/slideshow to embed into your website using free or cheap resources. Note this tutorial is not for photographers but it is made for graphic designers, fashion designers, or other artist whose designs are not already in picture format. Also, this is not a quick five minute tutorial, REMEMBER THE CHEAP WAY IS THE LONGER WAY IN DESIGN. This tutorial is a design process allowing you to use your own creativity every step of the way. I assume that you know how to do some basic things such as upload pictures to Flickr and copy and paste code correctly. So let’s get started.

PART 1: GET ALL OF YOUR DESIGNS IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT (PREFERABLY JPEG)

Timeframe: 2-3 hours

There are many ways that you can go about getting all of your designs in a jpeg format. My personal favorite is using a free program called Screen Print & Capture 32 3.5 which can be downloaded at http://www.download.com/. This program is very handy if you know how to use it. Let’s say you created a brochure for a company and want to display that in your portfolio, you can find yourself easily frustrated because screen printing can take a long time if you don’t use it correctly.

  1. Create a folder that you want all you pictures to go to (ex: C:\Documents and Settings\TechStarlet\Deskstop\PortfolioPics)
  2. Open ScreenPrint 32 and go to the Save Options Tab. For the file format choose JPG and for Folder browse to the folder you created above.

  3. Click Okay
Now every time you press the Prnt Scrn button on your keyboard, an image of your screen will go directly to your folder. You can crop or edit in your favorite image editor if needed.


PART 2: CREATE A PRESENTATION WITH YOUR IMAGES.

Timeframe: 2-3 hours (depending on number of images and your level of perfection)

Now for the fun part, designing your portfolio slideshow. Many people will disagree with me when I say to design your portfolio slideshow before you design your website. But if you are like me and have an eye for design, you want your website to compliment your portfolio slideshow not your portfolio slideshow to compliment your website. Others will also say “why not just stick a caption on my images”. If that ‘s the way you want to do it you can skip to part 3. But designing around each image is ascetically pleasing and can be done using Microsoft Office PowerPoint or Open Office’s Impress to make a slide show of all of your images.

  1. Put each image on a separate slide
  2. Format your images (use shading, reflections, 3D effects, or glows)
  3. Put a caption on each image. If you are a freelancer you want to be sure to add what the end product is, what client it was for, and what the client used it for.
  4. Make sure your slides have some sort of uniformity (consistent text or style).

PART 3: GET YOUR PRESENTATION WEB READY

Time Frame: 10-20 minutes

Before we can even get ready for this you need to save each slide as an image (see below) and upload to Flickr.

1. In your presentation software Go to File and Saves As. Choose jpeg from the drop down, browse to your folder and select okay.

When prompted to save every slide or current slide choose Every Slide.

Now every slide is saved as an individual image in your selected folder!

Okay now it’s time to make some decisions. How do you get your portfolio slideshow web ready? Below are some options with an example under each.

  1. Use slideshare and upload your presentation. Grab the embed code and embed it into your website.

  2. Use Slide.com and embed it into your website.




  3. Use a Flickr slideshow (my favorite tool is the Flickr Slideshow Generator)






  4. Use Open Office Impress and export as an HTML or flash file for instant web readiness (the help section on Open Office’s Impress is a great resource for the step by step process)

5. Use PictoBroswer and create a embeddable slideshow






6. Use slideoo to display your images.





PART 4: INCORPORATE INTO YOUR WEBSITE

Now embed your portfolio into your website!

If there are other ways that you have used open source or free resources to display your design work, let me know!

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Women Power Bloggers: Inside the Minds of Today’s Successful Female Bloggers Pt I


According to the Pew Internet Project's PIP Blogging Report, 46% of bloggers are female and the numbers are growing everyday. However, many woman bloggers are a slightly upset with the lack of recognition in their industry. After a week of research I finally asked myself why aren't women more prominent on the web? Of all the blog ranking lists, except fashion and celebrity blogs, an average of 12% of women appear in the top 100 of each list. And some sources have the nerve to think that fashion blogs are "personal diaries of style". After doing some research I realized why so many bloggers and readers today perceive women bloggers differently than men:

Instead of analyzing RSS feeds and researching list after list, I decided to go directly to the source to get more answers and find out how women power bloggers reached success, how they reach their readers, and what they think about the discrimination towards professional women bloggers in today's blogging community.

I communicated with four very different women bloggers (Chanel Ward/Hip Candy, Charlene Li/Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Michele Obi/My Fashion Life, and Julie Strietelmeier/The Gadgeteer) and asked them the same five questions:

  1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?
  2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?
  3. How has blogging advanced your career?
  4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?
  5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

After talking with these women I realized that a "power blogger" has nothing to do with your ranking on a list but the quality of your posts, the awareness of your reader's needs, and the ability to look beyond fame and fortune and stay true to your subject matter. This is part one of a two part series featuring women bloggers who have changed the way the world views them and their readers. Today's featured blogger is Chanel Ward from Hip Candy and Charlene Li from Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies.

Chanel Ward / Hip Candy

It's hard to pick one of my favorite blogs, but Hip Candy is very close to my heart. From the tag line, "sweet… but not in that fattening kinda way" to the blog's owner, Chanel Ward, Hip Candy is fresh, exciting and new.

Fashion designer/graphic artist/writer Chanel Ward was featured as 225 Magazine's Top People To Watch in 2008 and for good reason. After being the voice for the America's Next Top Model Interviews and one of the finalist for Project Runaway's fan favorite blogs this fashionista was invited to experience and write about Fashion Week and is soon launching the much anticipated clothing line Hip Couture. Blazing a trail of personality and style her blog and her career has a life of it's own, but don't take my word for it.

1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The focus of Hip Candy is in my tagline. Fashion. Celebrity. Entertainment. Me. That's basically what I blog about in a nutshell! I like to think of my blog as fashionably fun! I chose this niche because my background is in Fashion Design (graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, 1999 - http://www.fidm.com/) and I've always been intrigued by celebrity culture, so I just thought it would be an adventure to start a fun site that would focus on those things, and at the same time, it would keep me abreast of what was happening in the [fashion] industry. Hip Candy is a fun forum for readers to come and share their opinions on fashion, (the latest trends, fashion don'ts...) celebrity (what they were wearing, what were they thinking?!) the latest happenings in entertainment, with a little bit of what's going on with me thrown in for good measure.

2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

I was surprised to learn recently that some of my readers are as young as 12! But I also have more "seasoned" readers, women over 50 and beyond as well as every age (and gender) in between. Hip Candy readers are very opinionated. Even though most of them usually agree with most things I opine, and "wax poetic" about, they don't always agree with everything I put down, and that's okay! Having a difference of opinion is what makes us unique! One of my most commented posts (69 comments at last count) has a firestorm of strong opinions on it from start to finish (http://hipcandy.blogspot.com/2007/03/style-verdict-hetero-men-in-heels.html) Anyone who takes time out of their busy day to click onto to Hip Candy, read a post and share their opinions is more than alright with me.

3. How has blogging advanced your career?

Wow. That's such a loaded question! I'd never really considered myself a "writer", but after starting Hip Candy, I slowly began allow myself think otherwise. My blog has already reached levels that I wouldn't have imagined when I started it. I figured it would just be a fun hobby. The response since I started it has been phenomenal already! It's very humbling. Some of the more noteworthy advancements have been 1) exposure to the masses from conducting the "Top Model" interviews 2) getting credentialed and being invited to Fashion Week from my fashion coverage on the blog coupled with solid readership 3) That same solid readership translating into monthly ad revenue generated on Hip Candy 4) all-expense paid trips to cover trade shows and events (http://blogs.dreambrizo.com/kbis_2007/) 5) recognition and acknowledgement from magazines, and finally and ultimately, 6) built in name recognition for a future clothing launch! Blogging has truly been a surprise and a blessing and I look forward to more in 2008!

4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

I hadn't heard this statistic before, but it's pretty staggering given that I did hear that about half of the people blogging right now are women. I don't really know why more women aren't considered top bloggers. I'd love to find that out myself. I'd love to find out what we as women could do to level the playing field. I'm not as privy as I'd like to be on how blog ranking works. I've made a couple lists in the past, (http://www.fashioniq.com/wordpress/2007/04/23/top-50-fashion-blogs-in-the-us/ww.fashioniq.com/wordpress/2007/04/23/top-50-fashion-blogs-in-the-us/) (http://www.customizedgirl.com/blog/) but unless you're a site like Technorati who ranks blogs on several different statistically based criteria, I'm not sure how much weight it holds. That being said, I'm always grateful to be included on people's "Top" list, whatever the criteria!

5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

My word of advice to women bloggers would be to not give up! So many of us who may have a strong voice on whatever subject, fall by the wayside after starting blogs and don't ever see the full fruit of what could have been. Unless you are a celebrity, nobody ever starts out with millions of readers! I'm still striving for that myself! So it's definitely a process, and growing pains are a part of that process. I can remember back when my mom and a few of my friends made up the entirety of my readership. But if you're putting out good content, readers will always follow. Have faith in yourself and what you're doing! Especially if you love it.

Charlene Li / Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies

Charlene Li knows what she's talking about and she is passionate about it. Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies is one of the best written blogs on the web, period. Charlene is an expert on technologies like blogs and social networking and uses this knowledge to lead the marketing and research team at Forrester.


Charlene doesn't just write about her passion, she consults others about trends and methods surrounding her niche. She is the one of the most quoted analyst and has appeared in The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, CNN, NPR, and BBC, as well as The Wall Street, Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek. As a matter of fact, while writing this biography and researching Charlene's accomplishments, a commercial for 60 minutes segment on Facebook was advertised, Charlene provided background on that story. Reading Charlene's blog has personally advanced my career as a technology leader within my company and has kept me fully up to date on innovative marketing solutions through social networks and blogging. I am very honored to have her take the time to reach out my readers on the topic of women and blogging.

1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The focus is developments in interactive and social technologies primarily for marketing purposes. Most recently, the focus is on the use of social technologies and supports a new book that I'm publishing in April 2008. The blog is an extension of my work at Forrester Research.

2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?


I have three very specific readers: 1) Businesspeople interested in leverage interactive and social technologies, primarily in marketing; 2) Influential press and bloggers; 3) Thought leaders in the field, whom I can tap for research purposes.

3. How has blogging advanced your career?


Oh, in so many ways! It's given me visibility beyond the limited Forrester client base and extended my influence tremendously. I have contacts that I would never have developed without the blog. And I rely on it consistently to conduct research amongst a community that doesn't exist anywhere else. As such, I have access to better research faster than anyone else in the industry.

4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?


I'm assuming that you mean only 12% of top bloggers are women. This is partly a matter of who does the listing. And frankly, why does it matter if you're a "top" blogger? The most important thing is to know who your reader is and to hyper-serve them better than anyone else. I'm unlikely to ever make it on the Technorati 100 list, but I'm clearly considered a "top blogger" in my field.

The other way to look at it is do women consider themselves to be a top blogger? If the stat is 12% of women bloggers consider themselves to be top bloggers, then we have a self-esteem problem!

5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?


Be true to yourself and to your reader. There's nothing worse than a blogger who's striving to be something they aren't.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Amazon does it again

Amazon Does It Again [read more]
Amazon, after launching it music store in September 2007, has reeled in the music giant, Sony Records. That makes their count up to four record labels who have agreed to make their music available online at Amazon's digital music store. From a consumer point of view this is great because 3.1 million of Amazon's music is 89 cents..... iTunes is 99 cents, so you do the math. Like This? Love This? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Three Column Minima Stretch for Blogger


Project: Three Column Minima Stretch

Knowledge: HTML

Website: Compender

Rating: 5 starlets

Difficulty: Beginner

Details: Compender, a blog by a guy named Raymond, doesn't just talk you through the difficult task of making your blogger template three column, he takes you step by step with screenshots. That's what I call a good tutorial: step by step, screenshots, and tips for errors. I give this tutorial 5 stars because it's the one I used for my blog and it worked like a charm.

A few tips I'd like to add on:

  1. You can rearrange the divs to arrange your blog any way you like. Want your post on the far left and both sidebars to the right? It's easy, make the div id "main-wrapper" come before the other wrappers. That's right, just cut "main-wrapper" div and paste it above the side wrappers. Can't find the divs? There are at the end of your template code… the very very end.
  2. Instead of trying to type in Raymond's changes, just copy his entire code and paste it into it's place in your template (the key here is paste it in it's place, don't delete your entire template)
  3. Remember this tutorial is for tweaking the Minima Lefty Stretch Bloggger Template only, so no other Minima Template will work.

Raymond's steps are easy to follow will work like a charm. Enjoy!

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Monday, January 7, 2008

For the love of God… Stop with the pink tech gadgets please

It's starting to become an issue, the lack of women in information technology fields is beginning to worry some companies… and why not? Women who start their own businesses and work in corporate America have shown that they have the brains, the style, and the passion to pull off things that men work years to achieve…..and IT companies know they can bring that same passion into technology. (Read about companies worries about women and technology and the solutions $$$ they are offering to solve the problem at ZDNet's article EC funds 'gender equality in science' study and vnunet.com's article Women team up to raise their profile.)

But let's be honest, they don't really care about our numbers in the field… they care about reaching that untapped market. Women technology products, what type of gadgets do women want? It's a question that everyone is racing to find the answer to. But the right answer is not what everyone should be looking for, everyone should be looking for the wrong answer…. STOP MAKING EVERYTHING PINK!!! Just because we want a laptop, or a flash drive, or a camera doesn't mean we want it pink… We want it sleek, stylish, and contemporary. We want an accessory that had style and POWER! (And I'm not the only one who thinks so… http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/09/10/hw_saatchi_women_ce/

thinks so, http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/10/survey-says-women-patronized-by-pink-tech/

thinks so, and http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2007/09/ladygeek

thinks so too.)

Okay, I'm getting a little too passionate…so to validate my point, and irritation, below is a slideshow, "No More Pink -vs- Chic & Geek", which displays three products (digital cameras, laptops, and cell phones) that I don't want to see advertised to women any more in pink (and I'm sure you don't either) and tech products that someone finally got right:



Honestly, all pink is not bad… hey this blog is kinda pink…but let's not overdo it. But there is hope, the 2008 CES in Las Vegas is making new ground defining chic and geek. CBS has a great article describing the new designs.

On a final thought, posted by 8manu on SlideShare, here are a few things are are pink and beautiful:


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Saturday, January 5, 2008

i1155: Portable Multimedia Player for your iPod and DVDs by iLuv

Gadget Review Rank: 4.5 Starlets

Cost: $249.99
Where to buy: iLuv's Website
Description: iLuv is dedicated, and I mean dedicated, to accessories that are way different from the competition. Although they focus on MP3 players only, they give all competitors a run for their money. A licensed Apple supplier, iLuv has created i1155, the portable multimedia player for your iPod. Using this cool gadget you can play iPod videos or DVD's through the 8.4" widescreen while charging your iPod. The design is contemporary, sleek and touch sensitive. The best part is the slow or fast motion playblack...Gotta love that! Here are a few more specs I thought were interesting from iLuv's website:
  1. Adjustable stand with latches for desktop use and different viewing angles
  2. Featured with convenient OSD (On-Screen Display)
  3. Multiple subtitle, angle, and audio functions
  4. Supports 3-way power sources (AC Power Adapter , Cigarette Lighter Adapter, Built-in Li-Polymer Rechargeable Battery)

So why did I give it 4.5 Starlets??? Because I'm sick of iPod accessories. When are we going to be able to do all this stuff with the iPhone??? Okay, maybe I'm being jealous, but if you still are rocking the iPod...then this is for you.

Screenshots:




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Friday, January 4, 2008

The Non Traditional Tech Student: 6 Steps to Competing With College Grads for Tech Jobs


We all know that technology is the one area where a college degree sometimes doesn't matter. But if you want to compete with design and computer science grads, you need to have a strategy, the right resources and a bangin' resume. How?

Step 1: Find a technology niche
It's great to be well-rounded but employers want to see discipline and focus on a subject area if you do not have a degree. You don't have to leave your passions behind, just stick them in the skills section of your resume. Pick one technology career path that best fits your current skills and abilities and build upon it. I chose graphic design because that's what I am the best at. However, I am also good at databases, website development, and computer training. I had to choose one focus and build upon it.
Here are resources to help you find your niche (don't be discouraged by the education requirements, we'll cover that next):

Step 2: Self Study
You'd be surprised how many brownie points you get from employers when they see this on your resume:"Certified Master Web Designer (Self Taught)". It shows discipline and hard work. To employers self studying is admirable; use that to your advantage by following these steps:

  1. Create a list of skills you need to learn to be a professional in your chosen IT field. If you want to be a web developer you can easily search articles and biographies and learn that you should master HTML, CSS, ASP, SQL, and Adobe Dreamweaver. Don't waste your time on learning things you can steal from the internet for free, like Java Script, there are just to many ready to use codes out there for you to waste your time on learning the language.
  2. Using your list from step one, purchase the best selling tutorial book in each topic and learn it. Set a schedule if you find this overwhelming. Mondays & Wednesdays from 6-9pm Introduction to HTML, etc.. Still having problems making the material stick? Join online training libraries, my favorite is www.lynda.com where you can pay $25.00 per month and access the entire training library at your leisure.

Step 3: Get Certified
You would be surprised at the number of IT certifications out there. Microsoft and Cisco are not the only respected and credible ones. I went to my local university and joined their continuing education program. I was able to become a Master Web Designer in 6 months by taking four classes. The smart thing about using continuing education departments is that you can use the college's name on your resume. The best way to stay on top of your certifications? Subscribe to Certification Magazine, a must have subscription for any IT professional.

Step 4: Gain experience for your portfolio
Portfolios are not just for graphic artist. Take screen shots of your databases and software programs. Keep track of every tech favor you do for friends and family, this could be used as experience and great material for your portfolio. Need more experience? Volunteer at a non-profit organization or a community technology center. These organizations always need free tech volunteers and you can use the experience you gain there on your resume. I work for Joy Corporation of Baton Rouge, like other non-profits, we are always looking for tech interns and volunteers.

Step 5: Join two to three major associations or organizations in your field.
I am a member of Association of African American of Graphic Designer and Professional Association of Women in Technology. These things make your resume look amazing compared to a college grad with no work experience.

Step 6: Become a freelancer
Okay, why would you freelance if you are looking for a job? Well let's say you don't any job experience in your field. You can replace that section of your resume with freelance jobs you completed. This will show you employer that you can work under pressure and with little supervision. The best way to prove your credibility as a freelancer is to:

  1. Join www.elance.com
  2. Create a one page website showing off your portfolio (make sure your domain is your name…www.janedoe.com, this shows that you are a freelancer and not a company which cause doubt about your commitment to a company)
  3. Put your website on your resume

As a final note, remember that all these steps can be done simultaneously within 6 months to a year. Good luck!

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Biggest Technology Moment of 2007

Happy New Year everyone. I could create an entire list dedicated to my most memorable technology moments of 2007. But with Google, youtube, and all the other web 2.0 apps, I would be typing this post forever. So my biggest moment of this year, in tech of course, would have to be when I received TIME Magazine's person of the year issue and I saw my face staring back.


So thanks TIME magazine for letting all of us, my amazing generation, to finally receive our respect for coming up with one of the best inventions of all, a voice. We did something that was unimaginable, not only did we advanced technology but we did it through society... social networks, blogs, video sharing... the list goes on.

Happy New Year
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