Today’s post is brought to you by the letter N, as in NEVER assume the professional you have hired to do anything to your blog or website is smart enough to back it up before getting down and dirty… just a little PSA from your friendly neighborhood blonde.
When is the last time you backed up your blog?
What does that mean?
It means save your work somewhere so that when you or someone else, or some freak act of internet mess, makes your blog go “poof” you’ll be able to magically re-“poof” it back to where it belongs. I’m all about empowerment and if there is anything I hope to empower you to do today it is BACKUP YOUR WORK!
This is the number one MUST if you spend any time at all blogging. Whether it’s a documentation of little Johnny’s first poop or a tutorial on keyword searches, someday you’ll be sending me a box of Fran’s Smoked Salted Caramel Chocolates because you read this post and were able to restore your site after it disappeared. I’m not psychic, I’m just experienced.
Backing up my blog sounds technical and scary…
Nope, it’s simple. If your blog is built on WordPress (which it should be because ultimately you’ll end up spending sleepless nights fretting over when and how to make the switch-it’s OK 98.2% of your blogger friends have gone through this, I’m beginning to think it’s a rite of passage.) just find a plugin and schedule your backups, consider it an insurance policy for your website. You’ll still be bawling your eyes out on the phone begging your developer to drop everything STAT but at least you’ll be able to do so knowing that you’ve got a copy of your work somewhere. I actually have all of my client sites set up to automatically email me a backup, they are all set up on different schedules according to the volume of content they are publishing. If you are on Blogger you can use the export function and then you’ll be able to just import if you ever need to restore – there may be an easier way of doing this but I’m not up on the latest Blogger tricks. The beauty of the internet is that you can Google pretty much anything and someone out there has probably posted a step by step guide – Google is a hero maker. I have clients that think I’m a tech goddess because I can do, fix, or answer almost anything with little to no brain damage. I outsource the dirty stuff but for the most part I’m just really good at Google.
So, what are you all going to do right now? That’s right, go backup your blogs!
Chris Brogan thinks moms in social media are like “Crabs In A Bucket” trying to pull all the other crabs down to get to the top. This is what he told us last week at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. His point was that women in social media are powerful, that the moms have it going on, but we tend to tear one another down. He preached lifting others up; it was very Zig Zigler-ish. Zig Zigler, is one of the original great quotable sales and motivational speakers. One of my favorite quotes, and the one I preach to my own children, is, “You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” I’ve seen this in action more times than I can count, and I believe this is what Chris Brogan was talking about.
I’ve been thinking about the crab analogy a lot because I don’t think there are any crabs left in my bucket. The crabs that I’ve come across have all drowned themselves or built sandcastles to house their baby lemming crabs a long time ago. I’m no crab; I like to think I’m more like a Nemo. I like to rally the fish to swim down and bust the net wide open and set everyone free. It’s a very big ocean out there and there’s plenty of reef to go around. (What? I just spent a week at Disney, if you aren’t following along you’ll have to rent the movie. It rocks but if you are a Dad prepare to shed a few tears.)
Here’s the way I see it. Most of the women online are extremely supportive and giving to others, some are not. The reason women in social media, who happen to be mothers, get lumped in with the crab crowd is that anyone with a computer can start up a blog and blogging has become a great way to document motherhood and network with other moms. Let’s face it, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, all of these social media platforms put us in touch with people who share similar realities. Where the landscape becomes blurry is when moms begin to monetize their blogs or seek professional work within social media. Suddenly, there are moms operating as “professionals”, they are no longer just bloggers but the Mommy Blogger label follows them everywhere, no matter what. I was once introduced to the board members of a start-up company as a Mommy Blogger when I had been invited as a paid consultant to discuss the integration of social media with their current marketing strategy. Really! True story, friends.
Some of us have professional experience, some don’t but social media is new, and to many companies it is a mystery. This has allowed many women great opportunities to transition from staying home with their children for many years (ten in my case) to re-entering the workforce in higher level positions than generations past. This is a great place to be and so many women with and without prior experience in the professional world are building amazing businesses and joining great companies. Still, the ugly rotting seafood stench of the crabs among us lingers and taints our reputations.
How do we differentiate ourselves from the crabs?
I don’t really care if you call me a Mommy Blogger, it happens all the time and I barely flinch anymore because for some reason people who use it think it’s an endearing term, but when I walk into a room and present a revenue model that cuts my client’s expenses in half and increases profits by more than 100%, they don’t ask me to wipe their boogers and they certainly don’t call me MOMMY. So, a few rotten crabs are stinkin’ up the pot. I may get snarky and opinionated on this blog but I could care less who is getting what and doing what to whomever. I DON’T HAVE TIME. I started out blogging for fun and it opened up a whole world for me. I’m frustrated that because I’m a mom I’m considered a crab but I’ve got enough work to keep me busy for now so I have to hope that eventually the stench will clear.
What do you think? Are there crabs in your bucket? Are you a crab or have you been a crab? How do we get people to look at us as business women and not just another crab?
Oh, calm down people! I don’t really think Chris Brogan is full of crap. He does talk CRAP, though. Actually, he talks common sense and his CRAP is just another fun and catchy way to spread his message. Between you and me, I’m grateful for Chris Brogan’s CRAP because ever since my boys decided to share the “F” word with our 5 year-old daughter, who then decided to show off her new found spelling skills by writing that lovely word plus y-o-u in permanent black marker on the brick outside our house, oh, and the KITCHEN TABLE, I’ve had to be extremely careful about the potty talk. It was getting really sanitary and boring in here so it’s nice being able to bring some CRAP to the table. You’ve likely read this CRAP a million times already but if not, here’s the CRAP Chris Brogan dished at last week’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration:
C – Connecting: Always be connecting, online and in person. Bring others together and become known as a connector. I think this is good advice because then you start getting people coming to you for all the fun stuff. Well, it’s not good when the person you are most often confused for is a complete moron. So connect but be smart about it – oh, sorry that was my advice not Chris’s. He’s pretty moron free.
R – Referrals: Ask for and offer referrals. Chris recommended the book Referral Engine by John Jantz. (If I were Chris Brogan I’d totally insert the Amazon widget and when you bought the book I’d make $0.05 but I’m lazy, maybe I’ll insert Chris’s Amazon widget-that’d be fun.)
A – Attention or Awareness – Pay attention and be aware. Always be looking for opportunities (I like to do this and make note of things to pass along to others-goes back to being the connector.)
P – Presence – Be present. Be everywhere.
I haven’t been blogging much lately so maybe it’s time I step into the CRAP and banter a wee bit….
I like Chris Brogan, he’s sort of humble in a quiet not so humble way. How humble can you be when you’re a New York Times best-selling author and considered an expert by all of the self-proclaimed social media experts? The thing I really like about Chris is that he doesn’t have a canned speech, or if he does he’s smart enough to switch it up and swish it around and tailor it to the audience he’s speaking to. There are a few other heavy hitters out there that I’ve heard three or four times in different industry settings and each time they’ve given pretty much the same talk, with similar Power Point presentations and the worst part is that they use the same jokes. Well, nobody’s asking me to speak so I should probably just shut my trap, right?
Ok, here’s where I squirm. Chris told us not to agonize over a single blog post, that “Good enough, is good enough”. I like this. It’s permission to just spit it out and move on. Content is King. There’s only one problem with this… my DNA doesn’t work that way. I need a Xanax just thinking about such a thing. I think it’s perfectly feasible to be proud of a best-selling book that has a typo in it, but I’d be pissed at the editor (because as an editor I’d never have let that slip by) and I’d make sure every book printed from then on was corrected. This is my neurosis. I can’t read the newspaper without making editorial corrections. I’m plagued by grammatical concern. What if I vomit out this great idea and press “publish”, and there’s a typo or I change my mind? I’m so sure that Chris’s advice is the secret to my being able to keep up with this blog while still working like a madwoman, but right now I write a post and press “save draft”-and then it sits there until I have time to look at it again, but by then my fabulous opinion on the current topic is no longer current, in fact it’s totally last week. And this, my friends, is why I will never have a New York Times best-selling book. Literary constipation.
What else? Ah, the crabs in the bucket thing. Chris says we moms rock it in social media but that we tend to tear each other down like crabs in a bucket trying to get to the top. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Yes, the mom blogging community has crabs, most communities get crabs from time to time. The thing is, I miss half of it because I’m too busy doing my thing and working my ass off. It pisses me off that I’m lumped into this bucket o’ crabs. So guess what? After I publish this post I’m going spit out another blog post about crabs and I might even press “publish” before giving it a second read. So there it is. (My teeth hurt because I’m sure the run on sentence I carelessly tossed off a few paragraphs ago isn’t as funny as I thought it was…) Thanks to Chris Brogan for unleashing this newly reckless and wild blonde blogger….
**While, I paid for my family’s travel and to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and other items. I was not asked to write about the events and all opinions are my own based on my experiences.
Recently I was offered an opportunity to video interview nationally-recognized style expert, Jenn Falik. My travel schedule has been a little hectic lately so I was really disappointed to see that the time and date of the interview fell right in the middle of one of these trips. Fortunately, I was able to send my questions to Jenn and she recorded the video for me anyway! In the video she shares unique tips on how to makeover your spring wardrobe on a budget, as well as details on a makeover contest Crocs is launching that will also support Dress for Success. See what she tells me about whether someone petite like myself should wear bright colors, how to spruce up an outfit on the go, and much more!
You can enter the “New Crocs, New You” Wardrobe Makeover Contest through April 15, visit www.crocs.com/newyou to enter. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to New York City for a makeover package, including a shopping spree and makeover with style and beauty expert Jenn Falik. Crocs will donate $5 per entry to Dress for Success Worldwide; the donation supports the organization’s ongoing efforts in providing professional attire and a network of support for disadvantaged women.
So, I’m not what you would call your typical Crocs kinda gal. My kids wear them year round and love them but I never thought you’d see me in a pair…. til now. The new translucent line features brilliant sheer colors and fashion forward designs that made the girlie girl in me squee a wee bit! Crocs have always been popular for their comfort and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit wearing my son’s around the house. I wasn’t a fan of original style but I’m really impressed with this new line. Remember the jellies we used to wear? I got a pair in my Easter basket one year and I must have worn those shoes every day until they disintegrated! The new Adrina Flat reminds me so much of those shoes!
I’m petite and prefer a little lift so I asked Crocs to send me this pair of Carlie Platform Flips. I love them! They are colorful and they have that squishy foot love feel of traditional Crocs but they are stylish and fun! I’ve been wearing them for the past few days and they really are light weight and comfortable. The only thing that I’d really like to see Crocs do the next time around is make the toe strap a bit more rounded. I don’t think it would rub but the whole shoe is so squishy and conforms to your foot, I’d just love to see them be able to do that with the strap as well. I run around a lot and I wear flip flops to and from yoga classes so I like the idea that these are just as comfy but have a little “lift” that my flat flops don’t have. Oh, and the fact that they are odor resistant is a major bonus… not that my feet ever stink. Never.
In the name of good smelling, happy-smiley feet everywhere Crocs is letting me give THREE lucky readers a new pair of shoes from this new line!
Congratulations to the Winners…..
Enter to Win one of three pairs of New Crocs from the Translucent Collection!
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your shoe size and your favorite style and color from the Crocs Translucent Collection.
2. Subscribe to Bantering Blonde feed HERE.
3. Follow Bantering Blonde on Twitter HERE.
4. Like Crocs on Facebook and tell them I sent you!
5. Leave three comment entries and share why you thought you should win if you entered the New Crocs, New You Wardrobe Makeover Contest.
6. Tweet the following:
I just entered to win a pair of Crocs from @banteringblonde New Crocs New You Giveaway! http://ow.ly/4mxpB
*This contest is open to residents of the US only. Contest will end 12:01 am on April 11th, winners will be chosen by random.org and must respond within 48 hours of notification.
**I was sent the Carlie Platform Flip at no cost for purposes of review. This post reflects my opinion based on my experiences with this product.
Social media has changed the face of motherhood for many women. Women from different parts of the country and world, different professional and educational backgrounds are able to connect and network via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and a plethora of new community building platforms that emerge monthly. It’s been called the “Wild Wild West” of times, there have been cat fights and blunders but a significant number of both inexperienced and professionally experienced women, like myself, have been able to emerge from staying at home with their children for several years (10 in my case) and build businesses in marketing, pr, communications and many directly on their blogs and online communities. I would never have been able to re-enter the workforce at the same level with the same recognition even 5 years ago. Like the old west though, companies and women are still working through how we will all operate in this space. Between the daily changes in the technology we use and the changes in the way we best work together, there is always a rumbling of dissent somewhere in the “Mom Sphere”. Most recently the Disney Social Media Moms conference has sparked some very unbecoming chatter in different corners of the Momscape.
First, let me disclose that I have now been a Disney Social Media Mom both years that the conference has existed. Second, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with other Disney sponsored events. From my first Disney encounter as a blogger it was crystal clear that they absolutely understood the social media space and that they believed in me. Yes, I carry their message, but I’m not just a quick tweet, they want me to hang around for the long haul and there’s nothing sexier than showing a gal like me that you like me for my brains. There is no doubt about it, participating at any level in a Disney sponsored event is always a first class experience. So, yes, it may seem easier for me to say that Disney rocks.
I have extreme gratitude towards Disney for including my family in this event. There are two major points I think every Mommy Blogger/Mom Who Blogs/Woman in Social Media with Children ought to make note of with this particular conference.. One, my kids suddenly understand that Mom is not just the person who takes care of them, loves them, cooks and cleans for them, but she is someone that Disney recognizes as being an important factor in spreading their message. Few of us have ever experience a conference with the same high caliber of speakers Disney engages. Yes, I am important to Disney and that speaks volumes to the munchkins in my life. I’m a hero! The second piece, and this is likely where most of the ire and jealousy of others comes in to play, is that without the affordability of this trip my kids definitely would not be able to experience all of the Disney parks, the resort stay, the characters, planned fun, and the amazing SWAG. Yes the SWAG. It’s nice swag, you can search my tweets and you’ll likely find very little mention of the swag because it’s not why we come. It’s part of the experience and Disney is generous and the families that have been on the receiving end are enchanted and will carry the Disney magic with them, they’ll talk about it and influence others. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. This is business.
Here’s the thing. Free speech allows you to say whatever you want about this conference and those who attended but it is laughable to think that anyone might dictate how Disney should run their business. Their brand, their business, their choice. Like any of us they are navigating this new space and are likely learning great lessons along the way. If you’d like to give advice to Disney or any of the organizers I’m sure they are open to hearing it but calling them out on Twitter or Technorati trying to incite a backlash of sorts is incredibly lame. If you’ve ever experienced the absolute undeniable enthusiasm of a “cast member” at Disney you should know that you can’t rain on their parade-it just isn’t in their DNA. From the man who was sweeping the walk that stopped to talk to my daughter about her princess crown, to the server in the cafe who took my son’s order for pancakes to the kitchen-even after the grille had switched to lunch, to the woman passing me in the hallway as I was entering my room one night who said “Welcome Home”, they are all living their mission statement and there is nothing that happens without great though and orchestration. They are in the Experience Business, after all. Chances are, notes were taken on how to improve this event in the future, but thinking that you can incite controversy with a few tweets and a post does nothing to add value in our community of social media moms. Pointing out the negative aspects of this event does nothing to lift up the greater community of women in social media. You are entitled to you opinion but by dissing the very women who are out here working to prove that moms are worthy of this type of professional investment, the end result simply exposes the inexperienced and unprofessional women there are in our midst. This type of display is the Achilles Heel of social media Momdom and it sets us all back.
I geek out at Disney, it’s a study in marketing, branding, pr, and customer services that almost any person or company could learn from. Imagine if everyone in the world could let the spirit of Disney “cast members” into their lives. This is a world where people love what they do, they smile and say hello to everyone, they have amazing pride in their property and it shows in the maintenance and care for every detail. You cannot fake genuine enthusiasm like this. When people believe and trust the best in others it brings out the best in themselves and we all benefit.
That’s about all I have to say about this.
The blue drinks? Delicious!
****While, I paid for my family’s travel and to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and other items. I was not asked to write about the events and all opinions are my own based on my experiences.