Category: Blogging/Web

How To Host An Online Party, Verizon Makes It Easy

[ 4 ] November 11, 2013 |

Steps to Host an Online Party Steps as a Verizon Boomer Blogger

This How to Host an Online Party post is presented in conjunction with my participation in the Verizon Voices Boomer program and I have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

How to host an Online Party

 The Chief Blonde co-hosts an online party for Verizon! 

Have you ever considered a online digital party instead of a twitter party?

Recently, I co-hosted an online house party. As a Verizon Blogger, we are required to host two house parties. However, my co-host Lynne Cobb and I decided an online party might be a fun alternative. If you are preparing to host an online digital party, then there are steps to follow to ensure a great party.

1. Pick a co-host or get family members to support you.  Just like an at-home party or a twitter party, it’s very hard to run an online party alone. I chose Lynne Cobb from LynneCobb.com, another Verizon Voices Boomer blogger (or maybe she chose me, I’m not sure.). You will appreciate having a capable partner like Lynne Cobb because a digital party takes a lot of effort to plan well.

lynneCobb ShelleyZurek 1

2. Pick a day/time to host the party.  This sounds simple but you have to take in account the schedules of all involved including your co-host, the attendees, and the deadlines established by the host company.

3. Determine who to invite.  Your invites should be based on the party theme and host company’s needs. You also have to have some incentive for participants to attend such as a giveaway or prizes (or your great company!) For our party, we decided that inviting other Michigan bloggers would be fun. They would get exposure to Verizon’s great line of products, we would meet many new Michigan bloggers and Verizon would garner new names to use in their Midwest ambassador program, if needed.

4.  Choose hosting software/app.  There are a multitude of ways that you can host a party online.You can utilize a Google Hangout, meet in a Facebook application, or utilize meeting software (like Meeting burner or Go-to-Meeting). The meeting function that you choose must be able to host the number of people that you want to invite, preferably have a way to host pictures or video, have a chat function so participants can talk to you, and be easy to learn. We chose Meeting Burner for our party.

5. Schedule pre-party meeting. Lynne and I had 6 pre-party meetings to prepare slides, practice using the software, decide on logistical details like sending out invites, etc. Plan, plan, plan. Practice, practice, practice. I cannot stress this enough.

6. Put together a detailed agenda.  When hosting your party, it goes so fast. Chat is whirring by, you may be demoing products, questions are being asked, prizes are being drawn. You will miss important elements if you do not have a tight agenda.

7.  Determine your hosting facility.  Lynne and I decided to meet at church where she works and host  the party together in the same room. We had 3 computers going and we traded off presenting the Verizon products that we were demoing and giving away. A place to do this with great reliable internet is a must.

8.  Be quick.  During the actual party, even though you have everything planned, something will not go as expected. Hopefully, your practice will prepare you for anything that might go wrong but you must be prepared for the worst. Be quick on your feet and try to help participants understand what is going on if a hiccup occurs.

How to host an Online Party

Lynne Cobb monitors the party chat feed during the Verizon Voices Online House party

Our Verizon Voices Digital Party

As you probably remember, I have been a member of the Verizon Voices program when I started as a style blogger and transitioned over to being a boomer blogger.

Verizon Voices Boomers

As I mentioned in the steps above, as Verizon boomer bloggers we are required to host 2 parties during the 6 months of the program.  For our parties, Verizon provided us with a wonderful grouping of products to giveaway, including a swag bag just for attending.

How to Host an online Party 5

Prizes for the party included: (left to right, top to bottom) a Verizon Swag Bag,  Belkin Net Cam, Tagg Pet Tracker, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Zip, Home Phone Connect, Sure Response, 4g LTE router with Voice, Total Mobile protection.

The participants had great fun in the chat room. They not only asked us questions about the devices we were presenting but they also related stories to one another about the devices and made lots of fun jokes. One woman told how her mother used the Sure Response and how much she loved it. I had not anticipated having such a good time.

We drew for prizes after each presentation (with an included drum roll) and gave away 14 prizes totaling $1900. You can bet our 19 party participants enjoyed that!

What we learned from our first online house party

All in all, a digital party entailed a lot of work. Some of this was due to the learning curve necessary to teach ourselves the meeting software. Next time, we might try a Google hangout. We also learned that demoing a large number of items is a challenge for the presenters but those attending didn’t seem to notice. We recommend sending the entrants a pre-party slide package, as we did, so they can learn about the products and enter to win the prizes they want ahead of time. Drawing winners ahead of time is an absolute must IMO but can be tricky if one of the winner doesn’t attend.

The next Verizon Voices Online party will be during the second week of December so watch for that!

See all of our Verizon Voices Boomer & Style Posts  including our most recent review on the DROID Motorola RAZR  MAXX HD!

Top Ten Tips to be Cyber Safe During Internet Safety Month and Beyond

[ 13 ] June 28, 2013 |

Get Cyber Safe — Let’s Be Careful Out There!

I participated in this Cyber Safe campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

CyberSafe

Click on the banner above to take the Cyber Survivor Challenge! 

Cyber Safe Futures for all!

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in partnership with Sprint has developed Cyber Safe Futures to give youth and parents tips and tools to safely navigate an ever-expanding online world. It’s BGCA’s goal for every young person to have a cyber safe future.

Children will be children, teens will be teens,  and boys will be boys.  When my kids were growing up, each of them tested the limits on the internet from porn to inappropriate contact with girls to lack of privacy controls to poor choices of games and music.  Do you have that problem too?

I took the Cyber safety quiz, and I scored 5 out of 7.  Even with 4 grown children (24, 23, 22, and 20) who all went through the ramping up of the internet, I still have more to learn and awareness to build.  During the course of raising my kids, especially the three boys who were heavy into gaming, I developed a few tips which you might find helpful.  I also added tips from Cyber Safe Futures, as even an old dog can learn some new cyber tips!!

Top Ten Tips to help your family be Cyber Safe

Cyber Safe

  1. Make sure you “Friend” your children on social networks.  Also, know their passwords.
  2. Be a Cyber Smart parent and help  your children be Cyber Safe, hit all these important areas:
    1. cyberbullying
    2. online privacy
    3. social networking
    4. mobile smarts
  3. Keep talking!  New Cyber Safe issues come up frequently.  Renew and review often with regular conversations
  4. Google your child’s name often.  Set privacy controls!
  5. Check your child’s phone.  Before you give your child their first phone, let them know you will check it periodically.
  6. Set privacy controls on Facebook tightly. 
  7. 13 is Facebook’s minimum age.  Don’t cave in and let a young child start social networking too soon.
  8. Stay informed.  You can’t keep your kids Cyber Safe if you aren’t Cyber Aware! I was surprised to learn that one in three parents believe their teens to be much more tech-savvy than they are.
  9. Computers remain in public sight. In our house, the kids shared one computer until they were over 17. It stayed in the dining room, facing out so a parent or brother and sister walking by could see it.  Files were checked regularly, poor choices were deleted, and suspensions resulted often!
  10. Phones stay on the kitchen counter at night.  Establish a family charging center in a public area. Determine a time of night, where surfing and texting stops.  I didn’t do this with my children as smart phones were just becoming mainstream as my kids were leaving high school.  I sure would do this now!

What is your family doing to ensure they are CYBER SAFE?

Watch this informative video by the BGCA to see how much you know about Cyberbullying!  Then head over to Cyber Safe Futures to watch other videos about online privacy, mobile smarts and social networking.

Gmail Canned Response Tutorial– Installing from Labs, Setting Up

[ 7 ] January 13, 2013 |

Gmail Canned Response — NEVER WRITE THE SAME MESSAGE TWICE

Gmail Canned Response

Gmail Canned Responses can save you 1000s of Hours over a year

Gmail Canned Responses  – Convenient and Time Saving

I am going to show you how to install and Set up Gmail Canned Responses.  This is a time saving feature located in Google Labs portion of Gmail which stores all your standard replies and allows you to load them into any email.  NOTE:  A canned response is different from an AUTO responder.

When would you use GMAIL Canned Response ?

For a Blogger:

  • Pitching a PR company for a giveaway
  • Pitching a PR company for a review
  • Telling winners that they won a prize
  • Telling companies winners that won a prize

For Anyone:

  • Store your address and contact info and insert into any email
  • Store your signature and place into any email (But I’d recommend using WiseStamp instead)
  • Store your Christmas/Holiday letter and send it our to all your friends with a different note on the bottom of each one.

Installing Gmail Canned Response from Google Labs

Step #1  In your GMail, Go to the Gear shown in the picture, usually on the Right hand side of GMail (see arrow)

Canned Responses Gmail

 

Step #2:  Click the Down arrow on the gear and in the drop down menu, click “Settings”

Canned Responses Gmail

 

Step #3:  In the Settings Menu, click on the Word “Labs”.  (See arrow).  Labs are add-ons to GMail.  Raise your hand if you didn’t even know this existed…go ahead..I won’t look.

Canned Responses Gmail

 

Step #4:  Find “Canned Responses” on the List of GMail Labs that appear and click “Enable” on the Radio Button next to the word. You  also need to click the “Save Changes” button at the top or bottom of the page.  If you see other Labs that you would like to install, come back later and grab them.  You should be automatically directed back to your Inbox, if not go there now.

Canned Responses Gmail

 

Step #5: CREATING A CANNED RESPONSE  Back at your mailbox, hit “Compose” to start a new email.  You will note that “Canned Responses”  has now appeared in your Compose Choices. (see arrow)  YOU DO NOT NEED TO CLICK IT YET.

Canned Responses Gmail

 

Step #6:  Type in your canned response.  (First Arrow) If you have an automatic signature that loads with your “Compose Email” ..Delete it out of just this canned response that you are composing (or you will end up with two signatures every time you use Canned responses.) You don’t need to turn the autosignature off  or anything.

Canned Responses Gmail

Step #7: Click on Canned Response.  Go to Gray “Save” section and then to under that click on “New Canned Response”. (Once you have a canned response saved this step will change slightly,  the choices will be obvious. )

Canned Responses Gmail

Step 8. Enter the Name of your New Canned Response.  Click “OK”

Canned Responses Gmail

Step #9: Now click Canned Responses again.  You should see the title that you typed in Step 8 under the Insert menu.  Click it, and it will insert in your “Canned Response” in the Compose area.  The next time you want to use this Canned  email response, click Compose ==>canned response, and choose your Canned Response from the INSERT list.  If you want to make changes to a Canned Response email, make the changes and then go to the SAVE section. Click the Canned Response Email that you want to Save over, and it will ask you..”Do you want to Replace this Saved response?”   Click YES/Okay

Canned Responses Gmail

Step #10:  Oh Look there is your canned response.

Canned Responses Gmail

Women over 45 (and all our younger Friends), this tip will save your life.  Show me some Social Love for this one Please if it helps you!

Thumbs up on Stumble Upon Please?

Determining What is Being Pinned from my Blog Website to Pinterest

[ 13 ] May 29, 2012 |

Want to Know if your Blog or Website Content is being Pinned on Pinterest?

pinterest

What is Being Pinned from my Blog?  How can I Track my Content on Pinterest?

It’s really quite simple to determine what content from you blog is being pinned.  Or you can determine what is being pinned from your friend’s blog and why they are getting so much traffic.   Further,  you can determine what’s being pinned or not pinned from any blog or website to pinterest, with one simple little URL!

http://pinterest.com/source/WebsiteURL.com/

Where it says WebsiteURL.com substitute the URL that you want to investigate.

So, for example, to look at the pins pinned from Still Blonde after all these Years, I just put in http://www.pinterest.com/source/stillblondeafteralltheseyears.com/     When I do that it takes me to a page that shows everything pinned from my site in reverse chronological order.  I am not convinced it shows everything but I think it shows a lot of what is pinned.

What is being pinned

Are you following us on Pinterest?   Follow us here!  http://pinterest.com/stillblondeaaty/  Need a Pinterest Invite so you can see what all the Buzz is about?  Comment below and we’ll get you an invite RIGHT AWAY!

Even MORE great Blogging, Facebook and Internet Tools Tips!

 

 

 

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