Cool! @LewisHowes new book “The Ultimat

Cool! @LewisHowes new book “The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide” is free to download to your Kindle 3/7-8!


My RSS feed

I finally got around to setting up an RSS feed which I hope will make it easier to keep up with the seemingly limitless amount of data coming at me daily.

I chose Google Reader ( for the RSS feed. It was easy to install and use with the exception that it won’t delete or hide things I’ve already read. That frustrated me because I often come across content that will need to be accessed again sometime or I just don’t have time to digest at the moment. With well over 100 articles in the feed just since 1/18/11, it was readily apparent that the list soon would become too cumbersome to maneuver.

Enter Delicious ( a tool that allows me to collect my bookmarks, add tags and notes, search them, and also see what other people are bookmarking (another way to find good content I may have missed).

With Google Reader and Delicious in place, it took a fraction of the time it used to take to sort through more than 100 articles and find keepers (19 this week) covering topics from SEO optimization, content marketing, blogs, security, Facebook, and apps. There are lots of different options available for RSS feeds. This is just what I’ve chosen to use for now.

If you’ve had experience — good or bad — with other tools, I’d love to hear about them.

News You Can Use: Top Five Social Media Sites January 9 – 17

I was going to post a list of all the great social media articles I’ve come across in the past week.  In fact, a lot of time went into compiling the list.  Then I saw a list of the Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs and realized that even though I regularly follow several of them and consume vast quantities of information daily, there’s no way one person CAN read everything.  If no one can, then I don’t have to, either!  PHEW!  What a relief!  I feel as though an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders!  That said, now I have a problem.

If you can’t read everything but can’t ignore everything, either, how does a  person choose what to read?  To answer that question, perhaps we should consider the list. First, I found it in my Facebook news feed from Social Media Examiner (which, not coincidentally, comes in at number 6 on the list).  Second, “The Junta42 Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs list highlights the best bloggers on the web discussing content marketing. Each blog on the list has been rated by our expert staff in terms of content strength, depth, regularity and, to a very small extent, popularity.”  In other words, it’s just someone else’s opinion.  Again, more weight lifted.  I’m practically floating here!

After much consideration, I’ve decided to share with you my own favorites (for this week, anyway) based upon who I think my audience is and the information that I think would benefit you.

1.  First on my list is Social Media Examiner.  I liked everything they posted this week.  They cover a wide variety of social media topics, and I like their use of videos (especially the ones with Mari Smith).

2.  Next is Social Media Today.  Again, they post a wide variety of interesting social media articles.  Just this week, there were articles about SEO, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, using social media to get a job, and more.

3.   Search Engine Journal comes in at number three this week because I liked a couple of their articles about Facebook and another about Social Networking and SEO.

4.  Fourth, and this may be more about my desire to improve my blog than it is about my audience (though you probably should have a blog if you’re using social media to market your business), I found a lot of good content from Danny Brown and friends at

5.  Finishing out my top five this week is Mari Smith.  Mari’s specialty is Facebook, but she is a consistent purveyor of all kinds of social media tips and tricks, and this week was no different.  Besides, she’s just fun.

So, there’s my list.  That’s not to say that Junta42’s list isn’t fantastic.  I’m sure it is.  I just don’t think my readers (is anyone out there?) have enough time to digest that much information.

Which blogs do you follow?  Will you add any of these to your list?

Could Your Child Have an Undiagnosed Vision Problem?

Human eye.

Image via Wikipedia

Does your child have trouble staying on task?  Dislike reading?  Struggle in school? If so, s/he may have an undiagnosed vision problem.

Many people are surprised to learn that a child can pass a school vision screening and still have an issue that affects school performance?   Uncorrected vision problems can lead to trouble with learning, behavior, and self-esteem, so early examination by a doctor qualified and equipped to evaluate children is critical.

Before starting school, children use their eyes mostly for seeing things at a distance. In school, however, they need to focus up close.   Children with vision problems think everyone sees the same way, so they rarely report difficulty.   They don’t realize that consistent loss of place when reading, loss of concentration, intermittent blurriness, headaches, and eye strain all are symptoms of vision problems.

One mother relayed her child’s story this way:

“My daughter struggled to be an average student. When she was in the 6th grade, her teacher suggested that I have her eyes examined.   I’ll never forget the day she got her glasses.  She put them on and ran across the room to the window shouting, ‘I can see!’   She looked out the window and said, ‘Mama!   There are trees over there!‘  It broke my heart to think of how many years she had struggled all because the child simply couldn’t see, and I didn’t know it!”

When was the last time your child’s eyes were examined by a professional?

Social Media News You Can Use

I read A LOT of material every day to keep my followers informed of the most important social media news.  It’s tough to keep up with it all, so I’ve decided to post noteworthy news here on my blog to make sure you don’t miss anything good.

This list not only includes links I’ve posted throughout the week but also some great stuff that I didn’t post so as not to overwhelm your feed with KeyNews posts.

What did you find most useful?



From Social Media Examiner:

30 Social Media Predictions From 30 Social Media Pros

Reuters asks:

Is Your Email Marketing Ready for 2011?

Duct Tape Marketing provides a video of a restauranteur who’s using social media to thrive in a depressed economy in

Using Social Media to Drive Offline Behavior

Suite 101 shares “How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Business”

Read more at Suite101: How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

Mashable/Business shared:

HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Facebook Insights for Small Business

Internet Evolution discussed how

Help Desk Hooks Into the Social Media Cloud

Forbes gave us

The 11 Unwritten Laws of Reputation Management

HeraldNet reminded us that

Facebook scammers depend on your trust gave us

5 Tips & Tricks To Avoid Facebook Phishing Scams

InsideFacebook shared the big news that

Zibaba To Launch Affiliate Marketing Ecommerce Storefront for Facebook Pages

Twitter gave us this tip

Make a list of friends and family so you can quickly find their Tweets.

US News shared

10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search wrote about what companies should expect to pay for Social Media services in

How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011? shared these tips for Twitter searches

3 Absolutely Cool Twitter Search Tricks to Help You Save Money!

Duct Tape Marketing gave us another good one about the value of reading blogs

How and Why I Still Devour Blogs

LewisHowes listed

Top 10 Reasons To Start A LinkedIn Group

MarketingPilgrim listed

The Top 7 Pitfalls of Affiliate Marketing for Publishers

Social Media Examiner provided

3 Ways to Close the Gap Between Social Media and Direct Response

I found this video about a doctor in Oklahoma has developed an app that allows you to use your cell phone to monitor your heart rate.

Mashable/Business listed

19 Resources to Help You Land a Job in 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Shop Online

Brick wall in "Gothic bonding" (&quo...

Image via Wikipedia

Website Magazine reports that market research firm NPD Group recently reported that Mom Shoppers are using social media friends and followers to help with their buying decisions, that 79 percent of mothers with children younger than 18 are active in social media, and of those active in social media, one in four said they purchased items on the recommendation from a Facebook friend, Twitter fan or other social media connection. (See

I don’t know who paid for that study, but I could have saved them a lot of money.   I’m an online shopping ninja.  As a stay-at-home mother of advanced maternal age (MAMA), I have been shopping online for years and, like many other moms, I turned to Facebook to satisfy my need to talk with other adults.  It only makes sense that talk would turn to shopping – an experience that we used to enjoy but now fills us with dread.  If you don’t understand the appeal of online shopping, check out the list below.

Top 10 reasons to shop online:

  1. Variety — When it comes to variety, nothing beats the web.  It delivers the world to your fingertips and, subsequently, your door.
  2. Comparison – It can take hours or even days to comparison shop at different brick-and-mortar stores, but I can do it in minutes online in the comfort of my pajamas and bunny slippers after the kids go to bed.
  3. Reviews – In the rare event that none of my Facebook or Twitter friends can offer advice, online stores often have customer ratings and reviews to allow buyers to compare.  No such luck at a brick-and-mortar store.
  4. Concentration – Who can concentrate with energetic little ones trying to climb out of the stroller, grabbing merchandise, running down the aisles, disappearing underneath the clothing racks, begging for things, and/or otherwise competing for your attention?
  5. Store Hours — How can you possibly get any shopping done when the mall opens at 10:00 a.m., morning kindergarten ends at 10:30, and preschool ends at noon?
  6. Convenience – I wish I had a dollar for every time I went to the mall, took the escalator, and got to the right department only to hear, “I need to go potty!”, have to go downstairs and across the store to the bathroom, wait for the job to be done and hands to be washed, then have to leave because it’s time to get brother from school.  These things are much easier to deal with at home.
  7. Secrecy – Online purchases come to your door in a brown box.  It’s darned-near impossible to get an in-store purchase from the toy department into a cart, through self-checkout, into a bag that’s too small, then into your car without  a curious little one knowing that’s the thing he asked for in his letter to Santa.
  8. Conservation –By not driving all over town to compare prices, online shopping conserves not only gas and your sanity.  You also can conserve dollars when you use cash-back sites such as that simply require you to go to their site to access many of the stores where you probably are shopping already (some of my favorites are JC Penny, Sears, REI, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Barnes and Noble, and Disney) .
  9. Nap time – By shopping online, you don’t risk disrupting your little one’s ever-so-important nap schedule and having him be grumpy for the rest of the day.
  10. Ship to store – Many stores allow you to purchase online and pick up your merchandise at their brick-and-mortar store for free.  While this method does require actually driving to the store, all of the other benefits of online shopping still apply.

There are a few negatives associated with online shopping, though.  Some things just have to be tried on:  jeans, shoes, etc.  Of course, once you find a brand and size that fits, you easily can buy the next one online.  Also, many people prefer to pay with cash, but online purchases require a credit card.  Lastly, there’s the cost of shipping, however, most stores offer free shipping if you spend enough money.

I once purchased a dishwasher from Sears online with great results.  I compared brands, ratings, and prices, went through ebates to get 4% cash back, received a reduced delivery price, and took advantage of a special online sale.  Yes, indeed, I am an online shopping ninja!


In Spring, 2000, I’d been married for nearly three years, recently suffered a miscarriage, and was 38 years old.  Our fertility specialist advised I was subfertile and had a 12% chance of getting pregnant without in vitro.  There was nothing wrong with me…I just couldn’t get pregnant.   He recommended we proceed to in vitro right away if we hoped to conceive because, even then, chances were slim at my age.

After many tears and much discussion, my husband and I agreed to adopt because I felt strongly that if I couldn’t get pregnant even though nothing was wrong, there must already be a baby out there for us.  We were put on an adoption waiting list and rapidly moved from 21 to 11.  We were elated…and relieved.

One day while reading the newspaper, I came across an article about acupuncture and how it could help with fertility.  Immediately, I contacted every acupuncturist in my area and found ONE that I liked.  Rather than telling me it could take a year or more of treatments, she told me that if it was going to work for me it would work within two or three months.  And it did.  About two months after my first treatment, I found out I was pregnant.  Thank you, Dr. Janwei Liu!

My obstetrician advised that I should stop taking the herbs Dr. Liu had prescribed because the effects of the herbs were unproven by western medicine and could be dangerous.  I told him, “Western medicine didn’t know what was wrong with me.  Eastern medicine not only knew what was wrong, it FIXED it!  I will continue whatever course of treatment Dr. Liu prescribes!”  I’m glad I did because today we celebrate the ninth birthday of the first of our two miracles. 

Despite “advanced maternal age” (the lovely label placed on our son’s bassinet at the hospital), both our boys are perfectly healthy.

While I’m sure there are many benefits to becoming a parent earlier in life, I am happy to be an older mom.  I don’t mind that some of our boys’ friends have grandparents younger than me.  I don’t mind that I’ll be 60 when our youngest graduates from high school.  For me, waiting was a good choice, and I’ve been rewarded for it.

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