Thursday, August 23, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
We found our fun in Atlanta when we attended a special dinner held at the Georgia Aquarium. Their Aquarium is one of the best I’ve experienced. They have a giant tank filled with all kinds of fish including four whale sharks. If you’re a diver, they offer the opportunity to go diving in the tank with the sharks. It would have tempted me, but given that I’m scuba diving with my daughter this fall, we’ll be finding our sharks in the wild – so even with grown kids, fun trips are still on my calendar.
My official purpose in going to Atlanta was the National Convention for the Association of Free Community Publications (AFCP). These conventions can do wonders for my editorial ego. This year, the AFCP awarded FAMILY Magazine a First Place Award for Editorial Excellence. We are just so proud of ourselves! But the pride didn’t start with the Award (though none of us is planning to give it back…). For the past year and a half, we have really focused on improving our editorial - so we thank the AFCP for noticing! We have a great group of writers who do a wonderful job for us, and we are extremely proud of what they produce.
The changes we’ve made to our editorial content have been all about giving our readers what they want. Each month, we present a Theme of Articles that speak to our reader moms’ interests. Our goal is that every issue features articles that speak to moms and their personal situation. One of our readers’ favorite themes is the “Best for Families” issue we do each July. We answer the question “what moms want” throughout the issue – with lists of readers’ favorites from ice cream to vacation spots. Recently we’ve begun incorporating our mom recommendations into the editorial content as well.
One of our favorite editorial additions is a fun series called “Ages and Stages.” We know moms like to check in on their kids’ developmental milestones and peek ahead to the next Age and Stage. Our Ages and Stages articles feature the First Year (pregnancy to baby at 12 months), Early Years (toddlers), Middle Years (elementary years K through 5th), and Tween Years (junior high and beyond). If there is a topic you would like us to cover in Ages and Stages or elsewhere in the magazine, please send me an email at Brenda@theFAMILYmagazine.com. I always love hearing from you!
We work hard to be sure our magazine is at its best for moms every month. Their opinion is what matters most, but we have to admit that we don’t mind the pat on the back we get when our peers recognize our hard work and dedication. It is great for the staff of FAMILY Magazine to be rewarded for all the great work they do. I’m always so proud to be able to go to these professional conferences and show off everyone’s great work.
Not to be outdone by the print magazine, our online version of FAMILY Magazine was also recognized at the AFCP convention. So if you ever find you are out and about without your printed copy of FAMILY Magazine, you can always access us online. There is an easy link to our eMagazine on our homepage (www.washingtonfamily.com).
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Is interest in Facebook cooling off? Is Twitter only good for celebrities? What is the hottest new thing out there in the Social Media World? Pinterest!
Although their name is a bit confusing (I have a hard time remember it because it is so odd), Pinterest is the hottest thing going right now.
Imagine being able to find photos online of all your favorite places, shoes, hairstyles, DIY projects and household wonders…all in one place. And be able to categorize them into folders to keep as inspiration later. Or should I say, PINspiration.
Enter Pinterest. The world’s largest pin-board online. This addicting website is already one of the most popular websites and apps, and for good reason. It’s addicting! I’ve already found a million projects I want to do with the house. The social site encourages sharing or “pinning” products and photos you like. Like Twitter and Facebook, a Pinterest user has followers who can view their followed pins in a newsfeed of photos. It’s this huge web – you might pin a photo of a china set you are dying to purchase…and three people re-pin it to their pages. From there, more people re-pin from your friends, and it spreads like wildfire.
You don’t have to stay within the confines of Pinterest (although it’s hardly confining) to post items you like. You can pin an image from almost any website. New shoes you bought online? You can add a button to your toolbar that lets you post a photo of your new kicks, with a link to where all your friends can buy some if they want as well.
It’s such a fabulous tool for businesses. Especially retail. When the site started, we tested the waters by posting a few items of an advertiser to see if it would ‘get any bites.’ Later that week, the advertiser called us to say that they had received a few orders from Pinterest as the original source. It was incredible.
Are you on Pinterest? If not, comment below and I’ll send you an invite to join! It’s a world of fun. Find us at: http://pinterest.com/familymagazine
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Oh, the wonderful world of Twitter. Did you know that when the earthquake happened here in the Washington region last summer, it was in the papers the next day, on the news that evening, and on twitter 6 seconds later? Twitter is the immediate, real-time micro-blog platform that has taken the entire world by storm. It consists of bite-sized posts about anything and everything. Posts are limited to 140 characters so it’s challenging to find the most effective ways of condensing what you need to say…but I’m always up for a challenge.
Learning how to tweet is like learning another language. There are hashtags (huh?) and RTs (what?) and while it will all seem overwhelming, I promise it gets better with practice.
There was a neat instance where our marketing manager attended a charity ball in DC and live-tweeted (tweeting while you’re at the event) a photo of her with a few mom bloggers she invited. A few moments after posting the pic to Twitter, a veterinarian (who also happened to be the host of Channel 8’s The Pet Show) tweeted/responded, gushing about the charity venue. After conversing back and forth, she invited us to be a part of her TV Show and offer tips on Family Pet Rules (see the tips and segment here: http://www.washingtonfamily.com/page/pet-owner-rules-for-kids) It is truly amazing to learn this medium and watch how it works its magic!
For more information about twitter, check out this great article from Mashable: http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter and follow the magazine online at https://twitter.com/FamilyMagDC.