Maker Camp from Make Magazine and Google+

We’re pleaseMaker Camp with MAKE Magazine and Google +d to be partnering with MAKE magazine to spread the word about their free virtual summer Maker Camp hosted on Google+. The program is designed for  teens, but younger children can participate with a parent or friend who’s old enough to have a Google+ account.

Head over the Maker Camp orientation.

From the official press release:

MAKE Launches First Maker Camp for Teens on Google+

Program Features 30 Projects in 30 Days with Online Hangouts, Camp Counselors

MAKE magazine wants the experience of summer camp to be available to every teen, no matter where they live or their financial circumstances. On July 16, MAKE will launch Maker Camp on Google+, the first of its kind. This free virtual camp offers teens 13-18 years old 30 projects in 30 days through Google+ Hangouts.

“Making is a wonderful way for kids to explore and experiment. Our goal this summer is to encourage everyone to make something and share it with family and friends,” said Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE magazine, a division of O’Reilly Media. “A maker-themed camp is a great way to accomplish this, especially for teens who are avid users of social media. They can make amazing projects and also meet new friends by sharing their Google+ circle of friends with others through Maker Camp.”

Maker Camp adapts many of the best experiences of summer camp and organizes them online with Google+ so that an unlimited number of teens can participate. In addition, the days of the week are themed to ensure there are projects that appeal to every camper’s interests: Maker Monday; Tinkering Tuesday; Weird Science Wednesday; Theoretical Thursday; and, Field Trip Friday.

On Mondays through Thursdays, new projects are introduced every morning by an expert camp counselor who walks teens through the steps to making the project, offering tips and advice. In the afternoon, the camp counselor hosts a Google+ Hangout On Air to offer campers a chance to ask questions, and share their projects with photos and videos.  On Fridays, the camp director hosts a virtual field trip to epic destinations via the Hangout On Air feature of Google+.

Some of the projects featured during Maker Camp on Google+ are popular ones from MAKE’s 3D “School’s Out” special issue, such as compressed air rockets, a pinhole panoramic camera, and a mason jar biosphere. Materials lists for each project are posted ahead of time so campers can gather supplies for upcoming projects. Most materials and tools are common household items such as duct tape, pliers, and glue. Other items are easily and inexpensively obtained at grocery or hardware stores.

Maker Camp on Google+ is free and open to kids 13 years or older. To join, teens simply need to create a Google+ profile and follow MAKE on G+. Click to learn more about For more information about Maker Camp on Google+.

Posted July 10th, 2012 by admin and filed in clients

Bloggers Gone Wild at #PaintMeBen

Last month Chicago area MomImpact members were treated to a presentation on How to Choose the Perfect Color at a local Benjamin Moore retailer. Color wizard Mary Hoffman, a third generation Benjamin Moore employee, talked to us in a way that made zillions of paint colors seem a little less overwhelming and a lot more fun.

After an inspiring presentation, we headed over to Casa de Renovation to look at the color themes suggested by Evelyn Martinez, a designer provided by the brand to help select colors for my house. What happened when the energetic crowd headed over to my house?

Bloggers. Gone. Wild.

Bloggers behaving badly Hope and Tracey defaced the wall.

One woman demolition crewJen then smashed it, finding her her true calling.

No wait, that all came later. When we got to the house, Mary and Beth, also from Benjamin Moore, drew a winner for the Grand Prize of the Evening- a personal in-home color consultation from Benjamin Moore. Lucky Melanie from Tales from the Crib won.

I awarded a few lesser prizes- an old key to the house, vintage wallpaper scraps (removed from my wall earlier that day) and a chance to hammer a hole in the wall that will soon (pretty please) be demolished.

Oh dear, it appears the other Jen forgot to take home her strip of vintage wallpaper. I’ll have to remember to bring it to her the next time we’re together.

Alli won my hip-again lime green sheer living room curtains- an item I didn’t even know I was giving away. But really, I’ll give almost any old thing away to a good home.

Everybody who showed up is a winner because they received coupons for Benjamin Moore sample pints.

I hope they go bold.

Maybe they will. After all, Kathy, (below) a blog friend dating back to when dinosaurs ruled the digital space in 2006, has been pondering a color change. And Lisa learned a few tips to help with her troubled yellow bathroom walls.

Special thanks to my guests: Paula, Beth, and Maureen.

Kathy looking tough

Adapted from a post at Reluctant Renovator.

Posted October 3rd, 2011 by admin and filed in clients, Marketing with Moms

I’m Back

Last May, along with hosting my son’s bar mitzvah and filling out a tree’s worth of mortgage application papers, I decided to have this blog redesigned. The bar mitzvah left me kvelling and we got the house, but the blog redesign was a nightmare. My husband, who literally knew just enough about WordPress to be dangerous when he set it up, tweaked a few key things that essentially make it impossible to update the theme or other key aspects of the site. That left me to work with the site as is or start over from scratch.

It scared me away for a few months (plus, we started a major home renovation over the summer and managing that has been like a full-time job itself). For now, I’m going with the Bloom Where You Are Planted philosophy and making do with what I’ve got.

You can also find MomImpact on Facebook and thanks to Nicole and Yoly MomImpact bloggers have a Skype chat room. We typically gather twice a month for #OfficeHour chats to discuss growing as a blogger and a social media pro. We also publish a monthly newsletter with events, opportunities and member news. Join us!

Posted September 20th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

Dot and Ziggy at Chicago Children’s Theatre: Blogger Event and Discount Codes

Chicago-area MomImpact members are invited to the premiere of Dot & Ziggy, Chicago’s first Baby and Toddler Theatre production!

A tradition in Europe and Australia, this type of interactive theater for children as 6 months to 4 years is just taking hold in the US. In keeping with their goal to make theatre accessible to Chicago youth and their families, Chicago Children’s Theatre is pleased to present this co-production with Seattle Children’s Theatre.

In this engaging story about a ladybug and a skunk, two very different creatures realize they actually have quite a bit in common. Young audience members and their parents are encouraged to sit together on the floor while two actors, a musician and puppets lead the audience on a stimulating interactive journey exploring color, size and distance. And of course, given the nature of the audience, sitting is optional.

After the show, parents and tots are welcome to stay for story time, which boasts a delightful oversized book that reinforces the Dot & Ziggy experience.

Join us at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, conveniently located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood
Friday, May 13 at 10:00 or Noon
Sunday, May 15 at 10:00 or Noon

Click to complete the form and reserve your free spots for up to four members of your family! You’ll also receive a special blogger swag bag filled with freebies from Lifeway Kefir, Candlewick Press, Plum Organics, OXO Tot, Ruckus Mobile Media and more!

Tickets to Dot & Ziggy are normally $16 weekdays; $18 weekends.
If you can’t make it to the blogger events, be sure to use these discount codes for your tickets (and feel free to share these with your friends and readers)

  • MOMOPEN: 50% off of tickets through May 15th
  • MOMDZ: $2 off tickets throughout the run

Founded in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre already has valuable experience reaching out to a different yet similarly under-served youth audience – children on the autism spectrum – through the creation and continued success of its Red Kite Project. Much like Red Kite,Dot & Ziggy reinvents the use of non-traditional theatrical techniques to create a fully immersive storytelling experience for a brand new audience – babies and toddlers.

Posted May 4th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

Type-A Parent Conference Pass Giveaway

Type a parent conferenceIt’s time! I’m giving away a Type-A Parent Conference pass to a MomImpact member. (Not a member yet? Join us!) My attention span is short, so no long essays, and per your requests, no asking friends to vote for you.

To enter, simply post a haiku or six-word story on why you want to attend the conference. Make sure you let people know it’s an entry to a MomImpact giveaway and link to our site.

Make me laugh or think with your entry. If I look around your blog and don’t see a MomImpact badge alongside those of every other group you belong to, I’ll probably be sad, and who wants that?

In the end the winner will be chosen by a specially trained monkey that will throw a dart at the spreadsheet you help create when you let me know you entered. If I don’t know you entered, neither will the monkey, so please stop by and let me know where to read your entry post.

It’s not rocket science; just be creative and have fun like these members did.

Enter once during the month of April. I will announce the recipient on or before May 12.

Posted April 15th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

MomImpact Type-A Parent Conference Pass Giveaway

Posted April 6th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

Understanding Contracts: The OfficeHour with Sara Hawkins


This was rescheduled for April 7 at Noon Central Time. To join in, connect with Kim Moldofsky on Skype.

This Thursday, March 24 at 1:00 PM CST, I’m hosting what I hope is the first of many OfficeHour chats where my friends join in to share their smarts.

MomImpact Member Sara Hawkins will be discussing the basics of contracts.

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to work for a large company or on a large campaign, you’ve likely received a large contract.

One full of all sorts of legalese and terms you think you should know, but don’t.

If you can afford to consult with a lawyer for a contract review, it’s a good idea- you’ll get advice and learn a few things in the process. But even if your contract is from a big company, the pay might be small, perhaps even less than the cost of an attorney review, so it behooves you to educate yourself to the fullest extent.

Join in on Thursday to learn about contract basics. We’ll be using GoTo meeting for this week’s call, so send me a note, kim (at) momimpact (dot) com and I’ll pass along the registration info. Be sure to include a question for Sara, but please note she will be providing an educational overview on contracts, not specific legal advice.

About Sara Hawkins

Sara is a blogger, lawyer, homeschooler, and all around jane of many trades. She began blogging while in law school back when dial-up was all the rage. Sara has been a lawyer for 15 years and has worked in a large law firm, as in-house counsel, and is now a solo practitioner. She provides legal guidance to businesses of all sizes regarding a variety of topics including social media, digital rights and ethics. Sara is passionate about the law and making it understandable, accessible and fun. Sara blogs about her life and fulfilling all her hope and dreams at Saving For Someday. Sara also has a series of posts about Digital (Online) Rights and Blog Law where she discusses blogging and the law. You may know her as @Saving4Someday.

Posted March 22nd, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

The Office Hour: Bloggers and Trade Shows

Office Hour logoAfter seeing the buzz from my post about bloggers and trade shows, not to mention spending nearly two days this week at the Housewares Show and Travel Expo, I’m going to delve further into the topic during this week’s office hour.

Join in Thursday, March 10 at 1:00 Central Time. The call will last about 30 minutes.

Dial in to 605-477-3000 when prompted enter access code: 677842#

I’ll share some of my experiences at Trade events, pass along a few etiquette tips and stop back here to record them for posterity after our call.

Posted March 7th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

The Rise of the Social Media Moms

Social_Media_Moms_at_Camp_BabyI’ve never been a fan of the term mommyblogger. In fact, it’s also long raised the ire of many of my peers. Though I tend to feel better about the term mom blogger, I started using the term social media mom in 2008. It just made sense.

A typical “mom blogger” does more than blog. She’s active on Twitter and Facebook. She posts photos on Flickr and/or Whrrl, and probably has a YouTube Channel, to boot. She’s also involved in a handful of online groups and networks. In other words, her digital footprint, her reach, her influence, goes well beyond her blog.

Brands are starting to recognize this.

In response to a 2008 “Marketing 2.0″ article in the Wall Street Journal, I wrote a post making the case for brands to connect with social media moms: Why hire a marketing technopologist when you can hire a social media mom?

As a social media mom, I help companies identify bloggers and refine blogger outreach programs while keeping my clients informed about trends and conversations in the momosphere in a way that diagnostic software and algorithms cannot.

I’ve said before that having a mom’s eye view will help a company’s social media efforts stay better informed and avoid roadblocks and ruffled feathers (Google “Camp Baby Blogstorm” to see what I mean.).

A social media mom helps a client reach out to just the right bloggers in just the right way because she’s smart and well-connected, even if she does have a bad case of blogger’s butt.

Though some of the references in my old post are dated (Johnson & Johnson’s Camp Baby? Ancient history!), it’s still a good read. The message is still relevant. And it’s sinking in.

And now that the momspace has grown and matured, I’ve seen firsthand that companies are engaging social media moms in new ways. Innovative brands want the voice of mom not just to spread brand messages, but to help craft those messages.

In the last tear or so, I’ve been a part of several exciting projects- speaking engagements, focus groups and brain storming sessions because I’m a social media mom. Clients bring me in not because of the number of readers my blog has, but because of my connections in and knowledge of the space, in addition to my perspective as a mom.

I see many of my peers getting similar opportunities. In fact, sometimes we’re sitting next to each other in the same conference room, which makes it even more exciting.

Brands have long recognized the importance of moms as consumers and brand advocates; it’s great that they are now reaching out to moms, social media moms, as business woman and brand partners.

I expect this trend to grow in 2011.

Posted February 28th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

The Office Hour, 2/25/11

Office_Hour_Kim_MoldofskyThis week’s #OfficeHour chat will take place on Friday, February 24 at 1 PM, CST.

We’ll be discussing how to extend your work with a brand–ideally free to paid!

Working with a brand should always involve a value exchange. If you can provide more value and demonstrate that to a brand, it might open the door to paid work. Of course, you must keep in mind that brands and agencies have budgets and time lines for various campaigns, so we’ll talk about ways to “work with the system,” too.

Posted February 24th, 2011 by admin and filed in Uncategorized