Tag Archives: family

Skiing on a budget with kids in Colorado

If you’re looking for a great deal for skiing, then a little preparation is in order. Think it out early, and you’ll save lots. Leave it to the last minute, and you’ll be paying for it – literally. As a grad student mum with extremely limited funds, I have got hold of some great deals, and I wanted to share some resources with you.

The Colorado Gems Card. For a $10 initial outlay per card, you get a whole range of discounts and free ski days at various resorts across Colorado. The card pays for itself after the first one or two times of use – for example, at Eldora it will get the holder $10 off the price of a child’s lift ticket (normally $39 a day), and $15 off an adult ticket (normally $65 a day). (One per person, per card, per day.) The processing takes a week or two, so get it early to make good use of it.

The Colorado Passport gives your 5th grader three FREE days of skiing at over 20 resorts in Colorado, and four days for 6th graders. It’s a really great way to get some good savings across numerous resorts, from Eldora to Aspen. The Colorado Passport is FREE for 5th graders, and $99 for 6th graders. It’s well worth the investment for the 6th grader – look at how much the lift tickets would cost you at the resort you’re most likely to go to, and you’ll see what an impact having the card makes. You need to have a picture of your child to process, and online is the fastest way of doing the application. The site says it takes about 2-3 weeks for processing, but I did it two days ago, and it’s already on its way. Important: You do not have to be a resident of Colorado to get this passport – if you know your family will ski Colorado at any time this season, it’s a great one to get for your 5th or 6th grader!

colorado vail resort pass The School of Shred gives your 5th and 6th graders four FREE days of skiing at all the    Vail Resort properties. There is no charge for this card at all, for either grade – just take   evidence of enrolment to the pass office at any of the included resorts, and they’ll sort   you out with all of it done on the spot. (You can feasibly do this on the day you arrive  to ski.)

Additionally, you can get discount lift tickets through local supermarkets such as King   Soopers (you need to go there, not able to buy online). There the tickets this season      will save you around 5-10% off the ticket office price. Not a massive saving, but    everything helps and this is one option for those who find themselves considering  skiing the day prior to heading up the mountain.

Ski rentals are expensive on the mountain. If you plan it well, you can rent in town for  a cheaper rate. Just be prepared to pick up the afternoon of the day prior to your ski  day, and return either the same day, or early the day after you shred. For the front  range, Boulder Ski Deals is my rental location of choice, with rentals from just $10 a  day for kids skis and even better deals for everyone as the season gets older. You can also  try Crystal Ski Shop and the rentskis.com site. All these have deals for group rates, and extended rentals. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. 🙂

Food and beverages are expensive (and are kind of like airplane food in quality) on the mountain, so if at all possible, take your own lunch and snacks. The best skiing seems to happen in the mornings, with everyone winding down after lunch, so don’t think you need to take a heap of food with you – a sandwich, some juice/water and snacks is fine. Remember your chapstick and sunscreen (irritating to be so prepared and then have to buy them on the mountain).

And one final note: Please, rent a helmet. You can get helmets for $10 a day anywhere (in town or on the mountain). In fact, some resorts will charge $10 for the first rental and only $8 for the subsequent ones. We’re all about saving money, but medical expenses are far more than $10. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, if you’re learning, if it’s your first time, or if you’re seasoned – if you want to keep your head and what it has in it, protect it. Helmets keep your head warm, look good, and if you don’t wear one, you’ll be the odd one out on the slopes.

Hopefully this will give you a great start to getting out with your kids on the slopes in Colorado – have fun!

Disney on Ice, Worlds of Fantasy

Disney really has wrapped up every part of entertainment. Everywhere, the Disney organization has a presence. Even in this horrid economy, Disney reported an 18% increase in profit for the fourth quarter this year. The brand resonance of Disney is nothing short of amazing. Older women remember their favorite Disney princess, and still buy pyjamas, t-shirts and lots of other merchandise.

Feld Family Entertainment invited Harry, Charlie and I to see Worlds of Fantasy last Friday. The show was very well done, and Charlie’s favorite part was the segments of the story of The Lion King.I was fascinated by Pumba, who skated on all four skates. I couldn’t work out how the person in the suit was doing it. Charlie didn’t care about the technicalities, he just loved the images, especially of the interpretations of the animals – gazelles, wilderbeasts, lions, birds… all on skates.

The show is probably best suited to the under-10 age group, although we all enjoyed ourselves. The venue was packed, and there were so many little Disney Princesses all dressed up everywhere it was like the Royal Ball! They were incredibly cute. The show moves to Denver Coliseum from 11th to the 13th of December, and if you use the code MOM when booking through Ticketmaster, you can get four tickets for $44 for Monday-Friday matinee shows (a much better idea for little ones), and $4 off Friday night and weekend shows.

Glade’s sweet smell of good social media PR with Edelman

This week I was happily invited to join some other Colorado-based bloggers for a few adult snacks, refreshments and the opportunity to build a basket of goodies to take home. It was a great evening, put on by Glade’s parent company, S. C. Johnson’s wonderful PR team from Edelman in Chicago, to promote their Sense & Spray product.glade scent sense and spray air freshener

This event demonstrated Edelman actively identifies good people for brands to work with, and can put together an event that suits all parties. Edelman has fantastic staff, for a start. The company also teamed with social media expert, Ann-Marie Nichols, to ensure they are hitting the right targets.

If you ask me, Ann-Marie and Edelman are smart operators. After meeting/catching up with them on the evening, my belief is that the bloggers were hand-picked to represent ethical, good quality content providers who actively engage with their readers. Women who are authentic. At a time when companies are seeking out mommybloggers more than ever, there are now bloggers who do nothing more than run around the USA for the opening of every envelope. Smart companies, like Glade and Edelman, see beyond what I’ll call “the usual suspects.” (Yes, I’m biased. I was invited.)

Edelman’s staff were well equipped with plenty of information for us to take home in the best format – a USB drive. The activity of putting together our basket of goodies allowed us to chat about the product informally, and we also had fun coming up with possible names for a new Glade scent. (Yes, someone said Bacon. I said Aussie Bush. Ambiguity FTW.) I was so lucky to have Jen Goode so kindly say yes to drawing by freehand (magic marker) one of her lovely penguins on my mug. jen goode penguin mug

It has pride of place on my desk and reminds me how special women entrepreneurs like her are. I have always loved Jen’s designs and you can check the penguin ones out on her blog, and buy a whole range of stuff featuring them. She also does other designs too. She’s an amazingly talented woman in so many areas. I feel so lucky to have actually met her too now.

The event was a great success for Glade. The bloggers discussed myriad issues beyond and including the product, and we all came away feeling positive – and that associated value rubs off. Edelman gets it.

But the goal kick for me was the extra mile Edelman went for me. Here’s the thing:

We were all offered a basket to give away on our blog. Awesome. However, I asked if it would be okay for me to give it away to anyone, anywhere – given some of my readership is in Australia. Glade is a global brand, but I completely said I understand if that’s not okay. I just needed to be clear on my blog. On the spot, the Edelman ladies said “Absolutely, we will make it work. We will send the basket to anyone who wins.” So I’m stoked. I love that foresight and appreciation of my needs.

And I’m excited to give away this lovely basket of goodies to you, even if you’re an AUSSIE!

glade basket

What you'll win! (The mug will be a fresh one that you can draw on. Great if you're like Jen Goode!)

The basket contains a snuggly IKEA blanket/picnic rug, Swiss Miss mix with mini marshmallows, eye cover, ceramic mug and some permanent markers to decorate it with, and the wonderful new Glade Sense & Spray plus a refill that we have had now in our bathroom for a few days. It smells great and with the refills costing under $4 each (USD), and them lasting about a month each, even graduate students and startups can afford it (ahem).


To enter is easy – Leave a comment below with your recommendation for a new scent for Glade, focused on Australia. It can be funny or serious. The winner will be picked by Harry and Charlie on Wednesday and I’ll contact you via Twitter/email (make sure you leave contact details). I’ll also announce the winner on the blog. Go for it!

Airlines don’t understand mums and marketing

There’s something magical about arriving at the airport with all your luggage and just two of your kids for the upcoming 28 hours of travel between countries, and reaching the check-in counter to find out every bag comes in just under the 23kg weight limit. Score.

And there’s something even more special about being handed your boarding passes and passports, turning around and seeing the 11yr old has just decked the 9yr old, and he is laying on the floor groaning loudly, holding one leg to an audience of passengers who are surely thinking ‘Oh My God, I hope they’re not sitting next to us.’

5 minutes in, 27 hours, 55 minutes to go.

How to make a flight a dreaded experience

We flew back to the US yesterday on United Airlines. Apart from the following treasured moments, we arrived safely:

a. Wholly inedible ‘food’ which really was probably the worst I’ve ever had on the long haul part, and food that’s more expensive than eating at Spago for the domestic route. (And far less tasty. Yes, I’ve eaten at Spago. Once. It was wonderful. I’m classy. I am. Stop laughing.)

b. Lack of in-seat entertainment which is very entertaining for my spoilt kids who were expecting personal movies and tv, yet had to watch tv shows like Desperate Housewives on the screens in the aisles instead. (I do remember my own childhood flights to the UK when there was just one movie for the whole flight, and the headphones never worked. I tried telling them that but they didn’t care and then they got more annoyed. They did manage very well in the end. But I digress).

c. Being checked into three seats on the US domestic part of the journey which were single seats in equidistant, very distant seats which I find very difficult to believe was accidental because we checked into the domestic flight, getting boarding passes an entire day before (see earlier part about children punching each other). There is no way there weren’t three seats together when I checked in. Mind you, I was easily trumped by a poor woman with five kids under five, who had all been seated all over the plane. That’s just completely stupid. I was momentarily tempted to tell the attendant not to bother reseating the kids, but just to reseat this other mother and myself somewhere and bring us a bottle of bubbly.

d. The lack of real assistance for a woman with four children travelling alone, whose 3yr old would NOT stop screaming for about 3 hours in the last quarter of the long haul flight. She was forced to stay in her seat with that kid because she couldn’t leave the others. I knew that. I’ve got lots of kids and have usually travelled alone with them. One kid will cry, or take a particular liking to the novelty of the plane’s bathroom and insist they have to go constantly, or need something from the one bag in the overhead bin. It’s a drama. Something simple could have made her journey easier. Such as a flight attendant saying, “what can I do to help?” instead of ignoring her.

Sidebar: I’ll never forget the Qantas flight Jed and I took while I was still nursing Charlie, about 6 years ago. The dinner came, and there was no way I could cut it up – my arm was indisposed with nursing child. I said to leave it with Jed and I’d get to it later. The Qantas attendant decided that was okay and she’d do it if I preferred, but how about if she cut the dinner up, and just left the dinner and a fork (rather than the whole tray), and then I could manage it while it was still hot? She was awesome. I remember that still. Six years later. I even remember what the flight attendant looked like. That’s good branding.

Market your flights to mums

This is a trip that costs about $US1000 a seat return – minimum. There are a couple of hundred people on the plane, who’ve all paid at least that amount. This is not a bus. People are tired, stressed and emotional. Being an attendant on these flights is hard work. But it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a flight attendant go beyond the most basic of service effort and everyone’s flight would have been better if that kid had stopped screaming.

On our trip over another woman was left standing in the queue with her three kids. The flight had been delayed. It was 2am. The smallest kid was asleep. She had carry-on luggage. She was really struggling. And the attendants all ignored her.

Yes, I helped her as I could, and Charlie even offered too. If an 9yr old gets it, why don’t the airlines?

When we finally boarded that flight, the ground staff said the standard “how are you?” I said “good, and you?” His reply was “tired.”

Well stuff you.

My reply? “At least you’re getting paid.” I should have added ‘and don’t have to sit on the plane for the next 16 hours with kids, and haven’t just had a 3 hours flight to get here, and then waited 9 hours for this delayed one.’

Sheesh. I wonder who’s more precious? My kids completely expecting video on demand in their seats, or these airline staff who seem to think we owe them something more than the price of a ticket.

Instead of focusing on leg room, loyalty programs and discount prices, it would be great to see an airline focus on really going beyond the call of duty to make your flight the best you’ve ever had. If an airline marketed to mothers, they’d see these women are the decision makers, who travel with their families (more ticket sales), and to be honest, it’s the simple things like offering a pair of hands when needed that will make a mother like you more.

Or maybe that’s just too hard. Too much to ask.

The Startup Kid

Running a startup isn’t easy on anyone.

The glorious trails of successful entrepreneurs are littered with the scars of broken relationships and bitter resentment of cold dinners and missed birthday parties.

It takes a special kind of relationship to weather the storms of startup life.

At Darling Harbour, Sydney.

At Darling Harbour, Sydney.

It takes a special kind of kid too. A kid who will understand that daddy or mummy can’t make it to every school function. That we can’t afford summer camp.

It takes a special kid who will say okay through his tears as he’s torn from his Australian home, his dogs, his school friends, because he knows that what we’re working on isn’t a normal sort of job like his friends’ parents have.

This week we have begun graduation celebrations for Harry as he completes year 5. I got to make a dedication to him the other day at school, as did all the other parents in his class to their kids.In typical startup style, I did this one alone because Jed’s in Silicon Valley at the moment. The Kleenex was really getting passed around that circle.

Why so much Kleenex? It was his teacher’s fault really. She got us to close our eyes and think of when we were having our child, their infancy, and years in elementary school. And then open our eyes and take our turns to speak from the heart to our child in front of everyone (you could pass if you wanted to, but nobody did – this is Boulder, after all ;)).

Now, I cry at the drop of a hat. I can’t walk into that darned school without automatically tearing up it seems (sigh). But for this dedication, while others were a bit of a mess, I hardly cried at all.

And while it surprised me at the time, I know why.

Harry is an incredible kid. He was made for the startup life. I won’t be a bit surprised if he ends up living it himself. (Good grief, I hope he scores a partner as well as his dad did ;)). Harry’s adaptability is remarkable. Many kids would have resented the move to the US, and that would have been understandable. Not Harry, even though he misses Australia very much.

Harry's idea of cleaning up his room

Harry's idea of cleaning up his room

He’s no angel though. He has a cheeky side and he’s a daredevil. I was told of his decision to ride a waterfall while hiking, stopping just short of a massive drop – nearly giving everyone watching a heart attack. And we will never forget him barrelling down Eldora mountain on a snowboard without a single turn and nearly hitting a bus in the car park – grinning afterwards.

Everyone who knows us as a family will agree that Harry is the one who most wears his heart on his sleeve. He hugs everyone. Repeatedly.

He is honest and open. But he can’t sleep if he’s feeling bad about something – he has to get up and talk it through. And he has a strength of character and self-belief which overcomes every obstacle. He’s never said “I’ve had enough.”  He just keeps going. It’s that tenacity that is so inspiring and awesome.

And I can’t cry about that. I can’t cry about changes at all – for Harry the world is his oyster, and he’s loving the adventure. He doesn’t care that much about stuff he hasn’t accomplished yet – he’s just going to keep trying. And he’s not concerned about being the best at everything. He just wants to give it a go.

Last week his performance on drums at the big 5th grade concert that combined musicians from 3 schools was incredible. He was on time with every beat. He enjoyed it. And he’s such an individual, he wore his lucky hat too 😉

I can’t wait to see what he tries his hand at, and surprises us with, in Middle School. They’re gonna be lucky to have him. As are we.

Congratulations, Harry. We’re so proud of you, and grateful for all you give back to us every single day.

Talking with your teens about sexting

What to do about (drum roll) sexting? Approaching the topic of sexting in a way that best meets a receptive outcome from your teenager is paramount. And grabbing their mobile phone to go through every message is not generally going to get a positive response. Unless…

Did you originally say to your teen “Hey, I’m gonna go through your phone occasionally to check up on you?” If you did, then it’s reasonable that you would act on the promise. But if you provided the phone to the teen without any indication you’d be doing it, then I believe your teen will think you’re being unreasonable. And how about if the teen bought the phone with their own money?


We all want to raise a kid who is responsible, independent, and who cares for their own, and others’ well being. While they’re little you can best do that by telling them how to act, showing them how it’s done (by demonstrating it yourself) and monitoring them as you encourage them to do the same.

When they’re teens, it’s time to let them start doing that on their own. In my opinion, in order for teens to demonstrate their own responsibility and integrity, they need to have the opportunity to do it. That’s hard to do when the media’s telling you scary stories about sexting. You need to put something in place, but still work from the standpoint that you trust your teen (if you do and want to continue to).

That’s hard to do, I get that. And every parenting situation is different, I get that too. But it’s apparent this is something many people are struggling with. So here are a few idea-starters to get you thinking about a more positive way of approaching the topic with your teenager.

1. Have a contract.

With every piece of technology there is an inherent basis of responsible use. Whether that’s with the equipment itself (such as don’t throw the phone around) or with the manner in which it’s used (such as don’t send 500 messages a day, and watch your language). A great way of demonstrating you mean what you say is through having a contract dealing with both of these areas. You could create one yourself, or ask the family to contribute to what they think should be in it. And then everyone who uses the equipment gets a copy to sign. Let me be clear – this contract is something everyone adheres to. It’s not just for the kids. You don’t get to throw your phone around and expect them not to. You have to follow through.  Not only that, but the contracts, when signed, should be displayed in the person’s regular space at home as a subtle reminder.

You might think this is a little ‘out there’ – but when you think it through, you’ll see that it’s a transparent way of linking to all that stuff you taught your kids when they were younger. It just gives them some control and treats them as a more independent, free-thinking person. And hey, you need to make it clear they don’t have to sign the contract. It’s optional. And so is the phone.

Then if someone breaks the contract with any kind of irresponsible use, it’s easier to demonstrate why there’s a problem. It gives you a foundation to work from that everyone understands.

2. Demonstrate how things live forever online

Having a great relationship with your teen doesn’t mean you unequivocally know they’re going to do the right thing all the time (you can’t). It does mean that you’re prepared to let go a little and trust that they want to be responsible, and will be pretty likely to be, even without you standing behind them with a rolling pin (tempting though it might be). Also, let’s assume that your teens can make a logical progression of thought and have interest in their own well being. With all that in place, this becomes a no-brainer. (As much as a no-brainer and teens can be, anyway. ;))

Have a chat and say you’ve read stuff about sexting (read up a bit first – nothing loses respect more than not knowing what you’re talking about). Say you get it. This stuff can be fun, and it’s shared only between people you trust. There’s never any idea that something bad will happen or that someone’s going to be mean.

But people get angry. People fight. Have you ever slammed a door or said something nasty to someone you cared about? No matter how much you want to take it back, and apologise, it still got said. But words tend to ease with time. Images and text, however, don’t.

Stuff lives forever online.

Let’s say someone gets angry and posts a compromising picture somewhere online. They can regret it and take it down, but it’s still up there in search engines.

Try two projects:

a. Put a picture of something that is personal, but that you’re comfortable with online somewhere. Leave it there for a few days, then take it down.

Then search for it. Use everything you like. Treat it like it’s a treasure hunt. Treat it like you’re a journalist and you’re writing a story about that picture. What kind of lengths will you go through to find it? How hard is it? Then once you’ve found it, how easy is it to then forward it to every person you know?

b. Think of all the people you know who have a web-based email account. (A lot, right?) Then think of how many contacts they’d have in that account. (Again, a lot. Hundreds each, possibly.) In fact, you’ve probably got a web-based email account yourself. Go to http://www.spokeo.com (or a similar site). Using your mail account you can sign up and find out what everyone in your address book has posted across lots of different social media sites.

Think of when you try and apply for a job. This is better than Facebook for a human resources person. And it lives forever. Look yourself up. What would a human resources rep think of you right now?

By working with your teenager you’re showing them you trust them to act as responsibly as they can. You’re also giving them the opportunity to initiate conversations, to take control and showing them why it’s important.

I’ll finish by reiterating that this situation is different for every family, and I totally understand that. That said, I believe this is just one, positive way of approaching a very delicate subject, and it could bring you closer together rather than threaten your relationship. Sailing the tumultuous ocean of teenage parenting is challenging. I’d like to ride this wave with our teens instead of against them.

Why my family loves Boulder

I never dreamed I’d live anywhere other than Sydney, Australia.

When you’ve got a good job, a house you’re constantly doing ‘something’ to, kids, dogs, routine… the last thing you think of is moving. Anywhere. Least of all to a country you’ve never been to before. But then I came home from work one day and Jed told me his start-up dreams weren’t done with itechne. He had a bigger one. To go to the US and launch what was to become scribetribe.us.

And I said okay, we’ll Skype and email.

But he had a different plan. He convinced me to take (another) chance.

We packed up and moved to Boulder, Colorado in August 2008.

Now, lots of people have written about the great things Boulder has to offer in terms of nightlife, culture, the outdoors and the tech scene. And it’s all true and fantastic. I am loving being a part of all of those things. But above everything else, I’m a *proud* mum. And Boulder is an amazing place to raise kids.

Harry and Charlie are aged 8 and 11 and have come to Boulder with us. They have swapped their Sydney private school blazers and ties, frenetic life-by-the-clock, mum out teaching three nights a week, no friends within walking distance, and a home where they weren’t allowed to play out the front due to the traffic – for this:

september-2008-002 A lifestyle that is similar to that I remember as a kid. One I thought you couldn’t give your kids any more, because “times have changed.”

They’d never seen snow before we moved to Boulder. Here they love it. december-2008-004

On top of all that, the (public) school they go to has the best educators I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. They have been wonderful in helping my kids move to not only a new home, but a place where feet and inches, and American history are completely different for them. They’ve made the transtition incredibly smoothly – and it’s largely due to the school. (I’ve already celebrated Bear Creek Elementary in an earlier post.)

For me? The start-up widow? I’ve swapped a lifestyle where the drive to work each day took an hour of fume-laden highways, teaching in this college at Granville:


For being a part of the University of Colorado, which is slightly more attractive.


And on top of everything else, my husband is throwing himself into his life’s dream. He’s happily working on seemingly endless adrenaline, at all hours. But he tries to take a run each day and instead of it being beside a road where it’s simply not safe after a certain hour, it’s up around NCAR where deer graze.

So I guess the thing is, when you think you’re settled and couldn’t think of moving, think again. A bit of unsettling could be the best thing you do for your family. Especially if Boulder is where you end up. If you’re in tech and thinking about moving to Boulder, get in touch with the guys at Boulder.me.


The importance of teaching

In Australia I spent a heck of a lot of money on educating my four fantastic children. It won’t surprise many that as an educator, and someone who got her post-secondary education ‘the freaking toughest way you’d ever decide to’, education is my priority. It’s what I do. It’s really my life.

As a full-time teacher at Granville TAFE, my favourite times have been at TAFE graduations, watching refugee immigrants to Australia graduating with a TAFE qualification, and the pride they have with even the youngest of their families in suits, to see dad or mum graduate with their diploma. It’s about so much more than the qualification – for the parents as well as the kids. And I sincerely miss it more than I can say.

In Australia we live in a lovely semi-rural environment. To get access to the education I wanted for our children I made sacrifices. I’m not just talking about not taking holidays. I mean taking my own cut lunches to work, not buying coffees at cafes, working outside of the home even though caring for four children is more than a full-time job in itself – real middle class stuff that means giving my kids an education I wanted them to have. Even then, however, I had issues. Teachers cutting corners. Not doing the job I wanted. A few times I was forced into a dialogue with the principal about issues that never should have arisen.

So we moved to Boulder. I have been asked a few times how I started with making such a big move. Well, the first thing I did was check out the schools.

Before anything else, I checked out how the school system worked and found the best school for our children. THEN when that was decided, I looked for the house. (Which is basically next door to the school – WIN).

And after nearly a school year at Bear Creek Elementary, I have to say I have never, ever seen educators like this – even through paying an exorbitant amount in Australia. Literally.

Our children are thriving in an environment which is supportive, works with families and absolutely and unequivocally wants kids to succeed. When I meet with my kids’ teachers, I am regularly brought to an emotional state (insert *embarrassing  try-to-hold-back-tears-moments here). Their care and concern for my children is so touching it makes me want to be a better parent every single time – to keep track with their own concern. (And hey, I’m already a pretty awesome mum.) 

And it makes me want to be a better educator at college level too. I want to help other people reach beyond their comfort zone. To find their feet. To get confident. To look at their futures with anticipation – not trepidation.

I want to be the teacher that my kids have here in the US. Bear Creek Elementary in South Boulder is an incredible foundation of learning for children that I am so grateful for. My kids are thriving in the US – not thinking of academically, (although that’s fine too) but in confidence and strength of personality. Bear Creek’s teachers and principal and support staff are incredible. My family has benefitted directly from everything you do. And I learn from you. And even I gain confidence from you. Thank you so much.

What Twitter means to me

I joined Twitter on my first trip to the US, in 2007 at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. And I remember thinking it sucked. I had no connections other than the conference channel – which was tweeting  basically nothing. That sucked.

Segway (does it have a ue?): I’m a tertiary level teacher of marketing and journalism in Oz, and every Christmas break (5 weeks long) I commit myself to a private research project. That year I committed myself to social media – particularly, Twitter. And I got back on board.

With a vengeance.

I joined @STUB and met other Sydney based Twitterers in real life. I extended those relationships online and people all over the world are now part of a network I’m happily claiming to be my friends. Not even in air quotes.

So my summer research has now, 2 yrs later, become a network of over 1650 people. Many of whom I know care about me just as they do other friends in their life. And if you are, at this point, thinking “is she going to talk about me”, then you’re one of the people I feel most close to.

Far from making me a desperate online loser, I sincerely believe online communities are the families and friends of the future. Durkheim – I love looking at your crap, but you’re a bit wrong. We are distanced, but we are strong.

To all my friends who started with Twitter, I am so grateful to have you. You have changed my life for the better. What a great summer project you were. What an amazing present and future you offer.


Win family tickets to Disney on Ice in Denver!

disneyland-adventures1Taking the family out can be tough when the economy is having a downturn and there’s more month than money.

That’s why I’m really excited to give you the chance to win a great prize in my blog’s very first competition! And if you don’t win, I have a code which will give you the opportunity to buy your family of four or more tickets for just $11 each!

If you live in Colorado, the lucky winner will receive a family pack of four tickets to Disney on Ice, being held at the Denver Coliseum from March 12. The family four-pack prize is good for either the first or second night’s show.

There are a few ways to win. You can do as few or as many as you like:

1. Comment on this post with your email/twitter ID (1 entry).

2. Tweet a link to this competition and let me know about it by putting @mediamum AT THE END of the tweet (1 entry).

3. Post a picture of glorious Colorado ice/winter/snow (tweet the link, or add link to your comment, or BrightKite or TwitPic it). Again, if you tweet the link you need to let me know abou tit by putting @mediamum AT THE END of the tweet (1 entry).

So, there are ultimately 3 entries you can choose to have! Go for it! I’ll be announcing the winner on the evening of Sunday 1st March here on my blog and on Twitter too. Good luck!

If you miss out, here’s the code – and you can share this with everyone, including your school so everyone can benefit! Go to www.Ticketmaster.com, go to the Mom Central box and insert the code: MOM to get four tickets to any of the Denver shows for just $44! That’s less than you’d pay for a movie!

Show Dates
Thursday March 12 at 7:30pm
Friday March 13 at 11:00am, 7:30pm
Saturday March 14 at 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
Sunday March 15 at 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm* *Spanish Performance
Get 4 tickets for just $44 offer is good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Not valid on Front Row or VIP seats or combinable with other offers.