Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Web Secret #61: iRestAssured

Have you ever been on bed rest during pregnancy? Or know someone who is? It's a hell of boredom, anxiety, boredom, and more anxiety.

So when my colleague, psychologist Dr. Mike Klaybor, told me he was harnessing new media to help pregnant women on bed rest, I had to check it out.

Mike and his wife and associate Dr. Gayle Klaybor use Skype, blogging and Twitter to provide a supportive environment and psychological counseling.

Skype and iRestAssured: Mike explains it best:
"Nine months can seem like an impossibly long time when you're dealing with the stress of a high-risk pregnancy. We are here to help to help you cope.

We can work with you remotely if you have a computer, broadband (high speed connection) and webcam. Just download Skype ( and we can meet online in your home. With experience working with stress, anxiety, depression, and relationships, we can help build your coping skills as you deal with the difficulties of high risk pregnancy and bed-rest."

iRestAssured blog: The blog features weekly posts containing tips, information, and helpful recommendations for weathering a high risk pregnancy.

iRestAssured Twitter: The newest component to iRestAssured allows high risk pregnant mothers to share whatever they're doing with their new support network!

iRestAssured - brilliant!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Web Secret #60: Back It Up!

I am 99% sure you don't back up all of your files (ie all those documents, photos, videos, files and folders that are on your computer as we speak.)

Those who can't do, teach. I fess up to not being fully backed up myself. BORING. But seriously you need to do it, because if your machine crashes, you will be very, very upset. And stats show that 43% of people lose irreplaceable files every year.

So do one of the following:

1. Buy a Corsair Survivor Flash Drive and use it!

2. Use DropBox!


3. Check out my latest find Carbonite. What's cool about Carbonite? It installs a small application on your computer that works quietly in the background looking for new and changed files that need backing up. It looks and feels like it's part of your computer, and is integrated with your operating system (mac or pc)- there's no new interface for you to learn.

Of course, you can try it FOR FREE for 15 days. If you become a convert, it costs $54.95 a year - but here's another cool thing - there are no limits on backup storage capacity. Carbonite will back up all the supported files on your internal hard drive whether you have 1GB of documents (like me), or 10GB of music files (like my daughter who is personally floating iTunes.) And you can access your backed up stuff online, from any computer.

Wasn't Han Solo frozen in carbonite in Star Wars?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Web Secret #59: Meetup

Sure online communities are great. But sometimes, it's nice to have real human to human contact. When you want to meet with like minded people in the flesh, you need

What's great about, is that it serves two different purposes. First, you can use it to find a group in your area. To try this out, I entered "new technology" and my zip code in the Meetup search window. In a matter of seconds, I had a list of over 200 new technology related groups that meet in the New York City area.

For example, I found The New York Dot Com Hatchery. Meetup informed me that this is a 1,000+ member group that is located 19.1 miles from my home. The group defines itself as a "unique funnel for innovators to interact with a wide range of investors, present their plans, receive expert feedback, bring in strong leadership, and pave the way for them to receive angel and institutional funding". I can join the group for free, and attend their next monthly meeting.

Meetup's second purpose is to enable you to easily create a group and get the word out about it. My friend Juliette is a Washington DC area macrobiotic chef and cooking instructor who decided to start DC Area Macrobiotics. She just started it, so it's still very small, but she considers it an interesting adjunct to Healthy Living, her "day job." In time she hopes to drive members from Healthy Living to DC Area Macrobiotics and vice versa.

Meetup's motto is Do something • Learn something • Share something • Change something. I like it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Web Secret #58: User Name Check

When I present my workshops on social media marketing, I always urge attendees to secure their Twitter username ASAP, even if they are not sure whether they will ultimately tweet.

Twitter usernames must be 15 characters or less, and many desirable names are still available. You can sit on your acquired name for 6 months, without posting a single tweet. (After that your unused name gets sucked back into the Twitter username pool and released to the general public after an additional 6 month's time in no man's land.)

But what if you are launching a comprehensive social media marketing campaign? You might want to check if the same name is available on Blogger, Twitter and Linkedin before you even get started. Now there is a quick and easy way to check username availability simultaneously, in a matter of seconds, on a super useful website with the catchy name

The User Name Check website is very spare. There is a search window, followed by a massive list - 4 columns of dozens upon dozens of social media and other websites, from flickr, to livejournal, to posterous, and much, much, more. All you do is enter your desired name in the search window, and click "check". Then sit back and watch as one after the other, in a matter of seconds, you find out if your username is available or unavailable on that specific site.

Even better, if, for example, your Twitter name is listed as "available", you can click on "available", and you are taken directly to the Twitter website where you can sign up on the spot.

One stop user name shopping.