Dragon Voice Recognition Software: The End of Slow Blogging?

366967-dragon-naturallyspeaking-13-homeWe’re in the middle of a blogger outreach campaign for Dragon Voice Recognition software and it has me wondering: Would the ability to produce blog posts 3 times faster than if I was typing, turn me into a more prolific content creator?

There’s slow blogging, then there’s no blogging… My goal has always been to post here at least once a week, but I must admit I struggle to keep with the program.

Enter the Dragon!

Dragon, the world’s best-selling speech recognition software, lets you dictate documents, search the web, email and more on your computer – quickly and accurately – just by using your voice. You don’t even have to lift a finger.

So no more one-handed typing while feeding your baby; no more losing those awesome ideas floating around in your head because you’ve got your hands full getting dinner ready yet again; no more losing momentum because your fingers can’t keep up with your flow of ideas

As part of our review series, Nicole from Planning with Kids has given Dragon a whirl for herself and says it will definitely increase her productivity. In her review Nicole also says her teenager thinks that it’s going to revolutionise his study note preparation as he’ll be able to spend less time on making his study notes and more time actually studying them.

School Mum reports that using the Dragon voice activation software is easier than typing and makes homework and assignments easier and faster to complete. The upshot is that it makes life easier and, more importantly, allows kids and students to get on with the things they would rather be doing.

Meanwhile Martine, The Modern Parent, reckons having her own personal scribe is something that she could get used to!

We have a few more reviews coming up over the next few weeks with bloggers letting their older kids put the software through its paces. I for one will be reading along with much interest!

If you’re interested in giving Dragon software a try for yourself, Nicole, School Mum and Martine each have 5 software packs each on offer, or you can order the software now for $99.95 and receive a free $25 iTunes gift card.

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Our latest blogger outreach campaign: Celebrating Spring with Adrift

adriftWe’ve been working on a fun blogger outreach campaign to help generate buzz for Adrift’s new Spring collection

Adrift offers women’s bohemian styles including clothing, accessories and homewares and has been growing rapidly since it’s launch in 2011.

The range is full of bright and beautiful colours and fabrics and it’s all about experiencing a little escape from the everyday grind.

We lined up six bloggers from the Digital Parents community to review the item of their choice from Adrift’s Spring 2014 range. The lovely team at Adrift also hand-picked accessories to compliment their new pieces.

Check out some of the new range as modelled by the gorgeous bloggers:

Kirsten looking super gorgeous in the Acapulco Short Kaftan (love the colours and the fit!!)

Kirsten looking super gorgeous in the Acapulco Short Kaftan (I love the colours and the fit!!)

redcliffe

Rachel is smoking hot in Adrift’s gorgeous Cuba Dress in Ocean

The eternally gorgeous Mama Stylista styling her bump in Adrift's Rio Flounce Dress in Melon

The eternally gorgeous Mama Stylista styling her bump in Adrift’s Rio Flounce Dress

Amanda from Mummahh rocking the Adrift Cayos Dress in navy

Amanda from Mummahh looking fabulous rocking the Adrift Cayos Dress in navy

Carolyn  from Champagne Cartel looking divine in 'Dee-Dee' - you just have to read her post!

Carolyn from Champagne Cartel looking divine in ‘Dee-Dee’ – you just have to read her post!

From now until 31 October  Kirsten from Kirsten and Co, Rachel from Redcliffe Style, Mama Stylista, Amanda from Mummahh, Carolyn from Champagne Cartel and Lara from Sunny Coast Kids are all offering their readers an exclusive 15% discount on anything from Adrift online (pop over to your fav blog to find our their code).

I couldn’t resist the offer and bought myself this beautiful new shirt (which I am wearing as I type this):

Adrift

The embroidery is so pretty and the fabric is super soft. It’s perfect for spring, is great for feeding and strikes the right balance between being fitted and floaty.

To steal a quote from the unimitable  Champagne CarolynIt skims me. It cuddles me in a very non-possessive way. It says, “I love you just as you are…” I’m cut to be loose and flattering and gorgeous on you no matter what sorry state you may find yourself in.

Its well worth discovering Adrift for yourself!

All I want for Christmas is a Seebo MAXX

We recently had a blogger event for Seebo MAXX  and I know what I’ll ask Santa for Christmas!

Seebo Maxx Blogger Event

Seebo MAXX is a complete entertainment hub. Which means the family can enjoy Internet TV, Live TV, Music, Apps and Social Media through the big screen TV. Which means less bickering between the kids. Which means more chillax time for me. Hopefully!

With Seebo MAXX, you:

  • Experience ultra fast-video streaming
  • Enjoy content from Internet TV channels and On Demand libraries
  • Record multiple live TV shows while watching a different channel
  • Access your favourite songs, radio stations and podcasts
  • Download the latest TV Apps
  • Connect all Apple and Android devices and your own media library
  • Share music, pictures and videos with family and friends
  • Interact on Social Media sites
  • Keep your family safe with parental controls

All the wins! If I can say so myself.

But how much is it, I hear you ask and when can I get my hands on it?  It retails for $599.00 inc. GST and will be available from next month.

Go on. Start composing your “Dear Santa”  letter now. Hope you’ve not been naughty!

Blogger Outreach: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

BIG stats do not always equal awesome blogger

For just about every blogger outreach campaign we work on, the objective going in is usually to engage “best fit” bloggers with as high a reach as possible. Blogs attracting monthly page views in the hundreds of thousands are always an instant turn on, but sexy stats do not always translate into high page views for any specific post.

And it is specific post views that really count for a brand.

Think about all the content that bloggers have built up over the years… This lower level, archived content continues to attract search traffic, Pinterest referrals etc. it’s these lower level posts that help drive the big sexy numbers. Especially for those with a grasp of SEO.

If you’re a blogger, think about those popular posts that keep on giving. There’s always a few standouts, right?

Last year we worked on a ‘Big Bang’ campaign with a mix of bloggers, a few with 150,000+ page views and some with around 30,000. In our post campaign reporting the ‘smaller’ blogger more than held her own and generated some of the biggest page views for her branded posts.

This blogger was actually a bit stressed going into the campaign, worried that her numbers wouldn’t stack up. In the end she smashed it, thanks to the loyal and engaged readership she has cultivated. A readership who is reading each and every post. Even the sponsored ones.

The ‘uber’ bloggers understandably and justifiably demand a price premium for their posts and access to their virtual real estate, but make sure you take a look at cost per thousand views in your post-campaign reporting…

You might be quite surprised with the result!

From storytellers to empire builders

 

New truth about brands & bloggers

I’ve had an interesting 2 days over at Mumbrella 360 Conference. It’s a bit overwhelming when you get all the creatives and marketers all in the one room together. Lucky, there was an endless supply of coffee!

My session with Allison, JJ and Gaynor went really well. Lots of questions around sponsored posts, disclosures, blogging integrity and the like. Allison presented her white paper about brands and bloggers. It’s very insightful and essential reading for brands wanting to gain a better understanding of the fast evolving brand / blogger relationships. You can read all about it here.

At the end of the presentation, Allison asked me what my thoughts were with regards to the future of blogging. Where do I see it going?

I told her I see bloggers building their very own media empires. I know it sounds a bit over the top but if you have a look at some of the most influential blogs out there, their reach and influence is massive. Not to mention the fact that their level of engagement would make some mainstream media outlets green with envy.

At Q&A, this question was raised: At what point will the blogger lose that personal touch with their readers once they’ve established themselves as “media entities”?

To me no matter how “big” a blogger becomes, I will always gravitate towards the person behind the blog and not the “brand” that they’ve built. I read a lot of blogs and some of them are huge. So much so that they are able to monetise it and make a decent income out of it. Their blogs may look polished and very professional but I read them for the simple reason that I connect and relate with them. They are normal, everyday people whose opinion I value and trust. And no amount of bloggy bling can stop me from being a loyal reader.

What about you, do you think blogs will lose their personal touch once they’ve hit the “big” time?

Digital Parents at Mumbrella 360!

We’re so excited to be a part of this year’s Mumbrella 360 Conference!

I’ll be joining Allison Lee from Impact Communications, Gaynor from Blogger Connect and JJ from 84th & 3rd on June 4th at 3PM to talk about bloggers and brands.

If you’re attending the conference, come and say hi.=)

The Truth About Bloggers

 

Only 5 weeks left to enter the Asthma & Allergy Media Awards!

MSC1114_B-NAC-Digital-Parents-Webtiles-2014_PROJECT-B_MREC-Blogs_Animated-Gif UPDATEDHave you entered your blog in the National Asthma Council Australia’s Excellence in Asthma & Allergy Reporting Awards yet? Entries close soon on June 30, 2014!

The awards recognise excellence in asthma and allergy reporting by journalists, bloggers and health professionals and the National Asthma Council Australia does not want bloggers to miss out.

This year ‘social media’ has been added as a category which includes all social media formats and can be a piece or series written by a journalist or blogger during the 2013/14 financial year.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner during National Asthma Week in September 2014. The overall winner will receive $3,000 plus a trophy. Category winners will be granted $1,000 plus attendance at the awards.

Interstate winners will also receive return economy flights plus one night’s accommodation to attend the Awards dinner (limit two contributors per winning entry).

The judging criteria include:

  • Providing a balanced and accurate report of asthma issues, including triggers;
  • Demystifying the complexities of asthma including treatment, medications and devices; and
  • Portraying a realistic picture of what it is like to live with asthma.

Hurry entries close June 30, 2014 and entering the awards only takes 5 minutes.

Visit the NAC website for award details and entry.

MSC1114_B-NAC-Digital-Parents-Webtiles-2014_PROJECT-B_Leaderboard-Ads_Animated-Gif UPDATED

 

Finding a niche within a niche: Blogger Reviews

nike shoesWe have been working on a highly targeted campaign for 3M Futuro, with a series of blogger reviews posted by bloggers with Carpal Tunnel or Plantar Fasciitis.

Having these sort of conditions is not something you would include in a media kit or twitter bio, nor is it something likely to come up in casual conversation. Before working on this campaign I (luckily) did not even know what Plantar Fasciitis was!

So, how did we find the right bloggers to work with?

We conducted a blogger callout amongst the total Digital Parents community to identify bloggers with either condition. These callouts are a powerful tool for instantly finding bloggers able to represent a specific niche, no matter how small.

The callouts are also proving to be a great way to provide bloggers from the community with new opportunities and – in the case of Eleise from A Very Blended Family, Sif from At the Bottom of the Garden, Lara at This Charming Mum and Nikki at Wonderfully Women – potentially changing their lives for the better.

The 3M Futuro Therapeutic range includes the Futuro™ Night Plantar Fascilitis Sleep Support and the Futuro™ Night Wrist Sleep Support. The range was created for people suffering from the conditions Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Want to find out more? Check out some of these fabulous reviews:

Making Washing Up Fun: Palmolive Divine Blends Blogger Reviews

Palmolive-Divine-Blends-700mLWriting an interesting review of a household cleaning product is a tough ask at the best of items, let alone when it comes to doing the dishes – something no one looks forward to.

However the recent series of Palmolive Divine Blends blogger reviews are a great example  of how engaging reviews can be, regardless of subject matter, when the blogger remains true to their personality and the feel of their blog.

When we called on bloggers from the Digital Parents community to take part in the review series we were truly delighted with the results.

I especially loved the way Kim’s post over on Feather and Nest Kim was full of her trademark vintage loveliness and cheeky chooks:

Other standouts in the series included Peta over at Great Googa Moogas adding a fun and practical twist to her review by weaving in 20 great uses for dishwashing liquid, from DIY freezer gels packs to DIY scratchies. Elise from Mummy Hearts Money went social offering her  prize pack to the reader who shared the best dirty dishes photo on Facebook, while Sif cleverly  showcased the key feature of Palmolive Divine Blends with her ‘how I got my boys to do the dishes‘ headline.

We’ve worked on literally hundreds of blogger reviews over the years and I’ll soon be putting a post together showcasing some of my favourites: Those that not only tick all of the product review boxes, but but also draw you in and reward you for the effort.

Do you have any great examples of product reviews to share?

 

Tell the World Go Jump: #SkyZoneAU Blogger Event

stehpsjoy

Last week the Digital Parents community helped build the buzz around the brand new Sky Zone in Alexandria by setting a group of bloggers and their kids loose inside Australia’s biggest indoor trampoline park on the eve of its launch.

We had free reign of hundreds of trampolines, all connected to form one massive trampoline that literally allows you to jump off the walls.

The super fun blogger event had trampolines, dodgeball, giant foam pits, a Peters Ice Cream Mash Up station and an amazingly talented balloon man, all of which kept the kids (and bloggers!) coming back for more.

It was very cool to have a sneak peek inside the venue and spend a fun afternoon with the kids before the hoards descend.

But the highlight of the day? Definitely Grace’s forward flip!