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I’ve gone mobile! I’m finally setup to blog from my iPhone!

It will take some getting used to, but I’m looking forward to having acess to my blog from anywhere.

My new blogging goal will be to post about all my favorite apps and why I like them. That should keep me busy for a while!

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I attended my second #gno last night and enjoyed it immensely. Hosted by Mom It Forward, #gno is a “girl’s night out” twitter event where moms all over the bloggverse get together and chat about a pre-selected topic.

Last night’s topic was about reviewing products on your blog, disclosure of payment or freebies associated with the reviews, and how to keep your own voice through the process. I found the topic very interesting. So far I’ve only “reviewed” products that my family uses, and have not contacted or been contacted by the companies associated with those products. I was interested to learn that I could approach those companies myself, if I wanted to, and once started I wouldn’t have to review anything I didn’t actually use or like if I didn’t want to.

I’ve considered the idea of doing these types of reviews before. (eventually anyway, once I’ve been blogging a bit longer) My biggest concern was always keeping to the spirit of my blog. It’s my space, my thoughts and my opinion…not something I would want controlled by anyone else. Last night the same concerns were raised by other bloggers, and the panelists agreed that those were valid concerns to have. They talked about saying no to companies or products, and keeping with the “feel” of your blog, not selling out just to get a freebie.

Companies are starting to realize that bloggers have influence in the consumer market, and the smart ones are reaching out to take advantage of that advertising. This relationship between bloggers and companies is still in the early stages for the most part. Not all companies are interested, and not all know what to do with the bloggers once they have made contact. But I think there is a lot of potential here, even at the current stage of development. Bloggers (especially mom bloggers in my opinion) can make a real difference by promoting what they find to be healthy, economical, useful and otherwise good products.

The topic of negative reviews came up as well. There were a variety of opinions, but for me personally I really connected with those who said that they were honest about products they chose to reviews, but they would contact a company about their product and any problems they found with it rather than writing a nasty or overly negative review. Companies need that feedback, and changes can be made without having to make a big fuss about it. Obviously if there is something out there that is dangerous or that a company isn’t willing to change then others need to know about it, but it’s about approach and tact. At least as far as I’m concerned.

When a negative review is called for…the power that bloggers have is immense. The networks in place between bloggers ensure that word will spread very quickly in all sorts of directions. It’s a power that should be taken seriously, and handled with care.

ten on tuesday

Today was one of those awesome days when you find a ton of new websites and cool blogs that you’d never seen before. Suddenly I have quite a few new entries in my blogroll! Since one of the things I found was the 10 on Tuesday meme…I think I’ll make a 10 things post today with “blogs to follow” as the theme.

1. Little Birdhouse
Written by a friend of mine, this blog covers a variety of topics and is always full of useful links and ideas.

2. Mom it Forward
More of a community than a blog I guess, but a great read none the less.

3. Living with Lindsay
Found this via a “teach me tuesday” link – today’s “high 5 garden” entry was an awesome read! The kids and I planted seeds a couple weeks ago and they love counting the new sprouts.

4. Ten on Tuesday
The inspiration for this post…I found the various topics from past weeks interesting, and the answering replies as well!

5. XboxWife
Another result from the ten things tuesday search, this blog is a fun read.

6. GoodNCrazy Mom of all trades, Jack of none.
I haven’t had a chance to dig as deeply into this blog as I would like, but it’s great so far!

7. Bookbabie
This blogger posted my very first comment here on Curious Little Muse – I’ve been reading her ever since!

8. Should Be Reading
A book blog – and host of another meme I just might have to join, “Tuesday Teasers.”

9. Books on the Brain
Found this blog in one of my “see who’s following who on twitter” adventures.

10. 5 Minutes for Books
Another community/blog site. I’m always eager to find good books to read, so there are a lot of great book sites on my blogroll!

Tower Defense games are probably my favorite type of single player games. I can spend hours setting up my towers and fighting off whatever “bad guys” come my way. Everything from balloons to aliens…and now, pirates!

This pirate theme tower defense game changes things up a little bit, with much more than just shooting towers – this game uses traps and lures. The more traps a pirate hits, the bigger your score. So far I’m loving using the swinging and rolling logs to pin-ball my pirates from trap to trap.

I give this game a 5/5 score – with a caution: If you’re anything like me, prepare to spend quite a while playing with this game!

Link: Pirate Defense walkthrough, review, discussion, hints and tips at Jay is Games.

Flash games can be addicting, and this one is no exception. “Bipole” over on Jay is Games, utilizes the positive and negative charge effect (here denoted by color) on cute little balls in circular rooms. There is always some obstacle to overcome in making the opposites attract and win each round, and while some solutions seem obvious, executing them can be quite tricky!

This game is simple enough to only require very basic instructions on the first few levels, yet challenging enough to keep you playing, wondering just what the next level will throw at you.

I give Bipole a rating of 4/5. It’s not an amazingly new concept blowing your mind and banishing thoughts of all other games, but it is fun and plenty addictive for little round balls in a little round room!

Link: Bipole walkthrough, review, discussion, hints and tips at Jay is Games.

Jennifer is home! Frank Frisina’s missing niece has been located and she’s safe and sound. Frank is giving the credit to the twitter and blogging community who stepped up and spread the word.

Frank, that how-to guide is a great idea, and I for one hope to see it happen. I will spread it around and encourage those I know to do likewise. The internet is a powerful tool that as we see today, can be used for good!

I think you are spot on when you say there should be some sort of criminal charge or something that can be made in the case of a runaway, especially the habitual ones that would enable law enforcement to act quickly. Anything can happen to a kid that is on the run (for whatever reason), they need to be found ASAP!

I found the spin the news put on it to be interesting…as if the tools being used were of more interest than the actual missing girl…but a positive result is that now maybe other parents will consider the internet and cell records when they are in this horrible position.

Link: Life’s a Bluff – The Poker Comic – Created by Frank Frisina & Ryan Estrada » Archive » SHE IS HOME – Safe and SoundLife’s a Bluff – The Poker Comic – Created by Frank Frisina & Ryan Estrada.

The story has spread to Digg, but it needs help! Digg it and continue to spread the word until this girl is found!

Digg Link

Latest Update on Life’s A Bluff

It may be a long shot, but I emailed my local news site and gave them the link to http://www.lifesabluff.com/ and the article about the author’s niece. Will it help? I don’t know. But I do know that SOMEONE somewhere knows where that girl is. The more coverage it gets, the better her chances.
The internet community is a powerful one, lets use that power for good and tell everyone we know about this story. Tweet it, blog it, email it, whatever you can do to spread the word to even one more person…you’ll never know just how much help one link can be.

Alora

I'm relaunching my blog from my brand new iPad! Stay tuned for lots of new content!

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