7 posts categorized "out and about"

April 16, 2010

It's BabyTime Again: April 30 to May 2, 2010, International Centre, Toronto


BabyTime is back -- and for the ninth year running, I'll be part of Canada's biggest show for parents and parents-to-be. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with those parents who come back show after show (to introduce me to a baby or toddler who was a bump at an earlier show; to let me know that they're expecting again; or to ask a parenting question or two).

Once again, I'll be hanging out in the "Ask Ann" booth when I'm not speaking on the main stage or delivering workshops in the show's seminar rooms. Note: The speaking schedule should be going up any day now. I expect to be speaking once or twice each day.

This year, I'll be speaking on the following topics:

The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets to Successful Parenting
You swore you'd never end up with one of those kids – the kid who wriggles out of his booster seat in restaurants and steals toys from other kid
s at kids at daycare – but now that you're the parent of a toddler or preschooler, you're discovering that discipline isn't quite as easy as you thought it would be before you became a parent. In this fun and fast-paced presentation, bestselling author Ann Douglas (The Mother of All Toddler Books) shares discipline techniques that are both parent-proven and child-friendly while addressing your toughest questions about life in the toddler trenches.

Less Stress, More Fun: The Secrets of Calm and Confident Parents
We all have a friend who could be the poster mom or poster dad for parenting serenity. Nothing seems to rattle them. And as for the rest of us? We survive on adrenaline and caffeine. In this presentation, bestselling author Ann Douglas (The Mother of All Parenting Books) offers strategies for zapping stress and having more fun as a family, regardless of your schedule or budget. Her engaging mix of stories and practical strategies make this a can't-miss BabyTime event.

Exciting News! I'll Be Contributing to BAM! Radio

Just a quick post to let you know that I've been invited to become a contributor to BAM! Radio (Body and Mind: Child Radio), the largest educational radio network in the world.

Bamradio BAM! Radio focuses on all aspects of raising a healthy, happy child. The shows carried by the network are hosted by executive directors of some of the most respected educational associations in the US.

The network's contributors include authors, parent advocates, researchers, and clinical staff working in the fields of early childhood education, physical education and motor development, play research, child development, the neurosciences, and related fields.

Becoming involved with BAM! Radio will allow me to advocate on behalf of parents and children in a powerful new way and to share what I've learned about pregnancy, birth, baby, and beyond over the past 22 years. I'm very excited.

I'll let you know about my upcoming BAM! Radio appearances as soon as I get the word. Stay tuned!

December 03, 2009

Poll results: How do you feel about contests and giveaways on Twitter?

About 10 days ago, I decided to conduct a poll asking how people feel about contests and giveaways on Twitter. I invited people who follow me on Twitter at either @themotherofall or @anndouglas to respond to a survey using Survey Monkey. I didn't participate in the poll myself. The poll was set to allow only one response per IP address.

  • 76.5% of the respondents were parents; 23.5% were not.
  • 51 people responded to the survey, with 49 answering the question.

Here are the results.

QUESTION. How do you feel about contests and giveaways on Twitter?

I love them. I wish there were more contests and giveaways.
20.4%            (10 responses)

I don't mind them. Sometimes I participate in contests and giveaways, if I have the time.           

46.9%            (23 responses)

I ignore contests and giveaways. I'm simply not interested.           

8.2%            (4 responses)

I don't like contests and giveaways. They clutter my Twitter stream.           

22.4%            (11 responses)

I hate contests and giveaways. I do anything I can to avoid them.           

2.0%            (1 responses)

The 13 comments that people provided offer further insight into how people feel about contests and giveaways:

  • I have done one and I wish I hadn't. I feel like most of them are just an invitation for spam. That or they promise more than they will actually deliver.           
  • I'm of the "I don't mind" group as long as they are not continuous. Twitter Tuesday for a weekly giveaway is too much, but a special contest or a 2-3 times a week reminder of a giveaway/contest are fine if it's a special or unique event and not an ongoing thing. I don't like clutter in my stream so as long as it's not excessive, I'm okay with it.           
  • I love to check for new ones several times a day.           
  • I unfollow people who tweet to much about contests and giveaways           
  • I hate them and they clutter the stream, when everyone I follow then posts about the same contests. Ugh! Maybe if I won I'd change my opinion. :)           
  • It was fun at first, but now I'm just annoyed and I don't want to help shill bloggers' swag.           
  • Seems like I always miss the contest. Only see winner announcements so I constantly feel like I've missed out.           
  • Repeatedly RTd contests and giveaways I consider spammy though. (No more than once / day please!)           
  • Eh.           
  • I don't mind contests when the contest creator tweets about it, but it bugs me when they make tweeting about it a mode of entry, so dozens of other people are tweeting. That's sort of annoying and tedious.
  • It depends on the contest and I try to keep my participation from annoying others who follow me.           
  • I don't mind them, but they shouldn't be in your face like the [brand name deleted] contest. I ended up unfollowing people because they would. not. shut. up. about the [brand name deleted].           
  • Kind of a combination...

Here are some conclusions I have reached, based on the results of the survey. Some of them may be in the ballpark; some of them may be way off base. My survey sample was small, after all. But working with the numbers I have and the comments I received, here goes:

  • Just one in five people are contest fans. 20.4 % of people love contests. 55.1% don't really care either way. 24.4% actively dislike them.
  • A contest should be something special. If you're having a contest every day, most people will start to think of your contest as spam.
  • Play fair. If you decide to run a contest, make sure you're offering something of value and don't use your contest as an excuse to create a mailing list and then start spamming people.
  • Win friends, don't alienate people. Consider how often you're promoting the same contest – and how often your followers are also retweeting those same repeated promotional messages. You want your contest to be something positive, not something that annoys and alienates people.
  • Don't flog the contest to death. It appears that some people who previously enjoyed contests and giveaways on Twitter are starting to lose patience with them. Perhaps contests and giveaways have been overused on Twitter. Maybe some fresh marketing ideas need to emerge. Perhaps people on Twitter are more interested in sharing ideas than entering contests (unless it's a really unique or exceptional contest). 

But enough from me. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

PS. Most of the time, you'll find me posting at The Mother of All Parenting Blogs at ParentCentral.ca or in my Parenting Blog at Yahoo! Canada Lifestyle.


August 07, 2009

A Postcard from Cottage Country

Today was a frustrating day. Everything I wanted/needed to do on my computer really required a high-speed Internet connection -- and such a connection simply isn't to be had here at the cottage. My options are dial-up or an Internet stick (core network, two bars).

I'm trying to keep a sense of humor about the situation by selling myself on the so-called benefits of slow-speed Internet.

  • It's forced slowness. I can't spend too much time online. It's too frustrating.
  • I'm getting to experience the frustration that motivates young children to keep at a task until that glorious moment when they master it. (Staying in touch with her inner toddler is a good thing for a parenting author, don't you think?) Mastery when you're working with a slow Internet connection = completing the simplest of tasks. Writing a blog post, uploading an image, paying a bill, or (gasp) attempting any task involving video.

Sometimes my sense of humor goes AWOL, along with my Internet connection. The chipmunk-powered connection can only handle so much.

So now I'm trying a new approach. I'm reminding myself that I can "have it all" -- just not necessarily all at once. At least not in this part of Ontario quite yet.

I can have gorgeous surroundings and a break from my regular routine -- or I can have a high-speed Internet connection.

For now, I'm going to enjoy cottagey things. The Internet can wait.

March 04, 2009

Use Your Super Powers: A North House Workshop for Girls Featuring Ann Douglas

Poster for north house REV 3

Brochure page 2 REV,jpg

You can download copies of this poster to share with a friend or to post at your workplace or local library. Please note that enrollment is limited to 24 girls and the VIFs (very influential females) in their lives, so please sign up early to avoid disappointment.

January 15, 2009

Upcoming Literacy Day Presentation in Peterborough, Ontario: "Books Run in My Family"

This will be a bit of a hike for anyone living beyond Peterborough or the GTA, but I wanted to extend a personal invitation nonetheless. You just never know who is going to be passing through a particular part of the province on any given weekend.)

November 10, 2008

BabyTime: Good Time

Askme I just spent three whirlwind days at the BabyTime show in Toronto. I spent part of my time hanging out in the Ask Ann Douglas kiosk (picture Lucy's "The Psychiatrist is In" advice stand -- but without the 5 cent fee). The rest of the time, I led rounds of pregnancy bingo, baby bingo, or parenting bingo. Parents competed for the chance to win fabulous prizes -- those fabulous prizes being copies of my books (I was the one providing the prizes: what do you want?) -- and a good time was had by some/most/all.

It was a fun way to spend a weekend. I got a chance to visit five relatives and one friend in my so-called spare time (that spare time occurring before 10 am or after 7 pm each day, you have to understand).

And today....well, today I'm totally exhausted. But it was totally worth it. I can catch up on email and the rest of my life tomorrow.

Before I left town on Thursday, I blogged at ParentCentral.ca about baby planners (the baby-world equivalent of a wedding planner) -- and, over at Yahoo! Canada, I wrote about the importance of reacting with compassion, not judgment, when tragedy strikes a family with a troubled teen.