2013 DIGIFAM SPEAKER: Megan Broutian

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This is a series of interviews with the speakers of Digital Family Summit 2013, October 11-13.
Read all of the speaker interviews
See a list of our speakers
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Megan BroutianMegan Broutian is a behavior analyst turned blogger. She writes about parenting using the principles of behavioral psychology at Behavioral Child and about life in general, and hers in particular, at Megan Blogs. She monitors very closely her 10 year-old daughter’s blogging journey at XOXO Emily.

twitter: @meganbroutian
website: http://www.meganblogs.com
website: htpp://www.behavioralchild.com  

How did you get involved with blogging?

I’ve been online when online wasn’t even defined as the internet, when it was more aptly named the undernet, or qnet, a network shared between universities. My blogging journey started with a personal blog, but the format was so appealing to me and the platform so practical in reaching thousands of parents, that I started blogging about my professional career, behavior analysis; disseminating behavioral psychology in plain English to parents who could find in it easy answers for raising happy, well-adjusted children has been my mission, since. I still enjoy creatively writing about my personal interests, and trying new things and reporting on them on my personal blog, but my heart is in my parenting blog.

Do you have any hobbies other than digital media creation? What are you passionate about?

My first degree was in computer engineering and it has left an indelible mark on my hobbies, which tend to evolve around programming, design, and gaming. I also play the piano, knit, and I’m a mean (read undefeated by friends and family) backgammon player.

What’s your favorite technology to help you blog/write/tweet/edit?

I use – WordPress for blogging – Microsoft Word for writing and editing, because it lends itself to nicely saving them in searchable folders and subfolders – Buffer for scheduling updates on Facebook and Twitter. I’m so busy that if I don’t take care of things right away, it won’g get done –that’s why I love prescheduling FB statuses and tweets on Buffer and not worrying about missing a date or deadline. I use Mad Mimi for sending e-digests to my subscribers and love the ease of putting out personalized newsletters in a manner of minutes. I love the free service at Sucuri for periodically checking my sites for malware and problems.

If you could travel back in time and send yourself a message, what would it be?

The advice I would give my teenage self is the same one I give to my tween: The people about whom you’re stressing about, who have hurt you, and who seem so important to you now? You won’t even remember their names in 10, 20 years. That, and: when life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade, make lemon sherbet, you won’t be sorry.

Any advice for young bloggers?

Find your voice — there’s always room for you in this vast digital blogosphere if you use it to showcase your unique vision. Don’t try to copy others, you can only be you. First chance you get, buy your name’s domain. Even if you don’t want to use it, you don’t want someone else to have it.

What do you think is the greatest opportunity for digital teens today?

Some people lament the fact that the digital world is making hermits of our kids. They text instead of talking on the phone, they talk on the phone or Skype instead of going out and doing things with each other. I think the opposite is true, that the digital world makes the real world one big social scene and it is actually bringing children (and people) closer.

What are you going to talk about at the conference?

The digital world is a unique environment, a public forum with a very distinct sense of anonymity which makes for a potentially dangerous combination for children. As a parent whose child was very interested in blogging, I had to do the research and ask myself the tough questions about the psychological advantages and pitfalls of blogging before deciding whether this was a good thing for her to do at 10, and I’ll be sharing them at the conference.

What’s next for you after the Digital Family Summit?

I’m flying straight from the Digital Family Summit to the ABC Kids Expo, where I’ll be looking for the newest, next-best-things in educational toys for children. I’ll be showcasing them in my Holiday Gift Guide 2013. http://bloggingwithmegan.com/holiday-gift-guide-2013/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit.  He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.  

In his copious freetime, he blogs at http://www.clownlink.com and http://www.dadapalooza.com, as well as a few other places.
You can find out more about his clown work at http://www.acmeclown.com

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