2013 DIGIFAM SPEAKER: Dresden Shumaker

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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
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Dresden ShumakerDresden Shumaker chronicles her adventures in single parenting on CreatingMotherhood.com. For the last few years she has worked in new media for a tech startup in Philadelphia, as a web designer and graphic artist, and as a freelance writer. She also covers entertainment news for Babble.com and is a contributor to Kids in the House. Dresden’s writing has been featured or syndicated in The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, AimingLow, Parenting, Type-A Parent, and BlogHer. Dresden is invested in causes connected to ending child hunger and caregiver support for the Alzheimer’s community. She is a blogger and advocate for Feeding America and was recently honored by BlogHer in 2012 as a Voice of the Year for her post, “Welfare Queen.” 

Due to height restrictions Dresden missed her calling as a Muppet. She has persevered as an appreciator of all things mah na mah na.

twitter: @dresdenplaid
website: http://www.creatingmotherhood.com

How did you get involved with blogging?

Overwhelmed with a need to share my personal story, blogging was the greatest discovery for me. I wanted to remember not only my journey to becoming a parent, but also my experiences as a caregiver to my grandmother. Eight years later and I love that I have created a searchable life online.

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

Have you heard about photoshop? I’m pretty old school with my online photo editing and while I sincerely appreciate the ease of all of the new ways to edit images, there is just nothing like the familiar screen of photoshop.

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

Don’t be such a know-it-all! You do not need to be an expert at this age, in fact it’s better if you aren’t. Relax and learn. Absorb it all. And don’t throw away your Sassy magazines!

Any advice for young bloggers?

Save your online work in offline ways. If you blog, start printing out your favorite posts and keep them in a notebook. If you are a photographer, actually print some of your images out. There is something magical about holding your art in your hands.

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

There are so many opportunities to do social good right now. Every move you make online can turn into a philanthropic one. I LOVE that.

What’s the biggest danger facing digital teens & their families today?

I worry about my son stumbling into parts of the online world before he is ready for them. He loves to watch videos of remote control cars online and it is a lot of work to make sure the videos he watches also don’t contain language he doesn’t need to hear. I imagine there is a version of that fear applicable for parents of tweens. I have no idea what the solution is.

What are you going to talk about at the conference?

I will be rolling up my sleeves and pulling out my stethoscope to check your site for a pulse: the digital doctor is in! Let’s find out if your site passes the wellness check.

Who are your Creative Heroes?

Honestly my four year old son inspires 80% of my writing, even the entertainment articles I write. He has forced me to play more, say yes more, and leave the house more.




 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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