2013 DIGIFAM SPEAKER: Karen Arnold

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This is a series of interviews with the speakers of Digital Family Summit 2013, October 11-13.
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Karen ArnoldKaren Arnold (pronounced Car-en) and her husband, 4 children, 4 cats, and approximately 10 chickens, live in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a Happiness Engineer for Automattic, the folks that make WordPress.com. When she isn’t engineering happiness, that is, helping WordPress users with their sites, she helps her husband homeschool their energetic kiddos, tries to blog regularly, and brainstorms ways to meet every WordPress user in New Mexico.

twitter: @karenalma
website: http://karenalma.com

How did you get involved with blogging?

My parents lived outside of the US when I was in college so before most people had email we were using it to communicate. Since I had a computer, I did a lot of poking around. I discovered HTML while sitting at my computer surfing the internet. That led to WordPress and then to designing websites for small businesses in my local area.

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

I’m pretty minimalist. I enjoy simply typing into the WordPress dashboard. I use WordPress.com and I really love the Publicize feature that automatically sends a link to my Twitter account and Facebook profile. 

What blogs do you read regularly?

Facebook. 😀

Seriously, I keep up with my friends and family on Facebook. I have a bunch of homeschooler blogs that I read now and again. I spread my reading out quite a bit, though, between blogs and news sites. In the end, I really do prefer to read a real book made of real paper when I’m not working.

Any advice for young bloggers?

Just do it. Stop worrying about what people/readers think and just get out there and produce content.

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

While I am a big proponent of going to the library to do research the old-fashioned way, I think digital teens are so fortunate to have the world at their fingertips.

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

Privacy is a big concern for me and for my family. I’m pretty transparent and there is something to be said for being open about who we are and what’s going on with us. But it’s a tricky balance trying to safeguard the bits of our lives that should be private. I don’t really want my kids’ lives to be on display on the internet until they are really old enough to understand the decisions they are making.

What are you going to talk about at the conference?

I’ll be leading a workshop to help kids get started with their very own WordPress blog.

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

This year, I will be working with others in our local WordPress community to start a series to teach kids to code, including CSS, HTML, and beyond.

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

I love British literature, I play the cello a little, and as a family we try to spend as much time as possible out of doors.



 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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