She Geeks In Tech – Keeping in Touch with My Family Semi-Technologically

This is a guest post by Amanda Congdon of Amanda Congdon Central and Amanda on ABC. Amanda is an uber she geek: President of Oxmour Entertainment, co-creator of AC on ABC, Amanda Across America, Rocketboom, and Starring Amanda Congdon. Video blogger, writer, actress, and producer head over to Amanda Congdon Central to find out more about where you can stalk her. ;)


James Congdon
Photo of my father, James Congdon, in the movie, The 4D Man


blog This week starting off with Father’s Day really got me thinking about my family– and how I can stay better connected to them. My parents live on the east coast and until recently I experimented with a bicoastal lifestyle, living three weeks in Cali and one week in Connecticut each month. It was great because I got to see my parents a ton, but it was hard on me physically.

What can I say? I’m a person who loves traveling, but I don’t ship well. I usually arrive at my location tired and damaged– this from a simple cross-country trip. Yes! I’ve tried eye masks, refreshing facial mists and Bose noise canceling headphones. Nothing really helps me to feel like, well, me. I’m always ‘Zombie Amanda’ by the end of the journey.

With oil prices soaring and all signs pointing to things getting even crazier this summer, I’ve started to reorganize my life. I’ve always strived to live as green as I can, but I’ve never truly considered slowing down on travel. Last weekend I moved into a new studio three blocks away from my CA pad. I can walk to work. My lease is up in July on my space on the east coast, and I won’t be renewing it. My trips back east will be fewer and further between.

So how will I maintain my relationship with my family?

idea Like many people’s parents, I would imagine, my parents are not early adopters of technology. So however I choose to communicate with them needs to be pretty simple– or it’s just not going to happen. Besides the obvious emails and phone calls, here are the top five ways I plan to keep in touch:

1. The new 3G iPhone ( – Now that the iPhone is going to be within a reasonable price range, it’s time for me to buy two for my parents.  My mom is going to love text messaging and browsing the internet– the iPhone will be her first smart phone.  She never got into texting with the traditional nine button phone– she’s probably up to this point sent 10 text messages in her life. My dad (, well, it’s more of an experiment giving him one of these devices altogether. His fingers have got to be too big to hit just one of the floating keys at a time… so we’ll just see how he does and track his progress.


2. ( – Finally! A reliable service updates my status all across the internet. Whether my mom checks my Twitter or my Myspace, she’ll know what’s up. They’re in beta right now but I found an invite code pretty quickly. I used to use Twittersync, which was spotty at best and certainly didn’t connect to the wide range of services does.


3. Google reader ( I still haven’t found the right words to use to explain RSS to my parents… but they understand that the tabs on the top of their gmail inbox leads to news stories I’ve shared with them.


4. ( – I don’t have as much time to video chat on skype as I’d like to, so my parents catch my spontaneous lifecasts via email alerts. Over at Sometimesdaily beta I’ve had the opportunity to check out a lot of lifecasting services such as Bambuser, Qik, Ustream, and Kyte. Kyte seems to have the most functionality so far (and the most funding). Believe me, no one will watch your lifecasts more thoroughly than your parents. Be prepared for them to quote something you don’t remember saying each time they speak with you on the phone.


5. Of course, I share photos on Flickr ( with the fam as well– but who doesn’t.


question How do you stay in touch with your family? Or do you at all? Some people get freaked out when they find their mom reads their Twitter messages. Do you? I’m personally glad she cares enough to go to the trouble.

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on