How To Embed A Vine Video On A WordPress.com Blog Right From Your iPhone

Not heard about the social network Vine yet?

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Seriously its something you are gonna love and my guess is its set to be the next big social sharing platform. So… Let me enlighten you.

Twitter the social network we all know and love has launched the new Vine app, a social network that lets you create and share short 6 second looping videos. Yes, 6 seconds! Just like twitter with its 140 character rule, Vine gives you 6 seconds to get the message out there!

I’m loving it, the possibilities are endless. Vine offers brilliant ways to share all life has on offer from a babies first steps, a new theme park ride or even a super quick how too video!

Admittedly that sounds crazy doesn’t it. But its possible and its down to the way Vine allows you to create the clip. A Vine is a video thats made up with a number of images. During the recording of your Vine you can pause, change the scene then restart. you can do this countless times to make your vine. This combined with the continuous looping of your Vine video brings about a really creative result.

So if Vine videos are so great bloggers like me are going to want to add them to their blog posts! I’m already planning to add a number of Vine How Too videos to replace the images planed for a couple of my up coming craft. tutorials! But how do we embed them in a blog post and more importantly can we add them if we blog on a wordpress.com blog!

Well I’ll answer the latter question first! Yes, Vine videos can be added to a wordpress.com blog post and you don’t even need to be on your desk top to do so. I’m able to add my Vine clips directly from my iphone.

Look here’s the proof

(I know the cats obsessed by the string)!

So just how did I get my Vine onto my WordPress.com blog post?

You will notice when you make a Vine on your iPhone that the app only offers you the option to either share your vine of Facebook or Twitter. Vines cannot be saved to your iPhone photo libary or added directly to Youtube.

So… Opt to share your Vine on twitter than close the Vine app and instead of opening your twitter app google your twitter account instead.

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Twitter will then open in the mobile version (don’t worry there is no need to use the desktop version for this)! You may notice that if you have the twitter app installed on your device it offers you the option to open twitter in your app. Just click the X button to take that of the screen.

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Now access your tweets via the ‘Me’ tab and your vine will be your last tweet. Click on the tweet and you will notice your vine is embedded into your tweet so it can be viewed directly from twitter. Now go to the URL address next to your google search tab in safari and copy the entire link.

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Now open your wordpress app and opt to create a blog post. Now simply paste the URL directly into the template where you write your post. You will now notice the URL contains the word “mobile” followed by a “full-stop) after the “http” and before the word “Twitter” simply delete both the word “Mobile” and the “full-stop”.

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Now save blog post as a draft and then open a preview of your post… You should then see something that looks like this…

Your tweet as it appears on twitter with the embedded Vine fully attached.

Another way to add it to WordPress.com is to access your Vine video via its URL on a desktop computer. Right click and save video to your computer. Then simply upload to youtube and then add your Vine as a youtube video embed to your blog post as you normally would. This Is a good option for those who would rather not have the additional attached tweet on display.

So I hope this helps you embed your Vines onto your WordPress.com blog posts.

Vine is not yet available on Andriod devices but is already available free of charge on the iTunes App Store to download now.

Have fun.

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Are You An Animal Person?

I recently received an email from #Lush one of my favourite brands in terms of natural yummy smelling soaps, bathbombs (snow fairy especially) and everything else designed to have you clean and smelling gorgeous.

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As you can see from the image above Lush are asking its supporters to post a picture to show that they are an #animalperson on twitter or instagram. All you need to do to show your support against animal testing is use the above hashtag when posting your images.

What’s more Lush will award a picture a day till the 16th November a £100 lush gift voucher for their favourites.

Here is why I’m an #animalperson

3 little kittens (there is 4 but ones sleeping)

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Two little siblings

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The tabby

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Harley is an #animalperson

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MUMSNET GET PUBLICITY THEY CRAVE.

I’ve read a lot about Liz Jones today. I knew I would… After all I did read her article in the Daily Mail.

At first I was shocked, but also a little tickled to hear such ignorance from a women who actually shows no intelligence within anything she writes (and I’m not just referring to the article in question). She has always come across as bitterly unhappy, a tad unhinged and most obviously… Jealous.

So… What am I gobbing off about?

Well, In a nutshell Liz Jones attended a conference known as “BlogFest” as a speaker. Blogfest is designed and targeted at “Mummy Bloggers” and the event was one organised by that of “Mumsnet”. Following the conference Liz Jones went home & wrote a somewhat unflattering article and has therefore sparked a bit of an upset within the blogging community.

Now, I won’t defend my writing or either one of my two blogging platforms. I don’t give a toss what this narrow minded Journalist writes, even if I am a “mummy blogger!” I didn’t attend the conference… But I had my reasons, ones that I was a little confused, didn’t stop others (I’ll get onto this later).

Now, Liz Jones is known for her articles, in that they are always designed to mock and defame. She has always had a certain knack when it comes to putting down something she is not… A mother! As well having a good old dig at celebrities whom are younger, quite obviously more attractive and of course more intellectual then she could ever be! This is a writer known to contradict her own words on a regular basis. Nonetheless, bitchiness sells papers and lets face it, just like me writing this, the tweets and other blog post, bring publicity and therefore raise profiles… This leads me to my next point!

But first, If you haven’t read the bitterly racist article about the “Mummy bloggers” written by this anti mother motormouth then just google or tweet it. I really don’t want to include the link… My guess is the mail online has done great enough already with their backlinks and page ranking for one day.

For me there is a matter much more important than the article itself that should be spoke about! One i’m surprised that you bloggers are not raising already! Anyone guessed where I’m heading with this?

Well if you haven’t… Shame on you. I simply ask you all this… “What about the ones who set about causing such a stir in the first place?” Are you with me yet? “The ones who fancied creating some guaranteed publicity for themselves when they invited a well known venomous columnist to an event said to be targeted at parent bloggers and their children?”

Mumsnet… it is them you are forgetting! What about their part in this? Do you really think they invited such a speaker not knowing her views? Lets be serious here, her words have never been anything other than ignorant when it comes to mothers!

Did Mumsnet not expect a mention in the pages of the national paper? Yer… Of course they didn’t! What better way to get things trending on twitter then by using a motormouth such as Liz Jones!

Importantly… Coming back to that brief reference I made earlier in regards to not attending. I was a little saddened when discovering that mummy bloggers who I follow, had actually exchanged money to attend this publicity fest… More so because each should remember that Mumsnet wrote a book pretty much branding us to be pretty similar to that of the words and opinions of Liz Jones!

What did you all forget this little fact?

I disregard the said article written by Liz Jones as a load of cobblers. However, I ask each and everyone of you bloggers who attended this event, why you wanted to attend an event organised by a group who have already openly rubbished what we do as bloggers? I swear I heard half of you state you were not returning to the site and its forum. Not when they are openly biting the hand that feeds them.

I therefore ask you all what you expected from a Mumsnet event… A pat on the back and a well done badge for your sidebar?

Seriously… Did you?

Mini Bakers – Halloween Cupcakes

The kids love baking cakes especially the type that involve lots of decorating. Our Halloween cupcakes certainly did.

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I actually won a halloween edition packet of Renshaw my bakes modelling icing in a retweet competition last week, So, I had no excuse but to get baking with the kids.

We used the Renshaw My Bakes Icing to model a number of spooky cupcake toppers. The pack consists of black, white, orange and purple (though green would have been better than the purple, it was an excellent kit all the same)!

My very creative 9 year old daughter Alice-Sara made a fantastic pumpkin with a black and white snake wrapped around it…

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Fantastic, wouldn’t you agree?

Harley the toddler is the biggest baking fan ever and at 2 years old his already displaying some great skills in the kitchen…

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What We Used…

We started off with your everyday sponge mix ingredients and just added some spooky green food colouring…

60g caster sugar
60g brown sugar
125g self raising flour
2 eggs
220g butter
10g white chocolate chips
10g mike chocolate chips
5 splashes of green food colouring

Everything was mixed together with the chocolate chips and food colouring going in last.

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Once complete we spooned the mixture into some cake cases. Note, we doubled these up as to keep them strong. This was because we added an reasonable amount of mixture to each case so they would be big enough for us to cut through the middle.

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We let these bake in a Pre-heated over gas mark 5 for around 15-20 minutes.

Decoration…

The decorated of our spooky cupcakes were made up from…

Renshaw My Bakes Halloween Modelling Kit
Candy Worms
225g Icing Sugar
Green Food Colouring
Black Food Colouring

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Harley did an awesome job at mixing all the icing where Alice did fantastic with her spooky toppers.

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Once the cakes were baked and cooled I sliced them in half covering both in green or black icing. I then sandwiched them together before adding our decorations and a sprinkle of icing sugar to finish.

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We covered them and sat them in the fridge for a while.

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Personally I think they looked better without the sprinkled icing sugar, but this was the children’s project after all and what they say goes!

Checkout the inside… These were some chunky cupcakes that should only be eaten on a full moon (that is unless you are aiming to put your kids on a sugar high everyday).

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I’m linking this post to the appliance online competition “Cakes Win Prizes” and linky.

I’d also like to thank appliances online for the cake jar that I sadly smashed:( I’m sure it would have made some perfect cakes.

Mummy Bloggers are a lot like Marmite, You either love um or you hate um

Hi my names Claire I write two blogs and yes, I’m open to working with brands!

Long Pause

(((((BANG)))))

That was the sound of me being shoot dead!

Seriously people, move on, get over it, who bloody cares!

This stigma attached to the “Mummy blogger” is worn out, old, dated and if I’m honest, a tad boring. Did I rage with anger when I sat reading the odd twee, (that seemingly grew in a pestiferous rhythm) labelling us “Mummy bloggers” as nothing other than scummy greedy blaggers?

Yes, a little, after all… who didn’t?

Do I still have a little anger manifesting deep within me?

Hell no!

You see, blogging is based around relationships, the whole mechanism of your blog is built up around relationships, reviews or no reviews!

You have your relationship with your readers, those with your twitter and Facebook followers, your community of like-minded bloggers and of course you have the relationship between blogger and brand!

It’s keeping these relationships positive that counts, it’s what matters. You want your readers to be happy and I feel that even though not every review will be read by your regular readers, they will still return to read what ever it is that interest them because you blog with passion and proficiency! I’m sure that if they are looking for a review on a certain product, they will look through yours first!

This is the beauty of email subscription, if one article isn’t to you’re liking then you just delete the email, no harm done! When a post does fall into their inbox that does interest them, they will hit the link and make their way over! It’s like a magazine, unless you’re highly lucky, you never read a magazine cover to cover as there are bound to be bits in there that have no interest to you whatsoever! The point is true followers will stick about, appreciate your writing, after all that’s why they subscribed in the first instance!

So… why do I care what some random pesky person on twitter has to say when expressing they’re flagitious and unsightly remarks, after all most are made by those who lack the skills to write a review so therefore sit about all day deliberating on what to do next, actually try it, or just pop on twitter and mock the “Mummy blogger” who does it and does it well, all in the hope of an argument unfolding! Sad, I know!

Now the only time I find such remarks offensive is when they are made by fellow bloggers, one’s who vacillates between conflicting opinions as and when it suits them! A month down the line such bloggers are often found hosting a somewhat converted blog from personal content into this top-notch review site… Now that’s just bloody annoying!

So, with the blogger, blagger debate in full swing in the run-up to Christmas, I began to notice a huge decrees in the number of PRrequest sent via the twitter hashtag, tweeted by my “now apprehensive fellow bloggers!”

Then came the tweet, the one containing that big question…

“Is this the end of the mummy blogger?”

I laughed, I laughed a little then I laughed some more!

“Baby… this is just the beginning!”

It would only be a matter of time till the request started filling the timeline of that hash-tag once more and with it would come a host of PRs and Brands willing to comply! You see, I have seen requests made by bloggers, that have me thinking, “You cheeky sod” and some bloggers can be a little greedy, but as long as they are delivering what they have promised, then to call them a blagger is barbaric, cheeky OK, Blagger… I don’t think so!

PRs are not credulous, they approach the blogger offering reviews, they also receive direct requests from bloggers that are full off ebullience. If the PR/Brand in question agree then that partnership a long with its agreed terms and conditions, is designed to benefit both! The PR gets its client considerably cheaper advertising on a site that quite often has more hits than your larger big brand sites, the blogger reviews a product of interest, gets to voice their opinions, supply honest feed back while doing what they love… writing/blogging! Only if that blogger does this in return for payment, can the review item be looked upon as a “FREEBIE” otherwise, I feel it’s a pretty low payment for the potential hundreds, even thousands of hits a brand can obtain via that honest, detailed product review.

What’s important here is the relationship between blogger and brand, a good mix makes the perfect working relationship and as long as they are happy with you as much as you are with them, they will return in the future and you’ll be happy to accept any offers when they do.

We are women as-well as mothers… a few blog post calling us a name or two, or that of a string of RTs on twitter, branding us freebie grabbers with no self-respect isn’t likely to knock us down, it just fills us with more doggedness! I for one have been dealt bigger and uglier situations then this one! I make my own choices as a grown arse woman, no fellow blogger, tweeter, or other, contradicts what I do on my blog, it is my blog after all!

I blogged for well over 2 years before I even considered a PR request (which wasn’t due to a shortage of emails containing invites to some of the hottest events while gaining access to some of the top products on the market at that moment in time). Yet, I was on a mission to get my son a statement of special educational needs, a school to meet those needs, a winning outcome of a pending disability discrimination tribunal case, on top of coping with sleepless nights, miscarriage, pregnancy, a new addition to the family and a personal journey of self discovery! A review did not appeal to me (even if it was something pretty cool) anyhow, I had no time, it wouldn’t be fair on anyone, myself, family, readers or the PR/brand offering.

It’s now January 2012, the Mummy blogger/blagger debate is still out there baring its ugly head, yet I can’t see it, and don’t wish to nether!

I’ve sat back and observed twitters PRrequest timeline as its refilled itself with bloggers requests once more! The signs that would indicate the past events is no more! I’m pleased that my fellow bloggers haven’t been pushed away by these hostile, jealous, over opinionated haters, even if the odd request is somewhat “Cheeky”

If anything I love them “Cheeky” requests, you know the ones…

“Established blogger is lost without her iPad 2 since the nipper threw it down the loo, anyone out there wanting to send me one in exchange for an extensive review on my blog #cheekyprrequest”

Why do I love them?

Because it alway brings the “Anti Mummy Bloggers” sliding out from the woodwork, joining forces, it quite obviously give them a means of conversation, therefore meaning that in actual fact, “Mummy bloggers” are doing what they do best… creating hot topics of conversation therefore giving social media a good old push in the right direction!

“Mummy bloggers” are a bit like Marmite, you either love um or you hate um!

Personally, I think we are pretty awesome #mummybloggersareawesome 🙂

20 things that make a successful Mummy blogger

I’ve been blogging over three years now and truly love it! At first I thought it may be a bit like keeping a diary and if this was true, then it would be a passing phase that’s forgotten two months down the line. This didn’t happen and I discovered that I truly loved to write and then broadcast that piece of writing to anybody out there interested in what I had to say. I enjoy it and find myself wanting to engage in such an activity on a day-to-day basis.

I’m no expert, but I have been blogging over on my blog “A boy with Aspergers” for a long time now! I love to social network and have therefore discovered like-minded bloggers, all parents blogging separately but somehow coming together as one community. With this in mind, I think I’ve discovered one or two tricks to keep you on track and on your way to becoming a better if not successful blogger.

  1. Passion is what keeps a blog floating, without it… your nothing… you will sink quickly and disappear!
  2. Be honest, it’s the key to gaining a good readership
  3. Join up to twitter, tweet your post, find like-minded bloggers, most importantly interact as well as promote, this way others get to know you and are more interested in what you may have to say on your blog (you will also uncover truly lovely and talented people along the way)
  4. Create a Facebook fan page, link this to your blog, set your blog to auto post to your Facebook page, followers can then navigate their way to your blog every time you post something of interest
  5. Join Social groups such as BritMums, get involved in blogging campaigns, voice your opinions without fear,  involve yourself in group conversations, (or even start your own) via the forum or specially designed groups hosting like-minded bloggers.
  6. Many mummy bloggers are creative and enjoy taking pictures. Get involved in photo projects such as project 366, Silent Sunday  & Satcap, then link your post to the linkys in other blogs (don’t forget to check other people’s links within the linky).
  7. Successful mummy bloggers are those who help others, whether it’s by giving advice to a fellow bloggers on Tech issues or supporting a charity campaign.
  8. Become part of the community! Mummy bloggers have become much more mainstream now. You can find plenty of articles about us in national papers and even through the TV, when I started blogging I chose not to involve myself as much as I do now, plus there were certain sites and social networks that took me a while to discover. My advice is to step into the community, not only can you gain advice and support, you can also bag yourself a good friend or two!
  9. Comment on other blogs you enjoy reading! Successful mummy bloggers build both good relationships and readership by commenting on other bloggers post (plus replying to those who commented on their own).
  10. Don’t blog for the hell of it, good mummy bloggers produce great content by blogging when the urge takes them (giving its possible with the kids around your feet). Blogging just to keep your post content regular or your stats high, will only produce poor content
  11. Create a YouTube account and vlog to your heart’s content then link up with others that like to vlog (checkout the BritMums vlogging group).
  12. When them creative ideas Pop into your head, write them down on paper… or if possible share it there and then (after all, the next day you may have writers block)
  13. Don’t do something because every other blogger is doing it, do it because you want too… if you don’t like it, then don’t blog it… it’s that simple. Everything you post, needs to be there because you really wanted to write it, its my opinion it shows within your writing (I even make sponsored post my own, and never write a full press release)!
  14. Many great mummy bloggers do reviews on their blogs, others don’t… personally I feel the hype of the blogger blagger debate crushed the confidence of some mummy bloggers… If you want to review, do it, stand proud and don’t worry what others say or think… successful mummy bloggers are strong mummy bloggers
  15. Attend conferences and bloggers workshops! This allows you to gain ideas, get advice, mingle with bloggers and brands all while having a good time. Britmums Live and tots100 blogcamp are worth a visit.
  16. Great mummy blogger are not afraid to start a huge debate. I feel debates are a great way to get readers and comments on your blogs as long as you feel strongly about what you write and its true to your heart then its worth writing… plus your honesty will win you more readers in the long run.
  17. Stick to what you know! I’ve read blogs where someone has written a post that’s been of interest within the media therefore assuming it will gain them lots of traffic. However they clearly have no idea about the issues at hand, therefore losing a load of traffic in the long run.
  18. Be up front about what your open too. No one likes to see a blogger stating.. “I’ll never except a product for review” only two months later their blog is full of them.
  19. Be careful what you write. Don’t leave yourself open to copyright theft (you can get free protection) and be careful when posting pictures or content that isn’t your own. Publishing content of this type should only be done so when giving full recognition to it’s original author, plus a full link back..
  20. Successful bloggers do check their states, submit their blog URL to directories such as the Tots100 top mummy bloggers listing, although it is advisable not to become obsessed by states, ranks and whatever else… it still helps to have a goal and target for the month, it gives the blogger drive (difference is we just don’t cry about it if we don’t reach it). The most important thing to remember is to be original!

So, there you have it, my little list of tips! Yes, I could have added one or two others but with a toddler shouting “Mummy” in my ear, that’s my call to go!

Hope it helps and I’d love to hear how any of you newer bloggers are getting on!

LOST IN A LAND CALLED TWITTER

Yesterday I found myself in quite a heavy debate when a friend stated that those on twitter were lost in a fantasy world, they needed to start living in the real world!

Sometime ago I may have agreed with my friend, so, why not now?

Two years ago, Twitter was nothing but a giant puzzle to me. I tried but just couldn’t get into the whole thing of tweeting, I failed miserably!

English: Tweeting bird, derived from the initi...

Image via Wikipedia

Believe it or not despite having an active twitter account with a twitter grade of 98, I’ve only been doing this tweeting malarky actively for around a year!

Sitting with a coffee in one hand and my iPhone in the other I scroll through my twitter timeline, I’m presented with hundreds of tweets from people (yes, real people) from all over the world! Overtime I’ve created a collection of followers, many I follow back, all with something to say and share with their fellow tweeters. The whole experience is customised the way I want it! You build this close-knit homogenous group of like-minded people, sometimes separating them into lists of smaller groups enabling you to create different groups for each and every one of your particular interests, whether that’s competition tweeters, news tweeters or fellow bloggers like myself!

Although twitter is a great way to promote a business, blog or website, there is so much more to it than this… It’s also a great place to engage in conversation! One minute you may find yourself talking politics with one tweeter, the next you’re holding a conversation with another 20 or more covering the events of last Friday night! Ok, we’re not sitting across the table from one another having a face to face conversation and yes, I admit it, some of these people I’ve never met and not likely to either, though there are many I have been lucky enough to met in person and yes, I’d go as far as calling them my friends.

So, how comes when I explained this to my friend she still failed to understand or even agree to disagree?

Well, apart from her being as stubborn as old boots, she isn’t exactly internet savvy either! For this reason alone I judged her mystification to be based purely on ignorance rather than malice.

Though I believe the above to be true, I do acknowledge the fact that this friend was also referring to how much time I spend tweeting! With this I asked myself…

“Do I spend too much time on twitter?”

Now, I cannot deny that there have been a few occasions where I have lost track of time as my timeline fills itself with more and more interesting content! Yes, I have found that every now and then the iPhone has somehow got stuck to my hand, I’m under no illusions that it hasn’t, yes I know this to be true! OK, I could have been spending this time doing the more productive things that life requires, such as cleaning the house (what fun). Yet, it safe to say that twitter has never stopped me from living!

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

What’s more, I feel much good has come from the land of twitter, take the London Riot Cleanup as a perfect example! I myself assembled a team of local people to help me clean up Lewisham! This team was assembled in no more than a few hours with the power of a hash tag. This was seen as a positive thing right! Those people who Re- Tweeted my tweets for help were very real, and living very much in the real world! Those people who set out to help me that summer’s morning were again very real people, living in a very real & sometime crawl world! The revolution of a hash tag also brought with it positive media attention, not only was I interview by Gabby for the breakfast show on BBC radio (after she see my tweet I must add)! But I was also met by a host of BBC news reporters who followed us around all day and then shared the cleanup with the rest of the UK via a 6 O’Clock news report! Surely this is a positive thing, one created with the help of twitter?

Twitter holds the technology to send news fast, it enables you to gain support for charities and campaigns, once of great significance, after all, where else can you get a message around the world in a matter of seconds?

Free twitter badge

Image via Wikipedia

Anyone and everyone can be a part of twitter, making it what they want it to be! Social, business, a mix of both… that’s the point, It doesn’t matter because it’s your creation.

You will find everyone from celebs, charity campaigners, mummy bloggers to the average Joe,  all tweeting about something or another, reaching out and becoming an influence in their own right. It’s a place these groups of everyday people are able to come together and complement one another despite their way of life.

Twitter is real… very real, it’s a place made up of units upon units of millions of real people all with a message for the world, something they want you to know… its follower! Whether that’s the fact they are sat on the train next to the most annoying person ever to grace the planet, or whether they just experienced the very first tremor of China’s massive quake… they just wanted you to know all the same!

Like anything else… drink, sex or drugs, you only find yourself lost in a land called twitter if it isn’t used the correct way… in moderation!

Yes, I like twitter (a lot, a lot, a lot…) Do I find myself tweeting on a daily basis? Umm… Yes! Do I check my mentions daily? Umm… Yes! Does it stop me from being the person I am, a mother with a healthy relationship with her children? Umm… No! Does it stop me from looking after myself and my children? Umm… No!

So… am I lost in a land called twitter?

I don’t think so, and for those who do… your just a little bit bonkers!

One that doesn’t understand the significance of something so powerful will of course fail to see its purpose and how much of a reality it really is!