Work at Home Life

Virtual Assistants, Joining Forces, and Reinventing Work At Home

Social Media: Leading Children to Suicide May 3, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Social Networking — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 12:30 am
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Look at these faces. Aren’t they beautiful? You can’t help but wonder, “What could a young, attractive teen like you have to be sad about?” The following photos are those of real teens who committed suicide after struggling with a vicious epidemic called cyber-bullying.


Ryan Halligan, age 13
Died: October 7, 2003
humiliated and back-stabbed via AOL instant messenger

Megan Meier, age 13
Died: October 17, 2006
betrayed & verbally abused by a friend’s parent who got on MySpace pretending to be a 16 year old boy?!

Phoebe Prince, age 15
Died: January 14, 2010
harassed via text messaging and Facebook

Alexis Pilkington age 17
Died: March 25, 2010
cyber-bullied on Facebook and

Continue reading: The Dark Side of Social Media


Who’s Your Expert? April 30, 2010

If you’re like me, being in the Social Media atmosphere you’ll find someone, or maybe a couple of someone’s to follow and “learn” from. Maybe you follow them to see what their next move is, or simply like what they’re doing and how they’re using Social Media.

One thing that keeps my interest is when the experts keep it real.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with two very special Social Media Experts that have so much to offer. Both of these gentlemen are genuinely interested in others, as well. Their business is built on relationships – and it shows. They have definitely learned the ways of Social Media.  I’ve seen with my own eyes how huge an asset they are to their clients, whether it be Corporations or the Small Business owners.  Each of these individuals know how to take the Social Media experience to higher grounds.

Here are my two favorite Social Media “someone’s”:

 Nathan Kievman:  Founder & CEO of DemingHill, a leading Corporate Social Media Consulting & Marketing Firm.  DemingHill is a consortium of the top thought leaders in each of the core disciplines of Social Media.  Nathan is a LinkedIn wizard and knows his stuff when it comes to Social Media.  He takes the time to build relationships and connect with others.  Just the other day, during a phone conference, Nathan asked “How are you – is everything going ok for you?” and took the time to listen to what I had to say.  Those moments are very rare in this day and age.

 Ted Prodromou: Founder and CEO at NetBizExpert. Specialties include – Internet marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, website traffic generation, online sales and marketing, web analytics and maximizing website ROI.  Like Nathan, Ted is also interested in others and knows how to build relationships.  Although we speak frequently, if a few days go by I’m sure to find a DM (Direct Message on Twitter) from Ted saying something like “Hello, How are you – keeping busy? ”

Although a lot of people do it…NOT just anyone can call themselves an expert.  I know everyone has their own opinions, but these are my Social Media experts whom I learn something from each and every day.  These acts of genuine interest from Ted and Nathan aren’t just with me.  They are with almost everyone they come into contact with.  I see it every day on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  Both of these awesome experts have something unique to offer in terms of bringing Social Media to a whole new level.  As we all know, taking the time to build relationships is the key to building your business

So, here’s a little about who I consider experts…Who’s your expert? Who do you follow that is generally interested in you or their followers?

Tweet: Who’s Your Expert?

Launch Gum & The Launch United Community: The Who, What, Where, When, Why, How interview April 23, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Social Networking,Work at Home — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 2:29 pm
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Launch Gum & The Launch United Community: The Who, What, Where, When, Why, How interview


 Launch Gum is an energy drink in a chewing gum. One can of launch gum contains 9 sugar free pieces, the energy equivalent of 7 energy drinks.

Launch United is an unprecedented online social network, where individuals buy launch gum, become Launch Reps, build a community and manage a grassroots salesforce.


The product and company were developed and founded by Justin & Eric — @launchgum & @pilonbignell. Launch Gum started when I knocked over Eric’s energy drink with an errant basketball shot and he made the ridiculous comment that “they should make an energy drink that does not spill”. From there we developed Launch Gum, an energy drink in a chewing gum.

The true supporters and drivers of the brand are our dedicated Launch Reps, the members of our one of a kind grassroots salesforce. From LA to New York, from professional and amateur athletes, to influential college students and everywhere in between, they are motivated individuals that love the launch products, are passionate about the brand and exemplify the launch lifestyle


We started the company a few years back, right out of university and began selling around campus, out of the trunk of our cars, to local shops etc. Our customers were amazed by the innovation, effectiveness, taste, value and convenience. Our awareness and distribution exploded nationally and internationally within one year from our first sale.


Why is Launch Gum so awesome? – We utilize a proprietary slow-release formulation, with only the highest quality ingredients and utilize a pharmaceutical grade, cold manufacturing process that ensures unmatched active ingredient retention. Short Version: we make sure the product tastes good and works.

Why is Launch United so awesome? It takes grassroots, authenticity and a customer focus to a whole new level. Our sales, marketing and promotional strategies are focused on placing the power, value and dollars in the hands of our customers and our launch reps. Every action we take is aimed at supporting our customers, supporting our reps, supporting our community.


With an unwavering focus on engaging, learning from and serving our customers. We are able to consistently adapt and improve through crowd sourcing and engaging directly and unfiltered with our Launch Reps. We are truly embedded in the culture we serve and have unbelievably loyal customers. Everyday we gain real-time intelligence direct from our consumers and execute to build a consistently improving 360 degree brand experience.

We absolutely love what we are doing. Launch is truly a community and we consider our Launch Reps and customers our family and friends. We deal with positive, passionate, motivated and inspiring people everyday. We have a product, brand and sales structure that matches our and our friends vision of what being from our generation is truly all about.

Thank You – Justin, and Launch Gum for taking the time to be my guest today!


Still Twitterpated? How’s that Working Out for You? April 19, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Social Networking — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 11:23 am
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Twitter and Sugar with your coffee?Millions of virtual business owners like us are on Twitter. It is one of those tools that can seem exciting at first, then quickly become a “chore” by having to figure out ways to keep conversations going. If you haven’t found your “purpose” on Twitter, then this post will give you some ideas to finding your Twitter niche.

Continue reading Still Twitterpated? How’s that Working Out for You?

and don’t miss the 6 comments by other virtual business people who use twitter like you!

Follow us on twitter!
Amber: @FindingAnswers
Jennifer: @thesnflwrgrl
Kena: @KenaRoth


Add That Nifty ReTweet Button on a Blog Post March 8, 2010

Filed under: Web and Blog Site Tips — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 3:06 pm
Tags: , , offers you your own free space to keep your small business blog until it is time for you to have your own self-hosted WordPress site setup. I’d like to share some tips on making this work for you, even if you aren’t the most tech savvy blogger out there.

Sometimes to add a little “POP!”, you have to learn a CSS trick or two.

1. Make sure you are in the “HTML” view of your post. (See ScreenShot)

Remember you must be in the HTML view to add this code or else it will not work!

2. This is the code to edit and add into every single post that you want to be retweetable:

<div style="float: right; margin-right: 20px;"><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Tweet: POST TITLE" width="51" height="61" /></a></div>
  • Where is says URL: make sure you put in the full address of your post, not just the address of your homepage. When people tweet about a specific post, you want to make sure you help them look credible and send their interested friends or coworkers to the right place! Do not add any extra spaces or characters to the code, this could cause it to not function properly or at all.
  • Where it says TWITTERID: you can type in your own twitter username there. The ID you type in there will show us as who you are “RT”ing.
  • For all alt tags, all you need to type in place of POST TITLE is the title of your post. When visitors hover over your retweet image, they will see: Tweet: My Newest Blog Post.
  • You can past these at the top or bottom or in the middle of any post. It’s best to wait till you are finished and ready to publish the post before dealing with adding this button. (Trust me.) 🙂
  • You can make this image show up on the right side or left side of your post by changing the “float”. As you can see, I usually make my buttons float right, but it’s a personal preference. If you want it to “float” left, simply change the code: <div style=”float: right …to… <div style=”float: left …etc.

If you’d like to add a little something extra to track your clicks, you can even setup an account on and add the API in this code to track your blogpost being tweeted with a URL shortener.

<div style="float: right; margin-right: 20px;"><a href="" target="_blank"> <img src="" alt="POST TITLE" width="51" height="61" /></a></div>

This code probably works with many other url shorteners with APIs. If you have another type and test this, please stop by and let us know if it worked!

If it looks confusing, don’t worry, this is why there are plugins for self-hosted WordPress to automatically write this code for you. However, while your blog is still new, it’s ok to add this code to your favorite posts to make sure they are easily sharable.

Tweet: Add That Nifty ReTweet Button on a Blog Post

Voila! You’ll get your fancy retweet button! ->


Twitter: Some Get It, Some Don’t February 26, 2010

Filed under: Social Networking — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 6:04 pm
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This is going to be short and sweet today, after all, it’s Friday.  After reading through Facebook updates today, I realized there are those who still don’t get Twitter.  Twitter came easy to me.  As a matter a fact, I love Twitter!  When I’m feeling overwhelmed, need a break or simply having a bad day – I visit Twitter.  I call it “Twitter Breaks”.  Just today, first thing this morning, I logged in and there was a DM waiting on me to respond to that said “Random question. What color is your hair now?” from a very dear friend of mine.  I shared some information (blog post/articles) that I thought would be of value to others all while receiving some help with email issues.

Being on Twitter is like being part of a community.  You have to do your part.  Meaning, although, sharing valuable information is great and does its part in helping build your followers…you have to engage in conversation as well.  I always tell my clients that I will help deliver the content to their Social Media sites, but I will not speak or tweet for them.  It’s very important for each individual or business to have its own voice.

Along with being a huge resource, Twitter is without a doubt, the best way to share and discover what is happening right now in real time.  It’s not a difficult tool to use.  Anyone can pick it up.  What really matters is how it impacts your daily schedule.

Twitter: Some Get It, Some Don’t

Sharing Can Be Easy and Fun February 1, 2010

Filed under: Social Networking,Virtual Office Tools,Web and Blog Site Tips — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 3:07 pm
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The Share Icon

In kindergarten, we are taught that sharing is polite. Being polite usually results in positive feedback. Now, as a blogger, you are quickly learning that making your message easier to share often will exponentially increase the potential for your message to reach more and more people.


A Blog Sharing Scenario

A web surfer happens upon your blog post. They like what you’ve written and deem it newsworthy enough to share with their friends or followers. They see this tweet or retweet button:

They click on it and share your message with their 5000 followers. Then, 25 of the 5000 retweet your message, and then their followers do and so on. By the next day, you have 50,000 people “happen” by your website because you have 2 of the most important ingredients of any popular blog:

1. You have great content.


2. You make it easy for people to pass it on.

People enjoy sharing news with their network, it makes them important among their social networks when it’s done in context and with a measure of quality. Make sure your messages aren’t being silenced due to a lack of convenience.


Easy Sharing Tools

Tweetmeme is the service you can use to create those tweet/retweet buttons.  Skill level: Beginner – Intermediate if you are new to web developing and you try to sign up for tweetmeme, it can seem confusing and you may even end up paying for a subscription that may not be necessary. Tweetmeme is a great tool; however you don’t have to pay for the analytics to have a retweet button on your posts.  Analytics are valuable, but probably not as much to someone who is still learning the ropes.  Work on analytics after you have a site with a good base foundation of content (I consider that being around 50+ posts).  When your blog is new, your traffic will most likely be inconsistent until you have established your focus/purpose with supporting content. provides you with a very easy web service that allows you to include a comprehensive option to offer easy sharing and bookmarking of your blog posts and web pages.  Also, if you register a free login to their site, you receive emails tracking the number of times your posts have been shared and bookmarked!  Skill level: Beginner
Bookmark and Share

WordPress Plugins for Simplifying Shares & Bookmarks



The more simply you setup your site for surfing, sharing, and commenting, the more interaction will happen as you grow.

*** Next week, I will write more about how and why bookmarking your best work extends your message’s reach as well.


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