Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Facebook founder calls for lifting of age restrictions, a smart move says SEO company Queryclick.com

Following news Mark Zuckerberg thinks children 13 years and younger should be allowed access to social networks, SEO experts Queryclick.com suggest he’s taking a logical stance. (EDITOR: But is he?)

Star of the social networking field Facebook has been at the centre of controversy recently, thanks to the suggestion from the CEO that age restrictions should be removed.

Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has said he believes children ages 13 and younger should be allowed to access the social networking site for the benefit of their education.

Speaking during the New Schools Venture Fund's Summit in California, Zuckerberg said he expected education to become more social in the future, in the same way already seen in health, retail and finance sectors.

At the summit, which explored innovation in education, the Facebook founder explained he was passionate about education reform. Zuckerberg was relaxed as he spoke about the subject with interviewer, and venture capitalist, John Doerr.

He claimed letting younger children interact with social sites could prove beneficial for them in the long term. SEO experts Queryclick.com said the young star of the social scene has a valid point, although he may find it difficult to win over his dissenters. "Social media has really exploded in the last few years, making it obvious to any doubters that the medium is here to stay,” said a spokesperson.

"Many young children are already very savvy when it comes to social networking, but many retain massive security concerns, which were born in an earlier era of the internet."

As it currently stands, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that websites that collect information about users (like Facebook does) aren't allowed to sign on anyone under the age of 13.

However, this is something Zuckerberg wants to change. He wants children under the age of 13 to be allowed to access his site, although, due to the restrictions now in place, he concedes the company has not yet put much thought into a plan for keeping children safe on the site. Should the restrictions be lifted, he plans to spend a lot of energy in creating a way for children to use Facebook safely.

Zuckerberg also shared the opinion that, when it came to education, children had to start learning at a very young age.

This is a bold move for the young entrepreneur, said the search engine optimisation experts: "Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook already have an uneasy relationship with many web users who are concerned about privacy, and his comments could be adding fuel to an already substantial fire.

"But we think he’s smart to recognise the potential of catering to younger children on Facebook, they will be the future of the site, and there’s already anecdotal evidence to suggest they are keen to be using it already."

(EDITOR: What do YOU think, parents? Should younger children have access to Facebook, etc? Do your children already use it? You can either comment on this story or email your opinions to afj_uk@yahoo.com, subject line Young Facebook users.)

Krickets sings as Gloople confirms social shopping as new Mum’s Little Helper

Trendy kids clothing company Krickets has the parents’ online shopping market sewn up in Canada and beyond, with a little help from the UK’s first social ecommerce platform, Gloople.

Despite celebrating their 37th anniversary next year, Montreal-based Krickets is launching in the UK and is now at the forefront of the social media revolution, and capitalising on the advent of ‘digital mums’ – tech-savvy parents who use an ever-growing network online communities to make purchase decisions, chat about the latest products, and share their experiences with other parents.

Thanks to Gloople, the innovative completely customisable social shopping platform that gives small and medium sized businesses the impact of a big brand, more mums than ever are now flocking to Krickets’ fully integrated online store – and spreading the online word.

‘Gloople is easy to use and cost-effective – with a big impact,’ said Oliver Flood, UK & Ireland distributor for Krickets. ‘As one of the national leader in childrenswear in Canada, synonymous with high quality and bespoke tailoring, it’s important that our online activity supports our market position. Gloople helps us do all that – and more.’

Krickets have taken advantage of Gloople’s integrated social marketing tools that will allow parents to review and recommend products, refer their friends, and benefit from the Social Share discount feature to access exclusive discounts and sales.

They have also adopted the Affiliate marketing scheme, which lets parents earn commission promoting the website and its products to their online network of friends, family and colleagues. Krickets now have an army of advocates, generating online buzz around their brand and driving traffic to the website – and the results are already apparent.

The success of Gloople and Krickets’ partnership bodes well for UK retailers, with recent released official figures showing non-store retailing grew nearly 20% on the previous year in April 2011, as part of a year-on-year volume increase across all retail sectors.

SME retailers in the UK, specialising in products ranging from bespoke home décor to luxury beachwear, have already begun signing up to Gloople’s ecommerce platform.

Www.Cheekybeach.com, specialists in luxury beachwear, enjoyed an 18% increase in sales, increased SEO in the Google rankings and a stronger presence on Facebook and Twitter after becoming an early adopter of Gloople’s fully integrated social shopping ecommerce platform.

With 2011 hailed as the start of the social shopping era by founder Warren Knight, there’s no reason to delay. Gloople offers a free 7 day trial – no obligation, no credit card details required. Visit www.gloople.co.uk or call 020 3384 6315 for more info and start transforming your business with social commerce today.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New Labour companion CD - virtual support for women in labour

Natal Hypnotherapy has launched a new virtual support CD for women to use during labour.

The Labour Companion CD has been developed with the help and support of midwives, as a tool to provide guidance and comfort to women during the different stages of labour, helping to keep them calm, focused and so better able to manage contractions during labour.

Once contractions have started, women listen to the calming and reassuring voice of british Hypnotherapist Maggie Howell talking them through breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques appropriate to the different stages of labour. Women can do this from the very start of labour before she even sees a midwife.

Although it is in no way designed to replace the advice and support of midwives, it is a background voice providing comfort and support at times when a woman and her partner may be left on their own, either at hospital or at home.

This was key to Kirsty Clifford “I still heard the midwife and my husband and was able to respond to both of them, but in the background I could always hear the music and Maggie’s voice. It was incredibly helpful as it seemed to just let my body get on with things without my needing to think about it - which was exactly what I wanted”

There are three tracks on the Labour Companion CD which have been designed to reflect the different emotional stages a woman is likely to go through.

As Laura Nickell said about using the CD for the recent birth of her baby “The excitement phase track helped remind me of all my preparation and get me in a positive mindset. The Serious stage helped me stay focused when became intense and the Adrenaline track helped me relax when scared”

The CD was developed in response to feedback from some of the 100,000+ women who have already benefitted from the award winning Natal Hypnotherapy. Research from 1251 of these women was recently presented at the 1st World Congress of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology WCOGA demonstrating that listening to the CDs led to a decrease in intervention and c-section rates.

Women loved the preparation CDs but felt that they needed “the voice” during the labour to help them stay calm and focused. As Kirsty Clifford wrote about her experience using the Labour Companion CD - “When the voice matched the soothing voice on the birth preparation CD, my body automatically responded by relaxing and I found I was breathing more deeply”.

To get the maximum benefit from the Labour Companion CD, women should ideally learn and practice the techniques from the Natal Hypnotherapy Birth Preparation CDs and Effective Birth preparation book during the last trimester of your pregnancy. Labour Companion CD can then be used to reinforce the techniques during the birth as Bella Jordan explains “The Labour companion CD really helped me re-focus on what I had tuned into when listening to the Birth preparation CD. The 2nd track was really helpful just to hear the voice and the reminders to relax. The 3rd track was very helpful - I had it on regularly to bring me down off the ceiling.”

Once again Natal Hypnotherapy is providing a powerful yet safe and easy to use resource for women who want to get rid of fear and anxiety and approach birth with confidence and joy.

The CD retails at just £11.99 and can be bought directly from Natal Hypnotherapy or from any major retailer including Amazon.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New book by nutritionist Amanda Ursell - Baby & Toddler Food Bible

That's Parenting has another new book from Hay House. This new book is by nutritionist Amanda Ursell and is packed full of nutritional information and advice on healthy eating for babies and toddlers; including over 200 baby recipes and toddler recipes for healthy meals.

Amanda Ursell's Baby and Toddler Food Bible
Your Essential Guide to Feeding Your Child for Their First Four Years
-A complete guide to baby and toddler nutrition from the UK’s leading nutritionist, Amanda Ursell
-Includes 200 healthy recipes that are quick and easy
-Covers every aspect of weaning and healthy eating for babies and toddlers, including picky eaters
-Packed full of nutritional information, including food allergies

The list of what foods to introduce to your child and when can be daunting, especially in this day and age when everything from food safety to allergies dictate certain rules. Written by the UK’s leading nutritionist, Amanda Ursell, while she was caring for her own baby and toddler, everything in this book has been tried and tested and is suitable for busy, working parents! It includes:

•weaning and baby food recipes
•what to feed children from 6 months to 1 year and year by year up to 4
•picky eaters, and how to handle it
•allergies and food intolerances
•whether shop-bought baby food is OK
•nutrition and healthy eating for new mums
•200 nutritious recipes for healthy meals

Amanda Ursell is the UK’s most read nutritionist and the author of numerous books on healthy eating and nutrition, including What Are You Really Eating? Amanda holds a degree in nutrition and a postgraduate diploma in dietetics. She appears regularly on television and in print, is a weekly columnist for The Times and The Sun, and has twice been voted the most influential health professional in the UK.

Amanda Ursell's Baby and Toddler Food Bible
Published by Hay House Publishers, May 2011, £11.99.

Late babies are a good thing says author and 'late' mother

A new book reveals pregnancy in older mothers is on the increase in the UK and that having a baby over 35 and 40 could have many positive benefits. Author Claudia Spahr looks at midlife parenting and later pregnancy and speaks to many health experts in the field of pregnancy and health. She myth busts some of the conceptions that older pregnancy for women is harder and more complex and maintains that later life pregnancy has huge advantages for both baby and mother.

Right Time Baby The Complete Guide to Later Motherhood
(Hay House, £12.99)

By Claudia Spahr

Almost a quarter of all women in the UK are having babies after 35 and the conception rate for women over forty has doubled in the past ten years. New research shows later mothers are more secure emotionally and financially than younger mothers. They’re more proactive about their health during pregnancy. Numerous studies also show that older mothers live longer.

Women starting a family in their 30s or 40s might lead a healthier life-style; they are often more highly educated and better off financially. They may understand the needs of their bodies, and look after themselves better in terms of exercise and nutrition.

Mature women can have more positive perceptions of their bodies, and more readily tolerate the symptoms of pregnancy. At this age too, women often have more autonomy - independence and confidence to know what they want, and enhanced people skills to get it.

To watch Claudia explain more of the book please click on Right Time Baby Video
This comprehensive guide is the first of its kind. Right Time Baby dispels many of the outdated myths concerning older motherhood and gives useful advice for increased fertility and a healthy baby. Journalist and author Claudia Spahr wrote the book she would have wanted to read when she became a mother at 40.

She found there was nothing interesting or up-to-date on the market; just plenty of so-called experts with negative expectations and misconceptions about having a baby later. Written in an entertaining, accessible manner and filled with practical tips, Right Time Baby reveals secrets for optimising health, prolonging fertility and having the best possible pregnancy at any age.

Right Time Baby has been hailed by some as the new pregnancy and childbirth bible because it’s the first guide that brings together new frontiers such as cell biology, foetal origins and mind-body healing. Packed full of essential tips from top medical experts, scientists and world authorities, including Dr Marilyn Glenville and Dr Michel Odent this book is a complete guide for the women who’s lived a full life before breeding.

With cutting-edge research into neuroscience, nutrition and psychology, it includes vital information on:
• Preparing for pregnancy and motherhood
• How to improve egg quality and get pregnant naturally
• Exercises, relaxation techniques, mind-body connection for conception
• Increasing your chances of success at IVF
• Ways to prevent miscarriage
• How to have the best birth possible
• Parenting concepts and secrets from cultures around the globe to inspire new mothers
Louise L. Hay, bestselling author and founder of Hay House, the publishers of this guide, says “The thoughts you choose to think and the foods you choose to eat are everything to do with your health.”

Claudia Spahr is a Swiss-English journalist who spends most of her time between Spain and India. During her radio and TV career she has worked for the BBC, ITV and CNN. She has completed a novel and this important guide. She has a two year old son and is now pregnant with her second child – due when she is (nearly) 43.

You can watch Claudia at www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4pGlOwKD18.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Enjoy Picnic And Concert In The Park With Raven and help children

For the first time ever a classical concert will be taking place in the beautiful grounds of Coverwood Lakes, Ewhurst, Surrey in aid of The Children's Trust, Tadworth on the evening of Friday, 17th June, 2011.

The black-tie charity event begins at 4 pm, when the garden opens. Ample parking is available and, on arrival guests will be able to stroll through the grounds, picnic by the lake before enjoying musical performances in the Barn by the talented, all-female, string quartet - Raven.

Raven has been taking the classical and contemporary music world by storm with their extraordinary renditions of entirely original arrangements. From the Cadogan Hall to Glastonbury, the Royal Albert Hall to Tokyo and now regulars on television and radio, Raven will perform some exciting new arrangements, as well as familiar classical repertoire.

Tickets at £30, which include access to the gardens and lakes, and to the concert being held in the Barn, can be purchased on-line at: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/lakeconcert or by phoning Zoe on 01737 365016, or emailing: specialevents@thechildrenstrust.org.uk (Picnics and champagne can be purchased for guests who do not wish to take their own).

Coverwood, famous for its stunning lakes and gardens, nestles in a glorious valley hidden in the stunning beauty and peace of the Surrey Hills, 30 miles from the hustle and bustle of London.

The Children's Trust is a national charity, which provides care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury.

For more information, visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk or follow www.facebook.com/childrenstrust or twitter.com/childrens_trust

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Baby Studio, The retailer for parents who care

The Baby Studio, is more than a mere online boutique, it is essentially a service which prides itself on offering quality products, exclusivity and fantastic customer service to you, the customer who cares about their baby.

The store launched in March 2010, as part of a business objective offering a premium service to busy parents to be. The site offers some of the best products on the market and a concierge service which is second to none.

The Baby Studio boast a carefully selected range of the best and desirable items on the market including:- Koochu baby changing bags for fashion conscious parents and iCOO high quality baby travel systems . You will also find stocked many sought after ranges from Baby Elegance, Norton, Prince Lionheart, Izziewotnot, Hauck, Great Gizmos and Clare de Lune. Alongside, the well-recognised and traditional brands, Tomy, Philips Avent, Fisher Price, Tommee Tippee and Lamaze.

The Baby Studio also provides a time saving and personalised concierge service, offering one to one advice on products, even source items not currently stocked by the online store. They work with tried and tested suppliers, leaving you free to enjoy what is important to you. Alternatively The Baby Studio will help find the perfect present or put together the ultimate package for this very special occasion. A VIP experience is also on offer for those clients who require extra confidentiality.


What we want to pass on to our kids

No matter how irresponsible, silly or reckless we might have been as young adults, as parents 2 out of 3 of us want to pass on a sense of 'principled goodness' to our children.

We are more responsible than our own parents in green issues, money matters and good manners.

78% teach their children about how to manage money and to be wise and sensible in their spending and savings.
76% encourage their kids to be polite and well mannered
67% believe that green issues and recycling is important - as a family they do their best
56% have a conscious when it comes to food wastage - there are many in need and our parents want their children to be respectful of food wastage
39% saving the planet is important and that means minimising energy usage
33% set the standard where they can on putting savings/ investments to positive use
23% give time to good causes
19% extend this to giving money to good causes
18% want their job/career to be making a positive difference to society
15% aim to use environmentally friendly forms of transport where they can

Let's hope all this good sense develops a better society !

Launched in 2008, www.KidStart.co.uk is a free shopping club that rewards families with money for their children whenever they shop at a wide range of retailers and service companies. KidStart members can join for FREE and get money back for their kids at over 250 high street locations (House of Fraser, JoJo Maman Bébé or Goldsmiths.) and great voucher code discounts and money off deals.

In addition, KidStart offers money back on online purchases at over 450 well known retailers, from Mothercare and Argos through to Boden and John Lewis, meaning parents can save money for their kids on virtually all of their shopping. KidStart have daily offers, competitions and voucher codes giving shopping discounts as well as KidStart savings when purchases are made.

There are no points, no membership cards, no hassle, no catches, and no hidden charges. Just cash, for kids, for free - it's simple.

Dr Carol Cooper joins Huggies®

Huggies are pleased to announce that Dr Carol Cooper, an expert in parenting, has joined team Huggies®. Dr Carol will be working with Huggies® to help parents further understand the importance of cuddling and the actual cuddle hormone, Oxytocin.

Dr Carol Cooper regularly appears on TV and radio, giving expert medical insight and advice on a broad spectrum of health matters. Dr Carol's special interests and also the reason Huggies® were so keen to work with her - are child and family medicine, twins, higher multiple births and nurturing.

As well as being a frequent and popular broadcaster, Dr Carol Cooper is a prolific writer of many health and parenting books. She is a practicing family doctor and mother of three sons, including twins – so she knows what’s she’s talking about!