Social Media + Amber Alert: help find baby taken in violent kidnapping

An Amber Alert has just been issued in Tennessee and across the region after the violent kidnapping of a Nashville newborn.


The details are particularly disturbing. A woman posing as an immigration official came to a Hispanic woman’s home and demanded that she hand over her baby. When the new mother refused, the kidnapper stabbed her at least eight times and disappeared with the baby. You can find identifying information and more details by visiting the Amber Alert website, and I am sure there will be Nashville-area reporting and blogging within the hour that will offer more info that might help find this baby.


A TN Statewide AMBER Alert has been activated by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department for 4 day old Yair Anthony Carrillo. He is a Hispanic Male with black hair and brown eyes he is wearing a blue and white striped onsie.

The child was taken by a white female who was posing as an immigration worker. She had come to the residence and demanded the mother give her the baby. When the mother refused to comply she stabbed the mother approximately 8 times. The subject is approximately 30 years of age and 5’4” tall and is heavy set. She has blonde hair and it is pulled back into a pony tail. She is wearing a black blouse and blue jeans. The female was driving a black 4 door sedan that was described as looking like a police car.

If you have seen the suspect, vehicle or child, please contact the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department at 615-862-8600 or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Please spread the word about the Amber Alert on your own blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc. Social media should be playing a bigger and bigger role in the already proven effectiveness of the Amber Alert system, and we all have a role to play in making that happen.


Hubris gets a much-needed takedown

ME (rather dramatically explaining my urgent need to get better organized and improve my project planning/documentation processes in light of exploding workload from -YaY!- lots of new agency business): “If I suddenly dropped dead tomorrow, I’m afraid no one would know where to pick up my projects where I left off ,or figure what needs to be done next with the stuff I am working on !!!”

LONG PAUSE as I await expected empathetic response to my obviously important declaration…..

Wise elder statesman co-worker, calmly and matter of factly: “Katie, you would be DEAD. This would no longer be your problem. And in case no one has ever explained this to you, you can no longer be a CONTROL FREAK after death.

(Have I mentioned that I love, absolutely love this particular coworker?)

Do I get a cape? Or at least a coupon for a half-off mojito?

This is kind of neat., where I am one of the featured, front page bloggers, made Nielsen’s “Power Mom 50” list of highest influence parenting blogs & portals.

I feel so very lucky to get to write for Babble, with its incredibly smart & super nice editors who make my work better every time. And I love reading Babble’s great, provocative writing from a wide variety of voices and points of view. Last I heard (not sure if my essay made the final cut), one of my pieces for them will be included in a soon-to-be released Babble anthology.

My relationship with this fabuloso publication continues to be a highlight of my writing career thus far. Thanks, Ada, Gwynne, April, and everybody else at Babble, and congrats on your continued success! (Also, I can’t wait to read Babble Editrix in Chief Ada Calhoun’s forthcoming book on Gen-X parenting.)

And congrats to all the other awesome bloggers who made the Nielsen list. My personal favorites among the group are BusyMom and FinSlippy. Of course, some of the very best parenting writing in the country – writing in general, actually – takes place every day on the tens of thousands of “mom blogs” that aren’t on that list. There are so many incredibly talented women writers blogging out there. They may not make any sort of media list, but these bloggers attract lots of readers and commenters and community around their fantastic voices and sensibilities. And this reminds me; I really need to get cracking on getting my blogroll repopulated with all of my favorite blogs. My complete list got eaten when I moved to this new blog template and domain, but you can see some of my favorite parenting bloggers over there in the list to your left. Check ’em out.

Facebook finally got social networking just right

I am a geeky social networking junkie from way back. I have been in touch with the same group of online pals from a parenting listserv since 1996, when I originally “met” them. I have several real life friends I originally met via Friendster (remember Friendster?). One of them is my youngest child’s godparent. I have been a really active member of a local message board, and that’s where I met my husband . I briefly made an appearance on My Space, and of course, I am a blogger. Oh yeah, I also Twitter. Oh wait, I forgot Linked In. I’m there, too.

Yes, I am a big dork.

But in the past six months, most of the friends and family members who have long made big fun of me for my online activities have themselves become rather enamored of Facebook. In fact, it is my anecdotal observation that Facebook – while extremely popular for several years now – actually “tipped” about six months ago, becoming THE dominant social networking space in existence, and the first to reach across multiple demographics in a pervasive way. I predict that Facebook will soon become as ubiquitous as the cell phone. Everyone will use it. Everyone.

How did Facebook pull this off? Why did it succeed while Friendster failed? Well, obviously the usability is pretty much perfect, and is getting better all the time. It also strikes an excellent balance between accessibility and privacy for users. Plus, unlike My Space, which focuses(ed) primarily on teens, and Friendster, which seemed aimed only at grown-ups, Facebook found a middle ground. It works for everybody.

Interesting Facebook story of the week: I have the Facebook application installed on my Blackberry, and the other day while I was at the grocery store, I noticed that they had artichokes on sale. I decided to buy one on a whim, having no idea how to prepare it. So while I waited in the check-out line, I posted a status update to Facebook via my Blackberry in which I asked if anyone could tell me an easy way to cook artichokes. I had THREE excellent responses before I got to the car with my groceries, and a number of other ideas for cooking the artichoke before I arrived home.

What’s not to love about that?