Friday, August 2, 2013 09:32:00

Interviewing a Star Playboard Editor: Pepper Ferguson

pepper

Who are you, and what do you do?

The Android Family started when TJ, the Android Dad, decided to go back to school for computer science. He realized he would need to learn about blogging, so he came to me. I'm Pepper, the Android Mom, and I have blogged for over 14 years. I knew with school and work that he would not be able to keep up with a blog all by himself, so I suggested we work together.

We are both very passionate Android users so that was a quick answer to what we would blog on. Then we realized it wouldn't be fun to have the whole family involved. Out two boys Zane and Zarek both love their Android tablets and love sharing all about them. Then we added TJ's nephew as well as he is also very passionate about Android so we had to invite him to contribute as well. Cousin Louie (Stephen) is the Android College Student.

After lots of research I realized there wasn't really a good place for everyday users to learn more about Android. All the other Android blogs I visited in research were filled with tons of "news", tech talk, rumors, and really just too overwhelming for the average Android user. Even I was overwhelmed with all the info.

pepper

We realized there was a need for a blog for the beginner or average Android user. Our goal with the Android Family became to make a blog for basic android users, Moms & Dads, looking to learn more about how Android will work for them and their family. A place the average user will not feel overwhelmed with tech talk but given straight talk.

I noticed The Android Family features reviews by 6-year-old Zane (such as this one), and spotted reviews by Zane on Playboard, 10 Awesome Apps for Summer Vacation for Kids. Do you find that parents and kids relate better to reviews by an actual user (a kid), or by a parent?

I really wanted the boys to be involved with the Android Family. They actually even do their own device and accessory reviews on video. My boys love making videos, Zane asks me to make a video almost every day.

When it came to apps on The Android Family I wanted Zane to be more involved. We work together picking out the apps he is interested in and then I interview him on each app. I thought that it might be fun for the parents reading the review to see a real kid's opinion. Instead of parents being told why their kids will like the app, they get to hear from a kid why they like the app.

I do put some of my own notes on the official app post if there is a parental reason I helped him pick the app.

One of Zane's videos:

One of Zarek's videos:


A complaint I sometimes hear from parents is that their kid is glued to a device, rather than experiencing "the real world" and playing outside. What do you think about this?

This is something that I talk to a lot with parents to learn more about. I know this is a real concern for a lot of parents and I think they really need to know their own child and know what their child needs.

I personally feel like there are a couple different kinds of kids. There are the kids that get an addiction to TV or video games and their parents really do have to monitor screen time very closely. But I don't think all kids are this way.

origami

Zane and Zarek may get in a sporadic 1 to 2 hours a day of video games and cartoons. They just don't stay glued to the screen, they are very active and like to bounce from thing to thing. Sometimes when I need to do a phone call (I work at home) I have to beg them to play their games for an hour.

I found when we made rules about video/screen time then the boys became more glued to the screen. They would also be more obsessed with the games even when they were not playing them. When there were time "rules" in our house then video games and cartoons became more of an "addiction". When there are no rules it just becomes something we do sometimes.

We do have rules with our video games though:

  • You are not allowed to whine if Mommy asks you to put the video games away or you will lose games for the next day.
  • Mommy and Daddy do not play your games, if you cannot figure out the game on your own the game is too hard and will be taken away.
  • You are responsible for charging your own device.

How does Playboard help you, as a blogger and an Android user?

I love Playboard as a blogger. I was searching for a tool to help me make it easier for our readers to find the apps we were talking about. I found more than that with Playboard! I found a tool that helps my readers instantly know the official name of the game, the rating in the play store, how many downloads it has, and where to download the app.

I also use Playboard as a way to draft my "Top App" posts for The Android Family. I create the idea I have in Playboard with a new channel, like right now I'm working on Top Android Apps for Kids with Autism, I can then collect the apps I want to look at for this post. Then I go through those apps and review each one right in Playboard. I now have my post draft quick and easy. Also this is great when I have an idea but need to work on it on the go - I can create a quick draft for later on my phone.

As an Android user Playboard has been a great way to discover knew apps and to keep track of my favorite apps. If you hadn't noticed the Play Store changed and personally I'm finding it even harder to find things, so Playboard has been an awesome tool!