The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
Katie Lee interview: from gadget girl to megabyte Mum
Categories: gadgets

Katie Lee is the UK blogger that has really moved things along in social media, and not only that, she’s made massive inroads into demystifying the bastion of the male species, the ‘gadget’, by creating her own blog about consumer tech which is aimed at women.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with her a few years ago when she was still at Shinymedia. When I saw that she joined British Mummy Bloggers last year, I knew that she was soon going to become a Mum and she has to the beautiful Cecily. Knowing that she’s a prolific writer, I wondered what Katie would do next.

She’s given me the lowdown in this interview

Q Tell us a bit about yourself…

A I was founder and editorial director of Shiny Media, the UK’s first, biggest and best blog publishing company and founding editor of Shiny Shiny, the first gadgets blog for women. I now run Miramus, a custom publishing business for clients needing blog content. I also moonlight as a technology journalist, craft addict, woodland owner and nerd.

QcWhat’s dorkadore all about then?

A Dork Adore is basically an online magazine that I’d like to read. It tries to cover off every area that geeks tend to obsess over, including craft, TV, gadgets and lifehacks. I started it after left Shiny Media to fill the hole left by Shiny Shiny. It’s currently a bit of a personal project and isn’t updated anywhere near as much as I’d like. However, I’ve got some really excellent writers writing for it and I’ve got a heap of ideas and schemes for it in the longer term.

Q And you write elsewhere too?

A I don’t write a huge amount, but I always like to keep up a bit of gadget journalism – it’s good to have a specialism or you just become a “manager”. I write for LOOK magazine, do the odd column here and there, and write for as part of Miramus’s work with AOL.

Q Tell us a bit more about your experience as a new Mum – how’s it all going?

A It’s absolutely brilliant. There’s not really any way to talk about being a parent without coming across as smug or deluded. I know that before I had a baby I would have got to this question in the interview and skimmed over the answer – or just read “la la la, blah blah”. Not because I didn’t want children, but because you can only read statements like “there’s nothing like it” and “I didn’t know it was possible to love something this much” and “I’ve learned so much about myself” so many times before wanting to delete all parents from the universe. No one can describe the amazing things that happen to your brain and that’s part of the fun – we all get to experience this like we’re the first people to ever experience it. But, the simple answer is it has been a brilliant 7 months – and every day I thank god I’m not pregnant any more.

Q Do you have any advice for aspiring Mummy bloggers?

A Probably the same advice I have for everyone: write about what you know, check your grammar and try to be funny. Once you’ve finished your post, go back, read it through, delete as many words as you possibly can. We’re all given to flabby prose (me especially) but good writing is concise and pithy. That’s all purely selfish advice based on what I enjoy reading!

Q I notice you use wordpress, any particular reason?

A Years of using Movable Type at Shiny Media meant I was ready to use a CMS that had really simple packages that I could tinker with myself without crying too many anger-tears.

Q I seem to remember seeing a few tweets from you when you were in early labour – did you continue throughout?

A I continued until I had to go into hospital. I was meant to have a home birth but – as this things so often do – it went a bit wrong. When I went into hospital I had been awake for around 30 hours with only 4 hours sleep the night my waters broke. Once I got there, there was a rush to get my wired up to antibiotics and inducement stuff and all the phone fun stopped. I would have liked to have continued for a while longer, but I wouldn’t have wanted to accidentally disable someone’s heart monitor or dialysis machine or something. I tweeted pretty soon after Cecily was born (on Monday morning after an entire weekend of nonsense) and my other half (@alexmilway) put something up as well.

Q What’s your work/life balance like now you’ve got a family?

A It’s really great, to be honest. I read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, set up a business that I knew how to run, employed some truly excellent people and set it all up while I was pregnant with the knowledge that I would need to be able to let other people take up the slack while I was taking time out. I was still editing posts at 4am on the morning my waters broke (and dictating emails to Al the morning Cecily was born), but I handed most of it over to my team after that. Now, I’m just getting geared up to start taking a more active role again. In fact, it’s all been so perfect that for a while I started panicking that it was all going so well. Al is a children’s author (Alex Milway – latest book out now!) and so he works from home. He also used to work in the publishing industry like me so he was able to help with both childcare and running the business. We both count our lucky stars every day!

Q What’s been the best ‘family’ gadget you’ve reviewed?

A I always quite like “dull” gadgets. The Braun in-ear thermometer may not sound exciting, but after a few days of trying to get a reading from an under-arm thermometer while Cecily howled and wriggled, it was like some kind of technological revolution. Also, it’s good fun to take your own temperature. You can see I don’t get out much.

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5 Comments to “Katie Lee interview: from gadget girl to megabyte Mum”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by nixdminx eva keogan, ferrisswatch. ferrisswatch said: Katie Lee interview: from gadget girl to megabyte Mum | Nixdminx: I read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, s… [...]

  2. John says:

    Don’t give Movable Type a hard time because Shiny Media couldn’t be arsed to hire people that knew how to use it (instead of paying £STUPID to a ‘consultant’ who couldn’t tell you to scratch your backside when it itched without charging a fee)

    • admin says:

      Wow my first anonymous and also senseless comment – ‘John’ you don’t have an email address on my domain so please don’t leave any more comments.

  3. Katie Lee says:

    Ha! I actually quite liked MT, but we did struggle to find anyone really good with MT in the UK – even after using all the companies recommended by Six Apart.

    But you’re right about the consultant. If I had my way, the consultant wouldn’t have made it past the first day.

  4. Hahah – amazing over-reaction scenes there John. Go and sit down, have a biscuit.

    Lovely interview ladies altho the line ‘every day I thank god I’m not pregnant any more’ is *slightly* disconcerting to a soon-to-be-married-can’t-wait-to-be-pregnant fellow blogger!

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