Sunday, July 12, 2020

About HighTechDad.com & Michael Sheehan

My name is Michael Sheehan, otherwise known throughout the inter-webs as HighTechDad™ (just do a Google search to see my reach). I have been writing about technology for many years, providing product reviews of hardware and software, as well as creating fix-its, how-to’s, and other tips and tricks articles and videos. I have been an ambassador and influencer for many brands as well. I’m an avid social media pundit and somewhat “understand” parenting (I have three teenage daughters). Technology, gadgets, gizmos, hardware, software, and anything geeky are what I’m passionate about. I am currently a Senior Manager of Partner Marketing Strategy at AppDynamics, which is part of Cisco. I also do consult with various start-ups and companies in stealth mode on digital and content marketing strategies as well as design and manage 3rd-party WordPress sites. I previously worked at Riverbed as a Senior Manager of Content Marketing within the Solutions Marketing group. Before that, I was at HP as a Senior eCommerce Content Marketing Manager, where I developed and implemented lifestyle content strategies. Prior to that, I was at Intel Corporation as a Brand Journalist and Social Media Strategist.

Original Works

The postings on HighTechDad.com, as well as on my social channels, are my own and don’t necessarily represent any other company’s positions, strategies, or opinions. I hold a high standard for transparency and disclosure and take a journalistic approach to all of my work.

NOTE: I do NOT accept third-party articles nor guest posts. Also, I will NOT edit an existing article to include your links.

Background

I currently work as a Senior Manager of Partner Marketing Strategy at AppDynamics, which is part of Cisco. I previously worked at Riverbed as a Senior Manager of Content Marketing within the Solutions Marketing group. Before that, I worked at HP Inc. as a Senior eCommerce Content Marketing Manager developing various lifestyle content strategies for the HP shopping experience.

Prior to that, I was at Intel as a Brand Journalist for Intel Free Press, where I investigated, interviewed, and wrote articles about technology and people in and around Intel. The target audience was technology journalists, and the content that I produced was designed to be used freely without attribution by that audience. You can read my explanation of what Brand Journalism is if you are curious. I was also a Social Media Strategist for the Global Public Relations group.

For over five years, I was the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid, a Cloud Computing Infrastructure Provider. (What is a Technology Evangelist? Read my explanation!) I created GoGrid’s blogging and social media presences (achieving a Klout score of 78 in July 2013 – Klout is no longer in existence unfortunately) and launched and positioned GoGrid within the Cloud Community through the use of Social Media, Social Marketing, Public and Press Relations, and corporate blogging — evangelizing the significant and growing benefits of outsourced server infrastructure in the cloud. I have well over 15 years of Product, Account, and Engineering Management experience, as well as a passion for all types of technologies.

I desire to bridge the gap between the technical and marketing aspects of various products and services, but doing so in a way that is understandable by most, informative, and unique. Also, I write all of the product reviews that you see on HighTechDad.com from the perspective of a parent – how well does it integrate into a family environment, how easy is it for children to use, how does the price point match against an “average” family, and once and a while, I even include my children in a review!

I received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Comparative Literatures from Occidental College in Los Angeles as well as a Marketing Certification at U.C. Berkeley Extension in San Francisco. After college, I lived in Madrid, Spain for two years as I made my best efforts to avoid getting sucked into the workforce. In Madrid, I taught English to business executives and government officials.

My technology expertise is entirely self-taught, and I try to provide regular critical analysis of technology trends. You can read more about my Work Experience in my LinkedIn profile.

I frequently provide consultation services to companies, brands, and other parties who need the expert advice of a technology and marketing professional. See my business site: HTDStrategies.com.

This blog was conceptualized long before blogging became as popular as it is now. I had the desire to create a way to provide helpful insight to people, and my first thought was writing a How-To book. The problem was, writing a book takes time and was slow (it did not reflect the speed of technology).

So, when my girls where quite young (and when blogging started to become more prevalent), I jumped in feet first – my first post was on November 3rd, 2005. At that time, there were sites about parenting, and sites about technology. But back in 2005, I discovered an untapped niche, one which analyzed the intersection of these two subjects. Thus, my tagline, where technology and fatherhood collide, was born (as my fourth child).

The rest is history.

Why HighTechDad is my Passion

Below is an interview I gave to StartUp TV back in 2013. In it, you can learn about my background and about how HighTechDad started as well as some advice to others looking to start up a blog, site, or company.

Keeping on the cutting edge of technology takes a lot of time. I’m lucky that I do have a following, and many PR firms and companies now regularly contact me to get their products reviewed. My wife calls technology “the other woman,” which should make it clear how passionate I am about it. This blog is, however, just a hobby, but it continues at a very healthy rate.

The Media frequently approach me. I am often referenced by other writers, and I’m happy to participate in outreach. Below is a clip from WGN-TV in Chicago, which I appeared live on.

Brands I've Worked With

I have had the good fortune to work with a variety of large and smaller brands on difference influencer and brand ambassador programs. Below you can see a collection of the most notable (click the logo to learn more), but I view each piece of content that I produce to be equally important. Here are a few kind words some of the Brands or Agencies I have worked with have said:

My reviews tend to be long (I enjoy writing). But I spend lots of time understanding a particular product, service, or piece of technology, especially how it can (or can't) integrate into a family lifestyle or environment.

Lastly, if you are a brand or PR firm, please be sure to read my "10 Ways Brands Can Work More Effectively with Top-Tier Bloggers" as there are some tips there that you might find useful and helpful, particularly when working with me. I have recently published a new article related to the "10 Ways" article above called "How to Pitch Tech Writers & Influencers – Voices from 8 Tech Journalists (incl. HighTechDad)". Along with my opinions are the opinions of seven other journalists (you do have to register to download the full report from Cision). 

Highlights & Quick Stats

Here are a few awards that HighTechDad has received over time:

  • Man of Many Blog Award
  • PRN-blog-badge
  • dad-blog-badge-125w
  • dad-blogs-2012-150w
  • Alltop_125x125
  • FeedSpot Top Dads 2017
  • dad-blog-125x125

Here are some quick stats and other info about HighTechDad.com. The space that I’m in is highly competitive, and new “technology sites” are added regularly. But I believe I have remained relevant over the years. But remember, HighTechDad.com is a hobby. I do have a full-time job (apart from my family).

These highlights were last updated in December 2019.

HighTechDad.com highlights (since April 2013)

  • 5 million sessions
  • 1 million new users
  • 3 million page views
  • Majority of traffic is search-engine driven
  • Several articles have over 510,000 unique views
  • One article has over 513,000 views

HighTechDad YouTube Channel highlights (lifetime)

  • Over 9.4 million lifetime views
  • Over 11,700 subscribers
  • Two YouTube videos have over 1.3 million lifetime views

Other Highlights

  • Cast of Dads Podcast member
  • Listed in Man of Many's 2019 21 Best Dad Blogs
  • Listed on Dads.Alltop.com (no longer active)
  • "Daddy Blogger" explained by PRNewswire.com (detailed)
  • Ranked #15 in FeedSpot's 2019 Top Father Blogs & Websites
  • Listed in CreditDonkey's Best Dad Blogs 2017: Top Parenting Experts
  • Ranked #2 by Cision (via media database) as "Top 10 Fatherhood Blogs" - 9, 2010
  • Ranked #17 by Cision in "The Top 25 Dad Blogs of 2011" based on a variety of criteria (see post for details)
  • Ranked #9 of 10 in "Dads with Klout" - 2011
  • Ranked #35 in Babble.com's "Top 50 Dad Blogs - 2011"
  • Ranked #50 in Babble.com's "Top 50 Dad Blogs - 2012"
  • The 5s: Parent bloggers to follow on Twitter (Dads edition) - Scholastic's On Our Minds
  • Ranked #8 in MyMediaInfo's "Top 10 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter"
  • Ranked #59 in The Huffington Post's "The Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" - August 2013

Programs I have Participated in

I have had the honor of participating in a variety of programs with various brands. I also contribute articles to some select sites. Some of these are:

  • AT&T Digital Life - contracted to write content for new AT&T Digital Life site - 2015-16
  • CDW BizTech - contracted to write content for CDW BizTech - 2015
  • NETGEAR Ambassador Program - reviewing various NETGEAR products - 2014-2016
  • RadioShack #GiftSmart - helping spread the news about RadioShack's #GiftSmart campaign - Dec 2014
  • LunarPages Uptime Blog - contracted to write content for hosting provider LunarPages - 2013-2014
  • #ConnectedByOnStar Event - invited to participate in an OnStar event in Detroit - 2013
  • IBM for Midsize Business program (Articles on HighTechDad)- contract to write articles about cloud computing for the midsize business - 2011-2013
  • AT&T Lifestyle Tips (Insider) - on-going content writing program for AT&T - 2012-13
  • The Digital Joneses – a year-long program with six other bloggers around the US for Trend Micro raising awareness of family online security - 2012
  • Intel UltrabookDads program - contracted to raise awareness via articles, social media, and video of new Ultrabook reference design - 2011-2012
  • "Dadding" on Babble.com (now owned by Disney) - featured writing (view my 19 articles) within newly launched Dad section of Babble.com - 2011
  • Man of the House - featured contributor of content in the "technology" section - 2011
  • Intel Scoop - posts related to my work with Intel - 2011
  • Intel Advisors Program - 2010-2011 (Program won the PRnews Platinum PR 2011 Award for "Influencer Communications")
  • Intel Upgrade Your Life Program - 2011
  • AT&T Lose the Laptop Program - 2010
  • Intel Upgrade Your Life Program - 2010
  • Microsoft Real Life Stories Program - 2010
  • Sony DigiDad Project - 2009-2010
  • Various Brand Ambassador programs including Klutz Books, The Sharper Image, and others
  • Various smaller programs

Product Sample Return Policy

Apart from the tiny amount of advertising revenue I receive from this blog (as well as an occasional sponsorship), I receive no financial compensation for these articles. I do this solely because of my fascination with technology…which verges on addiction. To that end, my policy is that any samples that are sent to me, remain in my possession. There are extreme cases where I make an exception to this policy, but for the most part, this levels the playing field for everyone.

It takes time to write an intelligent and unique review. I spend, on average, a few hours writing it, plus the time it takes to take product shots, do videos, and evaluate and test the product itself. Finding time to do this is difficult, so the compensation I receive is frequently only in the form of keeping the product. The result is a carefully crafted review that is helpful to my audience but also the brand. I will be completely honest in my reviews: where there are positives, there will also be negatives.

Therefore:

  • I will provide an honest review across the board
  • I will write about both positives and negatives about your hardware or software or website or service
  • If the sample must be returned (I don’t typically do this), please ensure that there is ample time for me to review it AND provide return shipping
  • I will disclose in my review that I received the product/service for free, as a sample or as a “thank you for taking time to review and write” (this was implemented in July 2009)
  • I will NOT take monetary payment for posting a review (unless as part of a sponsorship program and this is fully disclosed)
  • I will NOT insert text or links into a previous review, advertising your product or site, for money – send me a sample, and I will review it
  • I will do my best to provide a timely review (especially with new product launches); however, some reviews may be queued for later release or until the product is fully reviewed

Affliliates, Advertising & Sponsorships

Affiliates

I periodically run Amazon or other affiliate links within some of my reviews on HighTechDad.com. Typically, I mention the current price of the hardware or software and provide a link directly to the product as listed on Amazon or similar sites. If you click on those links (which I would appreciate that you do) and order a product, I receive a tiny bit of compensation (2-4% of the purchase price). Regardless of whether you click through my Amazon affiliate links or go directly to Amazon or purchase through another site advertised on my blog, the price you pay is the same. The only difference is, if you go straight to Amazon and don’t use any of my provided links, I don’t receive any commission. In addition to the Amazon Affiliate program, I run other affiliate links and sponsorships to help offset some of the expenses associated with running this site.

Advertising

Similarly, I run advertising through Amazon, Google, and other companies where I receive some advertising revenue (it is much smaller than you would think). I will NOT, however, run direct text link advertising. However, if you are interested in running a banner ad, that I CAN do, so please contact me. Please support my efforts by making purchases through affiliate links as well as clicking on some of the advertising you see within this site.

Sponsorships

If you are a large brand that is interested in sponsoring my site for an extended period of time, please contact me! I write sponsored articles of 1000+ words. These start at $750. See the list of international brands I have worked with.

Disclosures

As with all of my posts, I need to make a disclosure to ensure that I follow the important FTC guidelines and associated codes of ethics. I frequently receive products, services, compensation, and travel that are covered by companies and/or agencies. Once the FTC published their guidelines in July 2009, I have fully complied, and all of my articles after that date now include a Disclosure within the post (posts before this date, do not). However, as stated previously, this compensation in no way affects how I write my content or reviews. That being said and for true transparency:

Disclosure: In accordance to the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing various corporations, companies, agencies, and individuals may have provided me with free samples, products, services, travel, or other expenses or compensation in order for me to complete my reviews or write articles about a particular subject.

Intel: I am disclosing that I was an Intel Advisor (a program run by Intel Corporation) in the past. I was compensated in the past for my participation in this program.  However, the content and thoughts shared about Intel are my own. The postings and articles on this site (www.HighTechDad.com) and my other social and blogging presences (e.g., social media and content sites) are my own and don't necessarily represent Intel's positions, strategies, or opinions.

Thanks for your Interest!

Wow! I'm impressed you made it all the way to the end! I hope you enjoy HighTechDad.com and find the information therein valuable! Please drop me a note if you have any questions.

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