Here it is, August AGAIN and here comes a new school year AGAIN. Is it just me, or can life feel like a never ending viewing of Groundhog Day? (I’ve got you babe…) Personally, my work and speaking schedule follows the typical school calendar. As a result, I use the summer months to finish writing projects, add new educational features, and plan the coming speaking year.
The beginning of the school year is an obvious time to reinforce established family rules and possibly implement new ones as a response to your children growing older.
So here’s my contribution to both of those efforts: taking stock of where we’ve been and adding new educational opportunities.
How we got here
At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, I felt the need to reassess where this is all headed. I had successfully presented to well over 70k audience participants (students, parents, educators, and law enforcement), I had gathered hundreds of thousands of rows of anonymized student data and feedback, and (perhaps most importantly) I had been a live witness to hundreds of students reporting their experiences with child exploitation, sexual predation, porn addiction, sexting (tons), and even sex trafficking.
Over the past few years, I have become friendly with law enforcement personnel who have acted as a sounding board as well as a much-needed voice of reason (I tend to come with child protection ideas involving an aluminum baseball bat ala Hollis Queens). I called a detective friend of mine and said to her “I feel like the building is burning and I’m the only one who can see it, do you ever feel that way?” She said “Everyday”, which made me feel better and worse. Better because I’m clearly not the only one. And worse because the building is in fact burning, and not enough people can see it.
My end-of-year reassessment then took a new tack – How do I share this message with the highest number of people without spending 365 days on the road, having my family hate me, and end up shaving my head, moving to a Tibetan ashram and living out the rest of my days in silent meditation? (I’ll be honest, that last bit still sounds AWESOME.)
So I’ve come up with a list of goals for moving forward and I’d like to share them with you here:
- Increase my output of content dramatically in ways which can be easily consumed by all of you – including audio versions of blog posts and articles
- Create new online outlets for education – several free so that everyone can participate, several at very low cost for school districts who can’t afford to have me come out and speak.
Where we’re headed
Beginning now, with this post, the blog on my website is undergoing a complete re-birth (or actually just birth since the first iteration wasn’t particularly consistent). Because of Google search algorithms and reasons way TOO tedious and nerdy to explain (trust me you won’t care) -I will be posting a significant amount of my content on the website as blog posts. But don’t worry I will be cross-promoting those pieces on my Facebook page and in the twice-monthly emails – so you won’t miss anything.
#1 Last May I was able to complete and publish the 2nd edition of my book The Boogeyman Exists; And He’s in Your Child’s Back Pocket. (Thank you to all of the parents who waited so patiently after the publish date was pushed back several times.)
- Click here to purchase the book.
- Check your emails and the Facebook page for promotional codes for book purchases. Sign up for e-newsletter here.
#2 I’m hard at work for the Boogeyman version for kids called After the Boogeyman Leaves: The Stories Kids Want You To Hear. The print version of this book will publish on December 1st and is meant for a middle school and older audience. Additional downloadable materials will be available on the website to extend the book’s content by educators in the classroom or parents at home.
Beginning August 2017, if you’ve signed up for the e-newsletter, you will be receiving a twice monthly e-newsletter with a review of my latest blog posts, audio posts, coming events, and tons of other content to help you remain educated. I will never waste your time with fluff, and I will NEVER, EVER share or sell your email address. (If you start getting emails from a Nigerian prince, it didn’t come from me, promise.)
The Facebook Page has grown consistently over time and is really the only form of communication I’ve used to any modest level of success.
This area will also be expanded via a secondary Facebook GROUP. The group is closed to the public and only “members” are able to join. Eventually, there will be a cost associated with joining the Facebook GROUP – however current Facebook Page fans will be given an opportunity (beginning the week of Sept 20th for 3 weeks only) to join the Facebook Group for free. After the three weeks FREE promotion, the Facebook Group will cost $1/month to join.
Members of the Group will have access to all of the content in the Facebook Page PLUS additional pieces of content created just for group members including audio versions of some posts, longer form analysis of apps, videos, and other educational content for parents and educators. Perhaps most importantly – your privacy is assured. The comments you make within the Facebook Group are NOT indexed by the search mechanism within Facebook, are NOT indexed by Google and can only be seen among members of the Facebook Group.
**I have a hate-hate relationship with Twitter. So far it has only been helpful in connecting me with school contacts and media contacts. That’s the only reason it’s still sticking around. If you follow me on Twitter, make sure you also “like” the Facebook Page because one day I may just decide to kill the Twitter profile.
There is one more update which I’m not prepared to release yet – but it’s kind of big and a game changer for access to parents and sharing content. You’ll have to stay tuned. The expected release date is December 15, 2017 – but I can’t promise yet.
Well, there you have it. That’s where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. The ultimate goal is to reach as many parents and educators as humanly possible. If there’s a feature or a topic you’d like to see covered, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Jesse Weinberger is an Internet Safety Expert, Internet Safety Speaker for schools, and the author of “The Boogeyman Exists: And He’s In Your Child’s Back Pocket”; a guide for parents and educators on how to keep children safe in a 24-7 always connected digital society. Learn more about how to keep your children safe online
She has been teaching parents, schools, and students how to navigate online and mobile risks since 2003. Jesse is available for presentations to schools, parents, students, and organizations all over the United States.