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Marsha Collier is well known for her many books on eBay and eBay
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ISBN 978-0-470-63754-8
Marsha Collier
Collier
Author of eBay For Seniors For Dummies
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Facebook® & Twitter®
For Seniors
FOR
DUMmIES
‰
by Marsha Collier
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Facebook® & Twitter® For Seniors For Dummies®
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under
Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of
the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance
Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the
Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111
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Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the
Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com, Making Everything
Easier, and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its
affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. Facebook
is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc. All other trademarks
are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.
LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT
LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED
OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED
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PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL
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For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care Department
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For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport.
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About the Author
Marsha Collier spends a good deal of time online. She loves buying
and selling on eBay, as well as meeting online denizens from around
the world. As a columnist, author of the best-selling For Dummies
books on eBay, and a radio host, she shares her knowledge of the online
world with millions. Before her eBay career took off, Marsha owned and
operated her own marketing and advertising firm, a company that won
numerous awards and earned her “Small Business of the Year” accolades
from several organizations. She got started online during the Internet’s
early years, and quickly mastered the art making friends online.
Marsha is one of the foremost eBay experts and educators in the world —
and the top-selling eBay author. In 1999, Marsha created the first edition
of eBay For Dummies, the bestselling book for eBay beginners. Then she
followed up the success of the first book with Starting an eBay Business
For Dummies, targeting individuals interested in making e-commerce
their full-time profession. That book became an instant nationwide hit,
making several notable bestseller lists.
Currently, Marsha has 20 books in print on her favorite subject — eBay.
Her eBay For Dummies was published in special versions for the United
Kingdom, Canada, Germany, China, France, Spain, and Australia.
Marsha’s books have sold over 1,000,000 copies (including the special
editions in foreign countries as well as translations in Spanish, French,
Italian, Chinese, and German). These books are updated regularly to
keep up with site and market changes.
Along with her writing, Marsha is an experienced e-commerce educator.
She was the lead instructor at eBay University (teaching seminars all
over the United States), as well as a regular presenter at the eBay Live
national convention since its inception. Marsha also hosted “Make Your
Fortune Online,” a PBS special on online business that premiered in
2005. The show was the basis for her PBS premium five-DVD set,
“Your Online Business Plan.” In 2006, she was invited to address the
Innovations Conference in Singapore to present the ideas of e-commerce
to a new market.
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In 2008, she was dubbed one of twenty influential iCitizens in Kelly
Mooney’s The Open Brand: When Push Comes to Pull in a Web-Made
World, and was invited to speak at a leading e-commerce conference
attended by Coca-Cola, Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, Victoria’s
Secret, and other e-commerce leaders.
She hosts Computer & Technology Radio on KTRB 860 AM in San
Francisco, as well as on the Web at www.computerandtechnology
radio.com. She also makes regular appearances on television, radio,
and in print to discuss customer needs and online commerce.
Marsha currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She can be reached via her
Web site, www.marshacollier.com.
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Dedication
To all the future online citizens who have purchased this book to get a
taste of how much fun joining the online party can be. I look forward to
seeing you on Twitter and Facebook, hearing your stories, and learning
from you.
I dedicate this book also to my daughter, Susan Dickman, who’s always
been there to help me get “cool.” Heather Meeker, who’s there with
support and love — thank you. And to my dear friends on Twitter and
Facebook who have embraced me as part of their community, I want to
thank all of you for your help and support; you make the online world
a fun place to visit for millions of people. Keep on doing what you’re
doing.
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Author’s Acknowledgments
This book couldn’t have been written without input from the thousands
of wonderful people that I’ve met online from all over the world. You
inspire me to work harder and do my best to help as many people as
possible.
I’ve made so many friends along my eBay, Facebook, and Twitter travels:
If not for them, this book wouldn’t be here. Thanks to the rest of my
Twitter buddies — who always seem to have a lightning-fast response
when I send them a tweet.
I particularly want to thank my freaking brilliant editors at Wiley
Publishing, Inc. who helped make this book as much fun as it is:
my über-smart project editor Leah Cameron, my super editor Barry
Childs-Helton, and my tech editor Mark Justice Hinton; Steven Hayes,
my acquisitions editor, who is always there for supports and ideas; and
Andy Cummings, my publisher, who — lucky for me — still takes my
calls!
Thank you all!
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Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at
http://dummies.custhelp.com. For other comments, please contact our Customer Care
Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisition and Editorial
Composition Services
Senior Editorial Manager: Leah P. Cameron
Project Coordinator: Patrick Redmond
Senior Copy Editor: Barry Childs-Helton
Layout and Graphics: Carl Byers,
Christin Swinford
Acquisitions Editor: Steven Hayes
Proofreaders: Melissa Cossell,
Evelyn C. Wellborn
Technical Editor: Mark Justice Hinton
Editorial Assistant: Amanda Graham,
Leslie Saxman
Indexer: Sharon Shock
Sr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case
Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)
Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies
Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher
Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director
Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director
Publishing for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher
Composition Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services
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Contents at a Glance
Introduction ............................................................................. 1
Part I: Computer and Internet Basics ........................................ 9
Chapter 1: Getting a Computer Ready for the Internet........................................11
Chapter 2: Hooking Up to the Internet.................................................................27
Chapter 3: All About E-Mail ..................................................................................43
Chapter 4: Speaking the Social Networking Language.........................................61
Part II: Putting Your Face onto Facebook ................................ 73
Chapter 5: Preparing Your Facebook Profile ........................................................75
Chapter 6: Preparing to Share Info ........................................................................93
Chapter 7: Connecting with Friends and Family............................................... 109
Chapter 8: Adding Photos and Videos to Facebook.......................................... 131
Chapter 9: Exploring Groups, Events, and Games ............................................ 145
Part III: And Now, It’s Twitter Time ...................................... 171
Chapter 10: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter ........................................................ 173
Chapter 11: Conversing on Twitter with Friends, Family, and More............... 193
Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade ............................................. 205
Part IV: The Rest of the Social Networking Story ................... 229
Chapter 13: Sharing (and Grabbing) Photos, Videos, and Music .................... 231
Chapter 14: Giving or Taking an Opinion ......................................................... 253
Chapter 15: So You Want to Be a Blogger? ........................................................ 277
Index ................................................................................... 295
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Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................. 1
About This Book ........................................................................................3
Conventions Used in This Book ...............................................................4
Foolish Assumptions .................................................................................5
How This Book Is Organized ....................................................................6
Where to Go from Here .............................................................................7
Feedback, Please .........................................................................................8
Part I: Computer and Internet Basics ........................................ 9
Chapter 1: Getting a Computer Ready for the Internet ..... 11
Pick Hardware to Match Your Computer Use........................................12
Know What Hardware Options to Look For ..........................................16
Shop for Your Computer of Choice........................................................19
Browse for a Browser ...............................................................................21
Chapter 2: Hooking Up to the Internet ............................. 27
Select an Internet Service Provider ..........................................................28
Set Up a Dial-Up Connection .................................................................31
Choose a Broadband Network Option...................................................32
Connect a Powerline Network ................................................................34
Connect a Wireless Network ...................................................................36
Remember These Rules to Stay Safe Online...........................................41
Chapter 3: All About E-Mail ............................................ 43
Check Out Places to Get Your E-Mail Service ........................................44
Meet the Big Three Web-Based E-Mail Providers ...................................46
Pick a Pick-Proof Password .....................................................................51
Sign Up for a Gmail Account ..................................................................52
Add Your Contacts ...................................................................................56
Compose and Send an E-mail.................................................................58
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
Chapter 4: Speaking the Social Networking Language .... 61
Gather on Facebook .................................................................................61
Communicate through Twitter................................................................63
Find a Spot on MySpace ..........................................................................64
Get Connected on LinkedIn ....................................................................66
See It All on YouTube ..............................................................................67
Have Your Say on BlogSpot ....................................................................68
Share Photos on Flickr .............................................................................69
Stream Music on Pandora .......................................................................70
Watch TV and Movies on Hulu ...............................................................72
Part II: Putting Your Face onto Facebook ................................ 73
Chapter 5: Preparing Your Facebook Profile .................... 75
Sign Up for a Facebook Account .............................................................76
Find Friends Initially................................................................................79
Add Your Personal Information..............................................................80
Upload Your Profile Photo......................................................................82
Fill Out Other Profile Information .........................................................86
Go Back to Edit Your Profile Later ..........................................................92
Chapter 6: Preparing to Share Info .................................. 93
Get Your Privacy and Security Settings in Place .....................................94
Meet Your Facebook Home Page ............................................................98
Review the Profile Everyone Sees ......................................................... 100
Update Your Status ............................................................................... 103
Delete a Status Update or Other Post .................................................. 105
Add a Photo to Your Wall .................................................................... 105
Share a YouTube Video on Facebook .................................................. 106
Post an Event to Your Wall .................................................................. 107
Chapter 7: Connecting with Friends and Family ............. 109
Make the Navigation Bar Your First Stop ............................................ 109
Find a Friend with Facebook Search .................................................... 112
Send a Friend Request........................................................................... 115
➟
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Table of Contents
Find Friends in Other Friend Lists ....................................................... 116
Respond to a Friend Request................................................................ 118
Connect with a Facebook Network...................................................... 120
Send Private Messages to Friends ......................................................... 122
Retrieve a Private Message .................................................................... 123
Chat with Your Friends ......................................................................... 125
Post Messages on a Friend’s Wall ......................................................... 126
Comment on a Friend’s Status ............................................................. 128
Post a Note ............................................................................................ 129
Remove Messages from Your Wall ....................................................... 130
Chapter 8: Adding Photos and Videos to Facebook ....... 131
Upload a Photo to Your Account......................................................... 132
Create a Photo Album .......................................................................... 135
Tag Photos ............................................................................................. 138
Untag Yourself in a Photo .................................................................... 141
Delete a Photo ....................................................................................... 143
Upload a Video to Facebook ................................................................ 143
Chapter 9: Exploring Groups, Events, and Games .......... 145
Find Your Favorite Things on Facebook ............................................. 146
Join a Facebook Group ......................................................................... 150
Start a Facebook Group ........................................................................ 154
Communicate with Group Members................................................... 157
Create an Event Invitation .................................................................... 159
Review Upcoming Events ..................................................................... 161
Export an Event to Another Calendar.................................................. 162
Have Some Fun with Games and Applications .................................. 163
Browse Facebook Apps and Games ..................................................... 165
Part III: And Now, It’s Twitter Time ...................................... 171
Chapter 10: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter..................... 173
Register with Twitter ............................................................................ 174
Find People to Follow........................................................................... 178
➟
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
Adjust Your Account Settings ............................................................... 184
Upload Your Avatar .............................................................................. 187
Select a Theme for Your Profile Page ................................................... 189
Set Up Notices ....................................................................................... 190
Know Twitter Shorthand ...................................................................... 191
Chapter 11: Conversing on Twitter
with Friends, Family, and More .................................. 193
Follow Basic Guidelines for Conversing.............................................. 194
Pass Along a Chosen Tweet .................................................................. 196
Favorite Your Favorite Tweets .............................................................. 198
Search for Tweeted Topics .................................................................... 200
Know What to Tweet About ................................................................. 201
Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade .......... 205
Search for Tweeps on WeFollow .......................................................... 206
Add Yourself to WeFollow.................................................................... 211
Find Trends with Summize .................................................................. 212
FollowFriday, FF, and Other Hashtags ................................................ 216
Connect with People............................................................................. 220
Keep Track of Hundreds, Thousands of Friends? ............................... 222
View Your Friend Lists .......................................................................... 225
Part IV: The Rest of the Social Networking Story ................... 229
Chapter 13: Sharing (and Grabbing)
Photos, Videos, and Music .......................................... 231
Give Credit When You Share ............................................................... 232
Make Your Links Short ......................................................................... 235
Share Your Photos with Twitpic........................................................... 240
Become an Online Deejay (DJ) ........................................................... 245
Spin Your Songs for Online Friends .................................................... 246
Find and Share Videos on YouTube .................................................... 248
➟
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Table of Contents
Chapter 14: Giving or Taking an Opinion ...................... 253
Check Out Angie’s List .......................................................................... 254
Find Anything (and Its Reviews) on Amazon ..................................... 255
Find Restaurants, Shopping, and Nightlife on Yelp ........................... 258
Register on Yelp to Leave Reviews ....................................................... 261
Leave a Review on Yelp ........................................................................ 262
Read Between the Lines at Review Sites .............................................. 264
Find Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor ..................................................... 266
Add a Hotel Review on TripAdvisor .................................................... 268
Find a Good Movie on Flixster ............................................................ 272
Leave a Comment on Flixster ............................................................... 273
Chapter 15: So You Want to Be a Blogger? ................... 277
Answer These Questions Before You Start........................................... 278
Stake Your Claim in the Blogosphere .................................................. 280
Register Your Blog ................................................................................. 282
Give Your Blog a Name ........................................................................ 283
Choose a Template ............................................................................... 285
Post Your Story with Photos ................................................................ 286
Set Up Your Profile ............................................................................... 291
Index ................................................................................... 295
➟
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Cartoons at a Glance
by Rich Tennant
page 9
page 171
page 73
page 229
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I
’ve been working and playing online since the
mid-’80s. I started out using CompuServe
from my old Kaypro II with a 300-baud
modem. I’d log on to my computer in the
evenings when I had some quiet time after
work, after my daughter was asleep.
➟
Introduction
The online world I found through CompuServe
had no fancy pages, videos, or even photos.
Just phosphor-green text on a tiny screen. The
early onliners didn’t know any better technology,
so we communicated with people by sending
words across the country and across the world.
We chatted with each other and joined groups
to discuss our hobbies and our families.
Drawing an analogy here, there have been
related social communities online for as long
as there have been connected computers. Even
though the kids today may think they invented
the current online world, today’s social media
are just the 21st-century continuation of a
community we’ve known for quite a while.
Many people who were online then (in the
early ’80s) are still online now. People of a
certain age may also (after a long career) want
to jump back into the family feeling of an
online community. So, even though this book
title says For Seniors, you should know I don’t
like that term. This book is for those with
experience.
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
Although a persistent rumor claims that only the youngsters go online,
actually online participation is growing faster in people over 50. There
are more online users over 40 than under 25. Perhaps these people
were so busy living their lives and bringing up their children that they
didn’t have extra time for themselves then — but they do now. And
just as in the ’60s or ‘70s, they don’t want to be left out of anything.
They want to be smack dab in the middle of the online revolution.
Unfortunately, a lot of what they encounter when they go online is
unfamiliar stuff. So (naturally enough) some of the experienced,
graying generation experience a feeling of trepidation when it comes
to the Internet — most of all, they’re a bit unsure about getting on
Twitter and Facebook.
I have to say: Why? Participating in social media is freeing — and can
bring so much into your life! You can’t not be there!
I encourage you: Join your extended family, your children, and your
friends online. By participating in social media, you’ll find many of
your old friends. I reconnected with my first boyfriend on Twitter, and
we share family photos on Facebook. In a world where people don’t
chat on the phone much anymore, the online arena is the perfect
place to connect.
And you will also make new friends. I am blessed enough to have met
many of my online friends in person. The online world has given me a
whole new group of people that I can call on for advice — or, better
yet, go out to brunch with — in the real world.
➟
Twitter is pretty straightforward — once you get the hang of it, you’ll
be tweeting like a pro in no time. But a Web site that’s as complex as
Facebook has many nooks and crannies that can confuse new users
(and even experienced ones). Think of this book as a roadmap that
can help you find your way around in the social media, getting just as
much or as little as you want from the trip. Unlike an actual road
map, however, you won’t have to fold it back to its original shape
(whew). Just close the book and come back any time you need a
question answered.
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Introduction
About This Book
Remember those open-book tests that teachers sprang on you in high
school? Well, sometimes you may feel like Facebook pop-quizzes you
while you’re online. Think of Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies,
as your open-book-test cheat sheet with the answers. You don’t have
to memorize anything; just keep this book handy and follow along
whenever you need to.
With this in mind, I’ve divided this book into pertinent sections to
help you find your answers fast. I’ll show you how to
➟
Set up your computer for the ultimate online
experience.
➟
Learn to use online searches and tools to widen your
online reach.
➟
Set up a new account on Gmail to handle all your
new communication.
➟
Get online and register to start meeting old (and
new) friends.
➟
Post to your friend’s Facebook walls and send special
messages.
➟
Find people you haven’t heard from in years and
catch up with their lives.
➟
See what’s going on with your children and grandchildren online — and join the party.
➟
Share photos and videos online.
➟
Become a part of a unique community of people!
➟
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
Do not reach for your glasses. To protect the
privacy of the online community, the screen images
(commonly called screen shots) that I’ve used in this
book blur e-mail addresses on purpose. That’s to
protect the innocent (or not so . . . what the heck,
cue the Dragnet theme).
Conventions Used in This Book
Anyone born before 1960 grew up in an analog age. Televisions were
big, bulky affairs; the first remote controls ca-chunked each time they
changed the channel (and they only had four buttons). Families woke
up and went to sleep seeing a test pattern. Cameras (the good ones)
were solid, heavy devices — and movie cameras whirred along with a
comfortable mechanical hum. Typewriters clacked in a danceable
rhythm.
Then life turned digital without anyone’s permission — even without
folks noticing until it happened. The comfortable mechanical sounds
of everyday appliances seemed to go away. Whirring, buzzing, and
beeping replaced the familiar sounds. Everything got more complex:
the button count on my remote control went from four to a gazillion!
It seems as if everything we use has gotten smaller. Some of those little
digital cameras look so small and cheesy that I’m shocked they can
take a good picture — but they do. (They take great ones!) Even the
type on a page, it seems, has gotten smaller — which is why my
publisher has graciously set this book in a type that will permit you to
read something, glance at your computer, and look back again without
having to pick your glasses off the top of your head.
Here are a few conventions to look out for as you read this book:
➟
➟
Online addresses: The online location (or address)
of a Web site is called a Uniform Resource Locator
(URL). These online addresses — as well as e-mail
addresses — appear in a monofont typeface, as
follows:
www.facebook.com
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Introduction
➟
What to type: When instructions for a task require
that you type something on your keyboard, that
something appears in bold typeface.
➟
On-screen buttons with long labels: When an onscreen button is labeled with a phrase instead of a
single word, I put it in title case, like this: Click the
Do This Silly Digital Thing Now button. That ought
to head off confusion at the pass.
Foolish Assumptions
I’m thinking that you’ve picked up this book because you heard that
the immediate world has jumped online and maybe you feel a little
left out. Perhaps you already like to send text messages and think this
Twitter thing might be for you? If either of these assumptions is true,
this is the right book for you.
Here are some other foolish assumptions I’ve made about you (I’m
famous for my foolish assumptions . . . you too?):
➟
You have access to a computer and the Internet (or
plan to get it soon!) so you can get online and start
to socialize.
➟
You have an interest in communicating with people,
and you want to find out more about what you can
do online — without asking your children.
➟
You want tips to help you get online without
looking like a newcomer, or newbie (the kids call
them noobs). I can relate. We have a lot in common.
➟
You’re concerned about maintaining your privacy
and staying away from shysters.
➟
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
How This Book Is Organized
This book has four parts. The chapters stand on their own, meaning
you can read Chapter 5 after you read Chapter 10 or skip Chapter 3
altogether. It’s all up to you. If you’ve already dipped your toe into the
online pool, you can fly ahead to get good tips on advanced tasks.
Don’t wait for permission from me or think that you have to read the
entire book from start to finish. Feel free to go directly to the sections
you’re interested in. Following is a general breakdown of the book’s
content.
Part I: Computer and Internet Basics
Consider Part I a refresher course if you’re experienced in using
computers. I tell you about computer basics that give you the
foundation for a good online experience. I explain the shortcuts and
features in Web browsing, and show you the advantage of having an
online e-mail account. You also discover some of the top social
networking sites to get you talking the talk quickly.
Part II: Putting Your Face onto Facebook
If you’re ready to dive into Facebook with both feet (or headfirst if
you’re really impetuous), check out Part II, which gives you the
lowdown on everything you need to get up and running as an online
denizen.
You find out how to register, share photos and videos, join groups,
post messages to your friends (both privately and publically), and so
much more. The world of Facebook is ever-expanding, and this part
gives you all the tools you need to lead the pack. Once you learn the
basics, the rest just falls into place.
➟
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Part III: And Now, It’s Twitter Time
From registering to becoming a Twitter-maven, it’s all here. You’ve got
enough information to get you tweeting in no time. I show you how
to meet people (which is just a little more difficult on Twitter than
Facebook) and benefit from Twitter traditions — such as Follow
Friday.
Part IV: The Rest of the Social Networking Story
In this part, I show you some other sites you might like to visit to
share music and read (and post) online reviews of businesses, products,
and services. I’ve included a tutorial on how to blog — and show how
you can have your own blog on the Internet without it costing you a
penny.
It’s all so much fun. I can’t wait for you to get started.
Where to Go from Here
Like everything else in the world, Twitter and Facebook have an
ever-changing nature. And for Facebook — because the Web site is
more complex — this is even truer. (That’s annoying, isn’t it?) These
social networking sites are always trying to improve the user experience,
but sometimes such changes can be confusing. My job is to arm you
with an understanding of basic functions, so you won’t be thrown by
any minor course corrections on the site’s part. If you hit rough waters,
just look up the troublesome item in the book’s index.
Most of all, don’t get frustrated! Keep reviewing topics before you feel
fully comfortable to take the plunge on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps
even start off with baby steps — with either site there’s no need to
start off with a bang. No one will notice that you’re just a beginner.
➟
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
A persistent piece of Internet lore quotes Albert Einstein as saying, “I
never commit to memory anything that can easily be looked up in a
book.” But nobody seems to know exactly when he said that. No
problem. You and I know that books are handy to have around when
you’re learning new things. I’m all about that. So is this book.
Feedback, Please
I’d love to hear from you: your successes and your comments. I’m on
Twitter every day as @MarshaCollier (http://twitter.com/
marshacollier). Feel free to join me on Facebook: I have my
personal page, a book fan page, and a community page set up by
Facebook with my biography. I love making new friends and will be
glad to help you whenever I can.
Contact me at [email protected] or on my site,
www.marshacollier.com I can’t always answer each and every
question you send. But do know that I promise to read each e-mail
and answer when I can.
Visit my blog at http://mcollier.blogspot.com, and if you’d
like to learn about eBay, check out my Web site at www.coolebay
tools.com. I also wrote eBay For Seniors For Dummies, so if you’re
looking to make a little spare cash, that book will definitely simplify
selling (and buying) on eBay for you.
Every Saturday from noon to 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time, I co-host the
Computer and Technology Show on radio with Marc Cohen. You can also
call in and speak to us live during the show at 877-474-3302 if we can
ever help you with your computer problems. The show is also archived
online at www.computerandtechnologyradio.com and on
iTunes.
Welcome to the future. It’s actually kind of a fun place.
➟
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Computer and
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Getting a
Computer Ready
for the Internet
D
on’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that
you need really fancy equipment to get
started online, but you must have a computer.
These days, there are more choices than you
can imagine for joining the online social scene.
If you’re in the market for a computer, you’ve
got a few choices, which I tell you about in this
chapter.
Shopping for a computer can be a dizzying
experience. As a matter of fact, it’s downright
confusing. I suggest you go to a store and kick
a few tires (or try out a few keyboards) before
you make a decision. Also, recognize that your
decisions about computer equipment depend
on how and where you plan to use your
computer. Follow my advice in this chapter to
evaluate your computer use and find the right
source for your equipment.
➟
Chapter
1
Get ready to . . .
➟ Pick Hardware to Match
Your Computer Use ............. 12
➟ Know What Hardware
Options to Look For ............. 16
➟ Shop for Your Computer
of Choice ........................... 19
➟ Browse for a Browser .......... 21
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Part I: Computer and Internet Basics
Along with your hardware of choice and an Internet connection (see
Chapter 2), you need just one more item — a software program — to
interact with online social sites (such as Facebook and Twitter). When
you get a computer, you get an Internet browser for free. A browser is
the software program that lets your computer talk to the Internet. It’s
like having your own private cyberchauffeur. In this chapter, I also tell
you a little about the common browsers that are readily available.
Pick Hardware to Match Your Computer Use
1. I confess, I have a desktop, a laptop, and a netbook
computer — and I use each one at different locations and
for different reasons. You certainly don’t need to have all
three varieties to work with Facebook and Twitter; simply
decide on which type is right for you before you buy.
Think through the scenarios in this section and see which
one matches your plans. Then go find the computer
hardware that fits.
2. If you are one who likes to sit at a desk or table, or wants
a regular place to use your computer, you’ll be happy
with a desktop variety. Also, if you like to have all the
power of today’s computing at your disposal, you’ll have
to get a desktop. Desktop computers are larger than their
portable cousins, and can hold more bells and whistles.
These days you can buy a package that combines a
monitor, keyboard, and a computer module. But
with all the great deals on the Internet, you may want
to make these purchases separately. See the section
“Shop for Your Computer of Choice” for more about
where to purchase.
3. If you’re looking for a computer that will allow you to sit
➟
seductively at Starbucks — looking cool — you’ll have to
get a laptop. Okay, how about if you just want to use
Twitter or Facebook from anywhere in your home other
than your desk (say, the kitchen counter)? The major difference between a desktop and a laptop (as shown in
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Chapter 1: Getting a Computer Ready for the Internet
Figure 1-1) is that everything you need is combined in
one compact, lightweight package. Also, you’ll be able to
use your laptop (called notebook by some) to go online
anywhere a wireless (WiFi) connection is available. WiFi
readiness is built into all laptops these days.
Figure 1-1
Also consider the following if you’re leaning toward
getting a laptop:
• You’ll find that keyboards can get progressively
smaller, depending on the size of notebook you buy.
So if you have big fingers, be sure to test out the
notebook offerings in a store prior to buying one.
• You’ll find smaller monitors on today’s laptops, so
they can be portable. It somewhat defeats the
portability purpose when you have to lug around a
26-inch, 6-pound behemoth. Keep in mind that Web
browsers allow you to easily increase the size of the
text you see (more about that in the task “Browse for
a Browser” later in this chapter).
➟
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I’ve taken my laptop out by the pool when
I’m on vacation, and at home, I sometimes tweet
(send a message on Twitter) from my garden.
Portability is a wonderful thing.
4. If you’re looking for extra portability and convenience,
think netbook. Netbooks are smaller than desktops or
laptops (they generally have 10-inch screens), you can
stick them in a purse or shopping bag, and you can buy
one for as little at $300. They are a great deal. My netbook,
shown in Figure 1-2 (nail polish is for scale), is an Asus
Seashell, and it weighs a little over two pounds.
Figure 1-2
Due to size limitations, there are a few tasks that a
netbook can’t perform, as illustrated in Table 1-1.
➟
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Table 1-1
What a Laptop and a Netbook Can Do
Task
Netbook
Laptop
E-mail, chat, instant messaging
x
x
Social networking, blogging,
Twitter, and Facebook
x
x
Surfing the Web
x
x
Streaming audio or video
x
x
Using word processors, spreadsheets,
and small business programs
x
x
Capturing live action with
a built-in Web cam
x
x
Playing games
Online Games
PC Games
Editing videos and photos
Lower resolution
photos only
x
Converting music from CDs to Mp3 files
x
Seamlessly watching
HD movies
x
Running complex software
x
My laptop gets the most use, but my netbook always
travels with me. But don’t think that netbooks are
just for traveling; they can easily fulfill your every
need for using online services.
5. If you really want to Tweet or Facebook from your pocket,
you can do so from any of the current smartphones. A smartphone is truly a mobile personal computer that fits in your
hand, and you can also use it to make phone calls.
Smartphones often contain mini versions of almost every
piece of software you have on your laptop. When your
WiFi connection is out, or if you have the need to connect
from a restaurant, your smartphone can do the trick.
Popular smartphones include the iPhone, Blackberry,
Android, and the Palm Pre. Figure 1-3 shows my phone
ready for action.
➟
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Figure 1-3
Know What Hardware Options to Look For
1. Before you purchase one of the different types of
equipment I outline in the previous section, think
about some of the options you need to look for on any
computing device that you plan to use for interacting
with your pals on Facebook and Twitter. Look for a
computer with a large hard drive. The more time you
spend using — and storing stuff on — your computer,
the more Blob-like your hard drive’s contents become.
(Remember that 1950s horror movie, The Blob, where an
alien life form just grows and grows?)
➟
A hard drive with at least 60 gigabytes (GB) of storage
space should keep your computer happy, but you can get
hard drives as big as 500 GB. You’re probably going to be
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storing photos and videos (yes, you will — I promise), so
I suggest that you buy one with the biggest hard drive
you can afford.
2. One USB port is never enough. These days, it seems like
every peripheral device you need connects to your
computer through a Universal Serial Bus (USB)
connection. You may end up with an external hard drive
for backup, a mouse, a printer, and a digital camera that
you need to connect (so you can download pictures).
Figure 1-4 shows a common peripheral device: a USB
flash drive. Make sure that the desktop, laptop, or
netbook computer you get has at least two USB ports
(you can plug and unplug from these at will).
Figure 1-4
3. Make sure the computer’s central processing unit (CPU)
is fast. A CPU (also known as a chip) is your computer’s
brain. It should be the fastest you can afford. You can
always opt for the top-of-the-line, but even a slower
900MHz (megahertz) processor could suffice. The popular
Atom processor from Intel is in most netbook computers,
and that clocks at 1.6 GHz (gigahertz). If you want
lightning-fast speed (imagine a Daytona 500 race car
with jet assist), you have to move up to one that boosts
to at least 3.6 GHz.
➟
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4. Get a CD/DVD drive; a disc burner is standard equipment.
You use the drive to load new software programs into
your computer from compact discs. You can also use the
CDs or DVDs for your backups. These days, all models
play and record DVD movies on your computer, and
most new software comes in the CD or DVD format.
5. You must have a keyboard. No keyboard, no typing. The
basic keyboard is fine. They do make funky ergonomic
models that are split in the middle. But if the good old
standard keyboard feels comfortable to you, stick with it.
6. Multiple media-card reader. Your digital camera will no
doubt have a memory card in it where it holds all the
pictures you take. It’s a lot easier to pop out the card
and slip it into your computer than mess around with
connecting cables so you can download your photos.
Different cameras take different sizes of media cards, and
camera manufacturers haven’t really conformed to a
standard yet. So it’s a plus when the computer accepts
multiple cards — because you’ll probably get a new
camera before you get a new computer.
7. You need a pointing device that moves the pointer
around the computer screen; it’s usually a mouse. Laptops
and netbooks come with touchpads or trackballs
designed to do the moving and give you a quick way to
select options by clicking or tapping. I personally find
that a mouse is a better choice.
To save possible pain in your hands, I recommend you
use an ergonomic mouse like the Contour Mouse from
Contour Design (http://ergo.contourdesign.
com). I’ve used one for over a decade. See Figure 1-5. The
Contour Mouse fits your hand and is available in seven
different sizes, for right and left hands. This mouse
reduces or eliminates the grip force required to navigate
➟
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and click traditional mice. This sculpted mouse is
designed to support your hand comfortably without the
need to clutch the mouse to control it.
Figure 1-5
8. When buying a monitor to go with a desktop computer,
size counts! An LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitor
that has at least a 17-inch screen can make a huge
difference in your comfort level after several hours of
rabid tweeting or reading your friends’ Facebook posts.
Anything smaller, and you could have a hard time
actually seeing the words and images. The good news:
Monitors have become so inexpensive that you can find a
20-inch or larger variety for about $200.
Shop for Your Computer of Choice
1. These days you can find computers at many retailers,
including Office Depot, Staples, Apple Store, Sony Style,
and my favorite, Costco. Try out each computer and ask
questions. Every brick-and-mortar retailer these days is
more than willing to show you the options they offer.
2. You can also get online and find sellers who have even
better deals on new, used, or refurbished computer
equipment. Some Web sites that include computers for
sale are Amazon (www.amazon.com), Buy.com (www.
buy.com), BestBuy.com (www.bestbuy.com), and
even at Costco.com (www.costco.com).
➟
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3. If you don’t feel comfortable buying a used machine (but
want to save money), you may want to consider a factoryrefurbished model. These are new machines that were
returned to the manufacturer for one reason or another.
The factory fixes them so they’re nice and spiffy, and then
sweetens the deal with a terrific warranty. Some companies
even offer optional, extended, on-site repairs. What
you’re getting is a new computer at a deep discount
because the machine can’t be resold legally as new. Here
are some things to know about refurbished computers:
• They’re rebuilt and come with warranties. For the most
part, refurbished computers are defined as returns, units
with blemishes (scratches, dents, and so on), or evaluation units. The factories rebuild them to their original
working condition, using new parts (or sometimes used
parts that meet or exceed performance specs for new
parts). They come with 60- to 90-day warranties that
cover repairs and returns. Warranty information is
available on the manufacturers’ Web sites, so be sure to
read it before you purchase a refurbished computer.
• You can get name brands. Major computer
manufacturers such as Dell, IBM, Sony, HewlettPackard, and Apple provide refurbished computers.
Check whether their Web site has an outlet store
(Figure 1-6 shows one example). I visit shopping.
hp.com/outlet, www.sonystyle.com/outlet,
and www.dell.com/outlet, and check the sites for
closeouts and refurbished goods all the time — and
I’ve never been burned!
➟
Because the inventory of refurbished computers
changes daily (as do the prices), there’s no way of
telling exactly how much money you can save by
buying refurbished instead of new. I suggest that you
find a new computer system you like (and can afford)
in a store or a catalog, and then compare it with
refurbished systems of the same brand and model.
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Figure 1-6
If you’re thinking about buying from the Web or a
catalog, don’t forget to include the cost of shipping
in the total price. Even with shipping costs, however,
a refurbished computer may save you between 30%
and 60%, depending on the deal you find.
Browse for a Browser
1. The two most popular browsers (the software programs
that help you read what’s on the Internet) are Firefox
(available both for MAC and the PC) and Microsoft
Internet Explorer. (They are to browsers what Coca-Cola
and Pepsi are to the cola wars.) Both programs are powerful
and user-friendly. Type the address (also known as the
URL, for Uniform Resource Locator) of the Web site you
want to visit, and boom, you’re there. For example, to get
➟
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to Twitter’s home page, type www.twitter.com in the
browser’s address box and press Enter. (It’s sort of a
low-tech version of “Beam me up, Scotty!” — and almost
as fast.)
According to recent statistics, the most popular browsers
are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
Figures 1-7 and 1-8 show you the first two browsers and
how they show pages in the same way. (Sit, browser!
Now shake! Good browser!) The one you choose is a
matter of preference — I use them both!
A Web page in Firefox
Figure 1-7
➟
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The same page in Internet Explorer
Icons on the toolbar
Figure 1-8
2. You can get Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for
free. To find out more information (or to make sure you’re
using the most up-to-date version of the software), go to:
• www.microsoft.com for Microsoft Internet
Explorer
• www.mozilla.com/firefox for Firefox
3. If you’ve ever wondered what all those buttons and
drop-down lists at the top of your browser do, now’s the
time to check it out. At the top of almost all Microsoftenabled programs are standard drop-down menus that
➟
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invoke various functions. (If they don’t appear on your
version, press the Alt key.) Who’d ever think you’d need
to use menus, given all the colorful icons that Internet
Explorer provides? Well, the drop-down menus give
you more in-depth access to what the program can do.
Table 1-2 and Table 1-3 give you an overview of the
various tasks you can perform from these menus.
Table 1-2
Internet Explorer Menus
Menu
What You Can Do
File
Open, print, save, and send HTML Web pages
Edit
Select, cut, copy, paste, and find text on the currently displayed page
View
Change the way Explorer displays Internet pages
Favorites
Save your favorite pages in the Favorites file
Tools
Enable pop-up blockers, add filters, and clear your machine’s history
of the Web sites you’ve visited
Help
Find help
Table 1-3
Firefox Menus
Menu
What You Can Do
File
Open, print, save, and send HTML Web pages
Edit
Select, cut, copy, paste, and find text on the currently displayed page
View
Change the way Firefox displays Internet pages
History
See and navigate back and forth among the sites visited in your
current session
Bookmarks
Bookmark a page or access your saved bookmarks (same as
“favorites” in Internet Explorer)
Tools
Enable features, install add-on programs, clear Private Data, and set
browser options
Help
Find help
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Chapter 1: Getting a Computer Ready for the Internet
4. As a graphical interface, Internet Explorer also presents you
with colorful icons that allow you to invoke programs or
tasks with a click of the mouse. You find these icons on
the toolbars at the top of your browser window (refer to
Figure 1-8).
5. If you want to add speed to your browsing and cut down
your desk time, get comfy with using keyboard and
mouse shortcuts. I’m all about using keystrokes instead
of always pointing and clicking! I also love the controls
available on my mouse. Table 1-4 and Table 1-5 give
you a list of all the shortcuts I could find. You’ll see that
Internet Explorer and Firefox share some shortcuts.
Table 1-4
Internet Explorer Shortcuts
Press This
Explorer Will
F1
Open a help window
F3
Open the Search box so you can perform a search for a specific
word on the current page
F4
Open your URL list so you can click back to a site that you just
visited
F5
Refresh the current page
F11
Display full screen, reducing the number of icons and amount of
other stuff displayed
Esc
Stop loading the current page
Home
Go back to the top of the Web page
End
Jump to the bottom of the current page
Backspace
Go back to the last Web page you viewed
Ctrl and + (plus
sign); Ctrl and –
(minus sign)
Enlarge or reduce the text on the screen
Ctrl and D
Add the current page to your Favorites list. (Don’t forget to
organize this list once in a while!)
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Table 1-5
Firefox Shortcuts
Press This
Firefox Will
Backspace
Go to the previous page you’ve viewed
Ctrl and O
Open a window to open files from your computer
F5
Refresh current page
Ctrl and U
View Page source (to study HTML)
F11
Display full-screen, reducing the amount of icons and stuff
displayed
Esc
Stop loading the current page
Ctrl and P
Print the page
Ctrl and S
Save the current page to a file on your computer
Backspace
Go back to the last Web page you viewed
Ctrl and + (plus
sign) or Ctrl and –
(minus sign)
Enlarge or reduce the text on the screen
Ctrl and F
Find a word on the current Web page
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Hooking Up to
the Internet
Y
ou’re settled on your computer, and you’re
ready to get started with social connections
on the Web. Before you start checking out sites
such as Facebook and Twitter, you need access
to the Internet. (Details, details . . . .) The way
to access the Internet is through an Internet
service provider, or ISP, such as Earthlink, AT&T,
or RoadRunner. If you don’t already belong to
one of these, don’t worry; joining is easy, as I
describe in this chapter.
ISPs offer two basic types of connections:
dial-up (slower, but less expensive) and
broadband (faster and pricier). In this chapter,
I fill you in on some details to help you decide
what’s right for you. Also, I tell you about the
wired or wireless networking methods that
complete the setup you need for easy access to
Facebook and Twitter.
➟
Chapter
2
Get ready to . . .
➟ Select an Internet
Service Provider .................. 28
➟ Set Up a Dial-Up
Connection......................... 31
➟ Choose a Broadband
Network Option.................. 32
➟ Connect a Powerline
Network ............................ 34
➟ Connect a Wireless
Network ............................ 36
➟ Remember These Rules
to Stay Safe Online ............. 41
Over the years, I have written what seems like
volumes of tips to keep people safe online. But
I know this book won’t have to give you all the
whys and wherefores — you’ve been around
the block (as have I) — so I give you just a few
easy-to-follow rules for staying safe during
your online social interactions.
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Select an Internet Service Provider
1. If you plan to join a telephone dial-up ISP (because
dial-up requires no additional equipment or connections
in most — usually older — computers), just load the
freebie software that comes with a computer and follow
the registration steps that appear on your computer
screen. (Also see the next section in this chapter.) A new
computer may come with a free trial of America Online
(AOL) or some other ISP. Before you put up your credit
card, use your free trial to scout the Web for the best
deals on getting hooked up to the Internet.
When you go to a computer store or buy a computer,
you’re hit with all kinds of free trial offers that beg
you to “Sign up now, first month free!” You can find
free introductory deals everywhere! If you’re new to
the Internet and not sure which ISP to go with, your
best bet may be to start with NetZero HiSpeed.
NetZero has been around for years, and offers
accelerated speeds on their dial-up connections.
2. If you have a need for speed, you may want to look into
getting a broadband connection. The quality of the
different types of broadband (DSL and cable) can vary
greatly from area to area and even from street to street.
Before you decide what kind of broadband connection
you want, use your local library or friend’s computer and
go to the following Web site, shown in Figure 2-1:
www.broadbandreports.com
Type your ZIP code, press Enter, and read the reports for
other users in your area. You can e-mail, post questions,
and get all the information you need to decide what kind
of high-speed connection will work best for you.
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Chapter 2: Hooking Up to the Internet
Type your ZIP code here.
Figure 2-1
3. If you decide that your time is worth a bit more than an
increase in ISP cost, broadband (high-speed) connections
can save you bunches of time when you’re flying through
Facebook photos. Here’s the skinny on the different types:
• DSL: Short for Digital Subscriber Line. For as little as
$19.95 a month, you can get rid of your pokey,
analog dial-up connection and always be connected to
the Internet. A DSL line can move data as fast as 6 MB
per second — that’s six million bits per second, or 140
times as fast as a 56K modem. At that speed, a DSL
connection can greatly enhance your interaction with
Facebook and Twitter, as well as any other Internet
experience. For more information about what DSL is
and how to get it, visit www.dslreports.com.
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• Cable: An Internet cable connection is a reliable
method for Internet access if you have digital cable TV.
Your Internet connection runs through your television
cable to a modem, and is regulated by your cable TV
provider. With the advent of digital cable, this reliable
and speedy Internet connection is an excellent
alternative. (See my speed report from my wireless
network in Figure 2-2.) Most cable accounts include
several e-mail addresses for everyone in your family.
Figure 2-2
4. You have one more type of Internet connection to
➟
consider: public WiFi. WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity,
which describes a particular (and common) wireless
technology for local networking without wires (that is,
via a radio frequency). Believe it or not, there are lots of
public places where you can find wireless Internet access
that’s free or has a very low fee. That’s right — depending
on the computer system you choose (see Chapter 1) and
how much time you intend to spend online, you may
not need an ISP of your own. All you need is a portable
computer — netbook or laptop — that has a wireless
connection (and all the new ones do these days).
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To find free WiFi when you want to go portable, find
your nearest coffee house and ask whether they have a
free WiFi connection. If so, get connected and visit www.
wi-fihotspotlist.com. At this site, as shown in
Figure 2-3, type where you plan to be and you’ll find any
local WiFi hotspots.
Figure 2-3
Set Up a Dial-Up Connection
1. If you want to set up a dial-up connection, follow these
simple steps. Run the free dial-up software that comes on
your computer. It will prompt you through a registration
process, so be sure to fill in all the blanks.
2. When prompted, get a phone cable and plug it into your
computer’s modem card and into a phone jack on the
wall nearby.
3. Following the software instructions, you should merely
need to wait until you hear some strange sounds coming
from your computer (connecting noise) and your
computer will connect with the service.
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Even if you start out with a standard dial-up
connection, I honestly don’t expect you to stay with
it for too long. Once you get the hang of running
from profile to profile on Facebook or tweeting to
your heart’s content on Twitter, you’re going to want
some serious speed. Don’t worry; the next section in
this chapter tells you how to hook up to broadband
and get the speed you need.
Choose a Broadband Network Option
1. When you set up your Internet connection with anything
other than a direct dial-up connection to your computer,
you’re actually setting up the beginnings of a home
network. By networking your home, you can save time —
not to mention gain convenience — because you add the
flexibility of taking your laptop into different rooms or
locations. You can also tweet from out by your pool (or
in your backyard) during summer!
A network is a way to connect computers so they can
communicate with each other as if they were one
giant computer with different terminals. The best part
of this idea is that a network lets several computers
share a high-speed (broadband) Internet connection —
and you can share printers and gaming devices as
well. When you set up a computer network, your
home can become a WiFi hotspot!
2. You have a choice of three types of home networks:
Ethernet, powerline, and wireless. See Table 2-1 for a
quick rundown of some pros and cons of each.
Table 2-1
Network Pros and Cons
Network type
Pros
Cons
Ethernet
Fast, cheap, and easy to
set up
Everything must be wired
together, cables run everywhere
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Network type
Pros
Cons
Powerline
Fast, because your home
is prewired with electrical
outlets
Electrical interference may
degrade signal
Wireless network
Fast, no ugly cables to
deal with
More expensive, possible
interference from electrical devices
While you make a decision about the type of network
you want to use, consider the following points:
• The wireless network is currently the hot ticket and is
becoming a standard. If you have a laptop and a
high-speed connection, you deserve to have WiFi in
your home. Any day now, you’ll want to stream video
from your notebook to your television. WiFi can do
that and more!
• With broadband over powerline networking, you get
high-speed Internet directly into your home electrical
system. Just plug in your powerline boxes (more on
that later) and you’re up and running!
3. Regardless of the type of network you choose, all
networks need the following two devices:
• Router: A router allows you to share a single Internet
connection among multiple devices. A router does
exactly what its name says: It routes signals and data
to and from the different devices on your network. If
you have one computer, the router can act as a firewall
or even as a network device, allowing you to have
a wireless printer (I have one — it’s great) and a
connection for a gaming device.
You can connect as many computers, printers, or
game systems (Wii, Xbox, or PS3 — yours or the
kids’) as you like, and reach the Internet from
anywhere in your home. You can even hook up
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Part I: Computer and Internet Basics
your laptop from the bedroom if you don’t feel
like getting out of bed.
• Modem: You need a broadband modem for a
high-speed Internet connection, and you get one from
your cable or phone company. To install, plug the
modem into an outlet with cable (just like your TV)
or into a phone jack with the phone line for DSL. The
modem connects to your router with a short length of
Ethernet cable.
If you have broadband, and have more than one
computer, you don’t need to have a main computer
turned on to access the connection from anywhere in
the house.
Connect a Powerline Network
1. An ingenious invention, a powerline network uses your
existing home power lines to carry your network and
your high-speed Internet connection. You access the
network by plugging a powerline adapter from your
computer into an electrical outlet in the wall. Powerline
networks have been around for a while and are in their
second round of technological advances.
2. When deciding what kind of network to set up, consider
these benefits of a nifty little powerline system:
• It’s inexpensive. The requisite powerline magic box costs
around $40, but you’ll need one for each computer.
• It’s fast, as fast or faster than other network
connections. You could stream DVD movies from
one room to another.
➟
• The networking connection is made through your
existing electrical wiring. It doesn’t consume extra
electricity.
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• Installation is easy. Just plug a cable into your computer, and connect the cable to the powerline adapter.
Plug the powerline adapter into the wall outlet.
3. To set up a powerline network, you need the following
items in addition to a router and modem (which you
need for any network):
• Electrical outlets: I’ll bet you have more than one in
each room.
• An Ethernet connection on each computer: All new
computers come with an Ethernet outlet.
• Powerline Ethernet bridge for each computer: You
plug an Ethernet cable from your computer into the
powerline Ethernet bridge, a small box about the size
of a pack of cigarettes that plugs into any two- or
three-prong electrical outlet. See Figure 2-4.
Figure 2-4
Photo courtesy of Netgear
4. Hooking up a powerline network is so easy that it’s a
bit disappointing — you’ll wonder why it isn’t more
complicated. If you have a high-speed Internet
connection, you received a modem when you signed up.
Because it’s not common to connect the modem directly
to your computer (a router does the network routing for
you), you may already have a router.
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The integration works like this:
1. The high-speed connection comes in through your DSL or
cable line.
2. The cable (or DSL) line plugs into your modem.
3. An Ethernet cable goes from your modem into a router.
4. One “out” Ethernet cable connection from the router goes
to a local computer.
5. Another “out” Ethernet cable goes to the powerline adapter.
6. The powerline box plugs into a convenient wall outlet.
5. When you want to connect the computers in other rooms
to the network, just plug in a magic powerline box.
Figure 2-5 shows you the basic setup for (say) a home
office. Other rooms need only a powerline adapter that
you hook up to a computer, game device, and so on,
running an Ethernet cable from the adapter to the
device’s network card.
Connect a Wireless Network
1. Wireless networking (also known as WiFi) is the hot
technology for all kinds of networks. It’s an impressive
system, with no cables or connectors to bog you down.
You’re probably more familiar with wireless technology
than you may think at first. If you’ve ever used a wireless
telephone at home, you’ve used a technology similar to a
wireless network. Most home wireless phones transmit
on the radio frequency band of 2.4GHz (gigahertz)
and offer an option to choose from several channels
automatically to give you the best connection.
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Home Office
Router
Broadband
modem
65 Mbps Powerline
Network Adapter
(XET1001)
85 Mbps Powerline
Network Adapter
(XET1001)
Set-top box
Gaming
console
or
Living Room
85 Mbps Powerline
Network Adapter
(XET1001)
Laptop
Figure 2-5
Figure courtesy of Netgear
Here’s an FYI on all those signals running around
and about your house. AM radio broadcasts from
53KHz (kilohertz) to 1.7MHz (megahertz), and FM
radio, television, cell phones, GPS, and the space
station broadcast in megahertz. One gigahertz (GHz)
is a thousand kilohertz, so it won’t be interfering
with other radio frequency signals.
➟
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2. The two prevalent forms of wireless networks also work
on the 2.4GHz band; you’ll need to preset the channel
when you set up the system. There are basically four
types of wireless formats, and the newer types are usually
backward-compatible (that means the newer types work
well with the older types). Be sure to check out the
various computers, routers, and so on that you want to
connect together in your network; in particular, find out
which wireless format(s) they use. Those formats are
➟
802.11a: This wireless format works really well; fast
with good connectivity. It’s used when you have to
serve up a wireless connection to a large group of
people, such as in a convention center or a
dormitory. This isn’t something you’ll use at home.
➟
802.11b: My old laptop has a built-in 802.11b
connector, so I can connect to the ever popular WiFi
hotspots in Starbucks and airports. The b version is
slower than the newer versions (mentioned later in
this list) and can transfer data at only 11 Mbps (11
megabits of data per second).
➟
802.11g: This is the next incarnation of WiFi that
uses the 2.4GHz band; its nickname is “the g band.”
It speeds data to a possible 54 Mbps, and is backwardcompatible with 802.11b service. Many older WiFi
networks and gaming devices work on the g band.
➟
802.11n: This mode — the newest — builds on the
previous standards by adding multiple-input multipleoutput (MIMO) technology. MIMO uses multiple
antennas (usually built into the router) to carry more
information than previously possible with a single
antenna. It uses the 5GHz band (an improvement on
the old 2.4GHz band). It also increases speed
through connection to 100 Mbps.
➟
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For maximum speed, your entire network needs to
be an 802.11n, 5GHz network. In my house, my
802.11n network doesn’t work at full speed because I
have existing laptops on 802.11b/g. I’ll continue with
a mixed 802.11b/g/n network until I replace all my
laptops with 802.11n. And until I do that, my system
won’t run at the top advertised speeds.
3. Before you start worrying about sending your data over
the airwaves, you’ll be glad to know that wireless
networks are protected by their own brand of security.
• WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy): This original
technology led the way in home WiFi security. WEP
encrypts your wireless transmissions and prevents
others from getting into your network. Sadly, it got so
that a high school kid could crack this system, so now
home WiFi users have WPA (and even WPA-2)
instead. For more about those, read on.
• WPA (WiFi Protected Access) utilizes a pre-shared key
(PSK) mode, where every user on the network is given
the same passphrase. In the PSK mode, security
depends on the strength and secrecy of the passphrase.
So to link your laptop or desktop to a wireless
network with WPA encryption, you need to find out
the predetermined passphrase. Just enter it during
setup on every computer that uses the network, and
you should be good to go.
Most WiFi hotspots you come across may not
have any encryption, and some may be free for
all to use. Just be aware that some miscreants
drive through neighborhoods with a WiFi scanner
looking for open wireless networks. These
war-driving scammers then attempt to connect to
an unprotected network to hack into personal
information. Be sure to set your security settings
to protect your network.
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4. With a wireless network, you have to hook your computer
(a laptop works best) to a wireless router to perform some
beginning setup tasks such as choosing your channel and
setting up your WPA passphrase. When you complete the
setup and turn on your wireless router, you have created a
WiFi hotspot in your home or office. Typically, your new
hotspot will provide coverage for at least 100 feet in all
directions, although walls and floors cut down on the
range. Even so, you should get good coverage throughout
a typical home. For a large home, you can buy signal
boosters to increase the range of your hotspot.
5. The following steps, although simplified, outline the process for how you configure your wireless network. Figure
2-6 shows a wireless network diagram from Netgear.
1. Connect an Ethernet cable from your laptop to your router.
Xbox 350
Notebook PC with
802.11b Wireless
PC Card
Desktop PC with
802.11g Wireless
USB Adapter
Internet
802.11g Wireless
Access Point
Cable/DSL
Modem
➟
Firewall
Router
Notebook PC with
802.11n Wireless
PC Card
Figure 2-6
Figure courtesy of Netgear.
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Chapter 2: Hooking Up to the Internet
2. The setup program may run automatically (or the
documentation that came with your router will tell you
how to invoke it). Set your security protocol and passphrase.
3. Follow router instructions as to whether you need to reboot
the router.
4. Run a cable from your DSL or cable jack to your modem.
5. Connect an Ethernet cable from your modem to your router.
6. Type in the passphrase to all computers on the network,
one at a time.
Remember These Rules to Stay Safe Online
1. Don’t click links you receive in e-mail messages. Even if
you get an e-mail message from someone you know,
don’t click any links. There’s no way to know for sure
that their account hasn’t been hacked and you’re being
directed to a site that can do you serious damage. Here
are specific examples of e-mail messages with links that
you might receive:
• Phishing e-mails: These e-mails purport to be from
your bank, your investment broker, or even your
insurance company. They ask you to click a link and
when you do, you arrive on a page where you have to
log in. Do not log in (if you’ve gone this far). Bad-deed
doers can replicate a Web page to look very official,
and what they really want is your log-in information —
in particular your passwords, account information, or
Social Security Number.
• E-mails that you think are from friends: You may get
a link in an e-mail message that you think is from a
friend. Don’t click it unless you are sure! Sometimes
these links take you to a Web site where you can get a
Trojan (a sneaky program that gives a hacker remote
➟
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access to your computer), a virus (when unknowingly
downloaded, replicates itself to wreck havoc on your
programs or data), a worm (a variant of a virus that
replicates itself transparently until it takes over all
your computer’s memory and possibly your hard
drive), or heaven knows what. Stay safe.
• E-mails from your bank or someone that you do
business with: Instead of clicking a link in the e-mail,
go to the bank or business Web site by typing the Web
address in your browser address bar as you usually
do. If the bank or business has some sort of special
message for you, it will show up when you sign in to
your account. Most times, you will not receive an
e-mail link unless you sign up with the business for
automatic payments or notices.
2. Stay safe with friends. You’ll find that you will have
more “friends” on Twitter because Twitter is a bit more
impersonal. The fun of Twitter is being able to hear from
many people from different places. Also, your Twitter bio
is only a sentence long and it doesn’t (or at least
shouldn’t) give much away about you.
Facebook’s info page does show a lot of information.
You might not want everyone on your friend list to
be able to see everything — perhaps only your
closest friends. Use Facebook’s security controls (see
Chapter 6) to set controls for who can see what when
they visit your Facebook pages.
3. Don’t give away too much information. Don’t give away
➟
any bit of information that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Be careful who you trust online with your home address
and other contact information. And never give away your
Social Security Number! I don’t want to scare you, but
someone with just a few bits of information about you can
get a lot more data than you can imagine. The Internet has
plenty of sites (for example, Google maps) that will even
show people a photo of your house. Always be cautious.
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All About E-Mail
I
know, I know, you’ve got sending and
receiving e-mail down. But did you know
there’s a bit more to it? You can not only use
e-mail to send messages, but you can also
subscribe to news lists and feeds on the
Internet. And in fact, Facebook and Twitter use
your e-mail account to send you notifications
of activity on your (and your friends’) pages,
private messages, and more. You’ll be surprised
when your e-mail becomes your pipeline to
the news your friends post on the sites. Let’s
get into the full picture now!
Know that your e-mail address consists of two
parts. The part before the @ sign is the local
part (so the server knows who to send the
e-mail to). After the @ sign is the domain
address — which tells the domain name system
which mail transfer agent accepts mail for that
domain.
➟
Chapter
3
Get ready to . . .
➟ Check Out Places to
Get Your E-Mail Service ....... 44
➟ Meet the Big Three Web-Based
E-Mail Providers .................. 46
➟ Pick a Pick-Proof Password ... 51
➟ Sign Up for a Gmail
Account ............................. 52
➟ Add Your Contacts .............. 56
➟ Compose and Send
an E-mail ........................... 58
Every Web site has a URL (its address online),
and every e-mail address has a domain
component. When requests for Web pages or
e-mails are launched into the ethers of the
Web, the routing system needs to know where
they should be sent. So if you’re using the
e-mail address your Internet service provider
(ISP) assigned you, the e-mail is sent to your
user ID (your name) @ your ISP domain —
literally your address on the Web.
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Then the mail transfer agent (MTA, a type of software) uses your
online name and address to transfer electronic mail messages from
one computer to another.
Also know that your e-mail address (the local part) can use any name
you want, as long as someone else at the domain isn’t using it. It’s
usually best to have at least one address with your real name for
public and official use. You might want to add a second (or third,
fourth, or fifth) address with different noms de plume for family
members, friends, and specific projects. For example, I have the
following names on different services:
mcollier1
eBay4Dummies
Marsha.Collier
eBayGal
Talk2Marsha
Cre8ive
There may be six different names, and all are accessible online, but
they all download daily into Outlook, my e-mail program on my PC.
In this chapter, I tell you about where you can get e-mail service and
take you through the basics of signing up and using Gmail, the free
e-mail service from Google. Having a Gmail account is not only cool,
but it’s very convenient. You might prefer to give out this anonymous
e-mail address to online sites for privacy reasons. It’s just an extra (and
free) convenience. Check out this chapter for more of the benefits.
Check Out Places to Get Your E-Mail Service
1. You can start your search for an e-mail account with your
➟
Internet service provider (ISP). When you signed up for
your Internet service, you were probably allotted up to
five e-mail accounts for different members of your family.
Your ISP also assigned you a user name when you signed
up. My ISP gave me my user name, but I wasn’t aware
that it would be the name in my e-mail address, too.
(Seriously, mcollier1 doesn’t have much of a ring to it.)
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Your ISP will have a Web interface where you can
check your e-mail online, but it’s far more efficient to
use a software program on your computer for all your
e-mail.
2. Understand that the e-mail account from your ISP has
pluses and minuses, as follows:
• Minus: You may change Internet service providers
in the future. Hence, if you’re using the ISP e-mail
address as your own, you’ll have to change it. This
will force you to contact everyone who has that
e-mail address to change it in their records. I’ve
been with my ISP for over seven years; the thought
of having to send a change of address to every
single one of my contacts is, well, loathsome.
• Plus: Your ISP is going to be a lot more helpful
when you have a problem or a question than the
Web-based free services I mention in the next step.
Service providers are invested in keeping you as a
paying customer. They have a customer-support
staff that you can contact with problems.
3. You can also consider using a Web-based e-mail service.
More and more people have found Internet-based e-mail
accounts the convenient way to go. They can access these
accounts online from any computer, anytime day or
night. And these services are offered at no charge.
Notice that (in the preceding step) I didn’t say
Web-based e-mail accounts were free. Although the
providers don’t ask for money, they do expose you to
ads while you go through your e-mail. Most services
have settings that allow you to download your
e-mails to your home e-mail program and to your
smartphone.
➟
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4. The benefits of having a Web-based e-mail address is that
you can change your home ISP anytime you wish, and
you won’t have to notify hundreds (perhaps thousands)
of connections to give your new e-mail address. In the
next section, I give you an overview of the leaders in the
online e-mail arena who are jockeying for your business.
Meet the Big Three Web-Based E-Mail Providers
1. Yahoo! Mail from industry veteran Yahoo! (founded in
1994, which is ancient by Internet standards) has been
ratcheting up its offerings. The home page for your e-mail
is a mélange of news tips, weather reports, trendy topics
from the Internet, an editable calendar, ads (of course),
and (finally) your e-mail boxes, as shown in Figure 3-1.
It’s a very popular service with the following features:
• Unlimited e-mail storage. This means you can keep
your e-mails on Yahoo forever. (I’m not sure why
you’d want to keep all your mail around, but diff’rent
strokes . . . .)
• Huge file attachments. If you want to attach videos
or other large files to your e-mails, it’s easy on Yahoo!
Many servers limit the size of the files you can send
through e-mail. Yahoo! limits attachment size to a
25MB (megabyte) maximum.
• Thumbnails of images. You may want to attach
pictures to e-mails you send to your friends and
family. Here you can rotate the image (ever have any
photos come out sideways?) and get thumbnail-size
reductions of your pictures.
➟
46
• Yahoo! Messenger. If you’re familiar with the old
AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) feature, you’ll be right
at home with the similar online-chat service that
Yahoo! offers. You can talk to contacts in chat format
who have accounts in the Yahoo service — either
from the Yahoo! Web site or from a smartphone.
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Check, compose, and search e-mail.
Find top stories.
Read your e-mail messages.
Share your status.
Find help.
Get updates from friends and family.
Figure 3-1
• Robust Help area. Notice the Help link in the upperright corner of the screen. Click it to be transported to
a simple-to-understand tutorial and help area.
To access Yahoo Mail, go to http://mail.yahoo.com.
The major drawback of Yahoo! Mail is that if you
want to download your e-mail to your personal
computer, you have to upgrade to the Plus service.
Plus service costs $19.99 a year, but also does away
with ads on your page.
2. Microsoft Hotmail is another popular online e-mail
service. Hotmail lives online under the Microsoft Live
➟
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umbrella. You can sign in at http://home.live.com,
where you have a landing page for any other Live services
you might use (as shown in Figure 3-2). You can also
access Hotmail directly at www.hotmail.com.
First off, you need to know that the service is only
run by Microsoft; they don’t fuss over what kind of
computer you use. You can use either a Mac or a
Windows PC and still avail yourself of Hotmail. You
may know of people who have msn.com e-mail
domains, which are also served up by the Hotmail
servers.
Here are the special features of the no-cost Hotmail
service:
• 5 GB storage space to start. That’s gigabytes — 1,024
megabytes times five! Not unlimited, but certainly
more than you’ll probably need to use.
• Instant Messenger service for all Hotmail accounts.
All online mail services offer IM to their subscribers.
• Integration with Outlook and Outlook Express for
e-mail and calendar, using the Outlook Hotmail
Connector tool.
• 25 GB of online storage space for photos or
documents in the SkyDrive function. You can set the
pictures and documents you store here to be private
or to be shared. It’s a very handy (and free) way to
back up documents and pictures.
• Import from other online e-mail services. With an
easy tool, you can import other online e-mail services
into your Hotmail home page.
➟
If you want to upgrade — so you don’t see ads, can
send large (20MB) files, and get 10GB of storage —
you can sign up for Hotmail Plus for $19.95 a year.
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Figure 3-2
3. Google Mail (Gmail) — the newcomer begun in 2004 as
an invitation only test — has surpassed Yahoo! Mail (the
longest-running free e-mail service) in popularity. Your
Google home page has a bar at the top where you can
easily access any of Google’s other free services. What
makes Gmail popular is the array of features:
• 7GB of storage and growing. Google’s founders say
no one will ever run out of storage space. (Ever?
Hmmm . . . we’ll see.)
• Google Chat, which is the Google instant message
service. Unlike the other free online mail services, you
can also log into the more popular AIM on your
Google mail page. You also have the option of using
your Webcam to have a live video chat with one of
your contacts.
• SMS (Short Message Service), or text messages,
which you can send to any phone through Gmail
➟
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e-mails. All you need to know is the phone number
and you can enable SMS messaging in your settings.
• A great spam filter. Spam is the name for advertising
e-mail that is sent to you unsolicited by unscrupulous
vendors to try to sell you goods or even to defraud
you. Gmail smartly places spam in your Spam folder
for you to review and delete at will. It’s scathingly
good at its job, check Figure 3-3 to see all the e-mail
that’s been (thankfully) yanked from my Inbox.
• Google Calendar, an online calendar that is automatically yours when you have a Gmail account. You can
opt to share your calendar with someone, or keep it
private. And you see a Calendar window on your mail
page. If you have a smartphone, you can view — and
interactively update — your calendar from your phone.
Click to delete all spam.
➟
Figure 3-3
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• Connectivity features, such as instant synchronizing
(sync) with smartphones and connecting with the
e-mail program on your computer. Gmail sends your
e-mail to your desktop and keeps a copy on the Gmail
server until you choose to delete it. The sync function
on smartphones works interactively with your phone.
(When you delete an e-mail from your phone, the
e-mail disappears from your screen and goes into your
trash on your Gmail Web page; you can always
retrieve it if you’ve deleted it in error.)
All that said, Gmail is currently the most popular and flexible free
e-mail service. In a later section, I show how to set up a Gmail account.
Pick a Pick-Proof Password
When you set up an e-mail account — or any account — on the
Internet, you will have to set a password, which is the keyword you
type in to confirm your sign-in along with your user ID. Passwords are
not only used in e-mail, but also on almost every Web site you
become a member of. If you have a strong password, hackers will pass
by your account and attempt to hack an easier target.
Picking a good password is not as thought-free — but is
twice as important — as it may seem. Whoever has
your password can (in effect) be you anywhere on the
Web — posting comments, sending spam e-mail
messages, and leaving dangerous messages (which can
range from pranks to scams or worse) for others to see.
Basically, such an impostor can ruin your online reputation — and possibly cause you serious financial grief.
With any online password, you should follow these common-sense
rules to protect your privacy:
➟
Don’t pick anything too obvious, such as your
birthday, your first name, your address, or (never,
never!) your Social Security number. (Hint: If it’s too
easy to remember, it’s probably too easy to crack.)
➟
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➟
Make things tough on the bad guys — combine
numbers and letters and create nonsensical words.
Use upper and lower cases.
➟
Don’t give out your password to anyone — it’s like
giving away the keys to the front door of your house.
➟
If you even suspect someone has your password,
immediately change it.
➟
Change your password every few months just to be
on the safe side. Maybe rotate a group of passwords
over the various accounts you use?
Sign Up for a Gmail Account
1. I like Gmail above the other online e-mail service
providers because it has great features and is easy to use.
So start here to set up a Gmail account. Open your Web
browser and type this URL in the address line:
http://mail.google.com
You’ll see a page that looks like Figure 3-4. Read the
information on the page and then click the New Features
link at the lower right. Should there be any updates you
need to know about, the latest news will be on this page.
2. Again, in the lower-right part of your screen, see the box
➟
that reads: New to Gmail? It’s Free and Easy. Create an
Account? Yep, that’s the one, click the Create an Account
button and get ready for the magic to happen. By getting
your own Gmail account, you get access to Google’s
world of magic Web tools, such as Google calendar (an
interactive online calendar you can share with your
family), free Blogger blogs (more on that in Chapter 15),
and Google Docs (a suite of free online programs very
similar to Microsoft Office).
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Click here to sign up for Gmail.
Figure 3-4
3. The resulting Get Started with Gmail page (see
Figure 3-5) is where you type in your information:
• Your name. First and Last.
• Desired Login Name. Fill in what you want to
become your local address and name at the Gmail
domain. In Figure 3-5, I selected OnlineCustServ as
my sample name. My e-mail address will be
[email protected] (I chose this
because I have another book — it’s about online
customer service — published by Wiley.)
After you type in your desired name, click the
Check Availability button. If that name is
available, Google will tell you so. If it isn’t,
Google will make suggestions that you probably
won’t like. Put on your thinking cap and come up
with a good login name. This name will be with
you for a long time; there’s no changing it later.
➟
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Fill in information as prompted.
Figure 3-5
• Choose a Password. Refer to the preceding section
and type your password in the box; make sure it’s at
least eight characters long. You’ll notice (as you’re
typing) that Google tells you whether your selected
password is Weak or Strong. Go Strong! Also, type in
your password again — carefully! — to confirm it
where prompted.
• Stay Signed In. Click this check box to put a check
mark in it, and each time you return to your Gmail
page (from this computer and browser), you won’t
always have to type in your password.
➟
• Security Question. Select a security question from the
drop-down menu — or write your own. Type in the
answer in the box below this option.
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Never use your mother’s maiden name as a
security question on the Web. That information
should be between you and your bank.
• Recovery e-mail. Type in your ISP e-mail address so
that Google can send you an e-mail message to
authenticate you.
• Location. The United States will be filled into this box
by default. If that’s where you are, fine. If not, type in
your country.
• Birthday. Google wants your birth date in mm/dd/
yyyy format: two characters each for month and day,
and four characters for the year.
It’s okay to fib about your age, but be sure you
remember the date you give Google. Should you
ever forget your password, or if your account gets
messed up in some way, you’re going to have to
supply this information. If you can’t remember it,
you’re out of luck.
• Word verification. You’ll see a bunch of semi-legible
letters in a box. (They’re called Captcha codes, and
you can find out more in Chapter 5.) Try to read them —
and if you can make them out, type them in as
prompted. If you’re wrong, the page will refresh and
you’ll get a new set of letters. (I had to do this three
times until I got it right.)
• Terms of Service. Here Google outlines their Terms of
Service (TOS). Any Web site you sign up with has them.
Read the TOS and print them if you’d like, but if you
don’t agree to them, you can’t have a Gmail account.
Click the I Accept. Create My Account button under the
Terms of Service, and you’re done.
➟
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4. Check your e-mail. Google immediately sends you an
e-mail verification that your account has been established.
The e-mail also contains an important verification code
that you may need should you ever encounter problems
or forget your password.
Print out your Google verification e-mail so you have
a record of that 30-digit verification number. While
you’re at it, save a copy to your documents folder;
you can never be too secure.
5. The next page congratulates you for opening a Google
account. On the right side of the page is a Show Me My
Account button. Click it!
6. Google then offers to integrate Google Buzz into your
Gmail account. Buzz is Google’s foray into the socialnetworking market. Since you’re already busy learning
Twitter and Facebook, you might want to deal with Buzz
at a later date. Click the small link next to the big blue
bar; it says Just Go to My Inbox, I’ll Try Buzz Later. Sounds
good to me.
7. The next page? It’s your Gmail home page!
Add Your Contacts
1. When you first arrive at your Gmail page, take a deep
breath and look around before you start to click anything.
Figure 3-6 shows you some of the important points to
take in. Get familiar with the page; there’s a lot to look at.
You’ll notice that the fine folks at Google have sent you
some introductory e-mails. So why not start there?
2. One of the e-mails you have received has instructions on
➟
how to import your contacts. Move your cursor over the
e-mail list. Your cursor turns into a small hand with a pointing finger. Click your mouse once and the e-mail opens!
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Click here to access your Inbox.
Click here to compose an e-mail.
Click here when finished with mail.
Messages from the Gmail Team.
Figure 3-6
3. You can import your contacts and existing mail from
Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, and your ISP accounts. If you
indicate that it’s okay to do so, Gmail will continue to
import your mail from the other servers for the next 30
days. For now, I suggest that you just close the e-mail by
clicking the Back to Inbox link on the top left of the e-mail.
You may just want to input your contacts manually.
4. When you’re back at the Inbox, scroll down the page and
look at the column on the left side. Just below your
folder list and above Chat is a small Contacts link. Click
it and prepare to add a contact. Your Add Contact page
will appear, as shown in Figure 3-7.
➟
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Click here to add a new contact.
Figure 3-7
5. Click the icon with the plus (+) mark near the upper left,
and another page opens; that’s where you fill in your
contact’s information. You can add the name, company
name, title, phone, address, Web site (if the person has
one), birthday, and any notes you want to make. When
that’s done, click Save, and you’ll have your new contact.
6. Click the Edit button at any time to make changes or to
add information to the contact. Return to your Inbox by
clicking the Inbox link at the left side of your page.
Compose and Send an E-mail
1. If you’re following along, then you’re probably about to
➟
send your first Gmail e-mail. Click the link that says
Compose Mail (at the upper left of the screen), as shown
in Figure 3-8.
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Fill in a recipient, subject, and message.
Figure 3-8
2. The e-mail form opens. In the To box, type in the name of
one of your contacts or type in someone’s e-mail address.
3. Type the subject of the e-mail in the Subject line.
4. Type your e-mail message into the text box below the
Subject line. If you want to add interest to your text, you
can change the typeface, its size, make it Bold, Italic,
Underlined, or change colors by using the format bar at
the top of the text box. Want to get fancy? Try these tricks
on for size:
1. Highlight the text by clicking your mouse button (and
holding it down) at the beginning of the text you want to
edit.
➟
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2. Keep the mouse button down as you drag the mouse
pointer across the text. Lift your finger off the mouse
button when you come to the end of the text you
want to fancy up.
3. As shown in Figure 3-9, select the attribute you want to
apply from the format bar. In this example, I plan to
change the typeface (or font).
4. Select the font (or color if you’re using the color selector)
by clicking it, and magically your text will change.
Click a tool to change the look of your text.
Figure 3-9
5. When you finish writing and formatting your e-mail,
click the Send button in the lower-left corner of the
e-mail form.
➟
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Speaking the
Social
Networking
Language
Y
ou probably suspect that the online social
network includes a whole lot more than
Twitter and Facebook. And you’re right! I suspect that once you get involved on the Web,
you’re going to want to spread your wings and
take off to some other fun venues.
There are quite a few more sites (other than
Facebook and Twitter) where you might want
to participate with your friends. In this chapter,
I give you a very quick overview of the most
fun sites I’ve found in the interwebs, or worldwide webbytubes — both terms are slang for the
Internet. Just to keep you up on what the cool
kids say and where they hang.
➟
Chapter
4
Get ready to . . .
➟ Gather on Facebook ........... 61
➟ Communicate through
Twitter ............................... 63
➟ Find a Spot on MySpace ..... 64
➟ Get Connected on
LinkedIn ............................. 66
➟ See It All on YouTube .......... 67
➟ Have Your Say on
BlogSpot ............................ 68
➟ Share Photos on Flickr ......... 69
➟ Stream Music on Pandora .... 70
➟ Watch TV and Movies
on Hulu.............................. 72
So, in no special order . . . .
Gather on Facebook
Since a large section of this book is about
Facebook, I won’t go into a lot of detail, but
know that the site (as of this writing) gets
124.1 million visitors per month according
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to Quantcast. That’s a lot of people. You never know who is going to
show up on the pages.
Facebook is a place where you can find your family (I just connected with
distant relatives across the country), new people with common hobbies
and ideas, as well as old school chums. Best of all? You can view old
friends’ photos and see how they aged over the years. Since anyone over
the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address can join, most kids are members.
Which gives us parents a nice benefit: We can benevolently “stalk” our
kids’ and grandkids’ pages to see some of what they’re doing and watch
out for them a bit. (I love looking at my daughter’s page.)
Facebook is a community where you can share online contact on a daily
basis. You can check in at any time and see what’s happening in your
friends’ and family’s world. The benefit of Facebook over Twitter is that
you can see all your friends’ posts on one page — your home page.
Figure 4-1 shows my profile page. I’ve been a Facebook member for
quite a while so there’s always lots happening on my page.
➟
Figure 4-1
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Chapter 4: Speaking the Social Networking Language
Figure 4-2 shows you the Fan Page that the For Dummies people set up
for me. You can find Fan Pages for some of my favorite public figures,
products, and businesses. Joining a Fan Page makes you part of an
online community; the posts that the pageholder makes will appear on
your home page, just like the posts from your friends. Feel free to find
my pages on Facebook and post, I always love meeting my readers.
Figure 4-2
Communicate through Twitter
Have you sent a text message on your phone? If not, it’s time to get
with it; people send more text messages than they make phone calls
these days. As far back as September 2008, Nielsen reported that a typical U.S. mobile subscriber placed or received 204 phone calls each
month. In comparison, the average mobile customer sent or received
357 text messages per month (a 450% increase over the number of
text messages during the same period in 2006).
Twitter is basically an SMS (for Short Message Service) on the Internet. I’ll
tell you more about it in Part III of this book, but I know you’ll have lots
of fun checking in every day to see what the rest of the world has to say.
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Figure 4-3 shows my Twitter profile page, along with some of my
tweets — the online term for Twitter posts or short messages. Though
these can’t go over 140 characters, you may be surprised at how much
information fits into that format. It makes you a more concise writer.
Figure 4-3
After you set up a Twitter account, you can start to “follow” other
Twitter members (a process I explain in Chapter 12) and have other
members follow you, as well. Once you begin to tweet, you will be
able to have real-time conversations with people from the online community that you build this way.
Find a Spot on MySpace
➟
MySpace was the first online social-media community to gain wide
usage. It was the most popular social networking site in 2006 but was
overtaken by Facebook two years later. It’s rumored that MySpace has
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approximately 57 million (at one time 300 million) unique active
users in the United States who are heavily engaged on the site.
MySpace is pretty much dominated by high-schoolers, to the point that if
grown-ups join, they might find themselves wandering aimlessly throughout the site wondering what to do. Recently the CEO of MySpace (a division of Newscorp), Owen Van Natta, told the media that the site planned
to focus on entertainment content. Indeed, you find many bands and
other artists using MySpace to promote their brands and sell downloads.
I have a page on MySpace (Figure 4-4) that I visit every once in a
while, but very few of my friends are active on the site.
So if time is somewhat of the essence (who really has spare time anyway?), MySpace might not be on your list of sites to visit. It’s really not
my cup of tea anymore.
Figure 4-4
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Get Connected on LinkedIn
If you have (or had) a business career, I know you’re going to love
LinkedIn. It’s a business-oriented social network with over 60 million
users. If you have a job, you should be on the site. If you’re currently
“at liberty,” semi-retired, or interested in consulting, you should also
be on the site. Just think — you can probably connect with most of
the colleagues and heavy hitters you’ve worked with over the years.
Your friends may be connected to some smart new folks who just
might be looking for your kind of experienced help.
After you register with LinkedIn, you can upload your resume, fill in
information about yourself and your talents, and look for former
acquaintances whom you’ve lost track of. You can search (try to remember everyone you’ve ever worked with) and connect with people you
know and trust in business. These become your connections. You can
invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.
Connections are not automatic. When you locate
someone you know on LinkedIn, you have to ask
them to connect with you. And don’t attempt to connect with someone you don’t know. Instead, find
someone you already know, connect with him or her,
and let that person connect you with new parties.
That’s the purpose of making connections.
My LinkedIn profile is shown in Figure 4-5. I enjoy being connected
to the people I’ve worked with and get notices when they change jobs,
update their profiles, or join one of the many groups on the site.
➟
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Figure 4-5
See It All on YouTube
You’re going to love YouTube — a video-sharing Web site where users
can upload and share videos. You can browse almost any subject and
find a video you’ll enjoy. Want to watch a Harrier take off from an aircraft carrier? Check. Want to see Susan Boyle’s performance from
Britain’s Got Talent? Check.
Want to see your grandchild take his first steps? That’s up to your son
or daughter. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but
the major media corporations including CBS, BBC, and other organizations offer some of their videos on the site. YouTube is the fourth
most visited Web site on the Internet, right behind Google, Yahoo!
and Facebook.
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I really hope you set up an account on YouTube. You
don’t have to register to watch videos, but if you’d like
to comment and rate videos, you need to have an
account. Entertainment Weekly magazine put YouTube
on its “Best of the Decade” list, saying, “Providing a safe
home for piano-playing cats, celeb goof-ups, and overzealous lip-synchers since 2005.” It’s really a lot of fun!
When you register on the site, you get your own Channel. Figure 4-6 shows
my channel and some of my favorite videos. I just know you’ll spend
hours on the site watching vintage commercials, TV shows, and more.
Figure 4-6
Have Your Say on BlogSpot
➟
Have you ever considered writing a blog? The term blog is a shortened
version of Web-log, originally a place where people would write and
post short stories on the Web. Your blog could be that (short stories) —
or a personal journal, random musings, or writings devoted to a
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specific subject (perhaps a hobby of yours)? It’s free to set up and run
a blog on Blogspot.com.
As you join more social networking sites, you can link to any blogs as
you post them. And you may be surprised at the number of readers
you draw. You could develop your own community where regular
readers comment on your blog posts (if you wish).
I have a blog on Blogspot (see Figure 4-7). Check it out — maybe
you’ll get an idea of what you’d like to write on yours.
Figure 4-7
Share Photos on Flickr
Flickr is a photo- and video-sharing site that’s been on the Web since
2004. In 2005, the site was acquired by Yahoo! — and now you can
join Flickr for free and upload photos to share with your friends and
family. If you already have a Yahoo! e-mail address, that will become
your user name on Flickr. Once you set up your account on Flickr, you
can change your screen name to a nickname or your own name.
➟
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When you post photos on Flickr, you can tag them so your friends and
family can find the photos by doing a search for your name or keyword. Tagging is a way to use keywords or names to identify important
points about your uploaded images — for example, who’s in a photo,
where it was taken, and so on. Figure 4-8 shows some photos taken
on my trip to France. You can use your screen name to find your
photo stream (assuming your screen name is your given name) or
photos where other people have tagged you by name in their images.
If you join as a Pro member (for $24.95 a year), you
won’t have to look at ads, and you can upload an
unlimited number of images.
Figure 4-8
Stream Music on Pandora
➟
Visiting Pandora.com is like having a radio in your computer. When
you arrive at the home page, just type in a favorite song or artist, and
Pandora will build a radio station for you; it will broadcast songs that
you will like. (I promise).
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This magic result is based on the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Pandora’s team of 50
musician-analysts listens to music, one song at a time, to study and
collect hundreds of details on every song. According to the Pandora
site, it takes the analysts “20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the
little details that give each recording its magical sound — melody,
harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics, and more — close
to 400 attributes!”
Amazing, no? Once you register, you can create up to 100 stations to
fit your many moods. If the music Pandora selects isn’t just what you
want, let the team know with a click of your mouse and they’ll refine
the choices selected for your station.
Figure 4-9 shows that I started a Lady Gaga channel, and it’s coming
up with just the sort of music I want to listen to right now.
Figure 4-9
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Watch TV and Movies on Hulu
Having a quiet night? Point your Web browser over to www.hulu.
com, where you can find TV shows and movies online — from old
favorites to the latest. It’s a great place to catch up on shows that you
may have missed from your favorite series. You’ll find commercialsupported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox,
ABC, and many other networks and studios.
When you arrive on the Hulu site, you see promotions for the latest
shows added to the site, as shown in Figure 4-10. You can browse, by
title, the thousands of TV shows and movies on the site by using the
buttons at the top of the page.
Figure 4-10
Trust me, you’re going to love this site. So excuse me for a moment, I’m
going to watch one of the 72 episodes of the old Mary Tyler Moore show.
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Putting Your Face
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Preparing Your
Facebook Profile
Y
ou’ve heard about it. Your kids and maybe
(if you have them) grandkids all have
Facebook pages, and now it’s your turn. I think
that Facebook is the best first place to start
connecting online because of the friendly
atmosphere. I bet you’ll be surprised when you
see how many of your friends, past co-workers,
and perhaps even past romantic interests await
your contact.
To get yourself into the action, you need to
sign up and put together your Facebook profile,
which is where everyone looks to learn more
about you. You don’t have to fill in your profile information all at once, so don’t worry that
it’s going to be a time consuming task. After
you sign up, your Profile page awaits your visits for leisurely updates.
➟
Chapter
5
Get ready to . . .
➟ Sign Up for a Facebook
Account ............................. 76
➟ Find Friends Initially ............ 79
➟ Add Your Personal
Information ......................... 80
➟ Upload Your Profile Photo .... 82
➟ Fill Out Other Profile
Information ......................... 86
➟ Go Back to Edit Your
Profile Later ........................ 92
Getting started on Facebook may seem daunting. But when you’re ready to take the plunge, I
can help you to discover what needs to be done.
This chapter lays out all the Facebook setup
instructions in sets of easy steps that enable you
to master the basics before jumping in with
both feet.
By the time you’re done reading these pages,
you’ll have all the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the site like a pro. All you need
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to add are friends and family! I tell you more about making a
Facebook connection with friends and family in Chapter 7.
Let’s get moving.
Sign Up for a Facebook Account
1. Open your Internet browser and type in the URL
(Universal Resource Locator, the Web address) for
Facebook, www.facebook.com. When you arrive on the
Facebook home page, you find the Sign Up area, as
shown in Figure 5-1, which asks you to fill in several
important facts:
• Your first and last name. D’oh, that’s the very easiest
part.
• Your e-mail address. You may have more than one
e-mail address, but decide which one will become the
hub for your Facebook doings, and enter that address
where prompted.
• Your password. A very important feature, your password is private, and encrypted (a technical way of hiding
what you type from anyone other than the inner workings of the site itself — think Jack Bauer from the TV
show 24). Never give your password to anyone. You
might want to make note of it for your own reference;
write it down and put it in a safe place (not taped to
your computer monitor). You’ll have to know your
password to sign in to your Facebook account.
• Your gender. Okay, this is probably the easy part.
Nothing much to decide on here.
➟
• Your birth date, including the year. Click the down
arrow next to the drop-down menus and select your
month, date, and year of birth. Facebook requests
your actual date of birth to encourage authenticity
and provide only age-appropriate access to content.
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If you’re a bit shy of exposing your real age,
don’t feel alone. My age is a secret that I guard
tighter than the feds guard the gold at Fort Knox.
There is a way around the Facebook requirement.
If you use the drop-down menu to select your
birth month and date, you can just indicate a
year waaaaay back in history. In Figure 5-1, I
selected a pretty outrageous year — 1900. (Heh,
that’ll keep ’em guessing.)
Fill in your facts and click here.
Figure 5-1
2. After you enter the information in Step 1, click the Sign
Up button. Facebook runs a type of security check by asking you to type a pair of sometimes-difficult-to-read words
into a text box to authenticate that you are, in fact, a
human being (and not a computer program). This authentication is called a Captcha and is shown in Figure 5-2.
You see Captchas used all over the Internet in various
forms. These pesky little tests are used to prevent
automated programs from signing up on the site.
When those programs (often called bots for robots)
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sign up for sites, they can degrade the quality of service for the legitimate users on the site.
3. If you have a problem reading the Captcha words, you
can try two things:
➟
Click the Try Different Words link, and Captcha will
present you with a new set of tough-to-read words
that might be easier to read (though the bots still
can’t read ’em). Some sites with Captcha codes have
a small circular version of the recycling symbol you
can click to refresh for new text.
➟
Click the Audio Captcha link (and be sure your computer’s speakers are on) and a disembodied voice
will read the words to you over your speakers.
If you can read this...type it here.
Figure 5-2
4. Type the Captcha words you see (or hear) in the text box
➟
and click the Sign Up button. Facebook then lands you
on a page designed to lead you through a step-by-step
process of adding friends, finding even more friends, and
filling in profile information (including your picture).
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I cover Facebook’s prescribed friend-finding process
in the upcoming sections, but I want you to know
that you also have the option to skip some of the
steps and come back to them later.
Find Friends Initially
1. After you conquer the Captcha code, Facebook takes you
to an Add Friends page — not unlike the one shown in
Figure 5-3 — that will suggest friends to you. I’m not
sure where this list comes from, but if you see anyone
you know, you can click the Add Friend button next to
his or her name.
2. If you don’t see anyone you know, scroll to the bottom
of the page and click Skip, which tells Facebook that you
will add your friends later.
Click here to add each friend.
Figure 5-3
➟
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3. Okay, you may have skipped adding friends, but Facebook
won’t give up. On the next page (the Find Friends page),
Facebook prompts you to type in your e-mail address and
your password. If you do this, it links your e-mail account
and contacts to Facebook, and allows you to send
Facebook friend invitations en masse. You could do so,
but I suggest you skip this step for a few reasons:
• Privacy. I’m a big believer in privacy. I don’t want to
expose my contacts to the Facebook linking.
• Find them later. After you’ve set up everything, it’s
very easy to find people on Facebook, and I’m a fan of
baby steps.
• Completed Profile. The invitations go out the moment
you click to invite. It will look so much better after
you’ve added your photo and other profile information.
I recommend that you click Skip for now, because I
also recommend setting up your Facebook page completely first — and then finding people you know
and wish to add as friends on Facebook. That way,
when they accept your friend invitation, they can see
your already completed, nicely-laid-out new Profile
page. Having your profile completed shows that you
know what you’re doing and are ready to roll! Image
is (almost) everything online.
Add Your Personal Information
1. This is where Facebook content gets really personal.
Facebook asks you to enter your basic profile information, beginning with
➟
• The high school you attended and your year of graduation. When you begin to type your school name,
Facebook suggests schools that match, as shown in
Figure 5-4.
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• Your college (if any) and graduation year.
• The company you work (or worked) for.
If you want to keep your age private, you wouldn’t
choose your year of birth from a drop-down menu
when prompted. (I didn’t, and Facebook let me proceed.) Of course, if you specify your graduation
year(s), that’s a pretty big hint about your age. But
you knew that.
Choose your school from this list.
Figure 5-4
2. After you enter the requested personal information, up
pops a window with suggested friends similar to the one
you saw earlier in the sign-up process. You may want to
add some or all of these suggested friends based on your
school and employment life. You can choose to befriend
any or all by clicking their names. Doing so will immediately send a friend request to them. (Be sure you want to
connect before you click — there’s no turning back.)
➟
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If you want, you can skip this step and go on to the
next task. You can always search for friends later.
Upload Your Profile Photo
1. Do you have a picture of yourself on your computer that
you’d like to share? If so, follow the simple steps that
start here. (If you don’t have a photo available and your
computer has a camera, skip down to Step 8 for those
instructions.)
Step 4 of the Facebook sign-up process says it’s time
to either Upload a Photo or Take a Photo to personalize
your profile and home pages. Many people are camerashy and don’t put up a photo for their Facebook
friends to see. If that’s your inclination, I want to tell
you that I think that not posting your picture will
make your profile page pretty boring. So why not be
a little daring and put up your picture?
2. Click the Upload a Photo link, and the Upload Your
Profile Picture dialog box appears and prompts you to
select an image file on your computer, as shown in
Figure 5-5.
3. Click the Browse button to start your picture selection.
The File Upload window opens and a directory of your
computer’s contents will appear. Go to the folder where
you store your photos. Figure 5-6 shows the folder where
I store my pictures.
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Click here to look for a profile picture.
Figure 5-5
Figure 5-6
➟
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4. Select an image that you’d like to display on your
Facebook profile by clicking it. Be sure your selected
photo is no bigger than 4 MB (megabytes) in size. (If you
don’t know what that means, or can’t tell how big your
photo is, don’t worry; Facebook will reject the photo if
it’s too large.) The name of the photo you chose should
appear at the bottom of the window in the File Name
text box.
If you question whether a photo is too large, its file
size (in kilobytes, or KB) should be next to the filename in your folder. If it’s too big, you can preview
the photo in a photo editing program (for example,
Windows Live Photo Gallery) and crop it to a smaller
size.
Note: In this chapter, I am showing you figures of the
screens I see on a PC that runs Windows Vista.
Depending on what operating system you use on your
computer, your screens may look a little different. But
don’t fear — the steps are the same.
5. Click Open, and the picture you chose will begin to
make its merry way through the Web to Facebook automatically. (Nice, huh?) As shown in Figure 5-7, my
photo has uploaded to Facebook.
6. If you don’t like the photo you selected, you can always
change it later in the Edit My Profile area. (You can find
the link to this area under your picture on your Profile
page.) To go with a different photograph, simply move
your mouse over the top of the photo until you see the
words Change Picture.
7. If you don’t already have any photos you like, you can
➟
take a picture from your computer Web camera (if you
have one). Click Take a Photo with Your Webcam on the
Set Your Profile Picture window (refer to Figure 5-7).
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Figure 5-7
8. A window appears, as shown in Figure 5-8, asking your
permission for Facebook to access your camera and
microphone. Click the option button next to Allow.
9. Assuming that your webcam is pointing in the right
direction, you will now see your image (as you sit at your
computer) in the Take a Profile Picture window. Well,
you kind of see it. If you want your computer to remember that you grant access to your camera at any time to
Facebook, you must click the check box next to
Remember. If you don’t want to grant blanket access,
that’s okay, too — I don’t (refer to Figure 5-8). So click
Close, and there you are, in all your glory.
10. You may now pose for your picture. When you’re satisfied with how your picture appears, click the small camera icon at the bottom of your image.
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Click this option to take your picture.
Figure 5-8
11. Facebook has now taken your picture! If you’re happy
with it (or as happy as you can be at the moment), click
the Save Picture button and your photo will upload to
your Facebook profile. (Remember, you can always swap
out this picture later.)
Fill Out Other Profile Information
1. After the four steps in the Facebook profile-building pro-
➟
cess are completed (or skipped, based on your choices),
you come to a page that lists the tasks you need to complete to finish posting your profile. At this point, you have
a chance to put together the descriptive part of your personal profile. You decide what and how much you share:
Make your profile as revealing as you like, or (for a little
privacy) as vague. You can get all the privacy you want for
your account in the Privacy Settings area under the
Account drop-down menu on the left side of every page.
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2. Edit the content in your Basic Information section.
You’ve already entered your school and employment
info, along with your gender and birth date. Now, under
the Basic Information section, you have an opportunity
to add your current city of residence, hometown (if different), relationship status, political and religious views,
and favorite quotations.
Remember that everything in the Basic Information
area is optional.
3. Whatever you choose to share, filling in the blanks is
simple. Here are the items to consider:
• Birthday. Having the month and day listed is very
important. Facebook notifies your Facebook friends
about your birthday. They will come to your page and
overwhelm you with birthday wishes. So you need to
have something here.
You do have options should you not want to show your
birth year (whether real or bogus). You can show your
whole birth date, your birth date without the year, or no
birthday at all. Check out Figure 5-9 to see your choices.
• Family Members. If you have any family members on
Facebook whom you want to link to, click the dropdown menu and select the appropriate relationship
for that person. You can then type their name in the
box to the right, and you get a link to their profile
page on yours (once they confirm to Facebook that
you really are related). Pretty cool.
• Relationship Status. You can leave the relationship
space blank, or you have an opportunity to be far
more specific (or not) than you might ever have imagined. Besides the boring old Single and Married, the
choices on the drop-down menu also include In a
Relationship, Engaged, In An Open Relationship,
➟
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Widowed, and even It’s Complicated (which things
often are, but note that this term is rather ambiguous
and some people may misconstrue it).
If you indicate that you’re in a relationship of some
sort, you can then decide whether to list your anniversary date — either for others or simply to remind
yourself.
• Interested In. You can list whether you’re interested
in Men or Women and just what you’re Looking For
from Facebook: Friendship, Dating, A Relationship,
Networking — or leave all these boxes unchecked.
Choose how your birthday will appear.
Figure 5-9
➟
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• Political and Religious Views. In the Political window, you can type in the name of a political party, or
a comment that seems funny. In Religion, type in the
name of your faith if you wish.
• Bio. People want to know a little about you, so type
in a brief biography here.
• Favorite Quotations. People’s favorite quotations say
a lot about them. Type in a few quotes that you love
with the appropriate attributions.
4. After you input all the Basic Information you want to
enter, click the Save Changes button.
5. Click the Likes and Interests section. When you do, a
window opens with empty boxes that you can fill up
with everything from your Activities and Interests to
favorite music, TV shows, movies, and books.
When you begin to type in each box, suggestions (with
proper spelling) appear in a drop-down menu, as shown
in Figure 5-10. You can complete typing the word or
simply click the word on the list that matches your
intent.
The idea isn’t to reveal so much about yourself that
you eliminate any mystery. It’s simply to give others
on Facebook a semi-definitive and representative picture of yourself, enough so your personality comes to
the surface. You can also delay filling in this information until later if you prefer. You may decide to get
the lay of the Facebook land a bit more prior to adding more personal information. Or you might decide
never to reveal this stuff at all. It’s really entirely up
to you.
➟
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Choose the book here.
Type the title here.
Figure 5-10
6. Next click the Education and Work section link. This section affords you the chance to elaborate on your highschool and college info, as well as what you do (or did)
for a living.
The benefit of including this information is that
many people search for Facebook friends by schools
or workplaces, and an old school chum may find you
by performing such a search.
7. Click the Contact Information section link, and the form
➟
in Figure 5-11 appears on-screen. Your e-mail address is
already filled in because you input this information at
the beginning of the sign-up process.
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Chapter 5: Preparing Your Facebook Profile
Fill in any info you want to share.
Figure 5-11
At this point, you can type in any contact information
you want your Facebook friends to see, including your
• IM (instant message) screen name. Also, you can
choose the IM service you use from the associated
drop-down list.
• Mobile phone and land line numbers.
• Address and ZIP code.
This is where sharing gets sticky for me. I may
make friends on Facebook that I don’t want to
have my home address and phone number. For
the sake of my security, I leave that blank. If I
want someone to have that information, they can
always send me an e-mail to request it.
• Website URL. If you have a blog or a Twitter page,
type the URL in here.
➟
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Go Back to Edit Your Profile Later
1. When you have your information in place, you may
decide to make additions and changes. You can always
return to edit your profile information by clicking the
Edit My Profile link below your profile photo on your
profile page. (Get to your profile page by signing in to
Facebook and clicking the Profile link near the top right
of any page.)
Remember that any Basic Information you enter
about yourself — along with your name and friend
list — is always visible and available to everyone in
the Facebook community.
2. Most other profile info is invisible to everyone, but information that may be considered sensitive is available only
to those whom you have befriended, based on your settings. And that’s where the privacy and security settings
come in. At any time, you can adjust your privacy settings
for contact and profile information by clicking the
Account link near the top right of any Facebook page and
then choosing Privacy Settings from the resulting menu
(see Figure 5-12). See Chapter 6 for a more complete
look at choosing your privacy settings.
➟
Figure 5-12
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Preparing to
Share Info
O
n Facebook, there are three basic levels of
privacy: Friends, Friends of Friends, and
Everyone. You consistently hold the key to how
much, or how little, information about yourself you allow to be accessed on the site. The
personal information you choose to share is
apart from the publicly available information —
such as your name, profile picture, current city,
gender, networks, friend list, and pages — that
helps friends find and connect with you.
On Facebook, your privacy and security settings work as locks that control access to what’s
revealed about you, and to whom. In this
chapter, I show you how to access and edit
your privacy and security settings at any time.
The idea behind these settings is to give you
full control of your Facebook experience.
Use these settings so you don’t have to worry
about your personal information falling into
the wrong hands — or having prying eyes
access something about you that (for whatever
reason) you don’t want just anybody to know.
You are in charge — and can filter who views
your information to increase your feelings of
security and privacy online.
➟
Chapter
6
Get ready to . . .
➟ Get Your Privacy and Security
Settings in Place ................. 94
➟ Meet Your Facebook
Home Page ........................ 98
➟ Review the Profile
Everyone Sees .................. 100
➟ Update Your Status ........... 103
➟ Delete a Status Update
or Other Post .................... 105
➟ Add a Photo to
Your Wall ........................ 105
➟ Share a YouTube Video
on Facebook .................... 106
➟ Post an Event to
Your Wall ........................ 107
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Then, with your information secure, you can move on to the fun stuff!
This chapter also shows you how to make the most of your Facebook
pages, by posting updates and photos, and getting into the conversation. Let’s get the tough stuff out of the way first.
Get Your Privacy and Security Settings in Place
1. To start the process of choosing your privacy and security
settings, look at the top right of the screen on your
Facebook page and locate the word Account. When you
click the down arrow next to Account, a drop-down
menu appears, as shown in Figure 6-1.
Figure 6-1
Because Facebook (like any Web site) develops and
morphs with new features every day, I recommend
that you check out the Facebook blog, http://
blog.facebook.com often. Facebook staffers (and
the founder Jeff Zuckerberg) post updates and information on an almost daily basis.
2. Click Privacy Settings in the drop-down menu to go to
➟
the Privacy Settings page, which gives you a few options.
The privacy settings enable you to control who can see
your profile information, contact information, application and Web-site data, and searches. Also, you can
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Chapter 6: Preparing to Share Info
control who can interact with you on Facebook through
the Block List. You click each section name to get to the
settings for that section. Figure 6-2 shows my Choose
Your Privacy Settings page. Notice that when you land on
the page, you will see Facebook’s recommended settings.
Click here to customize settings.
Figure 6-2
3. Click the Customize Settings link to make any changes to
the defaults. You come to the Choose Your Privacy
Settings: Customize Settings page which covers your profile and contact information settings. In each section,
simply click the button at the end of a sub-category and
choose a setting from the drop-down list. The standard
settings are Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, or
Customize. Note: If you have a special situation — for
➟
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example, if you’ve joined a Facebook network — you
may see other options in this list.
Here’s a little more about each section of the Privacy
Settings:
• Things I Share: Here you control who sees everything from your chosen personal information to
your date of birth to your family and relationships,
education, Web site, work info, photos, friends,
and posted comments. When you choose the
Customize option, a separate box pops up where
you can make your profile information available
to only you or to certain people (whom you specify). You can also choose to block certain people
from seeing this information.
• Things Others Share: Part of the fun of Facebook
is that other members can post comments, pictures, and video. If another member tags you in a
posted item, it will also appear on your wall.
Here’s the area where you decide who can post
(and comment) on your wall and who can view
photos of you.
• Contact Information: Here’s where you decide
whom to allow access to your instant message
(IM) screen name, phone numbers, home address,
and e-mail addresses.
4. Click the Back to Privacy button to return to the main
Choose Your Privacy Settings page where you find links
to the other areas you may want to customize. They are
➟
• Applications and Websites: In this section, you
put into place controls on what your friends can
share about you when they’re using applications
and Web sites on Facebook. You can also block
certain applications from accessing your
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Chapter 6: Preparing to Share Info
information and contacting you; such applications
include games, causes, and surveys. If you simply
don’t want to be bothered, you can choose to
ignore application invites from specific friends.
On this page, you will also be able to edit Public
Search. This privacy setting controls who can see
your name or profile information as search results
on Facebook. This setting also indicates whether to
allow search engines such as Google to access your
publicly available information. Click the Edit
Settings button and then click See Preview, as I did
in Figure 6-3, to view what your results might
look like when someone finds you from a search
engine.
Figure 6-3
• Block Lists: Click the Edit Your Lists link under
Block Lists. If there are some folks you’d really
rather not interact with on Facebook, this setting
allows you to block them from access. Simply type
in each name and/or e-mail address you want to
block, and then click the Block this User button.
➟
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Meet Your Facebook Home Page
1. You have two pages on Facebook. You can select the one
you want to view by clicking either Home or Profile in the
upper-right corner of any Facebook page. Clicking Home
brings you to your personal home page; Figure 6-4 shows
mine. Your home page has links for just about anything
you want to do or see on Facebook. In the center of the
page is a column for News Feeds, featuring your Top News.
Toolbar links are here.
Updates from friends are here.
Activities are here.
Figure 6-4
➟
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2. The Top News selection shows the updates your friends
have posted that are getting the most attention with
replies. Showing these posts is the default setting for this
page. You may click Most Recent (at the top right of the
News Feed column) if you’d like to see each post from
each of your friends, in the order of posting.
3. You also have other sections with links to information
and activities on the right side of this page. Click the
links (scroll down the page) to find how many requests
are pending in each category — or simply to explore all
that’s available on Facebook. The home page sections
include
• Events: In the upper-right corner is the Events
heading. Under this section, you see links to
upcoming events (in chronological order) that
you’ve been invited to. You also see a list of your
friends’ upcoming birthdays, as shown in Figure
6-5. By clicking a name, you can go to each
friend’s page and wish him or her a happy birthday by putting a comment in the status box.
Figure 6-5
➟
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• Requests: Farther down the right-hand column
(below an advertisement) you may find friend
requests and suggestions (based on your current
friends). The requests are those you receive from
your friends, including new friend requests, new
group invitations, page suggestions (someone
thinks you’d like that page), and other requests.
• Toolbar links: On the left side (under a thumbnail of your profile picture, as shown in Figure
6-6), you see links to take you to your personal
destinations on Facebook, as well as a link to
Friends Online. (If you are offline — not open for
chat as described in Chapter 7 — Facebook
prompts you to Go Online.)
Figure 6-6
Review the Profile Everyone Sees
1. Click Profile at the top-right of any Facebook page, and
➟
you arrive on the page showing your public profile.
Figure 6-7 shows mine. The page, as you see it, is exactly
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the way it looks to your friends when they visit your
page. Notice that there are three tabs just below your
name at the top of the page. Three tabs are just the start;
you can always add more as you become a Facebook
denizen.
Figure 6-7
• Wall: This is the default view where you see posts
(messages) that your friends have left for you
(such as Happy Birthday messages), items you
have posted to your page, and status updates that
you have posted.
• Info: When someone clicks this tab, what appears
is the profile information you put in and approved
for public display while setting up your page (see
Chapter 5). On this tab, your friends can see everything that you indicated was for their eyes only.
➟
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• Photos: Here’s where you see photos of you that
you’ve posted, and images of you that other people have posted, as shown in Figure 6-8. Photos
magically appear here when a friend tags you in a
picture. (Check out Chapter 9 for the how-to
information on tagging photos.) At the bottom of
the Photo tab are your albums. You can, for example, set up an album with specific photos of an
event to display.
Figure 6-8
2. You may add additional tabs to your Profile page by
clicking the + (plus) button on the end of your tabs.
When you do, a drop-down menu presents options to
add tabs for Links, Events, Notes, and Video. Choose an
option, and it’s added as the next tab on your Profile
page.
➟
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Chapter 6: Preparing to Share Info
Update Your Status
1. Here’s where the fun really begins. In the thin, long rectangular box that appears at the top of either of your
Facebook pages, type in your status — some words about
what’s going on with you at the moment. Inside the
status-update box, you see the question What’s on your
mind? To answer the question — called posting — click
inside the box and type any message you wish.
Most people use the update feature to let people
know what they’re doing at that given moment — so
often you see quick notes such as “Baking a cake for
my in-laws” or “Going to work out on the treadmill.”
2. If you’re posting your update from your Profile page, you
can also attach videos, photos, events, or links to interesting pages on the Web. Below the status update box is the
word Attach and a row of icons representing the items
you may want to attach to your comment. Just click the
icon for the item you want to attach. After you type in
your status update, follow these steps to attach a Web site
link to it:
1. Click the rightmost icon (a thumbtack holding up a piece
of paper) next to the word Attach. Another text box
appears under the status-update box.
2. Navigate in another browser tab to the Web site you want
to share and select its URL by highlighting it in your
browser’s address bar. Then copy it by pressing Ctrl + C
on your keyboard.
3. Paste the URL into the Link box section by clicking in the
new text box and pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard. A
mini-version of your linked page will appear below
the link box.
➟
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4. Click the Attach button at the end of the link box. The
link will then be highlighted in your status as an
active link, as shown in Figure 6-9.
Figure 6-9
3. When you’re done typing the message (and attaching a
photo, video, or link) click the Share button at the bottom right of the status-update section.
The words you typed in your status update (if you
did not attach a link or photo) will appear beside
your name at the top of your Facebook Profile page.
This is what keeps people attuned to what you’re up
to, and makes them feel like they’re plugged into
your daily activities.
➟
You cannot post a link, photo, or event as part of
your status update (which appears next to your name
at the top of your Profile page). Those posts are limited to text only, and attachments show up only on
your wall.
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Chapter 6: Preparing to Share Info
Delete a Status Update or Other Post
1. Removing the current status update from your Profile
page is one of the simpler tasks to perform on Facebook.
You can move your cursor to the spot beside your current
status update and click the Clear link. Or you can write a
new status update, click the Share button, and the old
one will disappear from the top of the page.
2. If you wish to remove a previous update, move your cursor to the far right of any post that’s listed on your Profile
page feed (the middle column). Click the Remove link
that appears when you put your mouse pointer over the
post, as shown in Figure 6-10.
Click to remove any post.
Figure 6-10
Add a Photo to Your Wall
1. To post a photo to your Facebook wall, locate the word
Attach and the row of icons right under the status update
text box where you see the question What’s on your mind?
2. Next to the word Attach, move your cursor over the first
icon — the Photos icon — and click. Doing this click
brings up three links: Upload a Photo from Your Drive,
Take a Photo with a Webcam, and Create an Album with
Many Photos. The procedure is the same as loading a
photo for your Profile page.
➟
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3. Click Upload a Photo, and you see a box that prompts
you to browse for a photo (an image file) on your computer or to upload an image via e-mail. Click the Browse
button to look for a picture on your computer. After you
find a photo, click that photo to select it. Then you can
put it up on your Facebook wall by clicking the Share
button at the bottom of the status-update box.
Share a YouTube Video on Facebook
1. So you just watched a video on YouTube and you can’t
wait to show it to all your friends. Well, it turns out that
Facebook is the perfect place to show a video to the maximum number of friends in the minimum amount of
time. Start out by going to YouTube (www.youtube.
com) and clicking the video you want to share. Beneath
the screen that’s showing the actual video, you should
see a Share button. Click it, and you get several buttons
you can click to share the video on various social networking sites, including Twitter, MySpace, StumbleUpon,
and (you guessed it) Facebook.
2. Click the Facebook button, and you’re prompted to add a
message in a rectangular text box (similar to the status
update space). Type in your message, click the Share button at bottom right, and voila! You’ve posted a video to
your Facebook wall.
You can also copy the URL of your video, and then
paste it into a status update, as you would when
posting any link. See this chapter’s earlier task,
“Update Your Status” for the steps.
➟
If you want to upload a video of your own that you
have on your computer, you can post it the same way
you upload a photo. Just be sure to click the icon of
the teeny movie camera in the Attach area.
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Post an Event to Your Wall
1. To post an event on your Profile page for your friends
and fans to see, locate the spot just below the rectangular
status update text box. Move your cursor over the Event
icon (the third icon after the word Attach, featuring a
square with a number inside it) and click.
2. Two long, rectangular text boxes appear: One says Title,
and the other says Location. You also see the label Time
that features drop-down lists for choosing a date and
time for your event. (See Figure 6-11.) Type the name of
your event in the Title text box and the place where your
event will happen in the Location text box. Then use the
drop-down menus to set any day and month of the year,
as well as all times on the half-hour.
Figure 6-11
3. Of course, the rectangular status-update box is still at the
top. Type the comment you want to post or add a
description of your event (for example Come One, Come
All!).When you’re finished, click Share and your event
will be listed on your Facebook page for all to see.
➟
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➟
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Connecting with
Friends and
Family
N
ow that your Facebook Profile page is all
set up and people can see who you are, it
would make sense to have some friends online
to connect with. Facebook can be a lonely
place if you don’t make friends, so in this
chapter, I help you find lots of friends: old
and new.
So put on your thinking cap. Think of the various offline connections you have — aside from
the people in your daily life (and your family) —
think back to friends from previous jobs,
church, schools, and maybe even summer
camp. (I’m friends on Facebook with the girl
who use to pick on me mercilessly when I was
a kid; she’s not half bad now!)
Ready? This is going to be fun.
Make the Navigation Bar Your
First Stop
1. Whenever you visit Facebook, you see a
blue bar at the top of the page. This
Navigation bar, as shown in Figure 7-1,
appears on all Facebook pages. The
➟
Chapter
7
Get ready to . . .
➟ Make the Navigation Bar
Your First Stop.......................109
➟ Find a Friend with
Facebook Search...................112
➟ Send a Friend Request ...........115
➟ Find Friends in Other
Friend Lists ............................116
➟ Respond to a Friend Request .... 118
➟ Connect with a Facebook
Network ...............................120
➟ Send Private Messages
to Friends .............................122
➟ Retrieve a Private Message .....123
➟ Chat with Your Friends ...........125
➟ Post Messages on a
Friend’s Wall ........................126
➟ Comment on a Friend’s
Status ...................................128
➟ Post a Note...........................129
➟ Remove Messages from
Your Wall.............................130
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Navigation bar does just what its name implies: It allows
you to navigate to different pages on Facebook quickly.
From here, you can get a brief view of what’s going on
with your Facebook account. At the top left are small red
squares over icons that may have white numbers in
them.
See requests, messages, and notifications here.
Figure 7-1
2. Check out the activities available from the Navigation
bar. From Figure 7-1, I can see that I have one friend
request, 14 new messages and 98 Notifications. Clicking
these icons will do different things (keep in mind that
anything you can do by clicking these icons you can also
do from your home page):
• Friend Requests: When you click here, you’ll see a
drop-down menu showing the people who have
requested your friendship online. You may click
on their names to go directly to their profiles.
• Messages: You have this many messages from
other Facebook members in your message area.
You may view previews of their messages here, and
click to go directly to each message.
• Notifications: If someone has posted a note on
your wall, commented on a post of yours, commented on a picture you’re in, it’s a notification.
Click here and you’ll get a drop-down menu like
the one in Figure 7-2.
➟
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Chapter 7: Connecting with Friends and Family
Figure 7-2
3. Are you looking for something on Facebook? A friend,
your local coffee shop (if it has a fan page, it may post
coupons), your favorite movie or author? Try out the
Facebook search feature. Just start typing the name or topic
in the Search box, and a drop-down list appears. As you
type the words, Facebook uses the drop-down list to suggest a name (or topic) that matches what you are typing. If
you see what you’re looking for, click that name or phrase.
If the name doesn’t show up, click See More Results at the
bottom of the drop-down list and search from there.
If you don’t see a See More Results link at the bottom
of the menu, odds are there’s no match on Facebook.
You can still try to search by clicking the little magnifying glass in the Search box.
4. Clicking the Home link takes you to your Home page,
the hub for your news feed and all your invitations and
➟
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(most important) the organization area on the left side of
the screen. This area gives you access to other Facebook
activities, including photos and your friends. (Later sections in this chapter cover these activities.)
5. Clicking the Profile link takes you to your Profile page.
From there, you can see what your friends have posted
on your wall as well as edit any information on the page.
6. Next is the Account link — unless you haven’t signed up
any friends on Facebook — in that case, you will see the
words Find Friends before the Account link. (Read the
next section, where I help you with finding friends.)
Once you’ve gotten connected to a few friends, what you
see here is only a link to your Account.
Click the Account link and arrive at your account area
where you set your preferences to control how you operate on Facebook — including how private you want to
be. (I cover the details in Chapter 6.)
Find a Friend with Facebook Search
1. Think of a small group of your friends and write down a
list. Then sign in to your Facebook account; you’ll land
on your Home page. From here, you have two ways of
finding people; start by using the Search box. Type one of
your friend’s names in the Search box, as I’ve done in
Figure 7-3. Just as when you’re searching for anything on
Facebook, a drop-down list appears — this one with
semi-matching names.
➟
If you’re not sure how to spell your friend’s name, just
type in as many characters of it as you think may be
right. Facebook will pick up the slack. Alternatively, you
can type in your friend’s last known e-mail address, but
people change e-mail addresses so often these days, that
it might not be valid anymore.
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Figure 7-3
2. If your friend is not on the suggested list, click the See More
Results link. You’ll then see a page (or many pages) with
results that match what you’ve typed in. You should be able
to find your friend if he or she is a member of Facebook.
3. Remember that I said there were two ways to find
friends? Look on the left side of your home page. See the
Information area? Click the Friends link. The main area
of the resulting page (shown in Figure 7-4) fills up with
a list of Facebook members who want to be your friends.
Also on this page, you can click the Find Friends link
(that appears below your friends-to-be) and find friends
using your e-mail account. Type in your e-mail password,
and Facebook imports your contacts automatically.
This Facebook feature is called Friend Finder. It’s perfectly safe and Facebook does not store your password.
But even so, I don’t like it; here are some reasons why:
• I’m a stickler for privacy and do not wish to share
my online contact lists with anyone.
• Friend Finder makes automatic connections based
on the e-mail addresses in your address book.
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Facebook says: “We may use the e-mail addresses
you upload through this importer to help you connect with friends, including using this information
to generate Suggestions for you and your contacts
on Facebook. If you don’t want us to store this
information, visit this page.” Then you have to go
to that page and make your preference known.
Making suggestions for you and your e-mail contacts may sound like a fair deal. But when you
click the link to read the deeper details, you’re told
that once you import your contacts, you must
manually remove each one you don’t want — one
at a time. Facebook adds a caveat: “Note that it
may take some time before your name will be
completely removed from Suggestions.”
Figure 7-4
➟
4. If the features of Friend Finder are fine with you, feel free
to add your online contact list. I can tell you that
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Facebook won’t lie, but be sure you read every message
before agreeing to any Facebook activity.
Other links at the left show you which friends have
recently made changes to their Profile pages. The changes
they have made are highlighted to the right of their
names.
Send a Friend Request
1. When you find someone on Facebook you’d like to add
as a friend, doing so is a pretty simple task. After clicking
the link to your prospective friend’s Profile page, you
may see an Add as Friend box next to the name.
2. Click the Add as Friend button and a window pops up,
asking you to confirm your friend request. This window
lets you send or cancel the request, and gives you the
option of entering a personal message.
3. You then have to fill in a Captcha code. (See Figure 7-5
for an example and Chapter 5 for an explanation of what
this does and how it works.) Fill in the words in the code
and click the Send Request button.
Type the Captcha code here.
Figure 7-5
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4. The window that opens contains pictures of potential
friends that are friends of your newly requested friend
(see Figure 7-6).
Figure 7-6
5. If you see anyone you know and would like to befriend on
Facebook, click the Add as Friend link next to the person’s
picture and he or she will also receive a friend request.
Once you send your requests, a friend request is
posted to each recipient’s Facebook notifications.
Your prospective new friends also receive an e-mail
notice with an easy link they can click to respond.
Find Friends in Other Friend Lists
1. Odds are that the friends you have on Facebook are connected to people you may know. Would you like to make
those people your friends on Facebook, too? It’s easy.
Facebook Profile pages have Friends boxes you can find on
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the left side of the screen (unless the member has chosen
to block the box from view). If you have Facebook friends
in common, you’ll see a Mutual Friends box — and below
that, a Friends box, as shown in Figure 7-7.
Figure 7-7
2. By clicking the friend-count number or the See All link,
you can view all of your friend’s connections in a new
window (see Figure 7-8). And you can categorize your
view by seeing Everyone, Mutual Friends, or Browse.
3. You can search through the list (looking for a specific
person) in two ways: by typing the person’s name in the
search box and clicking the magnifying glass, or by scrolling down the list and viewing each friend individually.
When someone is not already your friend on Facebook,
to the right of each entry is an Add as Friend link that
you can click to send a friend request.
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Figure 7-8
Respond to a Friend Request
1. When people know you’re a Facebook member, someone
is going to want to be your friend on Facebook. There are
two ways you will be notified of a friend request: You get
a notification via e-mail, or you find out when you log in
to your Facebook home page. If you receive your notification via e-mail, just click the link contained in the message and you go directly to the request.
2. When you log in to Facebook, your home page offers you
three different places to see whether you have any friend
requests. Figure 7-9 shows you two of them.
➟
• The first place to check is in your Requests area
on the right side of your home page. You find an
icon that looks like a person’s silhouette with a +1
overlapping it. Next to that icon is the number of
friend requests you have. To access them, click the
text link that says Friend Requests.
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Friend requests show up in these two places.
Figure 7-9
• Another place to check is a button in your tool
bar at the top left of your page. The button
resembles the silhouette of two people. If you have
a new friend request, you’ll see a small red box
with a number in it, overlapping the icon. To
access your requests, click on icon.
• The final place that offers links to your friend
notifications is on your left-side toolbar. You’ll
see the same silhouette icon from your top tool
bar beside the word Friends. A number in parenthesis indicates the number of friend requests you
have waiting. Click Friends, and Facebook takes
you to your requests.
3. When you access your friend requests, you see your
potential friend’s photo and name. You also see whether
you have any mutual friends with this person (and how
many). By clicking the Mutual Friends link under the
potential friend’s name, you can see the friends you have
in common.
➟
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4. To respond to a friend request, click one of the two buttons to the right of your potential friend’s name. One
button reads Confirm and one reads Ignore. Clicking those
buttons allow you to add a friend or to ignore the
request quietly.
When you ignore a friend request, an e-mail isn’t
sent to the person who placed the request. That person will not know that you chose to ignore him or
her, except for the fact that you didn’t accept the
request. Oops?
Connect with a Facebook Network
1. Facebook gives you the chance to become part of a network. Networks (in Facebook-speak) are a group of people who have similar hometowns, backgrounds, or
interests. This feature allows you to easily connect with
your current or past coworkers or classmates and helps
you to be easily identified. To start the simple task of
joining a network, choose Account➪Account Settings
from the top navigation bar.
2. When you arrive at your My Account page, select the
Networks tab on the menu bar, as shown in Figure 7-10.
➟
Start typing a name here.
Figure 7-10
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3. On this tab, you have the option to join a network. Enter
a city, workplace, school, or region in the Network Name
text box. The auto-fill feature shows you the names of
networks that match what you’re typing. I typed Los
Angeles because I live and worked there, and got the
results shown in Figure 7-11. My old employer popped
up — and, if I were still working there, I could select that
entry to become part of the Los Angeles Daily News
network.
When you select an employer network, you are often
asked for your e-mail address so they can confirm
your employment.
Figure 7-11
4. After you fill in any required information, click the Join
Network button. Facebook sends your request, and all
you have to do is await confirmation.
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Send Private Messages to Friends
1. Facebook has a feature that enables you to send private
messages to your friends. Think of it like Facebook
e-mail, only your personal e-mail address is not revealed.
Even better, you can e-mail those whose e-mail addresses
you don’t know. One way to send a message to a friend
is to click the Messages link on the left side of your home
page. Facebook takes you to your Messages page, as
shown in Figure 7-12.
2. Click the New Message button in the top-right corner of
this page, and a blank message form opens on your
screen, as shown in Figure 7-13. Alternatively, you can
visit a friend’s Facebook Profile page. In the left-side tool
box, you should see the Send (Friend’s Name) a Message
link. Click it, and you get the same blank message form.
Figure 7-12
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Figure 7-13
3. In the blank message form (refer to Figure 7-13), address
the message by typing your friend’s name into the To box.
Facebook begins to auto fill names from your friend list as
you type. When you find the correct friend, select the name
by either clicking it or highlighting it and pressing Enter.
4. For all messages, fill in the Subject and Message text
boxes as you would for an e-mail. When you have completed your message, simply click the Send button in the
lower-right corner of the New Message form (or click
Cancel if you’ve changed your mind).
You have options to attach photos, videos, and links
to your message, as well as a variety of items —
depending on whether you subscribe to any
Facebook applications.
Retrieve a Private Message
1. More than likely, once you send a message, you’ll get a
reply. Retrieving and answering private messages is simple. Facebook sends you an e-mail with the message. You
can respond by clicking the Respond link on the
message.
2. But as with most Facebook tasks, you also have two
places on the site where you can retrieve a private
message:
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• Click the button (that resembles two conversation
bubbles) in the toolbar on the top left of your
home page, and a drop-down list with a snap shot
of your current messages opens (see Figure 7-14).
Click to select the message you wish to read from
the list and you see the full message.
As you may notice, Figure 7-14 (at the bottom)
says that I have 1,876 unread messages. That’s
not really true. The tabulation only changes if
you access your messages through your home
page. I access mine from links in the e-mail that
Facebook sends me.
• Click the Messages link on the left side of your home
page, and Facebook takes you to your Messages page.
It’s like your e-mail Inbox. To read a message, simply
click it and the full message opens.
Figure 7-14
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Chapter 7: Connecting with Friends and Family
Chat with Your Friends
1. You’ve heard about Instant Messengers (IMs), right? Like
AOL Instant Messenger? Well, a chat session is Facebook’s
version of the instant message service. It allows you to
chat with friends who are online at the same time you
are. To see the friends you have online you can check in
two places:
• On the left side of your home page, beneath your
messages, you see a Friends Online area.
• At the lower-right corner of your home page, you
see a Chat box. Click it, and you see a scrollable
list of all your friends who are currently online.
2. If you see someone online that you’d like to speak to and
want to start a chat session, click the name of the friend.
A chat box opens at the bottom of your screen. After the
box opens, type in your message and press Enter. Your
message then pops up in the chat box and your session
has begun.
3. You can also be on the receiving end of a chat session. If
you hear a pop noise, and a small window opens, someone is requesting to chat with you. To respond, type in
your message and press Enter. Your message will pop up
in the chat box. I’m chatting with a friend in Figure 7-15.
If you’re just breezing through Facebook and have
things to do, you may not want to get involved in a
chat session. If this is the case, merely click the Chat
link in the lower right of your home page. Then click
Options➪Go Offline at the top of the chat box that
opens. (See Figure 7-16). You will become invisible
to all, and you’ll be free to go about your Facebook
chores undisturbed.
➟
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Chat messages show up here.
Figure 7-15
Click here if you don’t want to chat.
Figure 7-16
Post Messages on a Friend’s Wall
1. On your Facebook home page, you’ll see notations from
➟
your friends’ walls. They are put there either with a status
update from the person whose wall it is, or by one of
their friends posting a message. To post a message on a
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Chapter 7: Connecting with Friends and Family
friend’s wall, go to your friend’s Facebook Profile page.
Make sure you are on your friend’s wall by selecting the
Wall tab from the toolbar below their name and above
the text box. The text box is filled with a prompt that
reads Write something in grayed-out letters.
2. To post your message, simply type it in the message box,
as I did in Figure 7-17. If you’d like to add an attachment to your message, like a photo, a link to a page on
the Web, a video, or a Facebook gift, click the appropriate
link and add it. (Find more about attachments in
Chapter 8.)
Click a link to include a photo, video, gift, or link.
Figure 7-17
3. When you’re done with your message and attachments,
click the Share button on the right side under the message box. Voila! Your message is now on display for your
friend and potentially all visitors to their page.
If you want to refer to another friend in your posted
message, before you type in his or her name, type the
@ sign (the symbol for at). Then begin to type in the
person’s name. When the name pops up in the dropdown menu of friends’ names that appears (see
Figure 7-18), click it to create a link to that friend in
your post. Your post will then also appear on the
linked friend’s Profile page.
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Figure 7-18
Comment on a Friend’s Status
1. If you see a status message your friend has posted and
you’d like to comment on it, it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Click the Comment link under the status post. A window
drops down with a blank box in which you can type your
comment, as I’ve done in Figure 7-19.
Type your comment here.
Figure 7-19
2. Type your comment in the Write a Comment box and
click the Comment button. Your response will be posted
below your friend’s posting for all to see.
➟
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Chapter 7: Connecting with Friends and Family
Post a Note
1. Notes on Facebook are like mini-blog posts. They’re displayed on the Notes tab of your Profile page. Posting a note
is, in essence, posting an open letter to all your Facebook
friends. You can access your notes by clicking the Notes tab
on your Profile page or by clicking More and then Notes
and My Notes on the left side of your home page.
2. On the resulting Notes page, click the Write a Note or
Write a New Note button (whichever you see). You arrive
at a Write a Note page, which provides you with a template to write your note. Fill in the note’s title and body
in the Title and Body boxes, and your note is essentially
ready to be posted.
3. You may tag friends in your note by listing them in the
box at the right. That way they receive a message from
Facebook, inviting them to read the note — a very helpful tool if you want multiple individuals to be notified of
the posting. If you don’t tag anyone in your note but still
want your friends to know about it, you can notify your
friends by posting the note to your wall.
4. As with private messages, you have the option to attach
photos, videos, and links.
Before you publish the note to Facebook, you can set
the Note’s degree of privacy. Making an adjustment
here (as in Figure 7-20) allows you to decide who
can view the note: just your friends, everyone, friends
of friends, or people you specify in a customized
setting.
5. After you complete your note, you may preview, save,
discard, or publish it. To publish, click the Publish button at the bottom of the page.
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Figure 7-20
Remove Messages from Your Wall
1. There may be a time when someone posts a message on
your wall that might be too personal, or you don’t want
others to see. Facebook gives you the option to delete the
post. (Your friend may never know that’s happened
unless he or she comes back to your Profile page.) To
delete a post, find the post on your Profile page. Move
your cursor over the right side of the post and a Remove
button appears, as shown in Figure 7-21.
If, out of courtesy, you want to let your friend know
why you removed their post, you can send them a
Private Message to explain.
Figure 7-21
2. When you click Remove, a window opens and asks Are
you sure you want to delete this post? If you’re sure, click the
Delete button and the post will be removed from your
wall. Nobody will be the wiser.
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Adding Photos
and Videos to
Facebook
S
ince Facebook is all about sharing, it’s up
to you to share! Putting up photos of you,
your family (that includes pets), and your
friends is fun — and it gives your Facebook
friends a chance to interact with you.
I figure you’ve uploaded an image to your
Profile page already, but what I’m talking
about in this chapter is setting up online photo
albums.
So let’s get started!
➟
Chapter
8
Get ready to …
➟ Upload a Photo to
Your Account.................... 132
➟ Create a Photo Album ....... 135
➟ Tag Photos ....................... 138
➟ Untag Yourself in a Photo ... 141
➟ Delete a Photo .................. 143
➟ Upload a Video to
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Upload a Photo to Your Account
1. As with most Facebook tasks, you have more than one
way to post a photo. The easiest and best way to post a
single photo is to post it directly to your Profile page.
Start by signing in to your Facebook account and navigating
to your Profile page (click Profile in the upper-right
corner).
2. Type a message about the photo in the Wall posting box
that says What’s on your mind?
3. Below your message, find the icon for uploading a photo
(it looks like a little stack of photo prints), as I’ve done in
Figure 8-1. Clicking that icon changes the window.
Click here to add photos.
Figure 8-1
4. The new window gives you three choices: Upload a
Photo from your computer, Take a Photo with a webcam,
or Create an Album with many photos. Here’s how those
choices work:
➟
1. To use a photo already on your computer, click the Upload
a Photo link. Your window changes to a window like
the one shown in Figure 8-2, with a browse button to
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select a photo from your computer’s hard drive. Click
Browse and a dialog box opens; from here, you can
look for a photo on your computer’s hard drive. Find
the photo you want to upload and double-click it to
select it. Click Open. The photo opens and uploads
while the dialog box closes, and you see the location
of your photo in the text box next to Browse. To post
the photo, click Share.
Figure 8-2
Before clicking Share when you’re uploading
photos to Facebook, you have some privacy options
to choose. Figure 8-3 shows the options that appear
when you click the arrow next to the small lock at
the bottom of the posting box. Click the appropriate
privacy option, and then click Share.
Figure 8-3
2. If you have a webcam, click Take a Photo. If you’re using
a laptop computer, the webcam is most likely built in
at the top of your screen. Clicking this option activates
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your camera automatically — and a warning appears
(as shown in Figure 8-4). You must give the Adobe
Flash Player permission to access your camera. Click
the Allow radio button and your camera will have
permission for this one time. You’ll see yourself in the
camera — smile! Or hide behind your cat (see
Figure 8-5) if you want a cat picture, and click the
small camera icon at the bottom of the screen. After
selecting your privacy setting (I allow everyone to see)
click Share.
Figure 8-4
➟
Choose who can see your photo.
Figure 8-5
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3. If you’re ready to work with a batch of photos on Facebook,
click Create an Album. I discuss this fairly complex task
in the next section.
Create a Photo Album
1. Facebook has many ways to get to the page where you
can create photo albums. Here are the two easiest:
1. Select the Photos tab on your Profile page. The resulting
page, as shown in Figure 8-6, brings you to all the
photos of you that you currently have on Facebook.
At the top right, click the Create a Photo Album link,
and you arrive at the Create Album page.
Figure 8-6
2. Go to your Home page and, from the toolbar at the left,
click Photos (as I’ve done in Figure 8-7). This shows you
a page with the most recent photos that your friends
have uploaded. In the upper-right corner is a link to
+Upload Photos. You might expect it to open a page for
uploading single images, but instead, it opens the
Create Album page.
2. On the Create Album page, give your album a name, type
in the location where the photos were taken, put in a
description of the photos in the album, and select your
privacy setting (for who can see the album).
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Figure 8-7
3. Click the link to Select Photos. A window opens, showing
you the contents of your computer. You can navigate
around your computer by clicking the folders to find
where your photos reside.
4. After you find the proper folder, you can begin selecting
photos for your album. If you want to use all of the
images in a folder, click Select All. If you want to select
just a few, click the check boxes for individual thumbnails,
one at a time, to select them for upload.
5. Once you’ve finished picking the images, click Use
Selected Photos. This brings you back to the Create
Album page (see Figure 8-8). Before clicking Create
Album, notice a box that has a check mark that says
Publish Automatically.
➟
• If you leave the check mark where it is, your
photos show up on Facebook pages immediately.
You can edit the album later with captions and
tags if you want.
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• Uncheck this box if you’d rather preview the photos
and edit them before they appear on Facebook.
Figure 8-8
6. You can edit the album by going to your profile and
clicking the Photos tab. Scroll down the page and you’ll
see your album (or albums), as in Figure 8-9.
Figure 8-9
7. Click the album you want to edit and you’ll be brought
to a page with thumbnail versions of your pictures. Click
the link above the thumbnails to Edit Photos, and you’re
brought to the Edit page.
Note: If you haven’t published the photos, you see a
notice at the top of the page. Figure 8-10 shows you the
Edit Album page. First go through the photos, tag the
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pictures (more on tagging later), write captions and
delete any you would rather not use. When you’re done,
go to the bottom of the page, and click Save Changes.
Add captions here.
Figure 8-10
Delete a photo you don’t want.
8. Your photos will now show up on your Profile page; if
you’ve tagged friends in the photos, those pictures appear
on your friends’ Profile pages.
Tag Photos
1. No matter where you find photos of you or one of your
➟
friends on Facebook, you’ll be able to tag them. Tagging
is the Facebook phrase for adding the names of friends to
photo information. Tagging a friend makes his or her
name appear when someone puts a mouse pointer over
the tagged friend’s image. Tagging also links the photo to
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Chapter 8: Adding Photos and Videos to Facebook
the appropriate profile. Whenever friends are tagged in a
photo, that photo appears on their individual walls and
becomes a permanent part of their Photos areas.
When you or anyone on Facebook is tagged, the
tagee receives an e-mail notifying him or her of the
newfound fame. Then the tagee can get online and
look at the picture.
2. When you see a photo of you or one of your friends on
Facebook, click it and you arrive at the Photos page. If no
one has been tagged in the picture, no linkable names
will appear below it.
3. At the lower right, below the photo, click the Tag This
Photo link, as I did in Figure 8-11.
Figure 8-11
4. Move your cursor, and click it on the face of one of your
friends. A box will come up, framing the face; so will a
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list of your friends, so you can select a name to put in
the tag.
5. Start typing in your friend’s name (or your name if the
photo is of you), and Facebook narrows the selection as
you type. (You can also use the scroll bar next to the
names to find the right one. I found my friend’s name in
Figure 8-12).
Figure 8-12
6. When you’ve found the person in the photo, click to put
a check in the box next to his or her name; then click
Tag. Bingo! The name of the person you tagged is now at
the bottom of the photo — and the photo has been
posted to your tagged friend’s Profile page.
7. If you have more than one friend in the picture, repeat
➟
Steps 1–5 given here until you’ve tagged everyone. When
you’ve tagged all the friends in the picture, click the Done
Tagging button above the picture.
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Chapter 8: Adding Photos and Videos to Facebook
You must be friends with someone on Facebook in
order to tag him or her in a photo. If you see a photo
with a person you know — but aren’t Facebook
friends with (yet) — send that person a Friend
invitation. After your friend accepts, you can then
add a tag to the photo.
8. As people view the photo, they’ll see the tagged names at
the bottom. If they move their mouse pointers over the
picture, the person’s name pops up (as in Figure 8-13).
Names pop up in a tagged picture.
Figure 8-13
Untag Yourself in a Photo
1. You may get an e-mail and find that one of your friends
has tagged you in a photo on Facebook. Excited, you log
on to your Profile page . . . and groan. Have no fear. If
you find a photo that a friend has taken of you that
doesn’t quite meet your standards, you can do something
about it. Click the photo, and Facebook takes you to the
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photo’s page. Below the photo, next to your name (as in
Figure 8-14), is a Remove Tag link.
Click here to untag a picture, if you want.
Figure 8-14
2. Click the Remove Tag link. The photo goes into the
Facebook ether and will never be associated with your
profile again. The photo does remain in your friend’s
album, but someone would have to view the album to
see you. Once you’ve untagged yourself in a photo, no
one but you can tag you in that particular photo again.
If you’ve accidentally tagged the wrong person in a
photo, you can undo your error by clicking the
Remove Tag link.
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Chapter 8: Adding Photos and Videos to Facebook
Delete a Photo
1. If you upload a photo by mistake — or simply decide
you’d rather not put that photo-taken-with-your-ex
online — you can remove it. You can delete only the
photos that you, personally, have uploaded.
If you want to disassociate yourself from a photo that
someone else uploaded, you’ll have to settle for
untagging yourself (see the previous task in this
chapter).
2. Under the photo, on the photo page, you’ll find a list of
commands, as shown in Figure 8-15. Click the Delete
This Photo link, and (poof) the photo is gone from your
Facebook page.
Figure 8-15
Upload a Video to Facebook
1. This isn’t rocket science. If you’ve uploaded a photo, you
can upload a video. Go to your Facebook Home page
and click the Photos link on the left side toolbar.
2. The newly posted photos of your friends appear on the
resulting page. When you’re through admiring them,
look at the top left, and next to the Upload Photos
button, you should see an Upload Video button, as
shown in Figure 8-16.
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Figure 8-16
3. Click the button, and you arrive at the Create a New
Video page. This page, shown in Figure 8-17, works
similarly to the Upload a Photo page. The difference is
that when you click the Browse button, a standard search
window opens on your computer.
Click here to browse for a video.
Figure 8-17
4. Browse your computer’s folders, find the video file you
want to upload, and click to select it. The upload begins
immediately.
5. After the upload finishes, the video will be on your
Facebook page, ready for you to tag and caption.
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Exploring
Groups, Events,
and Games
I
f you thought your teen years were a busy
time, just wait. Being a member of Facebook
means that you’re about to have a whole new
group of friends to combine with your old
ones. Best of all? You’ll meet people who have
interests just like yours. You’ll have the
opportunity to attend chats and join groups —
and you don’t even have to get out of your
pajamas.
Is there something you really like? A series of
books, films, or products? Look for a related
page on Facebook; many businesses are joining
up on Facebook. Even California Cat Center,
where I board my cats, has a Facebook page. (I
visit their page to check out the cute photos of
their feline guests.)
And here are some other instances of Facebook
member involvement:
➟
➟
Chapter
9
Get ready to . . .
➟ Find Your Favorite Things
on Facebook .................... 146
➟ Join a Facebook Group ..... 150
➟ Start a Facebook Group .... 154
➟ Communicate with
Group Members ............... 157
➟ Create an Event Invitation ...159
➟ Review Upcoming Events ... 161
➟ Export an Event to
Another Calendar ............. 162
➟ Have Some Fun with Games
and Applications .............. 163
➟ Browse Facebook Apps
and Games ...................... 165
When Kashi products stopped
manufacturing my favorite shake mix,
unhappy customers started a Facebook
group to protest!
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➟
Someone came up with the idea that Betty White
should host Saturday Night Live and started a
Facebook group. They had a great idea. After spreading
the word through wall posts and messages, over
500,000 people joined. Eighty-eight-year-old Betty
hosted the 2010 Mother’s Day show, and SNL had
the highest ratings in over 18 months! All because of
a Facebook group.
Other ways to enjoy community action are to play games and use
Facebook applications (or apps). To many members, these are the best
parts of Facebook. Be advised: Games and other apps can burn a lot of
time, but they are a lot of fun. And they’re social — you can involve
your online friends in your game.
So what are you waiting for? Check out the info in this chapter and get
active with a Facebook group, game, or app — you can even start your
own group or plan an event!
Find Your Favorite Things on Facebook
1. If you’re planning on navigating your way around
Facebook, you’re going to be up close and personal with
that little search box at the top of the page. To look at
some of the magic it can perform, type the keyword that
best describes the topic you’re looking for in the search
box at the top of the page. Following on the idea of
looking for people who love small animals, for this
example, (see Figure 9-1), I typed Cats.
Facebook finds pages with Cats in the name and puts
them in a drop-down menu. As Figure 9-1 shows, you
get a few interesting hits, and the top seven results are
shown. If you want to check out any of the results at this
point, just click the name, and you’re brought to that
page.
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Chapter 9: Exploring Groups, Events, and Games
Figure 9-1
2. Click the See More Results link at the bottom of the
drop- down menu. You arrive at the Facebook All Results
page. As Figure 9-2 shows, you can get some great hits —
but clicking the View All Page Results link would net
22,000 pages (as noted in the upper-right corner). That
might be too much to browse through.
If you look below All Results at the top left, you see a
navigation area with links to Posts by Friends and
Web Results that also include your search term. Both
areas have links to view more; you see only the top
results on this page.
3. In the left navigation area, click Pages. Facebook takes
you to a page with more results, but they’re almost as
confusing. Notice a little box at the top that reads Show:
All Page Types? Click the down arrow next to the box, and
a drop-down menu appears. You now have choices to
help narrow down your search. In Figure 9-3, I selected
Non-Profit.
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Figure 9-2
Make selections to narrow your results.
➟
Figure 9-3
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4. The resulting page nets pared-down results, as shown in
Figure 9-4, because the search is now limited to NonProfit Pages. Next to each page listing is a Like link on
the far right. Don’t jump willy-nilly into just any group
that has a nice title and a cute picture. Click the title of a
page and check it out before you choose to join; that
way, you see what the page is really all about and who’s
behind it. (I clicked a couple in the example just given,
and they weren’t my cup of tea at all.)
Figure 9-4
5. Clicking on the title takes you to the page. In Figure 9-5,
you can see I clicked on a charming page from a
veterinarian. After reviewing the page, I clicked Like and
became a member.
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Click here if you like the page.
Figure 9-5
If you’d rather just not look at the top 10 results, but
don’t want to trudge through all 22,000; add another
keyword in your search terms. Typing another
keyword in the box can help you refine your search.
Also, you can click each link in the left navigation
area to further narrow your results.
Join a Facebook Group
As a member of Facebook, you’ll no doubt want to connect with
people who have common likes — and doing that through groups is
quick and easy! Here’s how:
1. Find a group through search. To find a group you are
interested in, you can search for your keywords as I
describe in the preceding section. Then just click the
Groups link on the left after you receive your search
results.
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Click a group title that suits your fancy and check it out.
If you think you’ve found one that you’d like to join,
click the Join link on the top of the group’s page. In
Figure 9-6, you can see the Join link. After looking at
many pages, I could see this was one I liked enough that
it was worth joining.
To join the group, click here.
Figure 9-6
Some Facebook groups are private. In this case, you
need to click the Request to Join link on the Group
page and await confirmation. Confirmation will
come to your through e-mail and Facebook
messages. Some groups require an invitation in order
to join. The only way you will be able to join these
groups is if a group administrator invites you and
gives you access.
2. Receive a group request from one of your Facebook
friends. You receive a notification via e-mail — or one
that shows up in the Requests box on the right side of
your home page, or by clicking the Groups link found in
the toolbar on the left side of your home page (as in
Figure 9-7). Clicking either of those two links will
display your group requests from Facebook.
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Click here...
See group requests here.
Figure 9-7
Although Facebook sends e-mails with group
requests, it’s best to go to your Facebook page to
check the groups. E-mails are notorious for carrying
spam or even computer viruses, and clicking their
enclosed links can be a risky proposition. Most
e-mails you get from Facebook are benign, but think
twice if you get a warning that the link you are about
to click is taking you to a page outside of Facebook.
3. Respond to a group request as you would to a friend
request. You can click the Confirm button to join, but I
find it best to click the group’s name first, to check out
the page and see what it’s all about. After clicking
through and checking out the group, I respond to an
invitation in Figure 9-8 by clicking the Respond to
Group Invitation button at the top of the page.
➟
4. A box opens on the page. Figure 9-9 shows the three
choices you find there.
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Click here to respond.
Figure 9-8
See your choices here.
Figure 9-9
• Join. Click here and voila! You’re a card-carrying
member of the group. (Okay, there’s no card, but it’s
fun to think of it that way.)
• Ignore. When you select Ignore, the notification
disappears from your pages. The person who invited
you won’t be notified, so don’t worry. If (say) you’re
really not a morning person and don’t want to join
your neighbor’s “Good Morning Coffee” group, you
can always say you never saw the e-mail. (Your
unaccepted invitation will still appear in your
neighbor’s group’s Not Yet Replied invitation area.)
• Cancel. Click here and you can decide later (or
never). But note that the group request will still
appear in your list.
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Start a Facebook Group
1. Want to plan a family reunion? Perhaps you might be
interested in starting a new group on Facebook based on
your hobby? You can do it. Start by clicking the Groups
link found in the navigation bar on the left side of your
home page. (You may have to click the More link first.)
You’ll be brought to your Groups page.
2. Click the Create a Group button on the upper-right side
of your page, as shown in Figure 9-10. You’re taken to
the Create a Group form page.
Figure 9-10
3. Fill in the form. Facebook requires you to fill in text
boxes labeled Group Name, Description, and Group Type.
To select your group type, click the arrow next to the
Select Category drop-down list (as in Figure 9-11).
Optionally, you can fill in contact information and news
about the group.
4. When you’ve filled out the page (you can always edit it
later), click Create Group and your group will be live on
Facebook.
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Fill in a name and description.
Choose a group category here.
Figure 9-11
Be aware! Facebook has a rule about groups: “Groups
that attack a specific person or group of people (e.g.
racist, sexist, or other hate groups) will not be
tolerated. Creating such a group will result in the
immediate termination of your Facebook account.”
5. You can edit your page and settings at any time by
clicking the little pencil icon next to the word Edit that
appears (only to you) on the sections of your group page.
In Figure 9-12, I’m editing the Group information.
Figure 9-13 shows the editing commands I need to
change the group’s profile picture.
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Figure 9-12
Figure 9-13
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Communicate with Group Members
When you set up a group on Facebook, you are usually the group
administrator (admin, for short) by default. As the group administrator,
you will be able to adjust the privacy settings, edit information, and
add a group profile photo. It’s just like setting up your own Facebook
page. Think of your group page the same as your regular Profile page;
it’s not any different — except when it comes to communicating with
members:
➟
If you’re the admin of your group (the Big Kahuna,
the person who created the group and runs it), you
can post messages to the group’s wall just as you can
on any Facebook Wall, as shown in Figure 9-14.
Your message posts on the page so any member who
visits will see it.
➟
If you are merely a member of a group, the only way
you can connect with other members is by posting to
their individual walls or sending each of them a
message through Facebook.
Post your message to the group wall.
Figure 9-14
But the magic of groups is that admins can send blanket communications
to all members. Below the group photo is an area of links where
Facebook allows you unique controls. (Only the admins can see
these.)
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➟
Message All Members. Clicking this link will take
you to a page that looks like any other Facebook
message page. The only difference is that when you
click Send, the message will go to all the members of
your Group.
➟
Promote Group with Ad. If you’d like to buy a
Facebook ad to promote your group, here’s your
chance!
➟
Edit Group Settings. This takes you to an
Administration page where you decide about privacy
settings, page setup, and general information.
➟
Edit Members. This takes you to a Member
Administration page where you can view all your
members and choose officers or other admins.
Figure 9-15 shows you the available tabs and
options.
Figure 9-15
➟
➟
Invite people to join. This link takes you to a page
that shows all your Facebook personal friends. You
may select as many or as few as you want and invite
them to join your group.
➟
Create Group Event. Want to have a meeting? A
party? Admins only can click here and go to the
Create an Event page. Figure 9-16 shows you how
this procedure differs from a regular Facebook event
invitation. You have three options:
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a. Open: Anyone can see this Event and its information.
Anyone can RSVP or invite others to this Event.
b. Closed: Anyone can see this Event, but its content
is only shown to guests. People need to be invited
or request invitations to be able to RSVP.
c. Secret: Only people who are invited can see this
Event and details. People will need to be invited
and to RSVP.
Figure 9-16
Create an Event Invitation
1. Are you planning a party? Facebook is a good way to
send out invitations. Any Facebook member can create
an event and invite all their friends. Start by going to
your Facebook Home page and clicking the Events tab
found in the toolbar on the left side of the screen (as in
Figure 9-17). In the upper-right corner of your Events
page, you’ll see the Create an Event button.
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Click here to see events.
Figure 9-17
2. Clicking the Create an Event button takes you to the
Create an Event page, as shown in Figure 9-18. Fill out
the when, what, and where of the event.
Fill in event information.
Invite guests.
Click to create the event.
Figure 9-18
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3. Click Select Guests to prepare your guest list from your
Facebook friends list. Click the Add Event Photo button
to upload a profile photo for the event, just as you
would on any Facebook page. (See Chapter 5 for how-to
instructions on uploading a profile photo.)
4. When the form is complete, click Create Event — your
event will appear on Facebook and invitations will be
sent to the friends you selected.
As the event administrator, you can adjust the event’s
privacy settings, invite more people, edit the guest
list, cancel the event, edit the event, and send
messages to your guests.
Review Upcoming Events
1. To review your upcoming events, click the Events link in
the links on the left side of your homepage. You’re taken
to your Events page, where you can view all your upcoming
events in chronological order. When you click the Events
link, you open a drop-down sub-menu with selections
for Friends’ Events, Birthdays, and Past Events.
Viewing Friends’ Events can be convenient if you
would like to see what your friends are up to — and
if the events are public, you may be able to figure out
some plans for your next Friday night.
2. Your events are listed on the Events page (refer to
Figure 9-17) and you have the chance to respond to the
invitations right there. I always recommend that you take
a moment and click the title of the event so you can find
out exactly what’s planned and where the event is. If you
know all those details and are in a hurry, you can click
the Respond button next to the event.
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3. A small window like the one in Figure 9-19 appears.
There you can let the organizer know whether you’ll be
attending. Optionally, you can write a short note to go
along with your RSVP. You can also change your mind at
any time (assuming it’s okay with the host) and change
your RSVP directly on the Event page.
Click an RSVP option here.
Figure 9-19
Export an Event to Another Calendar
1. If you don’t rely on Facebook as your main event calendar,
it’s a good idea to use the Export feature to send your
Facebook Events into whatever calendar you use.
Facebook supports lots of applications, including
Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCal. Facebook also claims
that it can export to Google Calendar, but I’ve never been
able to make that feature work consistently.
➟
Your Events section shows you all the events you’ve
been invited to. Rather than merely clicking the
Respond button, click the event’s title to see all the
details.
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2. When you’re on the Event invitation page, you can export
the event by clicking the Export button found above the
RSVP box on the right side of the Event page (as shown
in Figure 9-20). A pop-up window will appear, giving
you the option to export, download the appointment to
your computer, or send yourself an e-mail with the event
details.
Choose where to send this event.
Figure 9-20
Have Some Fun with Games and Applications
Your first exposure to Facebook’s games or applications (apps)
happens when you see posts from some of your friends like those
shown in Figure 9-21. Facebook has loads of games and applications.
Applications are a little different from games, since they don’t require
as many hours to have fun with them.
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Figure 9-21
Facebook’s many applications enable you to do almost anything you
can imagine — send gifts, take quizzes, throw snowballs — you name
it! A popular type of app centers around taking quizzes. You can find
a quiz on everything from how to determine “What Sex and the City
character you are” to “Which color best suits your personality.”
Another very popular application lets you make up your own quizzes
to send to your friends.
Playing with a quiz application lets your friends see
that you have taken the quiz by posting your results
to your news feed. Potentially, your friends will play
along with you.
➟
The most popular games on Facebook are currently the products of
Zynga, the creators of Farmville, Mafia Wars, Fishville, Texas HoldEm
Poker, and numerous other games. When you find a game (or an
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Chapter 9: Exploring Groups, Events, and Games
application) you’d like to participate in, you must give permission for
Facebook to allow the game to have access to your account, as shown
in Figure 9-22. If you want to play, this access is a requirement. So
stick to the most popular, time tested games.
Figure 9-22
Browse Facebook Apps and Games
1. To browse apps on Facebook, go to your home page and
click the Applications link in the toolbar on the left.
When you get to your Applications page (as shown in
Figure 9-23), you can see two sections in the middle
column: Your Applications (if you’ve signed up for any)
and Friends’ Applications (those most recently used). On
the right side of the page are links to Facebook’s featured
applications.
2. To see all the available applications, you simply browse
Facebook’s Applications Directory. But finding this
directory through a Facebook search is a little tricky, so
just type www.facebook.com/apps/directory.php in
your browser’s address bar. Press Enter, and you see a
page similar to the one shown in Figure 9-24. Click the
On Facebook link in the left side toolbar, and you see a
page similar to the one in Figure 9-25.
➟
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Figure 9-23
Click here for apps on Facebook.
➟
Figure 9-24
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Chapter 9: Exploring Groups, Events, and Games
Click an app category here.
Figure 9-25
3. The resulting On Facebook Applications Directory has a
number of category links on the left side toolbar. By
clicking these links you will find specific types of
applications, for example, Games and Utilities. Click a
link, and you see featured items and application
recommendations in that category. Browse through and
you’ll be sure to find an application to suit your needs.
4. To specifically find games on Facebook, click the Games
link in the left toolbar. You’ll see game icons, and a list
of the currently most popular. When you see a game
you’d like to play, click its name and you arrive on that
game’s Facebook page. Click the blue Go To Application
button on the left side of the page under the large game
icon, as shown in Figure 9-26.
➟
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Click here to get started with the chosen app.
Figure 9-26
Currently, millions of people play these top games:
➟
➟
Farmville: 64,004,337 players. Ever wanted to have a
farm? Now you can without getting your hands
dirty! Farmville allows you to build and cultivate
your own. The game comes complete with your own
plot of land and lots of opportunities to grow your
farm through planting, harvesting, gifting, and
building.
➟
Texas HoldEm Poker: 28,561,070 players. Fancy
yourself a poker star? This is the top poker game in
the world. Play online with your friends and see
who’s got the best poker face, or meet some new
people. The game also runs weekly tournaments. (By
the way, your winnings are virtual — no cash
payouts.)
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➟
Treasure Isle: 21,635,321 players. Become an
adventurer without leaving your computer. On
Treasure Isle, you visit strange places, dig for rare and
valuable treasure with your friends, and decorate
your very own island.
➟
Café World: 20,690,157 players. Become a
restaurateur and run your own restaurant. Choose
your menu from dozens of dishes to cook, then slice,
chop, sauté, and bake your way to success. You can
decorate your Café and hire friends.
➟
Mafia Wars: 18,935,023 players. Did you love Al
Pacino in The Godfather? You might just have fun
playing Mafia Wars, the wildly popular crime game.
Build alliances, amass property, and fight mobs of
enemies in games of power and deception.
➟
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➟
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And Now, It’s
Twitter Time
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A Beginner’s
Guide to Twitter
I
really enjoy the time I spend on Twitter. I
can visit the site at any hour and find a
friend to chat with. It may not be someone I’ve
met in real life, but someone I’ve met on
Twitter with whom I have fun. People on
Twitter come from all walks of life, and you
can make friends with people of all ages.
Keep in mind that Twitter is not just about
posting pithy thoughts online; it’s all about
having conversations. The second-best part of
Twitter is that by listening (reading other people’s posts, or Tweets, as they’re nick-named),
you learn all sorts of interesting things. Most
news events appear on Twitter before you hear
about them on radio or television.
➟
Chapter
10
Get ready to . . .
➟ Register with Twitter .......... 174
➟ Find People to Follow ........ 178
➟ Adjust Your Account
Settings ............................ 184
➟ Upload Your Avatar .......... 187
➟ Select a Theme for
Your Profile Page .............. 189
➟ Set Up Notices ................. 190
➟ Know Twitter Shorthand ..... 191
Twitter users love to spread information of all
sorts. When you find your niche, you’ll see
what fun participating on the site can be.
Your posts on Twitter are limited to 140
characters. (When you send text messages on
your phone, you’re allowed 160 characters.)
Figuring out how to abbreviate your thoughts
and get your message into such a short
sentence will definitely exercise your brain; it
can take a bit of thinking!
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In this chapter, I help you get started with Twitter — by registering,
setting up an account and profile page, deciding what notices you
want to receive, and getting familiar with Twitter shorthand. Are you
ready? Let’s sign up and start making new friends!
Register with Twitter
1. As with all interactive Web sites, you can’t play until you
sign up and agree to the rules. So type www.twitter.com
in your browser’s address bar, press Enter, and you’ll
come to a page similar to the one in Figure 10-1.
Click here to register with Twitter.
Figure 10-1
2. Before you start to click things, take a look at the Twitter
➟
Web page. You find a list of topics that are currently
popular (trending) on the site. Don’t worry if you aren’t
interested in any topics you see here. With over 75 million
users, I’m sure that a few will have interests similar to
yours! You also see some of the famous Twtterati who
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Chapter 10: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
use the service (on the left), as well as a scroll of top
tweets from the current timeline.
3. To start your registration, click the button that says Get
Started, Join Today, or Sign Up. The greeting changes from
minute to minute, but you get the drift, right? You’re
presented with a page prompting you to enter some
information that identifies you to Twitter, as follows:
1. Type in your full, real name so that your friends can find
you if they look for you in Twitter search. (Chapter 11
tells you more about searching on Twitter.)
2. Come up with a catchy username for use on Twitter.
Your username can be a nickname or your real
name, whichever you prefer. If you choose a
nickname, it can be a name that reflects one of
your hobbies, or a special interest you may have.
Get creative! But remember: Your username
cannot have any spaces or symbols, just letters
and/or numbers. If your selected username is
already in use on the site, Twitter will let you
know, as shown in Figure 10-2.
3. Select a password and type it in the Password text box.
Twitter will let you know the security strength of your
password after you type it in.
You may want to check out the information on
picking a password in Chapter 3 to make sure
you select a secure password.
4. Type in your e-mail address.
This information will not be shown to anyone; Twitter
uses it to send you a confirmation e-mail message and
(after you’re active on the site) to send you any
notifications you’ve requested.
➟
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Fill in your information.
Click here to create your account.
Figure 10-2
4. Click to check the box labeled Let Others Find Me by My
Email Address. Do this if you want your friends to be
able to type your e-mail address into a Twitter search to
find you. If that’s an option you don’t want, just uncheck
it (if it’s checked by default), and leave it without the
check mark.
5. Read and agree to the Terms of Service. Every Web site
➟
has Terms of Service (TOS), which are basically the rules
that everyone participating on the site has to follow.
Read them and print them out if you want. Even if you
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Chapter 10: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
don’t do that, know that opening your account on
Twitter means you agree to abide by their rules.
6. Click the Create My Account button, and you’re well on
your way to becoming a member of one of the largest
and fastest-growing online communities. Plus, you’ll be
one of the cool kids who are considered “early adopters”
in your group of friends (at least the tech-savvy ones)!
7. Tackle the Captcha code (the crazy looking words).
Before Twitter lets you join the throng, you have to prove
you aren’t a robot or a computer. (Believe it or not, there
are people who set up their computers to sign up
automatically on sites all over the Web — weird, eh?
Captcha codes are designed so only human eyes can
figure them out.)
The Captcha code may be a bit difficult to read, as shown in
Figure 10-3. If you can’t read it, click the Get Two New
Words link at the right to try some different words. If you
can’t read it after a couple of tries, click Hear a Set of Words,
and the words will play on your computer’s speakers. The
code words are random and may not make sense. But when
you’ve figured out the words for the Captcha test, type them
in the box as prompted and click the Finish button.
If you can’t read this...try another option.
Figure 10-3
➟
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8. Clicking Finish brings you to a topic page, similar to the
one shown in Figure 10-4. Move on to the next section,
which instructs you about how to find folks to follow on
Twitter.
Figure 10-4
Find People to Follow
At this point, I need to explain the workings of Twitter. For the whole
experience to work, you need to find people to follow. These would be
people you might want to hear from — your Twitter friends, your
online community. You can follow or unfollow anyone at any time.
When you follow someone
➟
➟
Each time that person posts a comment (tweet), you
will see it on your Twitter home page.
➟
The folks you follow may follow you back, and if
they do, they’ll see your comments on their pages.
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➟
You can send a Direct Message (or DM) to someone
you’re following. A DM is like a text message that
you send on your cell phone. It’s a private message
between you and the recipient. It does not appear in
the public stream of tweets. In the “Set Up Notices”
section later in this chapter, I show you how you can
have these message sent directly to your cell phone if
you desire. That way you can respond to a DM
without having to go back to your computer.
If you have to pay an additional fee for text messages
on your mobile-phone plan, sending and receiving
too many direct messages could get expensive. Be
sure you have a full data plan on your smartphone if
you want to get these messages.
1. To begin finding people to follow, click a topic that
interests you from the list on the left (refer to Figure
10-4). Suggested Twitter users (or sources) will be listed
to the right, as shown in Figure 10-5. Be sure to scroll
down the page so you see the full list; you can click more
at the bottom to see more.
2. If you see someone and think that you might be
interested in hearing what that person has to say, follow
him or her by clicking the Follow button to the right of
the name.
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 (click another category and scroll
though the names) to find more people to follow. When
you feel like you have enough people selected, click the
Next Step: Friends button at the bottom right.
Know that you can always search for more people to
add to your Follow list after you’re fully set up on the
site — so don’t feel pressured to keep looking for
people to follow as you’re getting started.
➟
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Click a topic here...to find people to follow here.
Figure 10-5
4. The next page you see, as in Figure 10-6, lists Web-based
e-mail services Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. You can use
these to find (and follow) people from your e-mail lists
who are already on Twitter. If you use one of these
services and want to search Twitter for your e-mail buddies,
you can click the name of the e-mail service and type
your user ID and password when prompted (this is safe
to do because Twitter doesn’t store your password).
Personally, I’d skip this step. You might want to be a
bit more settled and secure with your participation on
Twitter before you involve your real-world friends.
(The point of this book is to make you the expert!)
5. Click the Next Step: Others button. On the resulting
➟
page, you see an empty text box. If you have a friend
who’s already on Twitter, type his or her name in the text
box and click Search.
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Chapter 10: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
Find friends on Twitter through an online service.
Figure 10-6
If you don’t know anyone to follow, just type in my
name MarshaCollier. When my Twitter result comes up
on-screen (as it does in Figure 10-7), click the Follow
button and we’ll be connected. (Don’t forget to say “Hi”
once we’re connected — I show you how to do that in
Chapter 11.)
6. When you’re finished typing in people’s names and
following them (remember, you can do this all later after
you’ve gotten the lay of Twitter-land), click the Next step:
You’re Done button. You’re now on your Twitter home
page where you see the most recent tweets from the
people you followed (check out Figure 10-8). If you
haven’t followed anyone, your page will look pretty
blank.
➟
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Search for a friend’s name.
Figure 10-7
7. While you’ve been doing all this following, Twitter sent
an e-mail message to the e-mail address you provided
when you filled out the sign-up form. Open your e-mail
program and look for the message. You’ll see an e-mail
like the one shown in Figure 10-9. Click the link in the
e-mail, or copy it (by highlighting the link and pressing
the Ctrl+C) and paste it (by clicking in your browser’s
address line and pressing Ctrl+V) into your browser.
You are now an official member of Twitter; congratulations!
➟
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See tweets from the people you follow here.
Figure 10-8
Click here to confirm your Twitter account.
Figure 10-9
➟
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Adjust Your Account Settings
1. Click the Settings link on the top right side of your
Twitter home page. The information that you input when
you signed up is filled in on this page. Scroll down so
that you can add some additional important data.
As an official member of Twitter, you’ll need to let
other Twitter members know who you are. People
follow other people who interest them on Twitter,
and identifying yourself as an interesting, charming
person will add a lot to the time you spend on
Twitter.
2. Choose a language. English is filled in as the default (and
I assume you speak English since you’re reading this
book). If you’d prefer a different language, click the
down arrow on the Language text box and select another
language from the drop-down menu.
3. Check for your correct time zone. GMT (Greenwich Mean
Time) will be filled in. If you don’t live in the United
Kingdom (where Greenwich is, the last I looked), I
suggest that you click the down arrow and select the time
zone where you live from the drop-down menu.
4. Click the Add a Location to Your Tweets check box (a
check mark appears in the box) and (not surprisingly)
you add the location you’re tweeting from to your tweets.
This is an optional setting, and you don’t have to check
this. By not revealing your exact location, you can maintain
a semblance of privacy. (I usually don’t put a check by
this setting; I prefer not to reveal my exact location.)
5. If you click to check the Protect My Tweets check box,
➟
your tweets will not appear in the public Twitter timeline.
Checking this option kind of defeats the purpose of
Twitter; you’re on the site to be part of the giant
conversation.
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If you protect your tweets, there’s a chance that
people won’t follow you back when you follow
them. People like to know what they’re getting into
when they follow someone — and if they can’t see
your tweets, they may be concerned that you may not
be the kind of person they’d want to follow. Twitter
is all about transparency.
6. After you fill out the balance of your account information,
click Save. You’ll have to retype your password to save
your account settings.
If you’ve forgotten your password, click the Forgot Your
Password link and Twitter sends you a reminder by
e-mail so you can reset your password. Click the link in
the e-mail message or copy the link into your browser.
You arrive at a page where you can change your password,
as shown in Figure 10-10. Type in your new password
twice (the second time is to verify your typing) and click
the Change button.
Type a password twice to change it.
Figure 10-10
➟
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To change your password at any time, just click the
Settings link at the top right of your Twitter home
page and, on the resulting Settings page, click the
Password link that appears above your settings.
7. At this point, your pals at Twitter are so revved up to
have you aboard that they send you a welcoming e-mail
message. Figure 10-11 shows you a sample of what the
message looks like.
Figure 10-11
Open your e-mail. On it, you find that Twitter notifies
you of a few things:
• Your username. I entered CrochetSue as my sample
username when I first signed up, and there it is!
• The URL (Internet address) of your Twitter profile.
You can include this in your e-mails to let your
friends know where they can find you on Twitter.
➟
• A link to activate your phone. If you’d like to
receive Twitter notifications on your smartphone,
you can click this link to input your cell phone
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number. Activating your phone will also allow you
to send tweets from your cell phone. FYI: You text
your messages to Twitter at 40404.
• An Invite Your Friends link. Click this link and
you arrive on a page where you can type in the
e-mail addresses of people you’d like to have join
you on Twitter. Twitter will send them an e-mail
message on your behalf, inviting them to join. I
recommend that you ask your friends whether
they’d like to join Twitter before you send those
e-mails. Some people feel that invitation e-mails
are an intrusion.
Upload Your Avatar
1. Get to your Twitter home page by browsing to www.
twitter.com, signing in (if you’re not already), and
clicking the Home link near the top of the page. Your
home page probably looks pretty darned bare before you
install the bells and whistles. In the place where your
photo should go is a small Twitter bird icon, which looks
nothing like you! So get ready to make your page look
like it belongs to a Twitter pro.
2. Click the Settings link in the toolbar at the top-right of
the page and then click the Profile link on the Settings
page (see Figure 10-12). You’re now at the Profile
Settings page, and your first order of business is to
upload an image to serve as your avatar on Twitter.
Figure 10-12
➟
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Nope, we’re not revisiting James Cameron’s epic 3D
film Avatar. In tech-speak, an avatar is an image that
represents you online. On Twitter, it means a picture
of you. People want to see a picture when they go to
follow someone new, so they have some idea of who
they’re becoming friends with. Some people use
pictures of their dogs or the logos for their businesses
as avatars, but if you’re on Twitter to make friends, I
suggest posting a flattering image of yourself.
3. To upload your photo, click the Browse button to open a
dialog box where you can look for a photo on your
computer.
4. In the dialog box, find the folder on your computer
where you store your photos and select a photo by
clicking it so that the name of the photo appears in the
File Name box. Click Open after you select your picture,
and you return to the Twitter Profile setup. (The photo
you select can be no more than 700K in size, and can be
in either jpg, gif, or png format.) The filename and location
on your computer appears in the picture box. Voilá!
5. As long as you’re on this page, it’s time to fill in your bio.
In keeping with the brevity of the site, you have 160
characters to describe yourself. You can change this
description at any time, so just put in a little information
about yourself for now. You can compare your bio to
those of the people you meet on Twitter and refine it as
you go.
6. Click Save at the bottom of the page, and your settings
➟
are saved. You return to the Profile settings page, and you
see the picture you just uploaded next to your name
(where the Twitterbird used to be). If you select the
wrong photo accidentally, don’t fret. Just go through the
upload process again by repeating Steps 2 and 3, and
then clicking Save again.
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Select a Theme for Your Profile Page
1. Now it’s time to gussy up your page. You’re probably not
quite ready to design a custom background (such as the
one I have on my MarshaCollier Twitter profile page), so
Twitter gives you a choice of 20 decorative backgrounds
(or themes) to use on your page. From the main Settings
page, click the Design link.
2. On the resulting Design settings page, you find the 20
different themes that Twitter offers their members to
start. Click any of the theme images and your page
background changes automatically to the one you
selected. Figure 10-13 shows that I selected a theme with
birds (second from the left in the bottom row).
3. Keep selecting themes until you find a background you
like — and then click the Save Changes button at the
bottom of the page.
You’ll also notice some other options at the bottom
of the page to change the background image and
design colors. These are advanced settings; it’s best to
play with them after you’ve been using Twitter for a
while.
If you’d like to get a fancy background for your Twitter page in the
future, check out these sites for free backgrounds and instructions:
➟
www.custombackgroundsfortwitter.com
➟
www.twitbacks.com
➟
www.twitterbackgrounds.org
➟
www.colourlovers.com/themeleon/twitter
➟
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Click a theme to choose it.
Figure 10-13
Set Up Notices
1. On your Twitter Settings page, you see a link for Notices.
Click Notices, and you find an area where you can
customize how you’d like to be notified when a
particular action occurs on your Twitter account.
2. Read the descriptions and click the check box only next
to the notices you want to receive. Twitter will send you
an e-mail communication when the following things
happen:
➟
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Chapter 10: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
• Someone starts following you. If someone finds
you and decides to follow you (I explain how all
that happens in Chapter 11), Twitter sends you an
e-mail telling you so. If you don’t want this e-mail
notification, be sure there is no check mark in the
box next to New Follower E-mails.
• You receive a new direct message (DM). Here’s
where you decide whether you want your direct
messages sent to your cell phone. If you don’t
want the text messages on your phone (especially
if you don’t have an unlimited data plan), click to
remove the check mark from the box next to
Direct Text E-mails.
Even if you uncheck this box, you still receive
DMs to your registered e-mail address. You won’t
miss a thing. The fun of Twitter, though, is that
all the conversation happens in real time. Unless
you’re checking your e-mail regularly, you won’t
be in on the immediacy of the experience.
• Twitter has a newsletter to share. Occasionally,
Twitter’s founders and bigwigs like to reach out to
users to explain new features on the site, or to let
you know about changes in the rules (the Terms of
Service, or TOS for short). You really need to know
about this stuff, so leave the check in the box next
to E-mail Newsletter.
Know Twitter Shorthand
When you decide you’d like to send tweets from your smartphone —
or even if you’re tweeting on the Web — Twitter has some shorthand
commands that can facilitate (shorten) your Twitter messaging
experience.
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When a direct message (DM) comes to your phone
from Twitter, it has a return numeric shortcut of
40404. You can reply to 40404 to tweet, to send a
direct message, or perform some other valuable
Twitter actions. If you merely send a text message to
40404 without preceding it with one of the
commands listed in Table 10-1, your text will simply
appear as a Tweet in your Twitter stream.
Table 10-1 shows some shorthand commands you can use to direct an
action other than simply posting to your Twitter stream. (I used my
Twitter username as an example in the table.)
Table 10-1
Twitter Smartphone Shorthand Commands
Command
How it looks
What it does
FOLLOW username
FOLLOW marshacollier
Starts following marshacollier
UNFOLLOW username
UNFOLLOW
marshacollier
Stops following marshacollier
ON/OFF
ON or OFF
Turns all Tweet notifications on
or off
ON/OFF username
ON or OFF
marshacollier
Turns Tweet notifications for a
user on or off
GET username
GET marshacollier
Shows the last tweet from user
RT username
RT marshacollier
Retweets a user’s latest tweet*
FAV username
FAV marshacollier
Puts a user’s latest tweet on
your list of Favorites*
D username
yourmessage
D marshacollier Hi how
are you?
Sends a direct message to a
user
* Find more about these functions in Chapter 11.
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Conversing on
Twitter with
Friends, Family,
and More
➟
Chapter
11
Get ready to . . .
➟ Follow Basic Guidelines
W
hen you register on Twitter, you get all
sorts of suggestions about how to connect
with people. As I suggest in Chapter 10, I think
it’s best to get familiar with the basic concepts
of a new site before inviting all your friends to
the party. I mean, after all, what kind of host
or hostess can you be if you barely know the
lay of the land yourself?
I hope you’ve checked out Twitter a bit. I must
confess, it took me quite a while to really “get”
it. But once I did, I wanted to invite all my
friends — and if they weren’t already on
Twitter, I wanted them to join so I could share
my new shiny toy!
for Conversing .................. 194
➟ Pass Along a Chosen
Tweet .............................. 196
➟ Favorite Your Favorite
Tweets ............................. 198
➟ Search for Tweeted
Topics.............................. 200
➟ Know What to Tweet
About .............................. 201
In this chapter, I talk a little more about the
finer details of communicating on Twitter. I
give you guidelines about making hip tweets,
show you how to retweet and accumulate
favorite tweets, and give you some advice on
what to tweet about.
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Follow Basic Guidelines for Conversing
1. We’re all adults here. I’m not going to tell you who to be
friends with on Twitter, and I’m certainly not going to
tell you what to tweet. There are a few conventions and
standards that make Twitter interesting, so read on and
you’ll be twittering like a pro in no time.
• Don’t just broadcast your ideas. When you’re on
Twitter, you’ll see that some people just continually
broadcast their thoughts over the stream. Broadcast
media is so yesterday! In 21st-century new media,
it’s all about conversation and engaging others.
Your interaction is with real people — talk to
them!
• Do tweet out ideas and comments. Since it’s all
about conversation, give people something to
reply to you about. Did you ruin a batch of cookies
in the oven? If you’re following other people who
might be baking cookies, they’ll commiserate with
you. You have to buy new tires, and you’re going
through sticker shock? Certainly, in this economy,
someone out there can relate.
• Reply to others. When someone makes a comment
that you’re interested in, make a comment back!
In Figure 11-1, I’m about to reply to the user @
Greetums about her soup experience. You can also
see my Latest (or last) tweet just below the What’s
Happening text box. I remarked to @Krystyl about
how much I liked her new avatar (avatar = picture,
remember?).
2. Starting any posting with the at-sign (@), followed by
➟
the name of the person you’re sending it to, is like
putting an address on the tweet: @Krystyl means this
tweet is addressed to @Krystyl, as if we were in a
conversation. Here’s how to reply:
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Chapter 11: Conversing on Twitter with Friends, Family, and More
Figure 11-1
1. When you mouse over the right side of a tweet on your
Twitter page, the word Reply comes up out of nowhere.
When you click this Reply link (or swoosh), the
tweeter’s ID appears in the What’s Happening text box
with an at-sign (@) in front of it — for example, @
Greetums. These are called @ (at) replies; they’re
visible to the person you addressed them to, and to
the people who follow both of you.
2. If you want all the people who follow you to see an @
reply, embed it within your tweet. See the example in
Figure 11-2, where I reply to @MakeItWork.
Remember that @ replies are not private; the
private messages you can send are called Direct
Messages.
Figure 11-2
3. In Figure 11-3, notice how the message looks after I
responded to @Greetums (even though I forgot about the
soup). When you send a tweet like this, the recipient
will definitely recognize it as conversation and will
most likely respond to you.
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Figure 11-3
3. To see all your @ replies, click the link on the right side
of your Twitter home page that has the @ and your ID
next to it. Figure 11-4 shows you what I mean.
Click on your home page for tweets that mention you.
Figure 11-4
Pass Along a Chosen Tweet
1. To make a statement on Twitter is to tweet, so to repeat a
➟
statement on Twitter is to RE-tweet, right? If you see a
comment from someone you’re following, you can
retweet what they said to all your followers. That way,
your followers who aren’t following the person who
made the pithy comment can have the chance to see it,
too. (Twitter is all about sharing!)
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2. You can retweet (RT) in two ways. You accomplish the
classic RT when you copy and paste the original tweet in
the What’s Happening text box; then type the letters RT
before @ and the username of the original tweeter.
Figure 11-5, shows a couple of interesting comments that
I chose to retweet to the people who follow me.
Figure 11-5
3. The second (new improved) way to retweet is to find a
tweet in your tweet stream (just as you did in the @
reply). Hover your mouse pointer over the right side of
the tweet and the word Retweet will show up next to a
little recycling symbol.
Some people don’t like this type of retweeting
because they find it harder to tell whether it’s a
retweet. But it’s the only format to use if the original
Tweet is too long once you add the RT symbols.
Figure 11-6 shows the difference: Instead of the RT
and @ symbol, a recycling icon appears next to my
name.
The recycling icon shows up here.
Figure 11-6
➟
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Part III: And Now, It’s Twitter Time
If you want to track which of your tweets get
retweeted, click the Home link near the top right and
go to your home page. On the right, click the
Retweets link, and you see a page like the one in
Figure 11-7. Three tabs on the page classify different
tweets. When you click the Your Tweets, Retweeted
tab, you can see how many people retweeted your
tweet.
Click here to check out retweets.
Figure 11-7
Favorite Your Favorite Tweets
1. When you see a tweet that strikes your fancy, or a tweet
sent to you that makes you smile, Twitter lets you make
it a Favorite. You can make any tweet (except a private
➟
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Chapter 11: Conversing on Twitter with Friends, Family, and More
Direct Message) a favorite. If you guide your mouse
pointer over the tweet, just above where the Reply and
Retweet appear on the right, you see a small outline of a
star. Click the star, and it turns gold. After you click it,
the tweet is saved to your Favorites page.
2. To find the favorites you’ve favorited (that’s the Twitter
term), click the Home link at the top of the page and go
to your home page. The fourth link on the right is
Favorites. If you click it, you arrive at the page that lists
your favorite tweets. Check out Figure 11-8, and you’ll
see my recent favorites. Notice that all these tweets have a
little gold star next to them.
Click to view favorite tweets.
Figure 11-8
➟
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Search for Tweeted Topics
1. You can use hashtags — words with the pound sign (#) in
front of them — in your tweets to simply identify single
word topics or abbreviations of events. And you can
search to find tweets about the topics or events that are
identified this way. For example, if you regularly watch
American Idol and want to find all tweets about the show,
you can search for them by typing #americanidol in the
search box at the right side of your home page and
pressing Enter.
Because a search is not case-sensitive, you could also
type #AmericanIdol or #AMERICANIDOL and get the
same results. What you won’t get in your search
results are tweets such as “American President Obama
is the idol of millions” because the words aren’t
together and preceded by the hashtag.
2. You can append your tweets with hashtags to join in
Twitter chats that take place on a planned, regular basis. I
participate in a weekly Twitter chat about customer
service. (Yes, I tell you all about how to participate in
chats in Chapter 12.) Because participants have only 140
characters per tweet, we shorten customer service to #custserv
so the hashtag takes up less space. (Hastags get a message
across in a much more concise manner.) In Figure 11-9,
I typed #custserv into the search box on the right side of
my home page and all tweets with #custserv showed up.
➟
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Chapter 11: Conversing on Twitter with Friends, Family, and More
Type a topic here to search for tweets.
Figure 11-9
Know What to Tweet About
I know that when you’re new on Twitter (you’re called a newbie), you
want to join in the fun but maybe you can’t think of anything to tweet
about. It’s a frustrating feeling — know that I feel your pain. Even
now, I often face the blank What’s Happening text box with nothing
in my head.
➟
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Part III: And Now, It’s Twitter Time
Check out this bullet list for some good ideas about common ways to
start a Twitter conversation:
➟
Share quotes. People on Twitter just love to read
quotes by famous people. The quotes can be funny
or inspirational. If you can’t think of any off the top
of your head, just search Google for the word quote
and the name of your favorite smart person. For
example search quote Joan Rivers or quote Eleanor
Roosevelt. (Searching for quotes from either of these
women will no doubt net you some doozies!) When
you tweet a good quote, people will no doubt
retweet it to their followers. When more people see
how pithy you are, they may follow you, too. I
retweeted a quote that I saw on Twitter today (see
Figure 11-10).
Figure 11-10
➟
Ask questions. If you are curious about something
or just want to know what other people think about
a subject, ask a question. In Figure 11-11, my friend
@Lotay asked a question about the iPad. Notice, he
used the word Poll and a hashtag preceding it. You
don’t have to use either. People will know what a
question is! By the way, he got 18 responses.
Figure 11-11
➟
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Chapter 11: Conversing on Twitter with Friends, Family, and More
➟
Share music. Remember how much fun it used to be
when you’d sit on the floor with your friends and
play records? I love listening to Nina Simone, and in
Figure 11-12, my friend Melissa tweeted out one of
her songs. You can do that on Twitter (I do this
often) by tweeting links to recorded music. When
someone clicks the link in your tweet, he or she
lands on a Web site that plays the music! In Chapter
15, I show you how to find and link to music.
Figure 11-12
➟
Share a funny “overheard.” What’s an overheard?
Have you ever been in the supermarket and overheard
someone say something that makes you want to
laugh out loud? That something is an overheard.
When you post an overheard on Twitter, you
abbreviate the words to just OH. In Figure 11-13, I
think @Ed must have been listening to his buddies
at the barbershop!
Figure 11-13
➟
Pass on a news story. There are so many great
articles on the Internet, and news stories come to
mind almost immediately. Why not send out an
interesting article to your friends? I love cooking, so
when I saw the tweet in Figure 11-14, I clicked the
link to see the story on Julia Child.
➟
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Figure 11-14
You will notice that the link looks a little like
gibberish. That’s because the Web address for the
story was shortened. In Chapter 13, I show you
how to shorten long URLs for your tweets.
➟
Show off your pictures. Everyone on Twitter loves
to share photos. In Figure 11-15, I tweeted a link to
a picture of some lovely flowers in my garden on
Easter. People on Twitter know that the link contains
pictures because it points to the Twitpic Web site
where people upload their photos. I tell you about
Twitpic in Chapter 13.
Figure 11-15
➟
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Gathering Tools
of the
Twitter Trade
N
ow that you’re on Twitter and you’re
building a small group of friends, you’ll
see that you want to do even more. I’ll bet
you’d enjoy following even more people, right?
Some people feel that if they have a small
group of friends, they can manage conversing
easily — but sometimes it’s okay to branch out
and meet more. In this chapter, I show you
how to make groups (lists) of different people
so you can focus certain Twitter conversations
on certain friends. And, I introduce a couple
of applications that you can install on your
computer and use to see everything that’s
going on — no matter how many people you
follow.
Let’s really call this chapter Twitter — the
Advanced Course. But don’t let that scare you. I
show you some simple ways to enhance your
tweeting experience. And you needn’t spend
any money on extra tools; I explain how to do
just about anything you can on Twitter.
➟
Chapter
12
Get ready to. . .
➟ Search for Tweeps
on WeFollow.................... 206
➟ Add Yourself to
WeFollow ........................ 211
➟ Find Trends with
Summize .......................... 212
➟ FollowFriday, FF, and
Other Hashtags ................ 216
➟ Connect with People ......... 220
➟ Keep Track of Hundreds,
Thousands of Friends? ....... 222
➟ View Your Friend Lists........ 225
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Search for Tweeps on WeFollow
1. I’m a big believer in “the more, the merrier.” Although I
don’t always see everything that everyone on Twitter says,
I always have the option to listen and reply to those who
are not on my list of closest friends. So, if you’re looking
for that option, check out WeFollow, a user-powered
directory of Twitter peeps (known as Tweeps). Not
everyone is listed — only over 800,000 people.
Considering that Twitter has over 8 million users, I
feel this site gives me an idea of the more active and
interesting ones. You can find not only celebrities,
but also people who have common interests and
share the kind of hobbies you like.
2. Type www.wefollow.com into your Web browser. When
the page loads, you have a decision to make. Figure 12-1
shows you the window you see. You can visit the site just
to browse, or you can add yourself to the directory so
that others will find you. I suggest that you just browse to
start by clicking the Not Now, Just Browsing button.
(Baby steps, right?)
3. When you land on the opening page shown in Figure 12-2,
you’ll see a lot of information. Several of the more popular
categories (of the thousands listed on the site) appear
here — along with the people, in order of influence, who’ve
been listed in each category (or tag, as it’s also called).
➟
Some Twitter directories list users by number of
followers. Okay, any monkey — with enough effort
and time — can accumulate a following of thousands
of people. The deal on Twitter is to find influential
people. Influential Twitter users are ranked according
to the interesting things they say (other people
retweet their tweets), their interaction with others via
@ conversations, and the fair amount of time they
spend on the site to engage new people.
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Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade
Click here to start out just browsing.
Figure 12-1
4. On the right of the opening page are two boxes you can
use to find people you want to follow:
• Top Tags: The most popular tags (or categories) that
people search through for people to follow on the
site. To see more? Click the More Tags link at the
bottom of the box.
• Top Cities: If you’d like to make more friends in your
local area, use this list to see cities in order of their
popularity on the site. If you don’t see your city, click
the More Cities link.
When you click a city (I clicked New York, NY in
Figure 12-3), you see a list of New York City
Twitter users shown in the order of their influence
on the site.
➟
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Check out the users in a category.
Type a keyword here to find a category.
Figure 12-2
5. At the top of the page, you find a gray box that says Enter
a tag. Here you can type in any subject you wish. As you
type, a drop-down list appears and shows you categories
that match what you’re typing — and how many people
are in the category. Click a category from this list to view
its influential users.
I started typing eBay and discovered that the single tag
eBay (rather than ebayseller, ebaypowerseller, and so on)
showed the most people in the tags mentioning eBay. I
clicked the eBay category — and was sent to a page of
users (Figure 12-4), listed in order of influence, who
have categorized themselves with the eBay tag. To find
out more about any of these people, click a name.
➟
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Figure 12-3
6. Clicking a user in the category’s list (in the eBay category,
I clicked my name — MarshaCollier) will bring you to a
page (Figure 12-5) that shows the user’s one-line Twitter
bio, avatar, basic information, and a list of the categories
they’re tagged in. If, after looking at the info, you want to
follow the user, click the green Follow this user bar under
the avatar (photo).
7. Rinse and repeat. Ooops, I mean perform these searches
over and over, and you can find lots of interesting new
people to follow.
➟
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Figure 12-4
8. You like shortcuts? Me too. If you want to get a little
daring, make a list of categories you’re interested in and
search directly from your browser. In the browser’s
address bar, type the wefollow.com address, followed by
a forward slash (/) and then a category tag from your list.
The result will look like this URL (except it’ll show your
category; here I wanted to find people interested in
gardening):
http://wefollow.com/twitter/gardening
➟
If there’s no category tagged with your subject, try
another. This maneuver works most of the time. But
keep in mind that tags are only one word — so if you
want to search for people who are into interior design,
you’ll use the tag interiordesign.
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Click here to follow a WeFollow user.
Figure 12-5
Add Yourself to WeFollow
1. Here’s how to add yourself on WeFollow for other new
users to find. Type www.twitter.com in your browser’s
address bar and press Enter. Then log in to Twitter. Open
another browser tab, type www.wefollow.com in that
tab’s address bar, and press Enter.
2. At WeFollow, click the green Add Yourself to WeFollow
button that appears at the top of every page.
3. Allow WeFollow to access your Twitter account by
clicking the Allow button, as in Figure 12-6. This is safe
to do; you aren’t revealing your password to a new site.
4. On the next page, WeFollow asks you to input your
home city and up to five different tags of subjects you’re
interested in.
➟
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Figure 12-6
5. Click Send (when you’re done) and WeFollow sends a
tweet to your tweetstream, announcing to the world you
are listed on WeFollow.
Find Trends with Summize
1. Summize is Twitter’s own outside search capability. You
can do search after search directly from your Twitter
home page, but Summize does a much better job searching
by keywords and trends. Type www.summize.com into
your Web browser and press Enter; you’re transported to
search.twitter.com.
2. The resulting page is pretty blank, so I won’t bore you
with a screen shot. Just type a subject that intrigues you
into the text box and click Search. I typed in cookies (as in
chocolate-chip and oatmeal-raisin); I’m in the mood to
see who else is baking some cookies.
3. You arrive at the search results page and see all the
➟
current tweets that have the word cookies in them, as in
Figure 12-7. You can click any ID you see there to be
transported to that person’s Twitter page and take a look
at his or her stream.
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See your topic in tweets here. Type a topic here.
Figure 12-7
4. Then, if this new person’s tweets interest you, go ahead
and follow the person on Twitter (it’s not just okay, it’s
the expected thing).
5. Notice on the right side of the page you see the following
sections:
• Show tweets written in (select language): From the
drop-down menu, you may select from a list of 19
different languages to search. The default is English,
but if you’d like to meet people who tweet in French,
select French.
• Translate: If you’ve selected to view foreign language
tweets, (I searched for tweets posted in Spanish) and
you’re not too clear about the translation, Click this
➟
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link and it translates all the tweets on the page
to English. Translations are highlighted, as in
Figure 12-8.
• Trending Topics: These are the topics currently most
tweeted (or bandied) about on the site. As I was
writing this chapter, I felt a large earthquake that was
centered in Mexico, followed by nine aftershock
quakes. Earthquake became a trending topic on
Twitter — and through Twitter search, I found the
tweets about earthquakes shown in Figure 12-9.
Translate to English.
Choose a language.
Figure 12-8
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Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade
Figure 12-9
• Nifty Queries: A list of interesting queries recently
performed in Twitter search. Check ’em out for a little
amusement.
Notice that when the search results page lists a tweet
as an @ reply to another person, both people’s
avatars (pictures) appear on the left side of the tweet.
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FollowFriday, FF, and Other Hashtags
1. When you’ve been on Twitter long enough, you’ll see
tweets from people with hashtags (#) preceding them.
The hashtag may be followed by strange abbreviations,
severalwordsthatruntogether (say what?), or single topics.
Hashtags help to spread and organize information on
Twitter.
Using hashtags makes subjects easier to search for
and find. Conferences, major events, and even
disasters (such as #swineflu) use hashtags to put
specific tweets in order and make it easier for you —
and your followers — to follow.
2. Here’s a list of some Twitter hash tags and what they refer
to. After you look at the list, you’ll get the drift. You can
find more, along with their activity and the top members
at What the Hashtag? (http://wthashtag.com) a
user-editable encyclopedia for hashtags found on Twitter.
After that, I give you some conventions to follow when
creating your own hashtags.
• #sxsw — A popular conference, South By Southwest,
is too long to tweet since tweets are limited to 140
characters. People at the conference include #sxsw in
their tweets to show where they are and what they’re
doing there.
• #CES — Consumer Electronics Show. Again, too long
to tweet. Let your friends know you’re talking about it
by using #CES
• #musicmonday — On Mondays, Twitter users like to
tweet their favorite songs. It’s like sitting around a
record player (remember?) with your friends. Tweets
have a link to a playable version of the song.
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• #FF or #FollowFriday — Do you have someone you
really like to follow? Someone who often puts up
interesting tweets? Recommend that person to your
followers by tweeting his or her ID, followed by the
hash tag.
Remember: Only do this on Fridays. Consider the
people in your Twitter stream who may not
approve your own private daily version of
#FollowFriday.
• #earthquake — When someone feels the ground
shake, they usually just tweet @EARTHQUAKE because
they’re too freaked to say anything else. People follow
up with information on damage, provide brief news
reports, and append their tweets with this hash tag.
• #tcot — Top Conservatives on Twitter. This hash tag is
used by a very vocal and interesting group. If you
tweet something with a politically conservative slant,
add this hashtag to your tweet. You’re bound to get
more like-minded followers.
• #p2 — The #p2 hashtag stands for Progressives 2.0.
Their official mission statement says “a resource for
progressives using social media who prioritize diversity
and empowerment, the ‘progressive batchannel,’ and
an umbrella tag for information for progressives on
Twitter.”
• #tlot — Top Libertarians on Twitter. What more can I say?
• #custserv — A hashtag for the Customer Service chat.
People participate in chats on Twitter at prescribed
times each week. When they take part in the chat, they
follow each tweet with the #custserv tag.
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Rather than using search during chats, people use
sites like Twubs (http://twubs.com), What the
Hashtag? (http://wthashtag.com), or TweetChat
(http://tweetchat.com) where they can see the
tweets and respond to them in real time. These sites
also insert the hashtag at the end of your tweets automatically. Figure 12-10 shows the Twubs page for
our #custserv chat.
3. There are many weekly chats on Twitter, and you might
find one you’d like to take part in. You may use
Twitter search to find a chat you might want to join.
Figure 12-11 shows a search for #petchat. Here are a few
examples of chats:
➟
Figure 12-10
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• #gardenchat — all things gardening.
• #dogtalk — pictures of dogs, dog tips, and dog news.
• #petchat — for the rest of the animal world.
• #blogchat — Stating a blog? Run by blog expert @
MackCollier, this chat is full of tips and ideas.
• #journchat — People in public relations, journalism,
and related fields meet to talk.
• #carchat — love your car? There’s a group for you
too!
Figure 12-11
• #americanidol — Watching American Idol on TV by
yourself? Want to make a comment and possibly get
an answer? Incorporate the TV show name with a
hash mark in front and look for others.
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• #sexonaplate — Hash tag used by @FoodPhilosophy
(Jennifer Iannolo, CEO of the Culinary Media Network)
when she tweets about an exotic plate of food.
• #jobs — Looking for a job? Search for tweets with this
hash tag.
• #quote — When you post a quote as a tweet, follow it
with the #quote hash tag for quote-lovers to find.
Keep in mind that hashtags should be used sporadically
(unless you are in the middle of a live chat). They’re
kind of annoying to look at, and lose meaning when
used superfluously.
Connect with People
Did someone @ reply to you, and you decide you want to know
more about that person? See a tweet you like? Want to know if you’re
following someone? Want to see who’s following you? Twitter has a
quick and easy tool you can use to find out more.
1. On your Twitter home page, click the link on the right
side that has the @ sign followed by your Twitter ID.
You’ll see a list of people who have mentioned you in
their tweets.
2. If you want to know more about someone (whether that
person is following you, or you’re doing the following, or
who’s following whom), put your mouse over his or her
ID or avatar. An information box like the one in Figure
12-12 appears. If you’re not following the person, you
see a gray Follow button; if you are following, you see a
check mark and the words You Follow.
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Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade
Find out whether you follow this user.
Figure 12-12
3. Before you follow someone you don’t know, click the
More link next to his or her location; the person’s full
Twitter information shows up in a small box (shown in
Figure 12-13). If you like what you see, go ahead and
follow.
4. If you do follow this new person — and want to know if
he or she is following you — just click the little cogwheel
(indicating settings). A menu like the one in Figure 12-14
drops down, showing the next steps to take.
If the menu says that you can Direct Message this person,
then your answer is yes: Anyone you can send a Direct
Message is following you.
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Figure 12-13
Figure 12-14
Keep Track of Hundreds, Thousands of Friends?
It’s a challenge, but you’ll soon be following more people than you
could possibly imagine at the moment (unless you’re channeling Cecil
B. DeMille). The more the merrier? Sometimes. You may want to
monitor a smaller group of real-life or business friends, and if you
follow hundreds of people, you may never see their tweets.
1. Enter (behold!) Twitter Lists. You’re allowed to make lists
➟
of as many people as you wish. You can choose to make
them public or private. If they’re private, no one can find
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Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade
out that they’re not on the list of your personal friends
(which can be tactful). Start your lists by going to your
Twitter home page. Scroll down the page. Below the
Search box, you’ll see the Lists heading.
2. Click the New List link. A window appears, as shown in
Figure 12-15. In the boxes provided, give your list a
name and a short description. Typing a description for a
private list isn’t necessary (because you know what the
list is about); doing so is optional in that case.
After you type in a name, the List link appears below the
Title box.
Select a privacy setting.
Name your list.
Figure 12-15
3. Select the Private option and only you can access the list
(by clicking the link that appears under the Lists heading
on the right side of your home page). If you want to
share your list with others — the way I do with my
Funny-twits list — click the Public option. That way
other folks can follow the people on your list.
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4. After you make a list, you’ll want to add people to it.
Here’s the procedure:
1. You can either search for people in the Find People area
(well, yeah) at the top of the page, or click a new person’s
ID when he or she comes up in the Twitter stream.
Clicking the ID brings you to the new person’s Profile
page, where you’ll see a bio and other such
information.
2. At the top of the Profile page, under the person’s name, is
a Lists drop-down list. Click it and any lists you’ve made
show up here.
3. Select the list to which you want to add this person — and
click the small box next to it. Notice (in Figure 12-16) a
tiny lock icon next to my Friends list; it means I can
see the list but no one else can.
Choose a list here.
➟
Figure 12-16
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Chapter 12: Gathering Tools of the Twitter Trade
You’ll also see that you can make a new list for
the person you’re adding; that option is available
in the drop-down menu. This is very handy if you
haven’t set up a list yet.
4. After you click the box, the menu will close. Under the
newly added person’s name, you’ll see his or her
page — which shows (only to you) that this person is
on one of your lists. Figure 12-17 shows what that
looks like.
Figure 12-17
View Your Friend Lists
1. Now that you’ve made your sooper-secret list of those
you follow, you want to be able to watch your friends’
tweets, right? That’s the easy part. You start on your
Twitter home page, under the Lists heading, with the lists
you’ve made. Clicking the name of a list shows you
tweets from just the friends you’ve selected to be on the
list.
2. Pretty cool, eh? But (there’s always a but) you can’t see
the tweets from the other people you follow — or your
Direct Messages or your @ replies! What to do? You’re
going to have to download some Twitter client software.
But don’t worry, those programs are free and safe to
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install on your computer. This software allows you to see
all your Tweets, all at once.
3. There are many different programs, but two are the most
popular: Seesmic and TweetDeck. They operate very
much in the same way, but you have to decide which you
prefer. One may be easier to read, or you may like the
way the user IDs look on the other. Here are a couple of
features to note about these programs:
• Twitter client programs update tweets automatically
and allow you to have separate columns for @ replies,
Direct Messages (private messages), your lists, your
Followers, and your searches. You’re limited only by
the amount of space on your desktop (and how good
your eyes are). They do allow you to scroll back and
forth to view all the columns.
• The software also makes a noise: a bird tweet in
TweetDeck and a chime in Seesmic. You’ll hear it
automatically when you get an @ reply or a Direct
Message. You can turn it off, of course, but that way…
you’ll never know when someone is trying to reach you.
• You can send tweets while you’re using these programs,
and do anything you can do on Twitter — the only
difference is that you can see everything you’re doing
all at once. Call it a bird’s-eye view.
4. Figure 12-18 shows you Seesmic on my desktop.
Notice that I have columns for my @ Replies, my
@MarshaCollier/Friends private list and my Home,
which consists of everyone I follow. (You didn’t really
think I’d let you see my private Direct Messages,
did you?)
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Figure 12-18
The other client, TweetDeck (Figure 12-19), handles
everything the same way. The major differences are that
you can change the colors of the TweetDeck screen, it
auto shortens your links, allows you to post to Facebook
(and other social media platforms), and has the controls
and settings in the upper-right corner of the screen,
versus the lower-left corner in Seesmic.
5. You can download TweetDeck at www.tweetdeck.com
and Seesmic at seesmic.com. Check them both out and
see what works best for you.
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Figure 12-19
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The Rest of the
Social Networking
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Sharing (and
Grabbing)
Photos, Videos,
and Music
➟
Chapter
13
Get ready to …
➟ Give Credit When
O
ne of the most fun ways to share online,
in both Twitter and Facebook, is to share
your favorite music and images. We’ve talked
about sharing your own photos on Facebook,
but how about treating your online friends to
some of the unique items you run across
elsewhere on the Web? You could share a news
story, a song, or a funny video — pretty much
any cool thing you find!
I’ve spent many evenings online with friends,
pointing from a song to a video to a story. It’s
the 21st century version of a coffee klatch; it’s
also like sharing a bottle of wine with friends
(only you get to drink the entire bottle if you
wish).
You Share ........................ 232
➟ Make Your Links Short ....... 235
➟ Share Your Photos
with Twitpic ...................... 240
➟ Become an Online
Deejay (DJ) ...................... 245
➟ Spin Your Songs for
Online Friends .................. 246
➟ Find and Share Videos
on YouTube ...................... 248
In this chapter, I give you some advice for
mannerly and efficient sharing, go over some
great places to find material to share, and tell
you how to easily transport the treasures you
find to your Facebook or Twitter page.
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Give Credit When You Share
1. I want to talk a little about the conventions — or, better
yet, the etiquette — for sharing what you find online.
Odds are if you hijack someone’s article or photo from
somewhere on the Internet, that person may never know
it — but you will. Good manners (believe it or not) are
still in fashion, but they follow new rules. Please credit
any Web site and the person behind the post when you
share the content. You can generally do so by including a
link back to the original posting of the content, or in the
case of Twitter, thank the person who originally posted it.
I posted a video that Chris Brogan originally posted
on his blog to a couple of places: my Facebook page
and my own blog. Plus, I tweeted about it on Twitter.
Figure 13-1 shows how I handled giving credit on
my Facebook page.
Figure 13-1
2. When you want to link to a YouTube video (see the later
➟
task “Find and Share Videos on YouTube” for more
information), you can type the @ (at sign) before you type
the name you want to credit. When you do that on
Facebook, the names of your friends show up in a
drop-down menu. Figure 13-2 shows how that works.
When you see the person’s name you want to include,
click it, and the full name appears in your post. Doing this
also causes the post to appear on your friend’s Profile
page. It’s what the kids call giving a little Facebook love.
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Start typing the name here.
Choose from your list of friends.
Figure 13-2
3. Suppose you want to share a video elsewhere online, as I
did a few days later when I posted Chris’s video on my
blog (yes, I really liked it). Besides mentioning the original
poster by name in your blog text (see Figure 13-3), you
can include the name in the keywords area of your blog.
(Chapter 15 tells you all about blogs.) And when you do,
the credit gets back to him or her through Google mentions.
Credit your source in your posts.
Figure 13-3
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4. When you’re looking around on the Web, you’ll no
doubt see a Creative Commons license badge on
independent Web sites. Creative Commons is a nonprofit
organization that works to increase the amount of content
“in the commons — the body of work that is available to
the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing,
and remixing.” When you see a Creative Commons
license icon, click it, and you’ll be brought to a page
where the actual license appears. This license tells you if
there are any restrictions about the content that you may
want to share.
Figure 13-4 shows the license that appears on my
Facebook page. I really love to share, but I want to make
it clear that images of mine cannot be used commercially
by anyone.
Figure 13-4
The creative Commons license is represented by three
basic icons, and the license details are based on the order
in which the icons appear. Table 13-1 outlines a simple
shortcut to the Creative Commons license rules.
Table 13-1
License Icons
➟
Creative Commons License Icons
Stand For …
Which Means …
Attribution
You may distribute, remix, tweak,
and build upon the work, even
commercially, as long as you credit
the original creation.
Attribution —
Share Alike
All of the above, with this caveat: You
credit and license new creations under
the identical terms.
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License Icons
Stand For …
Which Means …
Attribution —
No Derivatives
You may redistribute, commercial and
non-commercial, as long as the work is
passed along unchanged and in
whole, with credit to author.
Attribution —
Non-Commercial
You may remix, tweak, and build
upon the work non-commercially only.
Attribution —
Non-Commercial —
Share Alike
You may remix, tweak, and build
upon the work non-commercially, as
long as you credit and license new
creations under the identical terms.
You can download and redistribute the
work as is, but you can also translate,
make remixes, and produce new
creations based on the work.
Attribution —
Non-Commercial —
No Derivatives
This license is often called the free
advertising license because it allows
download of works and sharing as
long as the distributor credits and links
back to the original. The work can’t be
changed in any way or used
commercially.
In Chapter 15, I also show you Posterous, a very
simple blog format. When you have a Posterous
page, it carries the credits forward automatically.
Make Your Links Short
Since we’re talking Twitter here and you have only 140 characters for
every tweet, using up your characters with a long Web address (and
you know they can be long) is just wasteful. Even in e-mail messages
and Web postings elsewhere, typing in a gigantic URL can be a real
chore.
There’s an app for that! Several online services will abbreviate any
Web address to a nice, manageable size. You may have seen some
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shortened URLs when you were perusing Twitter. See any Web links
that look nonsensical, with no legible words? Clicking that silly-looking
link will get you where you want to go, via the magic technology of
the webby-tubes.
Two major URL shorteners — tinyurl.com and bit.ly —
are in use currently. I use bit.ly because it’s integrated
into every Twitter application I use on my computer
and mobile phone. Also, bit.ly gives you an information
page where you can see how many people click your
link after you publish it. (If you use TweetDeck for
posting, it will automatically shorten your links with
bit.ly).
For example, the Web address for my radio show is
http://www.wsradio.com/internet-talkradio.cfm/shows/Computer-andTechnology-Radio.html
If I use the URL-shortening application from the bit.ly Web site, it
looks like this
http://bit.ly/3ClAu
If I’m Twittering about my radio show, at least the link from bit.ly
gives me room to mention the guests.
1. Want to give bit.ly a try? Find a nice long URL that you’d
like to shorten, type http://bit.ly into your Web browser,
and press Enter. You’ll arrive at the bit.ly site, as shown
in Figure 13-5.
I recommend registering with bit.ly; I promise it’s
safe, and the site has never sent me any spam. This
way, if you want to use your shortened URL in
Twitter, you’ll be able to send the Tweet directly from
the bit.ly page.
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Click here to register.
Figure 13-5
2. Start the bit.ly registration process by clicking the Sign
Up for Free button on the right. On the resulting page,
type in a username, e-mail address, and password as
prompted.
3. When you’re done filling in the usual items, click Sign
Up, and you’re in — that’s all there is to it! You’re
automatically transported back to the bit.ly home page,
but now it will look a little different.
4. To speed up the process, if you’re planning on tweeting,
click the t Sign In button (the lowercase t stands for
Twitter). This will access your Twitter account. Again, this
process is safe and SOP (short for standard operational
procedure) online.
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5. Now copy the URL you want to shorten from its Web
page: Click to highlight it, and then press the Ctrl and C
keys together. Place your cursor in the text box that says
Shorten Your Links and Share from Here. Paste your long
URL in the box by pressing the Ctrl and V keys together.
6. Your long URL turns into a magically shortened one. If
you plan to use the shortened URL in an e-mail, merely
copy and paste (same procedure as above) the new URL
into your e-mail message.
7. If you’d like to tweet the friendlier URL, type the rest of
your tweet in the text box (as in Figure 13-6), along with
the URL, by placing your cursor before the http:// and
typing what you’d like to say. Use bit.ly each time you
come across an interesting news story, article, or video
on the Web. It’ll save you a lot of typing and it’ll make
sharing much easier.
Type your tweet before the link.
Figure 13-6
A numeric countdown in the upper-left corner of the
text box shows a number that decreases with each
character you type. This number shows you how
many more characters you have left before you max
out your 140-character tweet.
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8. Click the Share button, and your tweet will autopost
instantaneously to your Twitter-stream. Figure 13-7
shows you the properly tweeted tweet.
Figure 13-7
Notice, at the bottom of the tweet I sent, where it
says that the tweet was sent from bit.ly. A littleknown fact is that tweets show where people are
tweeting from. A tweet indicates what program the
tweeter is using (either desktop applications or
mobile phone), or it says via web when the tweet is
coming directly from Twitter.com. You may see via
API now and again, which is a sign that someone is
sending automated tweets. Automated tweets are
often sent by people who think it boosts their image
online to be “on” Twitter at all hours. Tsk, tsk.
9. When you go back to your bit.ly page a little later, you
can see how many people clicked your link to check it
out. I checked the page an hour later and saw the info in
Figure 13-8. If you click the Info Page link next to anything
you’ve tweeted from bit.ly, you get an hour-by-hour
report on the action. Kinda interesting.
Figure 13-8
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Also, using bit.ly is a great way to shorten your own
Web link in your Twitter profile. (If you don’t have a
blog or Web site, you can set up a free Google profile
as I did at www.google.com/profiles; more on
that in Chapter 15.) After you’ve put a bit.ly link in
your profile, you can go back to bit.ly and view the
statistics that show how many people visited your
page. Figure 13-9 shows my stats for a week.
Figure 13-9
Share Your Photos with Twitpic
1. You can find many online sites for sharing your personal
photos, but the most popular (especially for mobile
phone uploads) is Twitpic. I use Twitpic from my phone
and computer, but generally use it for spur-of-themoment photos only. Photographs that I want as a
permanent part of my Facebook page I upload directly to
Facebook. You can send mobile uploads to all services,
but Twitpic is handy because it’s integrated into Twitter —
and it gives the image a shortened URL that you can use
anywhere.
➟
I encourage you to join Twitpic before you have a
photo to post; doing so will make your first upload
move quicker.
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2. Joining is so easy. Type www.twitpic.com into your Web
browser’s address box, press Enter, and you see a page
similar to the one shown in Figure 13-10.
Figure 13-10
3. On the Twitpic home page, click the Sign in with Twitter
button near the top right. Assuming you’re a member of
Twitter and you’re not currently signed in, a screen like
Figure 13-11 appears.
4. Type your Twitter ID and password into the appropriate
boxes, and click Allow. Doing so gives Twitpic permission
to integrate with your Twitter account. You return to your
Twitpic home page automatically, and you’re ready to
roll.
You’ll often be asked to sign in to a site with your
Twitter account, as on the bit.ly page (see the preceding
section). This safe practice uses the OAuth protocol,
which enables users to approve that the application
may act on their behalf without sharing their password.
You can find more information about OAuth at
http://oauth.net.
➟
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Type your Twitter ID and password here.
Click Allow.
Figure 13-11
5. You can now send a picture in two ways:
a. Upload from your computer. If you’re at your computer
and the image you want to post is on your computer,
this is the easiest way. Just click the Upload Photo link
at the top left of the page. Then click the Browse
button to find the image on your computer. After you
select the picture you want to post online, type a
message to accompany it in the Add a Message and
Post It text box (what you type appears on the page
with your photo). See Figure 13-12 for an idea of
what that looks like. Click the Upload button, and the
photo will transport to Twitpic.
➟
Before you click the Upload button, decide
whether you want the picture to immediately
appear as a tweet with your text. If you don’t —
perhaps because you want to save it for a later
tweet — uncheck the Post to Twitter Account
check box before you click Upload.
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Type your message here.
Click here to find a photo.
Figure 13-12
The picture posts with your comment and shortened
link to the photo’s page of your Twitter account.
Figure 13-13 shows you what it looks like. Note: The
tweet is sent via Twitpic.
Figure 13-13
b. E-mail the image. If you’d like to send a picture that
you’ve just taken directly from your mobile phone,
e-mailing it to Twitpic is an efficient way to go. When
you join Twitpic, you receive an exclusive e-mail
address. From the Twitpic home page, click Settings to
see your Twitpic e-mail address. Take a moment to
input that e-mail address into your smartphone with
the name Twitpic, that way it will always be at the
ready.
➟
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6. You can track the images you upload by visiting your
Twitpic home page. Your images appear in thumbnail
form. If you want to delete one, just click the small
trashcan next to the image. Click an individual thumbnail
to access that photo’s page. The URL of the photo page is
the shortened link you can post anywhere on the Web to
direct people to that image (in Figure 13-13, the URL is
http://twitpic.com/1nc16u). Also, at the lower
right on the photo page, you’ll see a View counter that
tells you how often your photo has been visited.
When you sign in to Twitter, your computer stays
signed in unless you sign out. When you first try to
link another application to your Twitter account, you
see a screen that asks you to allow the Web site to
connect. This is a safe transaction, and the permissions
will appear in your Twitter Settings: Connections
area. If you want to disconnect from a service, you
merely click the Revoke Access link for that service
(see Figure 13-14).
Click here to disconnect a service.
➟
Figure 13-14
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Become an Online Deejay (DJ)
1. I remember sitting around with my friends playing
records, drinking wine, and having a great time. In today’s
so-very-busy world, we don’t often have the opportunity
to do that anymore. Oh yeah, there’s also the fact that
vinyl records have gone by the wayside, too. (Sigh.) But
the Internet brings this all back to you when you visit blip.
fm. Type blip.fm in your Web browser, and you come to
the site’s home page, as shown in Figure 13-15.
2. Joining is easy: Start by typing a DJ name in the Your DJ
Name text box. You are known on the site by this name,
so think twice about your selection. All your fiends will
see this name when they visit the site, and it becomes the
URL for your own Internet radio station. I kept it simple
and used my Twitter name, MarshaCollier, so the URL
for my blips is http://blip.fm/MarshaCollier.
Figure 13-15
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3. Type your e-mail address in the Your Email Address text
box and click the Sign Up button.
4. On the next page, you can connect your Twitter account
by typing your Twitter username, so you can automatically
post your songs (blips). After you add your Twitter
account, you see a list of people you know from Twitter.
I recommend that you click the box that unchecks all
the check marks next to the proposed DJ list names.
(Can you guess that my taste in music isn’t heavy
metal?) You can add favorite DJs later.
5. Next, connect to Facebook by selecting Facebook from
the drop-down menu. You then see a Connect with
Facebook button; click it. This connection occurs through
Facebook Connect, which is an authentication service for
sharing content. It’s very similar to OAuth (see the
preceding section), and it’s safe.
6. You are now set up to post blips (your music selections)
to both your Facebook and Twitter pages. In the next
section, I show you how to toggle your posting status to
either service or both. The default is both.
Spin Your Songs for Online Friends
1. You may ask, “What’s a blip, really?” A blip is a combination
of a song and a message that accompanies it. Why not
create a blip now? Go to your DJ account at blip.fm
(see the preceding section to set up an account, if you
haven’t), type the name of a song or artist in the Search
box, and click Search.
2. You see a list of songs that blip.fm matches to your
➟
search. Click the Preview link on the right to listen to a
song through your computer speakers. If the matched
item is a video, you will see the video in the box to the
right of the search results.
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3. After you find the song you want to blip, click the word
Blip (to the left of the title, as shown in Figure 13-16).
Click here for any song you want to blip.
Figure 13-16
4. A form similar to the one in Figure 13-17 opens. Type a
short message that you want to appear next to the blip’s
link in the Add a Message text box. As you type, notice
that the countdown in the upper-right lets you know
how many characters you have left.
5. Click the More Options link to expose the drop-down
menu. From the menu, select the registered account
where you want to post the blip. If you don’t want to
broadcast this to your Facebook account, click the
Facebook icon and it will turn gray (which indicates that
it won’t post to Facebook). The Twitter icon still shows in
blue.
6. Submitting a blip is also referred to as blipping, so click
the Blip button and instantly the blip posts to your
Twitter account. Figure 13-18 shows you how it will
appear.
➟
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Type a message.
See how many characters you have left.
Figure 13-17
Figure 13-18
Find and Share Videos on YouTube
➟
Many more hours have been burned watching videos on YouTube (www.
youtube.com) than listening to songs on blip.fm. YouTube bills itself as
“Broadcast Yourself” so you’d think that you might find only homemade
videos. That’s not the case. Big-time studios post portions of television
shows and trailers from films. According to a study from Comscore, in
March 2010, the total number of videos viewed was over 13 billion —
and that’s in one month! If you haven’t visited the site, you should.
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Chapter 13: Sharing (and Grabbing) Photos, Videos, and Music
As of May 12, 2010, the video that’s had the all time
most views — 202,638,903 — is Bad Romance from
Lady Gaga. But, to prove that popularity doesn’t
belong just to the big guys, the second most popular
(with over 189,049,812 views) is Charlie Bit My
Finger Again. It’s a short home movie about an infant
biting his older brother’s finger, as shown in Figure
13-19. Go figure. I guess there’s a big audience for
kid videos; after all, the Little Rascals episodes are
getting harder to find these days (unless you look for
a boxed set of DVDs on eBay).
Figure 13-19
1. To find a video to share, start by typing a keyword in the
search box on the home page at www.youtube.com.
You can search for topics, actors, singers, politicians . . .
just about anything. For example, I typed Susan Boyle (of
Britain’s Got Talent fame) in the search box and got over
83,000 hits. And one of my favorite films is One Six
Right, an independent film on the history of aviation. To
➟
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find it, I type One Six Right into the text box and click
Search. Try typing a search term for one of your favorites.
2. On the next page (the search results), you see a list of
videos that match your search term. In my example, the
videos have One Six Right in the title; I clicked the top
one and came to the page shown in Figure 13-20.
Figure 13-20
3. To share a video that you find on YouTube, click the
➟
Share button that appears below the video viewing
window. (Notice that e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook icons
appear on the Share button.) A box opens on-screen,
showing you the URL of the video and a collection of
buttons that link to various online communities —
including Facebook and Twitter.
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4. To share the video on Facebook, click the Facebook button;
a window appears and offers you two ways to share:
a. To post the video to your Facebook profile page, type your
message in the text box and click the Share button. The
window closes, and the link and message are posted
to your Facebook Profile page. Figure 13-21 shows
how it looks.
Figure 13-21
b. If you’d prefer, you can send the video link as a message to
a Facebook friend. Click the Send As a Message Instead
link at the lower-left. You then see a Facebook message
window, as shown in Figure 13-22. Begin to type your
Facebook friend’s name, and a list will appear. Select
your friend’s name from this list, and the message is
ready to send. Click Send Message to send it along to
your friend’s Facebook message center.
5. To share the video on Twitter, click the Twitter button
and a second window opens to your Twitter home page.
(If you’re not signed in on Twitter, you need to do so and
go back to YouTube and try again.) There will be a short
message in your What’s Happening text box along with a
YouTube shortened URL. Edit the message (if you’d
rather say something other than check it out) but don’t
➟
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delete the link. Click Tweet. Your message appears,
along with the video URL, in your Twitter stream (see
Figure 13-23).
Type your friend’s name here...and select it here.
Figure 13-22
➟
Figure 13-23
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Giving or Taking
an Opinion
O
pinions are like bellybuttons — everybody
has one. When you read reviews on the
Web, realize that they can be written as honest
evaluations — or they may be paid promotions
(remember the payola scandals?) or slam jobs
by the competition and spurned ex-employees.
It takes a lot of reading to narrow down the
wheat from the chaff.
The power of the Internet is that it’s built on
the voices of millions of people. The more
people post reviews and give opinions, the
more the truth on any topic will surface.
Crowd-sourcing is a popular 21st century form
of marketing. When a company wants to learn
about the consensus on a topic or product, it
sends queries on the Internet and gleans data
from the responses.
You know that the “wisdom of crowds” can
sometimes be the opposite of wise. Members
of a crowd can be too conscious of each other’s
opinions — so they begin to emulate the others’
comments, which brings about conformity
rather than a variety of views. We see that often
these days, in political arguments on both
sides of an issue.
➟
Chapter
14
Get ready to . . .
➟ Check Out Angie’s List ...... 254
➟ Find Anything (and Its
Reviews) on Amazon ......... 255
➟ Find Restaurants, Shopping,
and Nightlife on Yelp ........ 258
➟ Register on Yelp to
Leave Reviews .................. 261
➟ Leave a Review on Yelp..... 262
➟ Read Between the Lines
at Review Sites ................. 264
➟ Find Hotel Reviews
on TripAdvisor .................. 266
➟ Add a Hotel Review
on TripAdvisor .................. 268
➟ Find a Good Movie
on Flixster ........................ 272
➟ Leave a Comment
on Flixster ........................ 273
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Speaking your mind on the Web is your chance to make a difference.
All voices are weighted equally, and you can offer evaluations of
products and services based on your experience. Plus, when you shop
online, you can read the opinions of others on various sites to aide
you in your personal buying decisions.
In this chapter, I show you some of the most popular sites where you
can weigh in on your favorite products and businesses — and get
advice when it comes to consumer purchases.
Check Out Angie’s List
1. I’d like to start by mentioning an important site that I use
frequently: Angies’s List. Angie’s List is a consumer review
site that publishes user reviews on local service businesses
and health providers. The site serves over 124 cities in the
United States and provides reviews in more than 250
categories. Originally a site for local services, Angie’s List
has been gathering business reviews for close to 15 years
and added medical industry provider reviews in 2008.
Type www.angieslist.com in your browser’s address bar
and press Enter to reach the Angie’s List home page, as
shown in Figure 14-1.
2. Think about how much you might want to use a review
site: You must be a paid member of Angie’s List to view
the member reviews. Angie’s List compiles reviews for
businesses and gives them grades in report card format.
Just like in school, A is the highest grade, and F is the
lowest. Along with the letter grades, members write
descriptive reviews about their experiences with the
businesses. I’ve been a member of Angie’s List and have
read reviews for several service businesses in my area.
3. You can’t post anonymous reviews on Angie’s List; the
➟
site expects its members to “take responsibility for their
words.” If someone posts a negative review about a
business, Angie’s List may contact the company in question
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Chapter 14: Giving or Taking an Opinion
to attempt to evaluate (and maybe correct) the situation
that caused the bad review. At two places on the site —
in its Membership Agreement and during report
submission — the site states that it will share your report
with the business being reviewed.
Figure 14-1
Be advised: It’s not necessarily cheap to be a member
of Angie’s List, and you can’t find out how much it
costs until you begin the sign-up process by setting
up a username. I polled some people online and
found that the pricing on membership subscriptions
ranged from $10 to $70, and varied from city to city.
Find Anything (and Its Reviews) on Amazon
1. I must admit, I’m partial to Amazon. I’ve been shopping
there since the site was launched in 1995. And now,
Amazon is America’s top online retailer. You can buy
almost anything on Amazon, and almost every product
has a long list of customer reviews.
➟
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I read the reviews on Amazon even if I choose to buy
an item elsewhere — although if the cost is only a
few pennies different, I opt to shop at Amazon
because of its incredible customer service.
2. Type www.amazon.com in your browser and press Enter.
You arrive at the Amazon home page, as shown in
Figure 14-2. At the top of the page is a search box where
you can type in the name of any product: book, DVD,
camera, cosmetic, tools, grocery items, and more. Click Go.
3. Your search presents a new page containing a list of items
that match your keywords. Click the name of the item
you want to read reviews about, and you arrive at the
product page.
Click Go.
Type a product name here.
➟
Figure 14-2
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4. To get to the reviews, click the number of customer
reviews just below the title at the top of the product page.
Figure 14-3 shows that you’ll find 87 customer reviews
for this product.
5. When you arrive at the reviews page (see Figure 14-4),
you first see the most helpful favorable review and the
most helpful critical review. Reviews are even reviewed by
users of the site, so valuable reviews are often pushed to
the top — and reviews without value get pushed to the
bottom. Scroll down the page to see more reviews.
Click here for customer reviews.
Figure 14-3
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Figure 14-4
Find Restaurants, Shopping, and Nightlife on Yelp
I think I was one of the first users of Yelp. I love the service — and
even have its mobile application on my phone so I can check out
restaurants while I’m on the run. I also use Yelp when I plan a
vacation to check out the facilities close to where I’m staying.
1. Founded in 2004 by software engineers (formerly from
PayPal), Yelp now receives approximately 24 million
visits per month from seekers of local business reviews.
You do not need to register on the site to search reviews
or get the special deals and coupons offered by the
businesses on the site. Type www.yelp.com into your
Web browser, and you arrive at a Yelp home page for
your closest metro area.
➟
In Figure 14-5 the home page I see brings me to Los
Angeles. I checked with a group of people on Twitter
(crowd-sourcing) and found that most people got
their cities pre-filled-in on the home screen. A few
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people in Seattle, New Jersey, and Iowa came up with
San Francisco on their home page, so the little program
that fills in the city is clearly not an exact science yet.
If your city (or the city you wish to search in) isn’t
listed, just type your ZIP code (or city and state) in
the box below Near. You’ll be brought to the hub for
that city.
2. If you want to browse businesses in the area, just click
one of the links to Refine By. To refine your search
further (by ratings, location, features, or prices), click the
Show Filters arrow — a drop-down box with more options
appears. Clicking a category (for example, restaurants)
brings a dizzying array of results. In this case, narrowing
down the results to a type of food gives you a more
manageable list.
Type a location here.
Figure 14-5
➟
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Yelp sells advertising to local businesses, and
advertisers on Yelp get preferred placement in the
search results and the extra listing features. If you see
top listing results that are highlighted, this means
those listed businesses are paid advertisers.
3. To search directly for a type of business, type the
keyword in the search box, followed by the name of the
city you want to search in. For example, I typed veterinarian
Huntington Beach California in the search box. Then I
selected a listing and clicked it (because I saw a notation
that this business has a Special Offer in the listing).
Figure 14-6 shows the business page and the offer.
4. When you view a business listing page on Yelp, you may
notice a competitive paid ad at the top of that business’s
page. Be sure to scroll down to read the reviews (see
Figure 14-7).
Figure 14-6
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Chapter 14: Giving or Taking an Opinion
Figure 14-7
Register on Yelp to Leave Reviews
1. If you want to leave a review for a business, you must
register on Yelp. On any Yelp page, click the Sign up for
Yelp link. You find yourself looking at a simple registration
form where you type your name, e-mail address, and ZIP
code, and select a password. The form asks your gender
and birth dates, but you needn’t fill it in; that information
is optional.
2. Next you arrive at a page where Yelp wants you to find
your e-mail contacts that are on the site. You are asked to
input your e-mail login and password as shown in
Figure 14-8. Then Yelp logs in to your online contact list
to see whether anyone on your list matches with current
Yelp members. I’m not a fan of letting anyone know who
my contacts are, even though doing so (in this case) is
safe. If you squint really hard, you can see an inconspicuous
Skip This Step link next to the Find Friends button. Why
not click it?
Figure 14-8
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3. A Welcome page greets you and offers you several
options. Click Please Complete Your Yelp Registration to
get to a page where you assign yourself a nickname for
the site. Or you may click the Go to My Profile button
where you also can fill in your nickname, as well as
upload your photo and personalize your profile — as
little or as much as you wish. Mine is pretty jazzy, as
shown in Figure 14-9.
4. In the meantime, Yelp sends you an e-mail to confirm
your e-mail address. It will have a link in it, when you
click it; you end up back on Yelp where you confirm that
your e-mail is correct.
Figure 14-9
Leave a Review on Yelp
1. Every page on Yelp has a navigation bar with links to
➟
various areas on the site. Click any of those links to get to
your desired area. To post a review, find the Write a
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Review link and click it. You land on a search page. Type
the name of the business and city in the Business Name
and Near text boxes, and click the Search Businesses
button, as shown in Figure 14-10.
Figure 14-10
2. Scroll through the group of loosely related listings to find
the exact business you’re searching for. Click the matching
business name to get to its page. Click the Write a Review
link on the mini-navigation bar just below the business
details (and above the reviews).
3. On the Complete Your Review page, you see the review
form on the left — and other folks’ reviews of the business
on the right. On the review form, put your mouse pointer
over the stars to select the star ranking you wish to give
(one to five), and click your selection.
4. Type your review in the text box, as shown in Figure 14-11.
Scroll down the page and optionally add an evaluation
of whether you feel the photos of the business give a
good representation, and click from one to four dollar
signs to give others an idea of the pricing of the product
or services you’ve received.
5. When you’re done, click Post. Your review appears on
Yelp for all to see — and on your About Me Profile page.
From your profile, you can update a review at any time.
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Figure 14-11
Read Between the Lines at Review Sites
1. Travel-booking sites such as TripAdvisor list thousands of
restaurants, hotels, and other businesses, which can make
choosing among them daunting when you’re searching
for a hotel or restaurant in a particular city. You may
want to try alternative search methods to adjust the
results you get:
• Use an Internet search engine (such as Google) to
narrow down your results. You can search for a
specific city name and facility — or a desired service —
to get a smaller list of results.
• If you’re looking for deals from hotels or airlines, also
visit www.bing.com/travel to widen your choices.
Bing scours many different travel sites to get results
based on price and ratings. After you find a few
possibilities this way, then go to these sites to read the
reviews.
2. While you’re reading reviews, keep in mind that conditions
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someone else considers dreadful may not bother you at
all. Here are a couple of examples:
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• A friend of mine booked a trip on the east coast using
Bing travel and TripAdvisor. When she and her friend
arrived in a lovely hotel in Manhattan, her friend
couldn’t stop grousing about how small the room
was. (If you’ve ever stayed in a New York City Hotel
room, you know that almost anything over closet size
is acceptable.)
• I recently booked a lovely hotel just off the Champs
d’Élysées in Paris. The bulk of the reviews on TripAdvisor
didn’t come from happy campers. I figured at least the
reviews said the room was clean and I was willing to
pay the premium to stay at the location. When I
arrived, I found that the small hotel was just lovely,
and I was very pleased. (Of course, I knew to expect
that a hotel in Paris might not have the same amenities
expected from a hotel in the United States.)
3. Clearly, if you discover a hotel with a bunch of bad
reviews, like the one shown in Figure 14-12, you might
want to steer clear of that property.
Keep an eye out for extra information associated with
a review. I noticed that the review for the hotel in
Figure 14-12 also included a photo, so I decided to
click it. I saw what you can see in Figure 14-13. Yep,
you guessed it: I’m not paying $130 a night for that.
Really!
4. Individual tastes in restaurants can also vary widely. One
of my favorite restaurants serves very small portions, and
I love that. Others might post a review complaining that
the portion size is too small. Bottom line? Use your good
sense and read between the lines when you’re reading
any reviews.
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Figure 14-12
Figure 14-13
Find Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor
➟
TripAdvisor is one of the most popular travel sites on the Web, netting
almost 38 million visitors a month. Having so many visitors gives this
site’s reviews a lot more clout. If a hotel or restaurant has two reviews
on one site, a visit to TripAdvisor might net 23 reviews; which would
you prefer? This site currently has over 30 million independent reviews.
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1. Finding hotel information in TripAdvisor is easy. Type
the URL www.tripadvisor.com into your Web browser
address box, press Enter, and you arrive at the home page
shown in Figure 14-14. You’ll see you have several
options.
2. In the Plan the Perfect Trip box, you can get immediate
targeted information. If you know the dates of your
travel, type in the city you’re visiting and the dates you
plan to be there. Click the Find Hotels button and a
results page shows up with full results for those dates and
location.
3. Refine your search. On the top and left side of the page
are options you can set to best suit your needs. You can
always change these in mid-search should you not find
something suitable that fits your parameters. Pare down
your selections by using the qualifiers in this list:
Type where and when to find hotels.
Figure 14-14
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• Price per night: Using a sliding bar, define how much
you’re willing to pay and the search will be trimmed
to your needs.
• Traveler rating: Define how highly rated a hotel you
want to find. This rating is based on the independent
reviews posted to the site. If a one- or two-bullet hotel
(they use bullet points instead of stars) is not where
you want to stay, use the slider to remove them from
the results.
• Neighborhood: If there are nearby areas that might be
acceptable, you have your choice of selecting them.
• Hotel class: Here’s where the star ratings come in.
You may select All or any combination of one star to
five stars. If you only want to stay in a four-star or
five-star property, you can select both for your results.
• Amenity type: You require a fitness center? Check it
off! Select from amenities such as parking, swimming
pools, room service, free Internet, pets allowed, and
more. Select as many as you like.
• Hotel brand: If you’re looking for a specific chain of
hotels, you can select it here.
• Recommended for: If you want a resort that caters to
seniors, there’s a chance you might not want to stay at
a place that emphasizes families with children. You
can set those preferences here.
With a little tinkering and the use of your good common
sense, you’ll be able to find a hotel that meets your needs.
Add a Hotel Review on TripAdvisor
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1. Adding a hotel review on TripAdvisor is an easy task.
After you come back from your trip and have an opinion
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to share, here’s how you can share it with the world. First
you must register in order to submit your review and
post it on the site. You can register before or after you
write your review.
2. You have two ways to register, as shown in Figure 14-15.
Figure 14-15
a. If you’ve already set up a Facebook account, you can sign
in to TripAdvisor using your Facebook login details. This
method is safe — and the easiest way to join. To join
via Facebook Connect (a service that allows you to
keep your login info and passwords to a minimum),
click the Sign In with Facebook button. If you’re not
already signed in to Facebook, you have to sign in at
this point.
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b. If you haven’t set up a Facebook account, you can
create a TripAdvisor account by supplying your e-mail
address and choosing a password. Just pick a screen
name and password and tell the site what city you live
in. Then click Sign Up, and you’re a member!
3. Find the page for the property you want to review on
TripAdvisor by searching the hotel name and city. When
the results appear, click the link to the hotel you wish to
review, as shown in Figure 14-16. Then follow the rest of
the steps given here as you write a review.
Figure 14-16
4. Choose one of the two places to click to enter the Write a
Review form. Click the top navigation bar or the area to
the right with the user’s ratings. Clicking either one takes
you to a form like the one in Figure 14-17.
5. The name of the property will already be on the top of
the page, and the first thing to do is fill out the rating of
one to five bullets in several areas. Also fill in the date of
your stay, purpose of your trip, and whether you traveled
alone or with someone. Now it’s time to write your review.
➟
6. Type in a title, describing the hotel in one sentence. In
the Your Review text box, type your observations. Tell
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Chapter 14: Giving or Taking an Opinion
what you liked and what you didn’t like about your stay.
(Your review has to be at least 50 characters long.)
Figure 14-17
7. In the “thumbs up — thumbs down” area, click the
option (Yes or No) that reflects whether you’d
recommend this hotel to a friend. In the other areas,
place check marks by clicking your mouse in the boxes
that describe the hotel’s style and amenities.
8. Optionally, upload a photo. If you’ve taken a photo of
the hotel or its property that you’d like to share, click the
Browse button and upload it from your computer. You
also must check the box stating that the photo is yours
and that you’re not infringing on anyone’s rights by
posting it.
9. Since TripAdvisor takes the reviews very seriously, you
must check the box next to the statement that assures: “I
certify that this review is my genuine opinion of this
hotel, and that I have no personal or business affiliation
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with this establishment, and have not been offered any
incentive or payment originating from the establishment
to write this review.”
10. If you want to preview your review, click the Preview
link. If you’re not happy with your work, go back and
make changes. When you’re pleased with your work, click
Submit. After you submit your review, it appears in your
profile, marked as pending. All reviews are checked
before posting; it usually takes a few days before they
appear. When your review is posted, you’ll receive an
e-mail confirmation. If TripAdvisor chooses not to post
your review, the site sends you an e-mail and lets you
know the reason why.
Find a Good Movie on Flixster
1. Flixster is a social site where you can read movie reviews,
get local movie show times, watch trailers, and post your
own comments about films. You arrive at the Flixster
home page by typing www.flixster.com in your browser’s
address bar and pressing Enter. Figure 14-18 shows you
the home page where you can access a lot of
information.
2. To get to the various location on the site, use the dropdown menus from the navigation bar. Also on the navigation bar, you get a search box in the upper-right corner
where you can replace the Movies, Actors, Directors text by
typing the appropriate title or name. Then click Search.
3. Farther down the page, as Figure 14-19 shows, is the area
➟
where you can click tabs to view the specific selections:
Top Box Office hits, movies that are Opening soon, and
New DVDs released. Clicking any film title takes you to
the film’s hub page that includes a trailer, photos from
the film, the reviews from published critics, and comments
left by members of the site.
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Figure 14-18
Leave a Comment on Flixster
1. To post your opinion (after you’ve seen the film, of
course), you’ve got to register on the Flixster site (www.
flixster.com). There’s no Facebook Connect offered
here, so you must create a new account. Click the Sign
Up link in the upper-right corner of the page and the
registration form appears (as shown in Figure 14-20).
2. To register, supply your name, e-mail address, gender, and
birth date. You may click the check box that says Hide my
age — that way, it won’t appear on your Profile page.
3. Then select a password and type the words from the
Captcha code into the text box.
➟
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Figure 14-19
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Figure 14-20
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Chapter 14: Giving or Taking an Opinion
4. If you don’t want to receive weekly e-mail messages from
Flixster, uncheck the default check mark that you find in
the box next to the words Send me a weekly update.
Recognize that when you click the Join Flixster button,
you’re agreeing to the Terms of Service (TOS) for the site.
You can’t join if you don’t agree. And after you’re a member, you can go to any film’s hub page to leave a comment on the film.
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So You Want to
Be a Blogger?
Y
ou’ve heard about blogs, right? Even the
learned sage Homer (Simpson) commented,
“Instead of one big shot controlling all the
media, now there’s a thousand freaks Xeroxing
their worthless opinions.” Maybe not so
learned, but he’s more or less right — except
those opinions are now online, in the millions,
and are (some of them, anyway) actually worth
reading. Having your own blog gives you an
opportunity to write about things that interest
you and add your opinions to the social
buzz — and someone will probably read what
you write!
Once you get involved on Twitter and
Facebook, you’ll see your friends linking to
blog posts (online journal entries) and news
stories. Doing a blog post is so much more
personal because each one is filled with your
opinions and your information.
➟
Chapter
15
Get ready to. . .
➟ Answer These Questions
Before You Start................ 278
➟ Stake Your Claim in the
Blogosphere ..................... 280
➟ Register Your Blog............. 282
➟ Give Your Blog a Name .... 283
➟ Choose a Template ........... 285
➟ Post Your Story
with Photos....................... 286
➟ Set Up Your Profile............ 291
In this chapter, I show you how to set up a
blog on the Web at no cost (that means free),
and give you examples of people just like you
who are blogging on the Web.
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Answer These Questions Before You Start
I’ve learned from experience that before I begin any project, I need to
define some parameters that guide the project path and clarify the
desired result. If you begin your blog with a plan, the blogging habit
will become a pleasure rather than a chore.
1. Who are you? In your blog you’ll have a profile. Be
prepared to talk about your business background, your
family, your hobbies, and even life lessons you’ve
learned. Think about sharing pictures and videos in the
future. The more information you’re willing to share, the
more inclined readers will be to invest time in reading
your words.
2. Why you are blogging? If you spell out your purpose for
blogging, your intentions will be clear. Are you writing
for your children or grandchildren? Are you writing for
your contemporaries to share thoughts? Are you writing
to connect with a business community and to promote
your online business (and if you’re buying and selling on
eBay, did you read my eBay For Seniors For Dummies from
Wiley)? These are all valid reasons to blog. But know that
if your purpose is to promote an online business, today’s
successful marketing is fueled by being a real person on
the Web and building a social community.
As Mack Collier (one of the nation’s premier business
blog experts) says, “Consider your audience when
answering this question, ask yourself, ‘Why would
someone come to this blog, what would they be looking
for?’” (Hint: Your visitors won’t be coming to your blog
just so you can make a pitch to them.) Visit Mack’s blog
for good tips at www.mackcollier.com.
3. What will you blog about? You can blog about any
➟
subject you wish — including your family, your hobbies,
your politics . . . when it comes to blogging, you’re limited
only by your imagination! Just let your readers know
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Chapter 15: So You Want to Be a Blogger?
what’s up so they know what to expect. In Figure 15-1, I
show you the header of my blog. (If you’d like to check
out my blog, you’ll find it at mcollier.blogspot.com).
Figure 15-1
My blog header is purposefully innocuous because I
cover so many different things. I write about my books,
business, family, my garden, and my life! Stay focused
and think of the header as a “mission statement” for your
future blog posts.
Jessica Gottlieb, Queen of the Mommy Bloggers, has a
simple statement header that appears on every page of
her blog (see Figure 15-2). When you read it, you immediately know who she is and where she’s coming from.
Figure 15-2
Visit her blog at www.jessicagottlieb.com and you
may be shocked by her candid posts. She’s very outspoken;
named a Power Mom by Nielsen in 2008 and 2009, and
averages 43,000 unique visitors each month.
4. What will you do to get people to your blog? Visit
other people’s blogs and leave comments. To find blogs
from people of like mind, go to Google and search for a
topic. In Figure 15-3, I searched for gardening. Then, on
the left side of the page, I clicked Blogs and Past Week in
the toolbar to find the most recent posts.
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Choose blogs.
Type a topic here.
Figure 15-3
Visit, read, and comment on blogs that interest you —
even ask questions to promote conversation. Other readers
(as well as the blogger) may reply and click over to check
out your blog. If you see a post that’s on a similar topic
to something you’ve posted on, suggest people check
your blog.
5. How do you get your audience to come back? Expect
(okay, hope) that people will leave comments on your
posts. Be sure to comment back and visit their blogs. It’s
all about interacting with the blogging community. One
hand washes the other . . . .
Stake Your Claim in the Blogosphere
➟
1. Time to take the first step: Sign up at a site that will host
(provide an online home for) your blog. Starting off at a
site that won’t ask for payment is a nice idea, and Google
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Chapter 15: So You Want to Be a Blogger?
fits that bill. Since 2003, Google Blogger has hosted Web
sites for anyone who wants to join in the world of blogging.
The only caveat is that you need to have a Google account.
2. If you use any of Google’s services, you probably have an
account already. If not, you can get a Google account by
1. Typing www.blogger.com in your browser and pressing
Enter. On the resulting page (as shown in Figure 15-4),
click Create a Blog. Then fill in the form that appears.
Click here to create a blog.
Figure 15-4
2. Establishing a Google Gmail e-mail account. Type www.
google.com/mail in your browser and press Enter.
Look in the lower-right corner for the New to Gmail?
box and click Create an Account. Fill in the short form
that asks for your name, your chosen login name,
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your password, and a few more innocent questions
(it’s safe to answer ’em). When you’re through, click
Create my Account and bingo! You not only have a
new e-mail address, but you now have access to all
the Google extra-fancy services on the Web.
Google Gmail is the most popular free e-mail service
on the Web; that’s mainly because of large (and free!)
online storage space and excellent spam filters. When
you set it up, you’ll be able to handle your e-mail on
the gmail.com Web site, or make it so the mail gets
downloaded to almost any e-mail program on your
computer. (Chapter 3 offers more information about
setting up and using Gmail.)
Either way you decide to create a Google account,
you get access to all of Google when you sign in to
Google services and set up your blog.
Register Your Blog
1. Now it’s time to jump in. Go to www.blogger.com and
sign in by typing your Google username (e-mail address)
and password where prompted. Then click Sign In. When
you arrive at the Sign Up for Blogger form, your Gmail
address is already filled in along with your name, as
shown in Figure 15-5.
2. Fill in your Display Name. That’s the name that Blogger
uses automatically every time you sign your posts. Make
it easy for your friends to know who you are — use your
own name. I used to go by cre8ive and none of my
friends knew that I was commenting on their blogs!
3. Place a check mark (by clicking your mouse) in the Email
➟
Notifications and Acceptance of Terms check boxes —
you want to know about new features in the application
as well as the Terms of Service (TOS). To read the TOS,
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click the Terms of Service link, and they show up in a
new tab on your browser.
Your name and e-mail address show up here.
Figure 15-5
4. After you read the Terms of Service — and as long as you
agree — go back to the Sign Up for Blogger form and
click the Continue arrow. You arrive at a new page.
Give Your Blog a Name
Now that you’ve agreed to join the masses of people who are spilling
their hearts and souls (and, in some cases, guts) on the Internet, it’s
time to name the baby.
1. Name your blog. This title will appear on your
Dashboard and on the blog pages. Don’t freak out and
freeze up at this point! You can change the name of your
blog at any time. So go easy on yourself.
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2. Give your blog a Web address (URL). Okay, this gets a
little sticky. You can change this part later, but the URL
you select becomes the Web address for your blog. It’s
what people must type in their browsers when they want
to go to your blog.
Since there are a lot of Blogger blogs, there is a Check
Availability link (see Figure 15-6), that you click to make
sure that your URL is available.
Click here to see whether your URL is available.
Figure 15-6
3. When you’re all set up, click the Continue arrow.
In the future, you can purchase a custom URL (that
is, a Web address you specify) from Google and use
it for your blog. It currently costs about $10 per year.
Wait until your blog evolves to see whether you want
to continue with it. Once you’ve purchased a URL,
that’s it — no changing your mind.
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Choose a Template
1. Choosing a template is no big deal — you can always
change it later. You can also make simple changes to the
template — say, placement of columns and colors and
such. If you’re technically inclined, you can even create
your own custom template after your blog is set up. But
for now, you’ve got to pick one — so, on the page that
has appeared, scroll through the available templates (as
in Figure 15-7).
To see a full-size version, click the Preview Template
link below the template thumbnail.
Click here for a full-size preview.
Figure 15-7
2. When you’ve settled on one, click the option button next
to the template name and click the Continue arrow.
Congratulations! Figure 15-8 shows the Your Blog Has
Been Created page. Now it’s time to click the Start
Blogging arrow.
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Figure 15-8
Post Your Story with Photos
Posting to you blog is as easy as using a word processor. The New Post
page (Figure 15-9) has everything you need.
Choose New Post.
Use text formatting tools.
Preview your blog post.
Type your post text here.
➟
Figure 15-9
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1. Give your post a title: Make your title catchy, with
keywords that reflect the topic.
2. Write your post: Compose your blog post in the text area.
Use the toolbar to change the formatting of your text if
you wish. Use bold, italic, colors, or numbering — just as
in a word processing program.
Don’t use a word-processing program if you pre-write
your post. I know spell checking is handy, but when
it comes time to copy and paste what you’ve written,
some of the characters won’t transfer properly. If you
want to pre-write, use a plain “text editor” program
like Notepad.
If you’re writing your post in Blogger, don’t worry about
having to hurry. Take your time. Blogger autosaves your
work every few minutes.
3. Add a picture. People love pictures! Click the icon of the
photo in the toolbar (Figure 15-10). You’re brought to
another page (Figure 15-11) where you can click Browse
to look for a photo to upload from your computer. You
may upload an image file of almost any format — JPG,
GIF, BMP, and PNG. Just make sure the file is no bigger
than 8 MB.
Click here to add a picture.
Figure 15-10
When inserting a photo, you can also type in
the Web address (URL) for an image elsewhere
on the Web. Before you “liberate” a photo from
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another Web site, be sure it’s not a copyrighted
image: Check Chapter 13, where I talk about Creative
Commons and copyright issues.
Decide what size you’d like the image to have when it
appears on the page and click the corresponding option
button (Small, Medium, Large). Not to worry — you can
preview your past choice and change it at any point
(even after you publish it).
Find an image.
Choose a layout and size.
Figure 15-11
➟
Since I’m setting this blog up for a friend, I want to
use one of her photos from Facebook. To do that
using my Firefox browser, I go to the photo’s page on
the Web. Right-click the photo and select Copy
Image Location from the resulting menu. Go back to
the Blogger page and paste the URL into the URL
box, by pressing the Ctrl and V keys at the same time.
In Internet Explorer, you’ll find the photo’s URL by
right clicking and then by clicking Properties.
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Chapter 15: So You Want to Be a Blogger?
4. Put a check mark in the box saying you agree to the
Terms of Service and click Upload Image. This uploads
your image and takes you back to the Post page. After a
little chugging, your browser (Figure 15-12) will let you
know your image has been added. Click Done and that
window will close and you’ll be back on the posting
page.
Figure 15-12
If you get back to the composition page and the
photo looks too big, you can grab one of the corner
handles of the image and make it smaller. When you
resize the photo using the corner handles, go to the
lower-right corner one. It’s easier to maintain the
perspective from that control point.
5. Select keywords: In the Labels for This Post text box, type
in the keywords that best describe your post. These words
will be picked up by search engines when they index the
Web to help people find your post.
6. Check out your work: If you want to see how your blog
post looks when it’s posted, click Preview (refer to
Figure 15-9). The page will change and you’ll see the post
as it will appear on your blog page. To return to editing,
click Hide Preview at the top of the page (as shown in
Figure 15-13).
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7. If your post is ready and you want to put it live on the
Web, click Publish Post. If you’d rather give it extra
thought, just click Save Now and it goes into your posting
area. You can then find the post in your Dashboard
(see Figure 15-14) on the Edit Posts tab, and it will be
marked as Draft. You can add to or edit the post at any
time.
Publish your post.
Or save it for later.
Figure 15-13
8. Notice some other options and handy items on the Edit Posts
tab. You can schedule a post to appear on the Web at a
prescribed time. And on the left side of your list of posts,
check out the Labels (keywords) that you used in your posts.
Perhaps you publish a post to your blog and notice a
misspelled word. Don’t worry: You can go back to
the Edit Posts tab and make changes easily, so don’t
worry about anything you do!
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Chapter 15: So You Want to Be a Blogger?
Edit your posts.
Schedule a posting time.
Figure 15-14
Set Up Your Profile
You can’t have a blog without a profile. You lose a lot of credibility when
people can’t put at a face to the blog. Some people don’t use their own
photos and, instead, use avatars to remain anonymous. Perhaps they
don’t like the photos they have of themselves, and an avatar is fine to use.
But you do need to offer a little background about yourself. After all, your
readers can’t always relate to you without some idea of who you are.
1. To set up your profile on your blog, click the Dashboard
link on the navigation bar at the top of the page.
You arrive at your blog’s control panel, as shown in
Figure 15-15. Find the Edit Profile link (under the
missing picture of you), and click it.
2. You arrive at the Edit User Profile page and face a long
list of questions. Filling in this information is just as
involved as completing your Facebook profile. But just
like on Facebook, you can fill in as much or as little
information as you wish. You can add a lot of data, so
you might want to start with a small amount and add the
rest when you have the time (or the inclination).
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Click here to edit your profile.
Figure 15-15
3. Most of the questions are self-explanatory, and pretty
benign. A few are important to fill out on your first
pass — especially these:
• Share my profile: Clicking the box here makes your
profile page appear as a link from your blog; it puts a
face on the words in the blog.
• Show my real name: If checked, your first and last
name will appear on your profile; if not checked, just
your first name will appear.
• Show my e-mail address: I recommend declining to
check this box. People can comment on your blog and
Blogger will send the comments in the form of e-mails
to your Gmail account. Showing your e-mail address
only invites spam.
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• Profile photo: There’s an option to either upload a
picture from your computer or to use a photo that’s
already on the Web. If you want to put in a photo from
the Web, just type in the URL of the photo in the text
box (as in Figure 15-16) and the second you finish
typing it in, it will magically appear on the page.
If you want to upload an image from your computer,
click the Browse button to open a window to your
hard drive, navigate to the folder where you store the
very best photos of yourself, and Double-click the
photo. In a moment, it appears on the profile page.
• Birthday: It’s not such a terrible thing to let people
know when your birthday is, especially because
Blogger lets you leave off your birth year.
Click here to pick up an online photo.
Figure 15-16
4. Fill in whatever else suits your fancy and, when you’re
done, click the Save Profile button at the bottom of the
page. Your Edit User Profile page reappears, bearing the
reassurance that Your settings have been saved. To view
your profile, click the View Updated Profile link and you
see the fruits of your labor, as shown in Figure 15-17.
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Figure 15-17
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➟
Index
Applications Directory (Facebook),
165–167
Asus Seashell notebook computer, 14
Atom processor, 17
@ (at-sign), 43, 194–195
authentication, 55, 77
avatar (Twitter), 187–188
• Numerics •
@ (at-sign), 43 ,194–195
@ replies, 194–196
802.11 formats, 38
•A•
Account link (Facebook), 112
account settings (Twitter), 184–187
account setup (Facebook), 76–79
address
adding to Facebook, 91
domain, 43
e-mail, 43–44
online, 4
AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), 46
Amazon Web site
computer purchase, 19
reviews, 255–258
America Online (AOL), 28
American Idol, 219
Android smartphone, 15
Angie’s List consumer review site,
254–255
anonymous reviews, 254
AOL (America Online), 28
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), 46
Apple Store, 19
application
on Facebook, 163–169
invites, 96–97
•B•
background image (Twitter), 189
backward-compatible wireless
format, 38
BestBuy Web site, 19
biography section (Facebook), 89
birth date, entering in Facebook,
76–77
birthday information section
(Facebook), 87
bit.ly URL shortener, 236–240
Blackberry smartphone, 15
blipping, 245–247
block list (Facebook), 95, 97
blog
account setup, 281–282
credibility of, 291
defining who you are in, 278
determining reason for
blogging, 278
Dickman, Susan, 294
editing, 290
getting people to read, 279–280
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
blog (continued)
getting viewers to come back to, 280
Gottlieb, 279
host, 280
keyword, 289
links from, 292
Marsha Collier, 8
mission statement, 279
naming the, 283–284
overview, 68–69, 277
password, 282
photo, 287–289
planning for, 278–280
posting to, 286–290
preview, 289
profile, 291–293
project path for, 278–280
publishing, 290
registration, 282–283
scheduling to appear at specific
time, 290
template, 285
Terms of Service (TOS), 282–283
text formatting, 287
things to blog about, 278–279
title of post, 287
Blogspot, 68–69
bold text, 59
Bookmarks menu, 24
bots, 77
Boyle, Susan (Britain’s Got Talent
performance), 67
broadband connection
cable connection, 30
DSL, 29
Ethernet network, 32
modem, 34
powerline network, 33
➟
router, 33
speed, 28
wireless connection, 33
browser
Chrome, 22
defined, 21
Firefox, 21–24, 26
Internet Explorer, 21–25
Safari, 22
business
LinkedIn account for, 66
searching for, 259–260
special offer listing, 260
business reviews. See reviews
Buy Web site, 19
Buzz (Google), 56
•C•
cable
Ethernet, 36
for Internet connection, 30
Cafe World, 169
calendar
exporting Facebook event to,
162–163
Gmail account, 50
Google, 50
camera memory card, 18
Captcha, 77–78, 115, 177
car chat hashtag, 220
cat and dog chat hashtag, 219
CD/DVD drive, 18
central processing unit (CPU), 17
chat
Facebook, 125–126
Gmail, 49
Twitter, 218–220
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Index
chip (CPU), 17
Chrome browser, 22
Cohen, Marc (Computer and
Technology Show), 8
Collier, Marsha
blog, 8
Computer and Technology Show, 8
contact information, 8
eBay For Seniors For Dummies, 8
Facebook profile page, 62
LinkedIn profile, 66–67
Twitter profile page, 64
color
e-mail text, 59
font, 60
commenting on friend’s status, 128
CompuServe, 1
computer
CD/DVD drive, 18
central processing unit (CPU), 17
desktop, 12
hack, 41–42
hard drive, 16–17
hardware options, 16–19
how this book is organized, 6
keyboard, 18
laptop, 12–13
manufacturer, 19
monitor, 19
mouse, 18–19
name brand, 20
notebook, 13–14
peripheral device, 17
pointing device, 18
retailer, 19
selection considerations, 12
shipping cost, 21
shopping for, 11–12, 19–21
speed, 17
Universal Serial Bus (USB)
connection, 17
used or refurbished, 19–20
warranty, 19–20
Computer and Technology Show
(Collier and Cohen), 8
connection, LinkedIn, 66–67
Consumer Electronics Show hashtag,
216
contact information section
(Facebook), 90–91
contacts, adding to Gmail account,
56–58
Contour Mouse, 18–19
conversing guidelines (Twitter),
194–195
Costco Web site, 19
CPU (central processing unit), 17
Creative Commons license, 234–235
crowd-sourcing, 253
customer reviews. See reviews
Customer Service chat hashtag, 217
customize settings page (Facebook),
95–96
•D•
deleting Facebook photo, 143
Dell, 19
desktop computer, 12, 18. See also
computer
dial-up connection, 31–32
Dickman, Susan (blog), 294
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
connection, 29
Direct Message (DM), 179, 191–192
disc burner, 18
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
DJ, 245–246
Docs, Google, 52
dog and cat chat hashtag, 219
domain name, 43
drop-down menu, 23–24
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
connection, 29
•E•
earthquake hashtag, 217
eBay For Seniors For Dummies
(Collier), 8
Edit menu, 24
editing
blog, 290
information in Facebook, 92
education and work section
(Facebook), 90
802.11 formats, 38
electrical outlet, 35
e-mail. See also Gmail account
adding contacts to, 56–58
address, 43–44
authentication, 55
composing and sending, 58–60
domain name, 43
file attachment, 46
friend request notification, 118
ISP account, 44–46
links, 41–42
mail transfer agent (MTA), 44
Microsoft Hotmail, 47–48
multiple addresses, 44
notebook and laptop
comparison, 15
password, 51–52
phishing, 41
➟
photo sharing, 243
safety, 41–42
Short Message Service (SMS), 49
spam, 50
storage, 46, 48–49
text formatting, 59–60
user ID, 43
virus, 41–42
Web-based e-mail service
advantages, 45–46
Yahoo! Mail, 46–47
Entertainment Weekly magazine, 68
ergonomic keyboard, 18
ergonomic mouse, 18–19
Ethernet network
cable, 36
powerline network setup, 35
pros and cons, 32
event (Facebook)
creating invitation to, 159–161
exporting to another calendar,
162–163
group, 158–159
guest list, 161
posting to wall, 107
reviewing upcoming, 161–162
events section (Facebook), 99
•F•
Facebook
about this book, 3
Account link, 112
account setup, 76–79
adding personal information, 80–82
adding photo to wall, 105–106
adding tabs to profile page, 102
address section, 91
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Index
age requirement for signing up
with, 62
application invites, 96–97
applications, 163–169
Applications Directory, 165–167
basic information section, 87
benefits of Twitter, 62
biography section, 89
birthday information section, 87
block list, 95, 97
chat session, 125–126
commenting on friend’s status, 128
contact information section, 90–91
customize settings page, 95–96
editing information in, 92
education and work section, 90
event, creating invitation to, 159–161
event, exporting to another
calendar, 162–163
event, posting on wall, 107
event, reviewing upcoming, 161–162
events section, 99
Fan page, 62
finding mutual friends, 116–117
Friend Finder feature, 113–114
friend request, responding to,
118–120
friend request, sending, 115–116
Friend Requests icon, 110
friends, adding later, 79
friends, finding with search
feature, 112
friends, initially finding, 79–80
friends, suggested, 81
games, 163–169
group, administrator, 157
group, communicating with,
157–159
group, event, 158–159
group, inviting people to join, 158
group, joining, 150–153
group, officers, 158
group, privacy settings, 158
group, private, 151
group, promoting the, 158
group, request, 151–152
group, starting, 154–156
group, wall, 157
Home link, 111–112
home page, 98–100
how this book is organized, 6
Info tab, 101
interested in section, 88
likes and interests section, 89
Marsha Collier profile page, 62
Messages icon, 110
Navigation bar, 109–110
network, 120–121
note, 129
Notifications icon, 110
number of visitors per month,
61–62
password, 76
photo, 82–86
photo album, 135–138
photo, deleting, 143
photo, tagging, 138–141
photo, untagging in, 141–142
photo, uploading to account,
132–135
Photos tab, 102
political views section, 89
popularity of, 61–62
posting, 103
posting on friend’s wall, 126–127
privacy levels, 93
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Facebook (continued)
privacy settings, 80, 86, 94–95
private message, retrieving, 123–124
private message, sending to friend,
122–123
profile, 75
Profile link, 112
profile page feed, 105
profile, reviewing, 100–102
public search privacy section, 97
quiz application, 164
quotations section, 89
reasons to use, 2
relationship status section, 87–88
religious views section, 89
removing message from wall, 130
requests section, 100
search feature, 111
security check, 77–78
sharing YouTube video on, 106, 259
status update, 103–105
things I and others share section, 96
toolbar links, 100
top news section, 99
updates, 94
video, 143–144
Wall tab, 101
Web site link attachment, 103–104
Fan page (Facebook), 62
Farmville, 168
FAV command, 192
favorite, marking tweet as, 198–199
Favorites menu, 24
file attachment, 46
File menu, 24
Firefox browser
defined, 21
drop-down menus, 23–24
➟
menus, 24
as one of the most popular
browsers, 22
up-to-date version, 23
firewall, 33
Flickr
photo sharing on, 69–70
Pro member, 70
tagging, 70
Flixster
finding movies on, 272
leaving comments on, 273–275
Terms of Service (TOS), 275
FOLLOW command, 192
Follow list (Twitter), 179
FollowFriday, 217
font, 60
free trial ISP, 28
friend (Facebook)
adding later, 79
commenting on friend’s status, 128
finding initially, 79–80
finding mutual, 116–117
finding with search feature, 112
Friend Finder feature, 113–114
friend request, responding to,
118–120
friend request, sending, 115–116
posting on friend’s wall, 126–127
private message, sending, 122–123
suggested, 81
Friend Requests icon (Facebook), 110
•G•
game system, 33
games, on Facebook, 163–169
gardening hashtag, 219
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Index
GB (gigabytes), 16
GET command, 192
GHz (gigahertz), 17, 37
Gmail account
adding contacts to, 56–58
back to inbox link, 57
calendar, 50
chat, 49
composing and sending e-mail,
58–60
features of, 49–51
login name, 53
New Features link, 52
password, 51–52, 54
security question for sign-in, 54–55
Short Message Service (SMS), 49–50
signing up for, 52–56
spam filter, 50
staying signed in, 54
Subject line, 59
sync function, 51
Terms of Service (TOS), 55
verification of setup, 56
word verification, 55
Google Blogger, 281
Google Buzz, 56
Google Calendar, 50
Google Docs, 52
Google Mail. See Gmail account
Gottlieb, Jessica (blog), 279
graphical interface, 25
group (Facebook)
administrator, 157
communicating with, 157–159
event, 158–159
inviting people to join, 158
joining, 150–153
officers, 158
privacy settings, 158
private, 151
promoting the, 158
request, 151–152
starting a, 154–156
wall, 157
guest list, Facebook event, 161
•H•
hack, 41–42
hard drive, 16–17
hardware, computer, 16–19
hashtag, 200, 216–218
Help link, Yahoo! Mail, 46
Help menu, 24
Hewlett-Packard, 19
high-speed connection. See
broadband connection
History menu, 24
Home link (Facebook), 111–112
home network, 32–34
home page (Facebook), 98–100
host, blog, 280
hotel reviews
adding to TripAdvisor, 268–272
amenity, 268
brand, 268
finding on TripAdvisor, 266–268
neighborhood ratings, 268
price-per-night search, 268
reading between the lines, 264–265
recommended for search, 268
traveler ratings, 268
Hotmail (Microsoft), 47–48
Hulu Web site, 72
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•I•
IBM, 19
icon, Internet Explorer, 25
influential Twitter user, 206
Info tab (Facebook), 101
Instant Messenger service (Microsoft
Hotmail), 48
interests section (Facebook), 88–89
Internet connection
accessing through ISP, 27–31
broadband connection,
28–30, 32–34
cable, 30
dial-up connection, 31–32
digital cable TV access, 30
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), 29
e-mail safety, 41–42
how this book is organized, 6
powerline network, 34–36
wireless connection, 30, 36–41
Internet Explorer
defined, 21
drop-down menus, 23–24
graphical interface, 25
icon, 25
menus, 24
as one of the most popular
browsers, 22
shortcuts, 25
up-to-date version, 23
Internet service provider. See ISP
interweb, 61
invitation, to group event, 159–161
iPhone, 15
ISP (Internet service provide)
AOL (America Online), 28
e-mail account search through, 44
➟
free trial versions, 28
Internet access through, 27
NetZero, 28
selecting a, 28–31
italicized text, 59
•J•
job hashtag, 220
•K•
keyboard
basic, 18
ergonomic, 18
laptop computer, 13
keyword, blog, 289
KHz (kilohertz), 37
•L•
language settings
translation, 213–214
tweet, 213
Twitter account, 184
laptop computer
basic description of, 12
features, 15
keyboard, 13
monitor, 13
mouse, 18
portability advantage, 14
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
monitor, 19
likes and interests section
(Facebook), 89
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Index
LinkedIn
connections, 66
Marsha Collier profile, 66–67
number of uses on, 66
links, from blog, 292
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
monitor, 19
lists, Twitter, 222–225
login name, Gmail account, 53
sharing on Twitter, 203
streaming, 70–71
Music Genome Project, 71
music Monday, 216
mutual friend, 116–117
MySpace, 64–65
•N•
•M•
Mafia Wars, 169
mail transfer agent (MTA), 44
megahertz (MHz), 17, 37
memory card, 18
menus, browser, 24
Messages icon (Facebook), 110
MHz (megahertz), 17, 37
Microsoft Hotmail, 47–48
MIMO (multiple-input multipleoutput), 38
mission statement, blog, 279
modem connection, 34
monitor
computer, 19
laptop computer, 13
mouse, 18–19
movies
finding on Flixster, 272
reviews, 272–273
watching on Hulu site, 72
MTA (mail transfer agent), 44
multiple-input multiple-output
(MIMO), 38
music
blipping, 245–247
shared content etiquette, 232
name, blog, 283–284
Navigation bar (Facebook), 109–110
Netgear wireless network, 40
network
defined, 32
Facebook, 120–121
modem, 34
powerline, 34–37
router, 33
NetZero, 28
New Features link, Gmail account, 52
newbie, 5, 7, 201
news stories
passing on Twitter, 203
top news selection, 99
note (Facebook), 129
notebook computer
Asus Seashell, 14
basic description of, 13–14
features, 15
weight, 14
notices (Twitter), 190–191
Notifications icon (Facebook), 110
•O•
OAuth protocol, 241
Office Depot, 19
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online address, 4
online community, 1
online participation growth, 2
ON/OFF command, 192
on-screen button, 5
Outlook Express, 48
overheard, 203
•P•
Pandora Web site, 70–71
password
blog account, 282
changing often, 52, 186
e-mail, 51–52
encrypted, 76
Facebook, 76
forgotten, 185
Gmail account, 54
length, 54
picking a, 51–52
Twitter, 175, 185
Pentel Atom processor, 17
peripheral device, 17
personal information, Facebook
account, 80–82
phishing, 41
phone
smartphone, 15
wireless, 36
photo
blog, 287–289
size, 288
photo (Facebook)
adding to wall, 105–106
deleting, 143
photo album, 135–138
➟
saving, 86
selecting different, 84
size requirement, 84
tagging, 138–141
taking from Web camera, 84–85
untagging, 141–142
uploading to account, 82–83,
132–135
photo sharing
e-mail, 243
on Flickr, 69–70
with Twitpic, 240–244
on Twitter, 203
Photos tab (Facebook), 102
Plus service (Yahoo! Mail), 46
pointing device, 18–19
poker, 168
political views section (Facebook), 89
posting, 103
powerline network
adapter, 34
advantages of, 34
basic setup, 36–37
connecting in multiple rooms, 36
electrical outlet use, 35
Ethernet connection and, 35
hooking up, 36–37
pros and cons of, 33
technological advances, 34
pre-shared (PSK) mode, 39
privacy (Facebook)
group, 158
levels, 93
overview, 80
settings, 86, 94–95
privacy, shared content, 94–97
private group, 151
private list, Twitter, 223–224
304
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Index
private message (Facebook)
retrieving, 123–124
sending to friend, 122–123
Pro member, Flickr, 70
product reviews. See reviews
profile
blog, 291–293
LinkedIn, 66–67
theme, 189
Twitter, 64
profile (Facebook)
adding tabs to, 102
defined, 75
Marsha Collier, 62
reviewing, 100–102
Profile link (Facebook), 112
Progressives 2.0 hashtag, 217
PS3, 33
PSK (pre-shared) mode, 39
public list, Twitter, 223–224
public relation hashtag, 219
public search privacy section
(Facebook), 97
publish blog, 290
dial-up connection, 31
Twitter, 174–178
Yelp site, 261–262
relationship status section
(Facebook), 87–88
religious views section (Facebook), 89
@ replies, 194–196
requests section (Facebook), 100
restaurant
reviews, 265
search, 259
retweet (RT), 196–198
reviews
Amazon, 255–258
Angie’s List consumer review site,
254–255
anonymous, 254
business listing, 258–260
hotel, 264–265, 268–272
leaving on Yelp site, 262–263
movie, 272
restaurant, 259, 265
travel-booking site, 264–265
Yelp, 258–260
router, 33, 40
RT command, 192
RT (retweet), 196–198
•Q•
query, 215
quiz application, 164
quotations section (Facebook), 89
quote, 202
•R•
radio frequency signal, 37
registration
bit.ly, 236–237
blog, 282–283
•S•
Safari browser, 22
safety, e-mail, 41–42
screen shot, 4
search feature (Facebook)
finding favorite things with,
146–150
finding friends with, 112
➟
305
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
search feature (Facebook) (continued)
making selections to narrow results,
147–148
suggestion list, 111
security
e-mail, 41–42
Facebook security check, 77–78
wireless network, 39
Seesmic program, 226–227
sending e-mail, 58–60
shared content
Creative Commons license, 234–235
etiquette, 232–233
music, 232
photos, 240–244
privacy settings, 94–97
quotes, 202
shortened URL process, 235–240
video, 233, 248–252
Short Message Service (SMS),
49–50, 63
shortcuts
Firefox menu, 26
Internet Explorer menus, 25
shortened URL, 235–240
shorthand commands (Twitter),
191–192
SkyDrive function, 48
small business program, 15
smartphone, 15
SMS (Short Message Service),
49–50, 63
social networking, 7
Social Security Number, 42
song. See music
Sony, 19
SOP (standard operational
procedure), 237
➟
South By Southwest hashtag, 216
spam filter, Gmail account, 50
speed
computer, 17
wireless Internet connection, 38–39
spreadsheet, 15
standard operational procedure
(SOP), 237
Staples, 19
status
commenting on friend’s, 128
updating, 103–105
streaming music, 70–71
Subject line, Gmail account, 59
Summarize feature, 212–215
sync function, Gmail account, 51
•T•
tabs, adding to Facebook profile
page, 102
tagging
Flickr, 70
photo, 138–141
top tags, 207
on Twitter, 207–208
untagging, 141–142
technological advancement, 4–5
template, blog, 285
Terms of Service. See TOS
Texas HoldEm Poker, 168
text
blog, 287
color, 59
font, 60
formatting in e-mail, 59–60
text message, 63
theme, 189
306
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Index
things I and others share section
(Facebook), 96
thumbnail, 46
time-zone settings (Twitter), 184
tinyurl URL shortener, 236
title, blog post, 287
toolbar links (Facebook), 100
Tools menu, 24
Top Conservatives on Twitter
hashtag, 217
Top Liberations on Twitter
hashtag, 217
top news section (Facebook), 99
TOS (Terms of Service)
blog, 282–283
Flixster, 275
Gmail account, 55
Twitter, 176
touchpad, 18
trackball, 18
travel-booking site, 264–265
Treasure Isle, 169
trending topic, 214
trends, 212–215
TripAdvisor Web site
adding hotel review to, 268–272
finding hotel review on, 266–268
travel-booking review, 264–265
viewer statistics, 266
TV, watching on Hulu site, 72
tweet
defined, 64
length constraint, 64, 173
marking as favorite, 198–199
passing along, 196–198
searching for tweeted topic, 200
what to tweet about, 201–204
TweetChat Web site, 218
TweetDeck program, 226–227
Twitpic photo sharing
disconnecting a service, 244
joining, 240–241
uploading photo, 242
viewing photo counter, 244
Twitter
about this book, 3
account settings, 184–187
adding yourself to WeFollow,
211–212
asking questions of, 202
@ (at-sign), 194–195
@ replies, 194–196
avatar, 187–188
background image, 189
chats, 218–220
conversing guidelines, 194–195
Direct Message (DM), 179, 192
earthquake hashtag, 217
ease of use, 2
e-mail notification, 186–187
finding people to follow, 178–183
finding trends with Summarize
feature, 212–215
Follow list, 179
FollowFriday, 217
hashtag, 200, 216–218
how this book is organized, 7
influential users on, 206
language settings, 184
lists, 222–225
marking tweet as favorite, 198–199
Marsha Collier profile page, 64
music Monday, 216
newbie, 201
notices, 190–191
overheard, 203
overview, 63–64, 193
➟
307
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Facebook & Twitter For Seniors For Dummies
Twitter (continued)
passing along tweets, 196–198
passing news stories on, 203
password, 175, 185
photo sharing, 203
private list, 223–224
profile page theme, 189
Progressives 2.0 hashtag, 217
public list, 223–224
query, 215
registration, 174–178
retweet (RT), 196–198
searching for tweeted topic, 200
searching tweeps on WeFollow,
206–208, 210
sharing music on, 203
sharing quotes on, 202
sharing YouTube video on, 251–252
shorthand commands, 191–192
tag, 207–208
Terms of Service (TOS), 176
time zone settings, 184
Top Conservatives on Twitter
hashtag, 217
Top Liberations on Twitter
hashtag, 217
trending topics, 214
tweet, 64
tweet length, 173
TweetChat site, 218
Twub site, 218
username, 175
viewing friend list, 225–227
What the Hashtag? site, 218
what to tweet about, 201–204
You Follow option, 220–221
Twub site, 218
➟
•U•
underlined text, 59
UNFOLLOW command, 192
Uniform Resource Locator. See URL
Universal Serial Bus (USB), 17
updates, Facebook, 94
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
blog, 284
defined, 4, 21
shortened, 235–240
USB (Universal Serial Bus), 17
user ID, e-mail, 43
username, Twitter, 175
•V•
Van Natta, Owen (MySpace CEO), 65
video
shared content etiquette, 233
sharing, 248–252
uploading to Facebook, 143–144
Youtube, 248–252
View menu, 24
virus, 41–42
•W•
wall (Facebook)
adding photo to, 105–106
group, 157
posting event on, 107
posting on friend’s, 126–127
removing messages from, 130
Wall tab (Facebook), 101
warranty, computer, 19–20
308
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Index
Web site
Amazon, 19, 255–258
BestBuy, 19
Buy, 19
Costco, 19
Hula, 72
Pandora, 70–71
TripAdvisor, 264–272
TweetChat, 218
What the Hashtag?, 218
Yelp, 259–263
Web site link attachment (Facebook),
103–104
webcam, 84–85
Web log. See blog
WeFollow feature
adding yourself to, 211–212
searching tweeps on, 206–208, 210
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), 39
What the Hashtag? site, 218
White, Betty, 146
WiFi Protected Access (WPA), 39
Wii, 33
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), 39
Wireless Fidelity (WiFi), 30–31
wireless Internet connection
backward-compatible format, 38
basic description of, 30
configuration, 40–41
coverage, 40
802.11 formats, 38
free services, 31
MIMO technology, 38
passphrase, 39
pros and cons, 33
radio frequency signal, 37
security, 39
setup, 40–41
speed, 38–39
WiFi hotspots, 31
wireless phones compared to, 36
wireless phone, 36
wireless router, 40
word processor, 15
word verification, 55
work section (Facebook), 90
world wide webbytubes, 61
WPA (WiFi Protected Access), 39
•X•
Xbox, 33
•Y•
Yahoo! Mail
accessing, 46
development of, 46
features of, 46–47
Plus service, 46
Yelp site
business listing page, 260
businesses, search for, 258–260
development of, 258
leaving review on, 262–263
registration, 261–262
restaurant search, 259
YouTube
overview, 67–68
sharing on Facebook, 106
sharing video from, 248–252
uploading video from, 106
viewer statistics, 248
•Z•
Zuckerberg, Jeff, 94
➟
309
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Notes
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Notes
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Notes
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Business/Accounting
& Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping For Dummies
978-0-7645-9848-7
eBay Business
All-in-One For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-38536-4
Job Interviews
For Dummies,
3rd Edition
978-0-470-17748-8
Resumes For Dummies,
5th Edition
978-0-470-08037-5
Stock Investing
For Dummies,
3rd Edition
978-0-470-40114-9
Successful Time
Management
For Dummies
978-0-470-29034-7
Computer Hardware
BlackBerry For Dummies,
3rd Edition
978-0-470-45762-7
Computers For Seniors
For Dummies
978-0-470-24055-7
iPhone For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-42342-4
Laptops For Dummies,
3rd Edition
978-0-470-27759-1
Macs For Dummies,
10th Edition
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Cooking & Entertaining
Cooking Basics
For Dummies,
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Wine For Dummies,
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Nutrition For Dummies,
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Weight Training
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Digital Photography
Digital Photography
For Dummies,
6th Edition
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Gardening
Gardening Basics
For Dummies
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Drawing For Dummies
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Green/Sustainable
Green Building
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Green Cleaning
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Green IT For Dummies
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Health
Diabetes For Dummies,
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Living Gluten-Free
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Knitting For Dummies,
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Organizing For Dummies
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Home Theater
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Available wherever books are sold. For more information or to order direct: U.S. customers visit www.dummies.com or call 1-877-762-2974.
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Internet
Blogging For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-23017-6
eBay For Dummies,
6th Edition
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Facebook For Dummies
978-0-470-26273-3
Google Blogger
For Dummies
978-0-470-40742-4
Web Marketing
For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-37181-7
WordPress For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-40296-2
Language & Foreign
Language
French For Dummies
978-0-7645-5193-2
Italian Phrases
For Dummies
978-0-7645-7203-6
Spanish For Dummies
978-0-7645-5194-9
Spanish For Dummies,
Audio Set
978-0-470-09585-0
Macintosh
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
For Dummies
978-0-470-43543-4
Math & Science
Algebra I For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-55964-2
Biology For Dummies
978-0-7645-5326-4
Calculus For Dummies
978-0-7645-2498-1
Chemistry For Dummies
978-0-7645-5430-8
Microsoft Office
Excel 2007 For Dummies
978-0-470-03737-9
Office 2007 All-in-One
Desk Reference
For Dummies
978-0-471-78279-7
Music
Guitar For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-7645-9904-0
Parenting & Education
Parenting For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-7645-5418-6
Self-Help & Relationship
Anger Management
For Dummies
978-0-470-03715-7
Type 1 Diabetes
For Dummies
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Overcoming Anxiety
For Dummies
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Pets
Cats For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-7645-5275-5
Sports
Baseball For Dummies,
3rd Edition
978-0-7645-7537-2
Dog Training For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-7645-8418-3
Basketball For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-7645-5248-9
Puppies For Dummies,
2nd Edition
978-0-470-03717-1
Golf For Dummies,
3rd Edition
978-0-471-76871-5
Religion & Inspiration
The Bible For Dummies
978-0-7645-5296-0
Web Development
Web Design All-in-One
For Dummies
978-0-470-41796-6
Catholicism For Dummies
978-0-7645-5391-2
Women in the Bible
For Dummies
978-0-7645-8475-6
Windows Vista
Windows Vista
For Dummies
978-0-471-75421-3
iPod & iTunes
For Dummies,
6th Edition
978-0-470-39062-7
Piano Exercises
For Dummies
978-0-470-38765-8
Available wherever books are sold. For more information or to order direct: U.S. customers visit www.dummies.com or call 1-877-762-2974.
U.K. customers visit www.wileyeurope.com or call (0) 1243 843291. Canadian customers visit www.wiley.ca or call 1-800-567-4797.
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Internet/General
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So you’ve decided to find out why all the world seems to be
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computer, setting up Internet access, and establishing an e-mail
account in Part 1
• Face the world on Facebook — create your account and profile,
upload your photo, set privacy controls, and explore your home
page
• Reach out and find someone — learn how to search for friends,
send friend requests, chat, and retrieve private messages
• Fun and games — join groups, play games, and create events
Open the book and find:
• How to find your friends and
family on Facebook
• Suggestions on how to build your
Facebook profile
• Facebook privacy tweaks so only
your friends can see your profile
• How to post photos and send
private messages on Facebook
• Tips for condensing your thoughts
to 140 characters for Twitter
• Sites that review restaurants, rate
hotels, and recommend music
• Where to get Web-based e-mail for
your social networking
• All a-Twitter — set up a Twitter account, learn the shorthand,
find people you want to follow, use hashtags, and create lists
Facebook® & Twitter® For Seniors
Get steps and advice
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on Facebook and Twitter!
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$21.99 US / $25.99 CN / £16.99 UK
Marsha Collier is well known for her many books on eBay and eBay
businesses, which have sold more than a million copies. Recognizing the
power of social media, Marsha has expanded her scope, and was recently
named a NOW Award All-Star by the Twitter-focused 140 Characters
Conference.
• Find the best sites for dining, travel,
and music recommendations
ISBN 978-0-470-63754-8
Marsha Collier
Collier
www.it-ebooks.info
Author of eBay For Seniors For Dummies
®
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