Twitter Tutorial Two: 7 Important Twitter Features Explained

Twitter asks, What's happening?

Twitter’s weird.  It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around it.  My best advice is to worry about that later.  Whatever Twitter is and whatever it does, it’s evolving.  So, don’t worry about understanding it before you use it.  Through using it you’ll come to understand it, and maybe you’ll even figure out new ways to put it to use.

That said, there are some things that are helpful to know.

What is a Tweet?

Let’s get this out of the way:

A tweet is a piece of text no longer than 140 characters. Spaces and punctuation count. Think of it as a blog entry, a bitesized blog entry.

For reference, that definition is 140 characters long.

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Google Wave Coverage – May 2009 eNewsletter

May sure has flown by.  I hope your month has been profitable.  Have you gotten Google Analytics set up on your site yet?  If you need some help, hit that reply button and let me know!  One of my clients is so excited by his Analytics data that he checks it first thing every morning.  It’s always a pleasure to see someone take the ball and run with it.  This month…

Newsletter Contents

  • And now for something completely different…

Google I/O 2009 Keynote

This month I resolved to exclude Google from the newsletter.  I was going to talk about customer retention strategies.  It’s all the rage these days, what with the economy and all.

Then I watched a video on YouTube. This video blew my mind. It was the first announcement of a new Google product that will change the world, and how we communicate. So, I’ve decided to depart from my usual format and tell you about what I saw.
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Password Safety & Security Made Easy

How secure is your privacy?

These days we all end up with tons of passwords.  We rely on these passwords to keep sensitive information safe, but the truth is that information is only as safe as its password is secure.  In my experience people tend to use simple, insecure passwords because they have a hard time remembering long strings of letters, numbers, and punctuation.   Well it can be a lot easier than you might think.  I found this video put together by AARP and Google that gives a good introduction:

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve been a fan of using initial letters from a phrase to form a password since college.  That’s the method the Network Systems Administrator there taught me.  What the video above doesn’t talk about though is complexity.  Watch the longer video below for more on that.

A password made out of six lowercase letters is never going to be a strong and secure password, even if they are random.  The best passwords are at least 10 characters long and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation.  Okay, it’s about time for an example…

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8 Amazing eResources That Are Free For Non-Profits

I recently met with someone at a local community outreach organization about bringing their internet operations up to speed. They were surprised to learn that they were eligible for free web hosting simply because of their IRS 501(c) (3) status. I couldn’t help but imagine that there are plenty of others who would love to know about this.

As I got to thinking about it I realized that there must be other great free for non-profit services out there. I’ve been doing some research and below you’ll find 8 useful eResources that are completely free to qualified non-profits. They include web hosting, marketing, software, and web application solutions.

Some of these are even free for anyone, and can be of great value to businesses, small and large.  I include them because they can be especially valuable to non-profits.  By employing free open source software you can keep your IT budget to a minimum without sacrificing.

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Tuning In

I’m sitting at my laptop.  My desktop is running Seagate DiscWizard.  It’s a handy utility that came with my new hard disk drive.  It’s copying my old hard drive onto the new 1 terabyte drive.  The old drive is a 200 gigabyte that has been making some funny noises lately.  It sounds a lot like cicadas.  A high pitch drone that fades in and out periodically.  So, I bought a new hard drive.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone loose a ton of important data from a hard drive failure… it’s never pretty.  That’s why I’m excited that I tuned in and heard my drive making this noise before it died.  I had time to get a replacement and save all my data.

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Game of the Year: Fallout 3

Okay, so it is a bit early, and this isn’t a gaming site, but putting that aside…

Peter Grandstaff’s Official Game of the Year Award goes to Fallout 3 by Bethesda Softworks.

This is one heck of a game.  It’s been since Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion that I’ve enjoyed a single player game this much.  (Fallout 3 uses a modified version of the Oblivion engine.)  The story is compelling, but the game structure is only as linear as you want it to be.  You have complete freedom to explore the world at your own pace, and in your own style. [Read more...]

Election Result Website Screenshot Showcase

Well, now that the dust has cleared from the monumental election here in the United States I’ve decided to share some souvenirs.  I wasn’t able to get a newspaper on November 5. I’m sure there are a lot of other folks out there in the same boat.  Lets move on into the digital age and save websites instead!  I took care of the screen captures, you can download them here! [Read more...]

Obama is President Elect Website Roundup

Well, moments after I posted my last entry everybody declared Obama the winner.  Looks like I need some more practice with the whole live blogging thing, but tonight was a fun start.

I took screenshots of many many major news websites’ front pages, interesting to see that the NY Times changed their headline after about five minutes.  That’s one of the great things about publishing on the internet.  You can make a change instantly.

North Carolina still can’t be called, but Obama leads by a fraction of a percent.  Indiana is the other really close one.  Figures, the Grandstaff side of my family lives in Indiana, and my folks and I live in North Carolina.

It is always exciting to see Democracy in action, and the world wide web has brought us a lot of amazing technologies to watch it all unfold.  Stay tuned and I’ll post some screen shots with web design critiques in the next few days.

Now it’s time for me to watch an episode of something funny over on Hulu.com and retire for the night.

Latest Election Website News

I neglected to mention last time that guardian.co.uk formats their summary graphs in a very attractive way.  All the US websites seem to be a horizontal bar with the win point of 270 electoral votes marked at center.  The Guardian is using circular, or arcing bar graphs for electoral votes and popular vote.

a good example of displaying data on a website

a good example of displaying data on a website

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