Twitter Tips

It seems like FaceBook is not the only place some funny business is going on. If you have been using Twitter for more than 6 months you’d know what I mean.

First of all, If you don’t know anyone on Twitter it is easy to get lost in the sauce. It would be nice to have Twitter greeters to show you around and introduce you to all of the features that are on there, but they don’t. . . . . . yet. . . . . ..

First of all, when one joins Twitter one should have in mind the following things. One, what is your Twitter Handle or name going to be?

This is where you decide if you want to make up a name for yourself, or use parts of your real name. Are you planning to join a particular group on Twitter? Twitter is broken up along the lines of groups or interests. For example there are those who love dogs, cats, sports, politics, religion, or follow particular types of music or certain celebrities .

I mentioned these groups in conjunction with Twitter Handles because you may want to have a handle to match your interest. Like “IceKitty”, if you like cats, or MasterBowwow if you like dogs, or BballKing because you like basketball, etc. You kinda get the picture, right?

Now, if you are a celebrity, or politician, or into marketing, or author it will be solely up to you to decide if you want to use your real name, or chose a nom de plume. However, if you are into marketing or an author, etc, you should chose wisely, as this particular handle is going to be a marketing tool and thus part of your branding.

Another thing you should consider is what kind of avatar or photo you are going to use to represent your tweets. Again this may depend upon what you are interested in. If it’s dogs, perhaps a cute pup, or if it’s cats, a cute kitten, a flag if you are patriotic, etc. Or, if you are really brave, a photo of your marvelous self. With or without a wide brimmed hat, large Snookie like sunglasses, veils, or gas mask. . . . . . Yes, I’ve see all kinds. . . . . .

What you are going for is to have people connect your name automatically with your photo. This photo should be unique enough that they well say, oh yeah that’s so and so. . . .

Another reason a photo is so important is the fact that if you don’t have a photo Twitter will give you one. An EGG! That’s right, a WHITE EGG on a blue, black, green, yellow, red or orange background!

I’ve been on Twitter for nearly two years now under a different handle which is strictly Christian and Political. So, when I, or my fellow compatriots see an EGG show up on our timeline, according to the content of the tweet, they are considered either a newbie or a SPAMMER!

The concept of a spamming is thus. Register and sign on to Twitter with some half tailed name and no avi (avatar) so you can start bombarding peoples timelines with crap. In their rush to do this, most SPAMMERS forget to post an avi or a BIO on their page.

If you want to know if they are legitimate, all you have to do if you are on the PC to click on their name, which will bring up their page. If they haven’t bothered to post a BIO nor an AVI, they are a SPAMMER! BLOCK! BLOCK! BLOCK! If you are using your SmartPhone all you have to do is long-press or click on the avi which will bring you right to their page.

Also, when you get to the spammers page, another thing to check is how many friends do they have, if they have like 5 friends, 3 followers, but tweeted 900 tweets, that is a SPAMMER for sure!

Twitter also has a provision for reporting spammers. Unlike Facebook, Twitter really does listen to their users and shuts these slime balls down. So, don’t be afraid to report them!

The next tip it to know your followers. If they are writers and authors make sure you keep abreast of who follows and keeps in contact with you. If you get tweets from them which are strange and out of character, DM (direct message) them and let them know their account may have been hacked.

Twitter etiquette: If you retweet someone, they should either thank you (shout outs) for retweeting them in a single or group thank you (shout outs). If someone retweets you, you should show the very same courtesy. Try to do this as soon as possible, because as you gain followers, this can become overwhelming to keep track of.

There is a website named: FollowFriday.com which is very helpful. You must be on a PC (It may be available for I-pad, and tablets too) for it to work. What you do is go on and register your Twitter account, and it analyzes you account for the week and shows you who the most active TWEETERS are on your time line. These are the ones you should give SHOUT OUTS to. Right on the site you can compose your tweets of the names and tweet them out. However, this unfortunately takes time and if you don’t have time, it may be easier to tweet your SHOUT OUTS right back.

Last but not least, Twitter security. Spammers love Twitter, Many of them register because they want to advertise all kinds of crap. I’ve been bombarded with diets, and just plain junk. Then there are ones who just send you a tweet with a link.

If you don’t know the person and they tweet you a link without hashtags (#), and even if you do, don’t click that link!!! Those kinds of links can lead your computer to malicious websites which will plant destructive cookies in your hard drive. This will either destroy your computer or remove personal information that can be used for id theft later. Or they may lead to something pornographic . . . .

Some examples of suspicious messages:

This is a favorite of mine

@WackaWaka @WriteTillDawn  Someone is saying horrible things about U. Click this link 2 C http://bitlybaloneysalmai. . .

My first thought was: Who the heck is WackaWaka? And: Who the heck cares what people are saying about me? That should be your first thought too. The next thoughts are to be
SPAMMER! Have a BLOCK PARTY!

I know, I have not addressed all of the issues on Twitter, and did not intend to. This is just a mere primer for those who are just starting out. It’s sort of a cushion for diving off the deep end of the pool, which Twitter is so oft likened to.

Happy Tweeting!

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The Geek Warrior Princess Speaks

What have I been up to lately?  Well, I bought two new laptops to replace my Old Grey Lady.  I really love my old laptop but she had become so old that it would be much more expensive to upgrade her than to just go out and buy another to replace her.  So I did.    

I decided if I’m gonna really do this writing and author thing, I have to do it right.  To do it right, I need the proper equipment to work with.  The Old Grey Lady was too out of date for me to download MicroSoft Office8 and that was a major hinderance to my writing and possible submissions.    

It broke my heart when I found out that most publishers prefer submissions in the MicroSoft Word format.  I had been using Open Office for years and hadn’t a clue till a few months ago.  Yes, I know about the thingy (I know, a GEEK saying *thingy*) on OfficeOffice where you can change the format of the document.  I haven’t tried it yet, in fact I’m sacred to.  

The editor I’d sent my manuscript was very kind and  suggested nicely that I needed to invest in the proper software (because they couldn’t open the doc on their computer).  Yes it was a blow, and it seems like I really couldn’t write properly until I got my new *babies*.  Now, I’m in the starting gate again and champing at the bit.

Of course both computers have to be prepped.  When I first bought Old Grey Lady from Best Buy, The Geek Squad had set up everything for me with spyware and stuff for an additional fee.  However, when I made my recent purchases no such offer was made.  I wouldn’t have accepted anyway because I’m far more computer literate than I was back then and thus know how to customize and set up my own systems.  

Plus I heard from geek friends that when some stores do that, not all of their people are legit.  Meaning for a little extra cash from the Dark Side, they will install malware cookies and spybots on your computer’s hard drive along with the latest version of Windows. . . . .  ID Theft is a really hot business these days, and hackers will grab your info any way they can.  

That’s the last thing I needed.  That’s why I do it myself.  

I am in no way disparaging Best Buy, Staples, or any other big electronics/office outlet that employs in store tech support people.  Not all of them are bad, in fact I’ve met some excellent Geeks who I could’ve chatted with all day, if they didn’t have work to do.  But,  you need to and check what they installed or fixed and make sure they didn’t add anything extra. . . . . .

Like one encounter I recently witnessed.

“Umm, what the heck is this?” he asked the tech, after booting up his laptop and checking the repair.  He was pointing to something on the screen.

 “Oh that’s such and such (I forget the name).  We needed to install that in order to. . .  . . . . ..” the tech replied.

“I didn’t ask for this on my computer and I want it removed. . .”  the outraged customer said cutting the tech off.  

“Whoopsy!”  I thought.  At that time I exited stage left, as I was only there to ask a question, and the place looked like a busy doctor’s office.  People on line with sick laptops  . . . . .

Now you see why I like to do things myself!   Plus I know a lot of great sites to get FREE virus and malware free programs!  That’s right, FREE!  One of them is CNET.com.  

My last  task will be to hook both computers up to an online back up site, which is Mozy.com.  Right now I’m using a 2gb FREE account, but I’m going to step it up to a paid account.  

It pays to have online back up if you have a lot of valuable writing on your computer(s).  With writers ALL of our writing is valuable!  It’s either that or invest in an independent hard drive to store everything.  But with an external hard drive you must remember to back up everything on a regular basis.  With online backup, it’s done automatically every time you sign on.  Or you can customize your backup times.  

Last but not least, did you know that today’s laptops no longer have a built-in disk drive?  When I bought Mini-Me (my netbook) I had to purchase an independent external disk drive if I wanted to install software on her or watch a DVD.  When I bought my laptops, I discovered the same thing!  It’s a good thing I already have an external disk drive, which works like a dream when hooked up by the way.  Saved me from beating a flaming path back to the store to buy one! 

I’m also one of those people who like to pre-shop.  I knew I was buying the laptops so I already bought my laptop covers and mice and whatever do-dads I needed before actually buying the products itself.   I know this great discount place where I can get all kinds of wires and peripherals really cheap and I HOARD.  Why?  Because I knew the standard question after you make your selection is:  Do you need a laptop cover, do you need this or that or the other?  The sales lady was most disappointed when I told her: “I already have that, this and the other.”  I know they’re trying to increase their commission, but I’m trying to save some dollars too.  

Another method of increasing the sales persons commission is ye olde insurance question.  

You should really buy insurance for your computer in case your three year old spills their juice box drink on your keyboard.  I have no children.  Or, You need insurance in case your computer falls out of the 25th floor window.  I don’t live on the 25th floor  They forgot to add, in case your cat or dog piddles on your keyboard.  My cats know better. . . . . .  

I nixed insurance, because I know that with most of these stores, that whole insurance thing is just a scam to jack the price up.  To date the only store insurance that worked for me was SEARS.  All others I’d bought and tried were sadly lacking and a waste of money.  I’d rather take my chances on getting it fixed independently by the computers manufacturer or a good friend.  However, this is just my scathing opinion because I was burned too many times in the past.  For further information I suggest you check with your local consumer affairs website and see how they compare and rate in-store insurance(s).

It’s probably gonna take me a few more days to get back on track, but I am writing.  I have several things on the stove at once and Rhu has decided I should spend a little time on each until I finish them all.  Not like I was doing before.  Writing one story and dreaming about the other three. . . . . . .   

I know, that doesn’t make sense at all.  That’s a writer for you. . . . .  :+)

The Lioness Roars

I was forced to stand my ground on the Mystery Website issue (mentioned in a previous post).  


First, ZaZa was ticked and called me “cruel” for texting her to tell her that I had made her Super Admin of her own site.  Now wait one minute hay-er!   Didn’t you say that you didn’t like the fact that I had complete control over your site (Creator/Super Admin), and wanted control of it?  So, I handed over control of it to you and now you are ticked?  Can you see and hear the coo-coo clock?  


Then ZaZa tells me that she doesn’t know the first thing about running a web site  . . . . . . .   Oh, Duh!  This is why I had set up the thing in the first place. She came to me and asked me to, and out of the kindness of mine own heart.  


I know, esta muy stupido!   Had I known this was going to be such a landfield  I would’ve ran for my dear life!  Since I’m stuck here, I have to perform DOD measures.  In military speak, DOD means Disarm and Destroy. . . . .


I went into an extensive explanation of her responsibilities of a website owner, especially if one has an interactive website.  You must have someone to moderate the site 24/7/365 to monitor what your members are posting, and to block, delete and kick off undesirables.  I’ve done it before on a large Star Trek 200 plus member website.  


Since I work nights, I would bring in Mini Me (my netbook) sign on and watch out for interlopers.  I did that for about 2 years until they shut down the wifi network at my job.  I found it very enjoyable because I had a stealth code where no one but the site owners and admins knew who I was.  When some one suspicious showed up, I would always challenge and scare the hell out of them.  I was essentially an internet guard dog.  


You need people like that on your interactive site because  most web hosts do not want any kind of objectionable material  posted on any of their users sites!  Why? the U.S. Government WILL come in and  WILL shut them down, that’s why!  This may be the land of free speech (U.S. Constitution, First Amendment), but you try posting crap or hosting people who post crap, they will shut you down and confiscate your servers in a heartbeat! 


So, its far easier for web host sites to toss the individual site owners from the train, than to suffer a government shut down, and lose money. 


It’s happened to Wordpress several times during the past two years.  They were shuttered because some of their users were posting porn and/or advertising drugs (both illicit and pharmaceutical) on their sites.  


That’s why you need a moderator/ or site monitors.  They are the “Checkpoint Charlie” or “Road Block” for your site’s security.  If the visitor doesn’t pass muster, either they don’t get in, or they get ejected.  Rule of thumb.  YOU kick the trouble makers off YOUR SITE so YOUR SITE won’t get the booted off the web host’s server!  One plus one, equals two. 


I further explained that owning a website is a business that you must keep track of.  There is no such thing as “set it and forget it.”  


So ZaZa’s next statement was:  “How much would you charge if I paid you?”  When I refused ZaZa’s offer, her mouth hung open.  


Number one, for me to take her money would obligate me to be at her beck and call 24/7/365.  That’s not happening, not with my insane schedule!  Number two, that is a very easy way to get sued. I don’t believe in taking people’s money for services I cannot render.  Last time I looked, that was a crime.  Number three, which should be number one, “Never piss in your mess kit”.  ZaZa and I work together.  I already work in a very tense, stressful, and sometimes hostile work environment.  Why should I add friction over money and a half baked business venture to the mix?  I’d have to be nuts!  Nope, this is not gonna happen.


I simply told her I am not going to take her money, because I am incapable of fulfilling my obligations in regard to said site.  I don’t have the time, period, dot!  I’m running my own little business, plus editing and preparing to publish my book. Plus I work full-time, have church obligations, somewhere along the way I have to sleep, work out, clean house, cook, eat, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, etc.  Talk about overwhelmed.    


It’s amazing how some people think because one is single, has no children, no boyfriends, and what they assume no social life, that you are a slug just lying around waiting for someone to pour salt on you. . . . . . .


Just had to get that out. . . . . . 


I needed this foolishness like I need another hole in my head!  I believe God already given me enough, thank you very much!   Plus, I don’t wanna end up on Judge Judy.


I also may sound a tad paranoid, but I believe this is all a plot to throw me off track.  ZaZa is well aware of the fact what I  am working on Knight Riders and is trying to stop me by distracting me with Bravo Sierra!  Plain and simple I’m dealing with someone who is extremely jealous and will do practically anything to derail my progress.  


After all, if I’m busy with her nonsense, where will I find time to. . . . .   You get the picture folks.  I wasn’t born yesterday nor the day before.  This old Lioness knows what ZaZa’s is up to.


Sadly, if she applied herself, ZaZa could accomplish the same goals I’m working towards.  However, she has obviously chosen to be The Devil’s Advocate. . . .  . . .


Of course, you know this situation beareth close watching.   Like the lionesses on the Serengeti watching the Zebra herds, I am. . . . . . . .