Infographic – How to save your time on Facebook and other Social Media Platforms

Everyone is browsing through social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus on a daily basis. But are you stressed up because everything on these platforms feels so slow and you want to speed up your browsing?

As many people don’t know, these four social media platforms are all having some nice keyboard shortcuts. With these shortcuts you can move faster, more comfortable and just pick up the pace. We show you how they work. Navigate through Facebook & co. like a real pro!

quintly Infographic: Social Media Shortcuts - How To Save Your Time On Social Media Platforms

A treadmill from Facebook

It was television some time ago and now it’s the Internet. It’s making us sit for long durations and is causing harm that we might not even realize immediately. For some, it’s both; TV and Internet.

Sounds like a fair argument, right? You’ve heard this before, multiple times. And you agree too!

If you spend 50% of the time you currently spend on the computer on a treadmill, imagine the benefits! But again, Facebook is fun; email is essential and Internet is useful. We should find a way to access these without getting obese.

I remember a viral status share on Facebook some time ago that made me go ‘wow!’

Here is the summary: “Internet should be integrated with treadmill. It should stay connected only as long as you keep walking. Even better- the download speed should be directly proportional to the jogging speed!”

Now, how soon do you want that latest flick? 😉

I seriously like the idea. You should be rewarded for all the time you spend on Facebook. You should be getting slimmer and fit as you browse through your friends’ pictures. You should be burning out the calories from that birthday cake you had in office, as you watch a recent Bollywood item number on YouTube. If you want to download a movie for leisure Saturday night, you should workout for an hour or so to even get it. Or even longer if you want it in HD! 😀

I like the idea so much that I would like to extend the dream! Seriously! Wouldn’t it be a breakthrough?!

While we run on the treadmill, it should actually generate power. May be to run a laptop. Or at least enough power to charge a mobile phone. As you anyway work hard, why not channel it into something useful? Considering the current design where you use electricity (loss) to get fit (profit), why not generate electricity (profit) while you get fit (profit) and browse through the web (profit and fun!)? Isn’t this what is called a win-win-fun situation?

Imagine the same with other machines. When you want to check your email, you head straight to the workout bicycle (or cross-trainer) and start pedaling. 60 secs and you generate enough power to light up a screen. Pedal for another 60 secs to connect to Internet. You pedal for as long as you want to spend in the Inbox. Would you still open email from unknown sources? And am sure you’ll warn your friends about sending those large attachments then! 😛

We now have program modes on these machines that say Cardio, Fat burn, etc. You would then have modes that might say ‘email’, ‘download’, ‘music’, ‘Facebook’, etc. Oh, and ‘Chat’ too! 🙂

I know it’s not possible, at least in the immediate future, but I’m really excited to even think about it!

If somebody has a design to make this work, can you make one for me, please? 🙂

I hear Facebook is planning to launch a phone. We already have plenty of smart phones in the market. It would be wonderful if they can make this treadmill instead. Many of the Internet users are always on Facebook anyway! 🙂

How to craft your Internet

If you spend more than an hour online everyday, it’s your Internet! You are an active Internet user!! And, that is a very powerful tool!!!

As it is said- “With great power comes great responsibility!” it’s also your responsibility to ‘maintain’ it.  🙂

More than anything, it’s easier than you would think!

I see Internet usage broadly in two ways:

  • Give
  • Take

While most of the Internet users just ‘take’, it’s only fair enough we ‘give’ once in a while.

Consumption:

This is what most of us do everyday; ‘take’ content from the Internet.

  • We login to Gmail, process a few email and sign out.
  • We open a news website and read a few articles.
  • We open YouTube and watch a video or two.
  • We open Facebook and scroll through the feed for an hour.
  • We open Flickr or Picasa and check out a few pictures in an album.
  • We search in Google when we are looking for something and skim through the sites for information.

All these are the ‘consumption’ activities. Users that do just this can also be called as passive users of the Internet (leech might be inappropriate, heh?).

It’s as good as watching a regular TV.

To keep the Internet active, fresh and lively, it’s important we contribute as well. Make it interactive!

Contribution:

It’s possible we contribute at the same time we consume the content from the biggest ever pool of information.

  • Upload pictures of an event/ travel/ pets/ occasions etc., to Photo sharing sites or personal galleries.
  • Upload videos to  YouTube or any other online location and share.
  • Add comments to pictures and videos we watch.
  • Participate in discussions where possible.
  • Interact.
  • Add comments to facebook updates, pictures, videos.
  • Share articles, pictures, videos etc., on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
  • Write blogs, add comments, or share the ones of value.

Unless we add more content and just keep consuming the existing one, the Internet experience eventually becomes stale; a long way to go but still possible.

Craft:

Along side consuming and contributing to the biggest library ever, we can even ‘fine tune’ the Internet to serve better on what you want/ feel/ need/ like/ prefer etc. Most websites/ tools that we use today use intelligent algorithms. So, our feedback is actually put to use and the content is refined.

I personally think networks like Facebook are a huge hit and addiction because they allow us to consume, contribute and fine tune- all at the same time!

  • When you receive a spam email, mark it as spam instead of just deleting it and moving on. Spam filters learn by your action and do a better job in the future.
  • When you see content on the web that you like, “Like” it if there is an option.
  • When you think some content might be useful to somebody else, do not hesitate to “share” it.
  • Sharing content can be through email, or social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
  • Find a balance between creating original content and sharing. When we share too much stuff that is useful to nobody (like a picture with just quotes “Hit Like if you think love is beautiful” or “Hit Like if you think cats are cute”) will make Internet think we are all idiots.
  • We are not idiots; tell Internet that!
  • Share personal experiences, reviews, preferences; as you benefit from other’s content, let others find some content to weigh their options.

Like everything else, there’s a line between doing it and over-doing it. So, of course know how much is too much and consider your privacy preferences before you post your bank statement or bad appraisal letter snapshot on facebook. 😛

If you already ‘contribute’ enough- adda boy! You and I are making Internet a good place! 🙂

If you don’t, and want to, you can start by expressing your thoughts on this very post and/ or by sharing this post with others! 😛

Close call with phishing on facebook

It was 11:30 pm and having just completed my mango picture and dinner last night, I was relaxing on the couch, watching ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ on my desktop. Few minutes into the sitcom, my iPhone beeped and showed an alert about some comment on one of my facebook Notes.

Laptop wasn’t very far – so while still following Ray’s comedy on big screen, opened facebook on laptop to review the comment. I then moved on to email in another tab and was browsing through without any particular intent.

Then I saw one of my old colleagues initiate a chat conversation on facebook. It’s been a long time I spoke with her and was a little surprised to receive a message at that hour. She started with regular pleasantries like ‘how u doing?’ and ‘what u upto?’ stuff. Everything was fine with me, and I told her so.

When I asked her the same questions back, response wasn’t as expected. She said things were not good at her end. I thought it’s the regular “missing-India” kinda complaints I receive from many people I know who live outside India.

This situation was different.

She told me they had a worst vacation ever. I assumed something did not go as planned and so she was still feeling bad about it. May be it was a couple of weeks ago or so, I thought.

As our conversation progressed further, she explained that she got stranded in Scotland at the moment. Based on the fine language she was using and calm composure she maintained, it did not appear right. But if she is on facebook, catching up with a long lost colleague, she’s possibly held up at an airport, bored, with an Internet kiosk or something. Why not?

I inquired if it was a flight delay. She said they were mugged at gun point and were stolen of cash, credit cards and phones. A story like this, fiction or real is in general associated with phishing. So, I paused the show I was watching, and started thinking about the live situation. I sat upright and took a moment to scroll up and read the complete conversation again, just to make sure I got it right.

Few questions ran through my mind, some sensible and some cautious.

Is this a real person talking to me? I mean, I know her as a colleague so I know she is a real person. But, is she the one who is actually chatting with me at the moment? Is she in a situation where she could use some help? If yes, I ought to help in any way I could. May be I can buy her flight tickets so she could reach home! But, wait. What if her account is hacked and if this is a phishing attempt?

There is one more clue left to judge if this is an authentic trouble situation or phishing – asking for sensitive information like bank or credit card details. That will help me decide to some extent. Asking for help is understood; asking for credit card number and related details is suspicious!

This friend of mine is a Telugu girl, currently staying in US with her husband. Just a habit I guess, chatting was in English all the while. I continued the chat after the mugging story, but in Telugu. If she is who I think she is, I know she speaks good Telugu and should not be any problem in discussing the situation further. I got prepared to help her (of course) but only after at least one confirmation of her authenticity. However, what if she is hesitating to ask for help because we haven’t spoken in years? I myself asked her if she needs any help, in Telugu. As soon as I sent a few sentences in Telugu, she went offline.

I was a little worried and confused at the same time. What if she was my colleague, really in trouble and lost connection due to some technical problem. I was waiting for her to come online again so that I can try to get her out of there. My idea probably was to book flight tickets online, Scotland to US, using my credit card and let them print/ access it there.

I was reminding myself to NOT disclose the card details. Getting flight tickets for someone who lost everything in a foreign land is a good help. As the card is physically with me, even if I share the card number and other details, they have to book online too. So, why not I book online from here and let them access the tickets from there?

If it’s a phishing attempt, they wouldn’t benefit much from a ‘Scotland to US’ airplane ticket, do they? They would need my card details so that they can buy something else. Yes, that was my move. If this is a genuine situation, once she comes online, I would confirm the necessary details and book her tickets online.

But there was a second thread that started in my head when she went offline. May be that’s someone who hacked her account and was phishing! He/ she logged off because they couldn’t continue the conversation in a foreign language!

Anyway, she was offline. I did not know which way to go – shall I wait for her to come online and help her get home? Or, go to bed considering that as a close call to phishing on facebook? I resumed Ray’s comedy and was glancing at facebook page once in a while to see if she shows online. Another 10 mins or so for the episode to come to an end. If I don’t see her online by then, I would go to sleep. Fixed.

10 mins passed and Ray’s sitcom show was over. Have to hit bed. But the first thread didn’t allow me to sleep. I wrote a big note on her wall before I logged off. It was a request to all her friends to help her if they see her online on facebook or get in touch by any other means elsewhere. I also sent her a message with my mobile number if she needs to wake me up.

After a little tossing and turning in bed, sat up again and logged into all messengers on iPhone. Unless something’s final on this drama, how can I go to normal sleep?

Luckily, she was online on Yahoo!

I sent her a “hi” and “u ther?” real quick.

She responded ok but was asking my whereabouts. May be she forgot my Yahoo ID. I login to yahoo only once every season.

Reminded about our encounter a moment ago on facebook and asked if she really needs help.

She was stunned too. A little more conversation helped us realize that her facebook was hacked. And the worst, part – she was not aware of it!

I was online until she reset her password for facebook, showed her the initial phishing chat conversation, deleted the help request on her wall and logged off.

All has ended well. It was a close call but no information was disclosed to the phisherman. Moreover, there isn’t an old friend stranded in Scotland, mugged at gunpoint, looking for help. What a relief!

Anyway, that was my personal story. But, here are a few more threats with facebook in general, FYI.

I am not sure but I think this is the code used by hackers to chat as the account holder. I like the comment number 0 on that page:

“This one should be so simple to prevent – it relies on a user actually copy and pasting in a command they don’t understand.

The downside is – “enough people are stupid enough” so it spreads.”

Take care fellas!

Facebook Decluttered

facebookThere are very few occasions when accidents yield good results. Most of them are called inventions and I call mine a discovery. This feature was probably available all along, but I just discovered it. Just = a week or so ago; it = the page am going to show off now.

Without a doubt, facebook is the most happening social networking platform online and offline. While we have dedicated sites for professional networking, dating, sharing and collaborating, I guess facebook is the one that has no boundaries. Well, I too use it for casual networking and catching up most of the times but dozens of businesses are getting on this platform every day, not to mention the scrutiny of profiles from potential recruiters.

Anyway, this post is not to appraise facebook, but to overcome the problem that stops me get there. I hesitate to login to the site frequently because of the clutter all around. Yes, part of the problem is those stupid quizzes and cookies, Mafia war and Farmville updates, and am sure the list does not end there.

Fullscreen capture 1162009 105836 AM

Here I have a new page introduced on my blog – facebook. Once you login, there are two things you can do: one, have a discussion about my blog (am flattered already!); two, the one you might find it very useful – The ‘decluttered’ facebook! Just check out the page once and see how neat the live feed is! This option gives you only the ‘real’ updates from your friends, filtering out the other junk. Too good to catch up quickly! Bookmark the page and have fun!

And yeah, why is it an accident? I wanted to form a community and therefore integrated this blog with facebook quite some time ago. In single sentence, you can login to this blog with your facebook credentials, have an identity, form a community and manage your profile as a registered user. Read the complete post here. But then, I had some problems and I had to pull it off. I normally use Firefox for development and damn javascript errors made it difficult for Internet Explorer users to view the blog. In the course of fixing those errors, (am glad I could do it!) I discovered this option – the decluttered facebook. So, I proudly present to you this page.

What all can you do from this page?

  • update your status
  • read your friends’ live feed
  • ‘like’ a status message
  • comment on it and
  • logout facebook right from this site!

That’s the 80% of my facebook activity. The other 20% I can probably catch up on a weekend on the regular facebook. Good deal!

While you can catch up directly with that page, this is what I would recommend. (Because with this one step, every time you are logged in to facebook, cookie identifies your login and takes you to your live feed page on this blog automatically!)

  1. Connect with facebook (the community space on the right hand side bar, just below the ads)
    Fullscreen capture 1162009 105426 AM
  2. Have fun!

Last but not the least, let me know what you think in comments!