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

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! 😛

Elaboration for @HDFC_Bank

Dear @HDFC_Bank,

Normally when I write a post with an intent to get to somebody, I spend some time, do a little home work, have a point and then roll it out.

Am doing this post in a hurry; because, you know, you’re trying hard to assist me on twitter but are unable to.

If you remember this tweet, read on for the response.

While I already replied to the tweet immediately and we’ve been having a disconnected conversation over twitter, this is just a sample to let you understand what I’m referring to, when I say “issues”. I repeat, it’s plural.

And, no kidding, but the terrible service you provide deserves more than 140 chars.

Story background:

A while ago, I contacted your branch where I unfortunately have my salary/ savings account. I requested them to stop an ECS request from Reliance Capital. I was surprised to know that I couldn’t do that! I have no control over my account? I didn’t dare to ask if I can at least block cheques anytime in the future; I kinda know what you’ll say.

Hold on for a moment now. I know you’re thinking “there is a way to stop ECS, all you have to do is get a declaration from Reliance Capital that requests you to cancel the ECS”. Now, take a deep breath and try to understand what’s going on in my mind.

If I come to you with a request to block a cheque (hypothetically, because a cheque is stolen, let’s say), you want me to find the cheque and submit it to you in original, along with my address proof, original passport, valid VISA, telephone bill, ration card, Voter ID card, 2 color passport-size photographs, and, may be my office ID card in original?

Think about it- if I can convince Reliance to cancel the ECS, why the heck would I come to you again and request you to cancel/ dishonor the request? I’m sure you have your dumb policies and bunch of forms at your finger tips, but can you at least get into my mind for a moment and look at the situation?

Here is an email that made me aware of your policy.

Current issue sample:

Again, this is not one of my primary concerns right now, however, as I told you, showing you a sample of why I hate HDFC so much and trying hard, in every way possible to kick you out of my life.

Your recent messages to me on twitter were talking about me visiting the branch to address the situation.

Well, that’s been on for about 6 months now and may be you call it “Retail Asset Branch” to sound/ read good on websites, but I refer to it as “Headquarters, Organized Crime, HDFC”.

Anyways, unable to bear with your pathetic Customer Service, being not in a position to explain every Tom, Dick and Harry, what assistance I need, and simply fed up with HDFC because no one can help me as it’s never “something you can take care of” (there’s always somebody else to address the concern and he/ she has not surfaced in 6 months!), AND more than all of these, not willing to pay huge penalties that arise due to your inability to solve a problem & you impose a fine everytime your kids need new school shoes, I chose to finally visit the “Headquarters”, and you wouldn’t believe, foreclosed the loan with credit card! *Sigh!*

That sounds pathetic even to read it, haan? I did it. Because, that’s how much I hate you now.

But, that’s not the point here, take a look at the letter below I received when I paid the total outstanding to foreclose the loan (yes, school shoes included).

Now, you tell me what do I do with this next ECS that’s referred to here. If I contact the branch, they will want a declaration from the “Headquarters” a.k.a Retail Asset Branch, with cancellation request.

While am not planning to deal with the “Headquarters” now, they gave me a letter that the loan is completely closed! AND STILL, you’re thinking of an ECS presentation.

The loan guy wants me to stop the ECS but the bank account guy won’t allow me to do it. For heaven’s sake, both are part of the same dumb organization!

Let me remind you again, immediately, that both these (the loan fellow and the bank fellow) are from HDFC. If you’re unable to stand on one word within your organization, imagine my plight to deal with HDFC and Reliance Capital in combination! By the way, if I have not mentioned already, they’re your tough competition for Customer Service; they rock as much as you do, but more on that later.

As I said, I don’t even have patience to explain all other such issues with HDFC. I understand you’ve charged me on my loan, as well as Savings account in the name of penalties because two divisions within your own organization don’t understand/ work with each other; but who can put a price on kids’ shoes, huh?

Thank you for all the attempts you did/ are making to address my concerns. Just to let you know the status: the reps who called me so far are useless; they ate up lot of my valuable time; and charged me heavy penalties on top of that.

I’ll pay for the uniforms too, could you please, please leave me alone?!!

Additional recommended reading: http://viveeonline.com/blog/?s=banking

 

Is the facebook festival over for you?

When did you get on facebook? How much time do you spend every day updating your status or reading others’? I bumped into questions like this when reading an article about the recent social networking analysis. It is said that though very slow as of now, the decline curve has started; and one of the primary reason is big giants getting in for business, but it does not end there.

For me, it’s been about a year since a buddy introduced me to facebook. I entered to check out few pictures and the journey began.

Facebook apparently has more than 250 million active users now. Unlike other social networking sites, facebook is said not to boast their numbers with inactive/ dead accounts. All these members login at least once every month. Though the percentage of new users in the Americas has slowed down, with introduction of natural languages, it looks like the growth from rest of the world is tremendous. And, when compared to these numbers, quitters are very less, but experts say the trend has started. It’s not unheard that there are many users dumping Flickr and Picasa too for sharing pictures on facebook. This could mean, like many other social networking sites, facebook could be history too. However, what is concerning is the reasons these quitters do so.

While many say that it is eating up a lot of their time, there are others who have much worse effects. They feel they are losing touch with their real friends; updates and status messages are followed and it is felt that they are very close together, while it has been more than six months they either met or said hello over the phone. It gets worse- a common problem has been identified where facebook users felt they are stalking their own friends! You browse their profiles and skim through the wall without even posting a comment or having any interaction. For specific stories read through the Facebook Exodus and The Facebook backslash. Yeah, Bill Gates quit facebook too, but for totally different reason.

For those who try to convince that facebook has a different purpose like expanding their network of friends by meeting new ones online, or discovering long lost old friends, quitters are vexed up to buy this. They say that everyone has been found through some site or the other and that they are losing the existing ones in real life, considering they are available at a click on facebook when needed. Help to quit facebook is available too! Check this and this.

There are a number of social networking sites (MySpace, LiveJournal, Classmates etc.) that ruled the Internet during the recent past and are now history. I’ve been a part of the few and frankly, didn’t even hear about many. Among the ones that I am active right now, facebook and twitter are the ones worth mentioning, and based on the activity I can’t dare to mention LinkedIn among the above. The complete Social Me is available on the top right hand bar on this blog, check out! Am wondering if this could be a fad like Orkut, for which the festival was over about a year ago for me. I just login to reply if anyone scraps and get out of there within couple of minutes.

But there is something else. Facebook has come into the limelight as the profiles are checked out by many prospective employers and government agencies and God knows who all. It is considered to have understood a slice of life by reading through the activity for a few weeks. Some users are getting uncomfortable with the intrusion, leaving facebook. But there is advise on how to make this work for you and not against too!

Keeping aside the analysis and the current trend, how are you affected by facebook, or any other social networking site right now?

  • How much time do you spend every week [on facebook]?
  • Are you happy or having ‘fun’?
  • Would you save some time for something else or be better off with this face?
  • Do you have any strong reasons to hold on to, or quit facebook?

You can share your thoughts in the comments. For myself, I spend less than 15 minutes on facebook, on those  days I login. I am making sure not to miss out on the major fun part, but making sure that the festival is not over too. Is the facebook festival over for you?

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Firefox experience

firefox-logo

Firefox has released the latest version 3.5. Check what’s new in this release and download the latest version here. Firefox 3.5 offers many changes over the previous version, supporting new web technologies, improving performance and ease of use. Some of the notable features (including playing videos without additional plugins!) are listed on the release notes page linked above.

I installed the new release and am loving it so far. I guess this is one of the best browsers giving us the control and ease of use for better browsing experience. In fact, after moving to the wordpress platform, I used just Firefox to develop my blog. Though I did verify a few times in IE and Chrome for compatibility issues, this is my main work tool for development and testing. So, you’ll no doubt enjoy the blog experience better if you are on Firefox.

The beauty of this application comes in with add-ons. While there are thousands of options to customize your browsing experience, here are a few of my favorites. I already use a few and yet to try the others, but sharing information anyway just in case you are interested. If you use this browser or any add-ons, please add in a comment about your experience!

Add-ons:

ColorZilla 2.0.2: While this allows you to zoom the web page and also measure the distance between two points (for web development), I use this for color picker. In fact, this was my favorite when tweaking colors on my blog CSS! Works awesome!

Google Reader Watcher 0.0.14.3: I use the Google Reader, so I think I will try out this add-on soon. This checks your Google Reader for unread feeds and if you have, the plugin will display them on your browser’s status bar.

ShareThis 3.1.0: ShareThis makes sharing any online content quick and easy. The ShareThis plugin allows you to share text, pictures and video to any contact via email, IM, text message, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter and many more services.

Meebo 1.1: Who hasn’t given meebo a try at some time or the other? Now, this is meebo inside firefox as sidebar! Instant messaging across all major IM networks.

Media Converter 1.0.3: Download and convert online videos directly from your browser without the need for special software. This is a video downloader and video converter in one simple extension.

Facebook experience:

Boost for Facebook 9.4.0: If you are a facebook freak, this will make your experience more colorful and live! Some of the notable features: auto-refresh Home, rollover image for each view in full size, ability to load all the album photos on a page, quick access icon in the status bar, rollover all profile pic thumbnails, auto-login and password is stored.

Facebook Toolbar 1.4: Am not a great fan of any browser toolbar but here is one for facebook if you are interested. Notable features: Search for friends and go to their profile page directly from toolbar, notification when friends update status messages and also new requests, pokes etc., sidebar option to organize facebook friends and an option to share any page you’re browsing directly with your friends or you can also post it to your wall.

Twitter experience:

This one has a good collection but here are my preferences.

TwitterBar 2.4: Post to Twitter from your address bar.

TwitterFox 1.8.2: Notifies you of your friends’ status on Twitter. You can also of course tweet directly from here.

TwitKit 1.2.2: TwitKit is a Twitter sidebar for Firefox. It is like a twitter client, but inside the firefox application! TwitKit has a 6-section interface, using tabs to separate content. You can view the Twitter public timeline, your user timeline, a list of your friends and their latest tweets, a list of your followers and their latest tweets, @replies made to you, and stats about your account.

Flickr experience:

Flickr Gallery Plus! 0.87: Improvised presentation for Flickr fans who browse those awesome Sets all day. Keyboard navigation with arrow keys and slideshow options included.

Flickr Buddy 0.2.5: This is your Personal Assistant to get you updates from Flickr. You configure with friends’ RSS feed and it shows you the number of new pictures uploaded every few minutes (duration can be configured) and you can check those pictures in a new browser tab instantly.

These are the ones I have on my mind today. If you get a chance to try these out, please add in a comment to let me know how it works for you!