Twitter For Newsroom Launched: Your Guide To Twitter Basics

twitter-logoTwitter is no doubt one of the best ways to find breaking stories and up to date information about something which is happening right at this moment.

Whether it be the death of Osama Bin Laden or the Japan Earthquakes, Twitterverse is always booming with information, news or scoops in real time. What makes Twitter so useful and compelling is it’s universal and spontaneous nature. Anyone can break a story, news or deal on his Twitter profile and if the tweet is really worth, it will spread within minutes. This is very different as well as way faster than old media where the end user gets the information after much editorial processing.

But here is the catch: not everyone is familiar with Twitter basics and sometimes they need clear and concise guidelines on how to use Twitter to dig out specific information they are interested in. Most newbies think Twitter as a large chat room with useless discussions without going into the finer details, which is now made a little easy.

Twitter has launched an official site at which provides detailed guidelines on how to use Twitter to find sources, embed tweets on webpages or promote your own stuff on Twitter. The site is geared towards people who are new to Twitter and need help in understanding how Twitter works.


Here are a couple of sections from the Twitter Newsroom site which are worth reading:


This section outlines a suite of search tools which you can use to find tweets that are related to the topics of your interest.

  1. Twitter Search: This section gives some insights on how you can use Twitter search to find information about a particular subject. Please note that Twitter search is also available at apart from
  2. Advanced Twitter Search: This is for power users who have lots of Ifs and buts. Learn how to use Twitter advanced search, combine search operators and track conversations between two people (see example).
  3. TweetDeck and Twitter for Mac: Use TweetDeck on your desktop and dedicate columns for specific hash tags. Get real time notifications and there is no need to manually search for the same hash tag or topic every other day.
  4. Archive Search: Need to find old tweets? Use

Twitter says that it is their goal is to help creative professionals in news, TV, sports and entertainment use Twitter effectively.


Still not getting hold of Twitter or find it rather confusing? The success stories page will be a good start which showcases examples of Journalists and media persons using Twitter everyday to find information that matters to them.

Furthermore, Twitter gives some more tips on branding your profile with a custom   image, a profile picture and writing a clear and concise bio.

#Publish and #Extras

Some tools of the trade. Learn how to embed tweets on webpages, display selected tweets or add a Followor Tweetbutton on your website.

Finally, the wrap of section contains links to Twitter help pages, problems and troubleshooting issues and a lot of other useful resources.

If you are using Twitter for a year or so, chances are you already know these things. However, if you have a friend or colleague who is new to Twitter and needs help in understanding the basic things, the Newsroom page will be a good start.

Some Tips On Using Twitter Wisely

1. There is no rulebook and the so called ethical guidelines for using Twitter. Everything depends on what you want to achieve through this medium and your tweets should be a reflection of your goals.

2. You don’t need tons of followers to tweet. Everyone started with zero followers.

3. Respecting your followers is a good practice. It won’t hurt if you are tweeting about your lunch or last night tequila party but make sure your tweets are meaningful and not offending or disturbing.

4. Build relationships, not just blind followers with an egg as their profile picture.

5. Communicate with people you care about and talk about things you love, rather than stealing tweets of random celebrities or mimicking someone.

6. Avoid personal attacks or stalking someone publicly. Not only you will lose trust, but you will regret your behavior as the reactions are most likely to pour in.

7. If you are promoting your business on Twitter, register a different account for branding reasons. Your business followers can quickly subscribe to that Twitter profile and get real time updates about your website, without having to go through each and every personal tweet of yours.

8. It’s fine to use auto tweeting services like Twitterfeed but don’t overdo. Be human, no one likes robots.

9. You don’t have to tweet every single hour. Do it when you feel it and don’t worry about F.O.M.O (fear of missing out).


10. Twitter is a great way to connect with strangers and like minded people. When you are talking about something very specific, remember to use appropriate hash tags. People who are searching for the same topic will notice you and they will eventually follow your tweets.

11. Don’t forget to thank your followers when they Retweet your tweets and reply to them when they are mentioning you. It should ideally be a two way channel.

12. If you are using Twitter to market your business, help as many people as possible rather than tweeting about your business all the time. You must deliver value in some way or else no one will stick around in the long run.

13. Self promotion isn’t bad and remember the fact that no one else is going to do that for you. But excessive self promotion equals spam.

14. Your followers are 1000 times smarter than you. Respect their time and attention.

Happy tweeting! See you there


Google Chrome Canary Build Introduces An Experimental New Tab Page

The latest version of Google Chrome canary build (14.0.802) houses a lot of changes to the new tab page, sync options and the way apps, bookmarks and the list of most visited sites appear on Google Chrome. Google wants to maximize the browsing area and hide almost everything under shortcuts, which also includes the URL bar and extension buttons.

Before you jump in to find the changes, update Google Chrome canary to it’s latest version and go to the about:flags page.Scroll down and enable all the goodies you want to use in Google Chrome, the latest additions are enabling typed URL sync, enabling the experimental new tab page, restricting instant to search and compact navigation.

When you are done enabling all or some of the new experimental features, hit the Relaunchbutton for the changes to take effect.

Let’s quickly take a look at the new features added to Google Chrome’s latest canary build.

The Experimental New Tab Page



Two separate tabs, one for the list of most visited sites and another for Apps.You can slide between the two tabs and keep your apps on one tab while the list of most visited sites on the other. Furthermore, the list of recently closed tabs is grouped at the bottom of the new tab page, clicking which pulls up a menu where you are shown the option to open recently closed tabs in a new browser window. If only I could figure out the keyboard shortcut for flipping between the two tabs on the new tab page, kind of produces a smartphone effect.

Sync Typed URL’s With Your Google Account


Apart from syncing extensions, bookmarks, passwords and apps with your Google account, you can also sync typed URL’s in Google Chrome. Google understands that the URL’s you type often are important to you and the auto fill suggestion for typed URL’s should be accessible across multiple computers. Hence, say hello to Typed URL sync.

Hide That Toolbar


Enabling the compact navigationfeature from about:flags page will let you hide every other UI element of chrome. This includes the bookmarks toolbar, the address bar and the extension buttons. All in one shot!

The address bar will be hidden by default. To enter a new web address, you have to either open a new tab   or hit the keyboard shortcut Control + L.

This is nice for users who have been using Google Chrome for quite some time. But not so nice for those who are new and need basic options right in front of their eyes. Then, the canary build is for power users, right?

Tired Of Third Party Download Sites? Brings All Of Them Together

Do you download a lot of movies, torrents and random stuff from the Internet and want a single place where you can manage all the downloads? How about an app which can fetch files from any download server and let you download it at your preferred time, without having to sit back and wait for the downloads to finish right at this moment?

Enter a simple yet useful service which lets you fetch files from any download location to your account. supports torrents, Rapidshare, Megaupload, Mediafire and all the major third party download servers, so instead of downloading files from random servers and losing track of them, you can consolidate all of them on your dashboard.


After adding a file to your account, hit Fetchand forget about it. will download the file on it’s remote server and will send you an email notification when they your file is parsed and ready. Next, you can either download the file directly from your account or grab the URL and share with anyone who might want to download the same file. works just like a cloud download manager which downloads files to your account instead of the local computer you are using. Many download servers have limitations on file downloads and in some bizarre cases, you may find that the file you have bookmarked has either expired or has been removed from the server. So instead of bookmarking files, movies, videos or torrents which you want to download later, you can use and save them to a remote server which you control.

Once has downloaded that file to your remote server, it’s saved on your account. This service is a lifesaver for users who use multiple computers at work or need to download a really large file but have doubt whether the file will be available at a later point of time.

The service is in closed beta right now, so a desktop application and smartphone support is a work in progress. Currently, provides a hefty 20 GB of free storage to all users, so you can store a lot of files like movies, videos and so on. One downside is that files that are protected by Captchas can’t be added to your download queue. Otherwise, the service does a nice job aggregating files from different download servers at one place and lets you download them when it’s convenient to you.


Skype’s 5.5 Beta For Windows Adds More Deeper Facebook Integration

Skype has recently announced a new beta version of their desktop client for Windows users which offers deeper Facebook integration and a new call control toolbar. Although Skype already supports Facebook integration from version 5.0, this new update polishes some existing features while introduces a couple of new ones.

First you will need to connect your Facebook account with Skype, if you haven’t done it already. This can be done by clicking the homebutton on Skype’s desktop client, switching to the Facebooktab and hitting the Connectbutton.


In the next window, sign in to your Facebook account and grant all the necessary permissions . Skype will import your entire Facebook contact list so that you can chat with Facebook friends directly from Skype, see your Facebook news feed, like or comment on status updates and send SMS messages to any of your Facebook friends who have added their phone number to their Facebook account.

The instant messaging pane will add a Facebooktab, showing all your Facebook friends who are online at the moment. Here is how your Facebook news feed will look inside Skype’s desktop client:


Skype’s integration with Facebook looks good so far but it is in a way incomplete.

skype-notificationFirst, there is no way you can call a Facebook friend within Skype, if they don’t have a Skype account. We already have dozens of IM clients so it was necessary on part of Skype to introduce a voice chat feature with Facebook friends.

Second, you can’t customize your Facebook news feed within Skype’s desktop client. There is no way to block apps, hide updates from specific people, view a particular friend list and so on. Skype will pull out your entire news feed in it’s default state which is not very friendly in nature.

The only advantage here is that you will get desktop notification whenever any of your Facebook friends come online. A sleek Mr X is now onlinenotification pops up near Windows system tray, which looks nice.

Skype was acquired by Microsoft in May 2011.


Google Testing A New Design Of Search Result Pages, Removes “I am feeling Lucky”

Looks like Google wants to do away with the classic I am Feeling Luckybutton. Some sources have reported that they are seeing another major design overhaul of Google search where the “I am Feeling Luckybutton is missing.


From the last couple of months, Google has been testing newer mockups every other week. First, they tested a completely new look of Google search result pages by changing the color, fonts and spacing’s between links.

Soon after, they performed another test by moving the URL up and placed it between the title and meta description. If you have missed our earlier stories, the following screenshot should do a quick recap:


The third mockup however, adopts a rich color scheme, removes the I am Feeling Luckybutton and slightly revamps the order of links in Google search result pages. Let’s take a look at another screenshot (courtesy Google operating system blog):


As you can observe, the search button has been replaced with a really bold counterpart where the word Searchhas been removed and replaced with a magnifying glassicon. The header portion of Google search result pages has been revamped with a greyish background while the sidebar filters have received a new color (Red). There is no hover background for the sidebar filter links, while the Cachedand Similarlinks have been moved to the Instant Previewbox.

With so many changes one after another, it’s no wonder Google wants to completely redefine the usability of search result pages. This is evident with their algorithmic tweaks which aims to improve the quality of search results. On both fronts, Google wants to provide a useful user experience and since they are testing a major design overhaul of their search result pages in parallel with the Panda algorithmic update, it’s clear that something big is round the corner.

The newer design has not been rolled out yet, so we will have to wait until Google pushes it out to all users globally.

Google’s “Me on The Web” Tracks Online Mentions Of Your Name, Just Like Google Alerts

online-identityOn the eyes of a random searcher, your online identity largely depends on which pages are returned when they search for you on major search engines.

It’s a known fact that most recruiters are most likely to perform a Google search for your name before they decide to hire you.

The question is: how do search engines decide which pages should be returned when someone is Googling for your name, email address, company site and so on. Two factors come into play here.

First, what you say about yourself. Your personal blog, Twitter profile, Google profile amongst other social sites are strong signals of your online identity. Second, what other people are saying about you, who is linking to your site’s about page, who is mentioning your name in comments, who is conversing with you on Twitter and so on.

Hence, it is really important to keep your eyes really wide open on online conversations that are related to you in some way or the other.

Google is at your rescue again, with the introduction of Me On the web- a personal reputation management tool available on your Google account dashboard.

Google’s Me On The Web

Google’s Me on the webtool lets you track online reactions which may be related to you in some way or the other. The tool is powered by Google alerts and lets you set up search alerts for your name email address, website or specific keywords which are directly associated with your brand, company, service and so on.


For me on the webto work, you must have an active Google profile. No wonder Google wants to push Google profilesto more and more people out there so that their socialsignal strength becomes more and more widespread. What I mean is that there is nothing new here, all the features are already available on Google Alerts. In fact, the overlay window itself claims that Me on the webis powered by Google alerts, so it’s clear that Google wants more and more people to create their Google profiles and use this service to track their online identity.

Some Downsides of Google’s Me On The Web

There are two downsides though.

First, there is no way to subscribe to these custom alerts using RSS. I get dozens of email every single day and I am a little skeptical on receiving stuff on my email inbox. I have some Google alerts working round the clock in Google reader, so there is no way I am going to use me on the web. Thumbs down.

Second, the results are not archived and you are shown only recent results. If someone linked to your site and it appeared as an alert four months back, you have to dig up that old email message. There is no way to find that old alert directly from your Google dashboard. It’s lost in time !

Overall, this is not really useful for power users but if you have never heard of Google alerts, you may want to try this out.

Google Improves It’s Related Search Feature, Shows Similar Items From A List

Often times, you may want to see similar items that closely match with your search criteria.

It’s unlikely that you will remember the names and details of all the items that belong to a group. Let’s quickly take an example to understand how list of searches work.

Say you are researching about American presidentsand want an easy way to find out all the individuals who were previously president of USA. You don’t know the name of any U.S president at all so how do you search anyway?

One example in this case is to head over to Wikipedia or any other website which has a list of all U.S presidents, copy the name from that website, prepare your internal list and then start your research on

Google understands that in some situations, it makes perfect sense to show all the items that belong to a particular group. NBA players, American authors, Spielberg movies, you get the idea.

Starting today, you might see a Top Referencessection at the bottom of Google search result pages which is an improvement to how related searches are shown on Previously, Google offered search suggestions focusing only on the long tail of search and different keyword variations.   But this feature has been extended to work with lists and items that are part of a subset of queries.

Here is how.


Previously, users were only shown different keyword and phrase variations of the same search. This is an aggregate data of search queries which closely matches with the queries of other users. Google has extended this feature for specific queries with the Top Referencesfeature which now shows different items from a list.

So if you are searching for American authors, Google thinks that you want a list of American authors and then refine your search deeper. It can happen that you don’t remember the name of John Steinbeck, so Google will now show you all the items that match with your query, so you can just click on the list item and perform long tail searches on your own.

If you click one of these links, the collection of links moves to the top of the results page and results are shown depending on the links you click next.


These related searches currently appear in English only on Google says in a blog post that their search algorithms uses variety of signals to determine the most relevant and accurate items that may be present on a list. These suggestions are shown automatically when Google thinks the user is searching for a specific item that is part of a bigger group. Please note that there is no way to toggle Top Referencessuggestion on, as you can do with related searchesavailable in the left sidebar.

Some observations:

1. The Top Referencessuggestion is shown only for very very popular queries.

2. Most of these queries are short in nature. Works best with one or two words at maximum.

3. Searching for an individual list item won’t show you the references suggestion. Instead, if you type in the name of the larger group, you are most likely to see similar items of the same list. So if you search for Mark Twain, you won’t see any references suggestion at all. Instead, you have to search for american authorsand the references suggestion should appear.

Google has been quite busy rolling up updates one after another. A few days back they introduced voice search, search with images and Instant pages. We told you that Google is working on a major design overhaul of their search result pages with the URL’s being plastered between the title and description snippet. It looks like their search team is also focusing on user interaction and discoverability of content, not just design, look or feel.

We tried this improvement with some sample queries [Indian cricketers], [nobel prize winners] and [seven wonders of the world]. Try them out and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Google’s Les Paul Guitar Doodle Gets It’s Own Homepage

All right, all right. Google’s famous Les Paul Guitar doodle lives in eternity, just like Google’s Pacman doodle.

If you have missed our earlier story, Google’s Les Paul Guitar doodle featured a sweet electric guitar with strings and notes that can be played using your computers keyboard and mouse. U.S citizens were also provided an additional option to record songs and share their recordings using a Google Doodle shortlink.

Seeing the immense popularity, Google tweeted that they would be keeping the Les Paul doodle for one more day. Guess, one day was not enough!

Google has now put up a dedicated homepage for the Les Paul Google doodle, which is available and will be available round the clock, till the Internet lives.


Just as the Pacman Google doodle is still available at, the Les Paul   will continue to operate from it’s homepage. The only difference here is that the search box is missing from the Les Paul’s homepage which means you can’t search and play music at the same time. This is unlike Google’s Pacman doodle which lets you search as well as play the game from the same page.

Some Creative uses of Google’s Les Paul Guitar Doodle

Here are some songs recorded using Google’s Les Paul doodle:

Tell us your favorites in the comments section.

Don’t You Ever Kill Indian BullFrogs. And If You Must, Don’t Post It On Facebook Or Twitter

Weekends are often fun and ideal for relieving the stress accumulated during the week. Some folks turn to the beaches, hang out with friends, watch movies while a few of them try bizarre hobbies like Poaching.

One youth from India just ran into trouble due to his Poachingand social mediahabits.

indian-bullfrogEarlier today, an Indian resident named Yoko Gomes posted a message on Facebook saying he loves to kill Indian Bullfrogs and eating them is his hobby. Shortly after his message went viral on Facebook, cops and forest department officials raided his house only to find him missing, as he was already on his way to Mumbai.

The cops, paired with Goa forest department officials searched the house for evidence and found traces of cooked frog at his place. The officials are now questioning Yoko’s parents about the matter.

A local NGO network from Goa found Yoko’s Facebook status update and lodged a legal complaint with the forest department.

We had downloaded all the content from Facebook and attached it with the complaint,” Clinton Vaz, an activist of Wild Goa Network, said.

As it turns out, the bullfrog feast partywas squashed and the youth left his house in a hurry.

The Takeaway Lesson?

Facebook, Twitter and all these social sharing sites are great but there is a limit to everything. Posting each and every rant of yours online can get you into serious trouble.

You see, the Government is very serious with the IT regulations and online human behavior these days. Since the Internet is kind of a No Mans landand there is no rulebook, does not necessarily mean that you should go over the board and start posting everything, round the clock.

Some insane examples:

If I don’t get back my damaged laptop within a day, I will bomb XYZ companies headquarters Okay you said this biting your teeth in anger but the cops might take it seriously. And don’t expect them to be as tech savvy as you are, chances are that they won’t check your online reputation before sending someone to trace you out.

I am without power for three days, if this electricity company doesn’t fix things up…. I am going to kidnap the CEO’s daughter   Heh! You got 10 retweets but if the cops catch you, expect more bad mentions.

I hacked into this XYZ Government website this proves you are an amateur because a real hacker won’t ever reveal his identity.

Somewhere down the road, you have to draw a line to keep your online and offline life balanced. Your offline life is much more valuable than this virtual, always connected and ever expanding environment called Internet.

Don’t let the latter screw up the former.

About Indian Bullfrogs: Indian bullfrog are the largest specie of frogs found on the Indian subcontinent. It’s a protected specie and as per the wildlife rules and regulations of India, killing or poaching of frogs is a punishable offence.

[ Source: TOI, Photo credit ]

P.S: I don’t like Amphibians, they scare me away.

So You Thought Twitter DM’s Are Completely Private?

twitter-dmUnlike mentions, Twitter DM’s are completely private in nature and are accessible only to you and the receiver to whom you are sending the Direct message. So it’s safe to assume that Twitter DM’s are not accessible to any third party apps, which has been proved wrong by a demo Twitter app.

The fact: Some Twitter apps can access your mentions, timeline, following list and direct messages without any prior permission as such.

Ok, so where is the proof and which app we are talking here?

If you are really curious and want to see the results hands on, go to the Royal test application page, sign in with your Twitter account, grant all the necessary permissions and let the app rip off your entire history of direct messages in less than a minute. It would be wise to first create a dummy Twitter account, send a few test DM’s and then sign in with this dummy account to check whether the app can access those messages.

I tested the app with my own Twitter account and was surprised to see the app produced the entire history of all direct messages I have sent and received, since the day I created my Twitter account. Here are the results:


And here is the list of direct messages I have received on my Twitter account:


Another  important  thing to note here is that although I had deleted a lot of messages from my Twitter inbox, those deleted messages reappeared once I used the app. Same goes to all received messages !

If you think this is not possible at all, we have a 1 minute hands on video which shows how this app can completely fetch your DM’s:

The app authorization screen clearly states that this app won’t be able to access your Twitter DM’s. Not to forget the fact that Twitter recently changed their oauth authorization screen and added more explicit details on the data which an application can access, once you start using it.


Robin Wauters from Techcrunch writes

Twitter recently updated its OAuth screens, which are supposed to give users greater transparency about the level of access third-party applications have to their accounts. What has happened is that the new authentication model   was supposed to go live on June 1st, but they postponed it to the end of June without fully realizing that the new UI for the OAuth permission screens would already be live.

As it turns out, this is a flaw in the oauth authorization screen upgrade which was scheduled for June 1st. The upgrade has been postponed till June 30th so don’t authorize any suspicious third party app whose oauth authorization page claims that they can’t access your Twitter direct messages.

If you have a lot of confidential data and important messages saved on your Twitter account, you should be really careful and double check your application settings from Twitter > Settings > Applications.

P.S: Previously we did another video discussing the vulnerabilities of Gmail, Twitter and Facebook over an https connection.