Category Archives: Social Media

News, views, analysis and tips on Social Networking and Social Media. News from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Digg, Reddit and more.

The Best Tool Ever To Create Custom Twitter Backgrounds

There are a lot of websites that offer free Twitter backgrounds but Themeleon is a tool that clearly stands apart. Themeleon is a nice little tool by the COLOURLovers community that you can use to generate your own Twitter background within seconds.

Start with selecting a template; you can either browse through various template categories such as ornate, mosaic, simple shapes, nature, retro, stripes or check out the top templates. Once you have selected a template, click on the color thumbnail to open the color chart. Now you can choose any color in the world to customize the template.

For the color of your text, links, background and sidebar, you can either create a color palette or choose from over 1 Million available color palettes. If you like the colors of the template pattern more than the colors in your palette or vice versa, you can sync them with a single click. You can also create a background by uploading a photo and customizing it to your taste.

The most amazing feature of Themeleon is the ability to preview the changes as you make them right in your Twitter profile. Themeleon will ask you to login using your Twitter credentials so you can implement your customized Twitter theme with a single click. No need to download or upload anything.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

The developers creating Themeleon thought of everything. It is quick, has a lot of features and gives you infinite possibilities for your Twitter background/theme. I have not seen a better tool around.

Rating: 5/5

CelebritiesThatTwitter: Read Celebrity Tweets The Easy Way

Nowadays everybody seems to be on Twitter which makes it hard to keep track of all the good tweets. CelebritiesThatTwitter is a dead simple mashup tool to read tweets from various celebrities.

No registration or sign-up to do, simply go to CelebritiesThatTwitter.com and start reading tweets from people like Shaquille O’Neal, Paula Abdul, Perez Hilton, Jimmy Fallon and more. The tweets are constantly updated. If you like a tweet, you can retweet it or share on Facebook with a single click. Clicking on any username takes you to the actual status update on the Twitter website and hovering your mouse over the username shows you a snapshot of the user profile.

If you are interested in actually following some great celebrities check out the mashable lists for 20 Great NFL Players That Twitter, Comedic film actors on Twitter or 100+ Musicians on Twitter.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Overall, CelebritiesThatTwitter is a really simple tool to read celebrity tweets without going to their individual profiles or following them.

Rating: 3/5

Guy Escapes From Prison – Taunts Cops through Facebook Status Updates

If you thought Prison Break was over the top, wait till you read this. Craig ‘Lazie’ Lynch was serving a seven year sentence for aggravated burglary in Hollesley Bay Prison, Suffolk. He managed to escape from the open prison on 23rd September and has been on the run since. However, this is where the story gets surreal. Instead of hiding, Craig has been regularly posting status updates and photographs on Facebook.

Craig-Lynch-Facebook-Fan-Page

Craig has close to 1300 friends and more than 11,000 fans on Facebook. Recently, he even celebrated his first Christmas on the run.

Craig-Lynch-Facebook-Christmas-Update

YES YES i f****n made it to Xmas i beat their f***n system and i love it. I love you all my family my friends my lovers and all my supporters and fans i love the whole lot of you x x your the best merry xmas merry xmas merry xmas ho ho ho.

Through his antics Craig has managed to build a fan following, attract media attention and embarrass the establishment. It will be interesting to see how long he manages to stay on the outside. Being the attention freak he is, I get a feeling that he will soon get too adventurous and end up getting caught.

Create Custom Twitter backgrounds with Twitbacks

Twitback is a free service which makes it easy to create backgrounds for your Twitter profile in minutes. You can show your photo, contact information and social networking accounts in the background and there are so many designs to choose from.

Here is how my Twitter background looks after customizing with Twitback

twitter-background-image

How to Create a Custom Twitter Background With TwitBacks

Just visit the homepage and create an account with Twitback. After that, enter your name, blog address and a short bio which will be shown in the background you are going to create. You can also show your phone number and email address if you want. The website lets you attach a small logo of your blog so consider using something similar to the favicon of your blog.

customize-profile-twitback

Next, you can add all the social networking accounts and show the URL’s in the background. You can add your Facebook vanity URL, your Youtube profile and other social accounts. Tip: Do not add more than two accounts as the background may look cluttered.

add-social-profiles

The style and size of fonts can be customized to your choice (Arial looks good). Regarding the width of the profile bio, you have to test and see what works best for you.

Next, you can choose the designs from the themes page. There are 23 themes to choose from and they really look awesome. After you have chosen the theme, press continue and you will be shown your completed Twitter background image.

twitter-background-twitback

Now you can download the Twitter background in your computer. Twitbacks will also send an email to you so that you can download it later on. After you have downloaded the image, log into Twitter and you can change your Twitter background   from the design tab.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

Twitbacks is awesome and has become popular among Twitter users who want to add a personal touch in their profile. There are so many designs to choose from and you can add your contact information, bio, photos, logos and all the social networking URL’s. So what are you waiting for? Go change your Twitter background today !

Techie-Buzz rating: 5/5(perfect)

Shorten Tweets By Converting To SMS Lingo

Think 140 characters are not enough? If you feel this way, you can shorten your tweets by converting them into SMS shorthand language. If you don’t know what I mean by SMS shorthand language, here are some examples:

– How Are you? changes to How r u?

– I will talk to you later, Gotta go now changes to I will ttyl, gtg now.

If you don’t feel like spending the time to write in SMS lingo, you can simply use Twonvert. Twonvert is a great web app that lets you convert your raw text into SMS shorthand to save you space. Just copy-paste the text you want to convert and Twonvert will convert it for you. It will also tell you how much characters you are saving by converting to the SMS lingo.

Once done, you can either copy the converted text or submit it to Twitter directly by providing your Twitter credentials.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Twonvert is a great Twitter tool to help you cram more words in the limited 140 characters. It is easy to use and very productive.

Rating: 3/5

Only Search The Tweets From Your Friends

Twitter has a great search tool but the results are often too broad and irrelevant. When you search Twitter you are mostly interested in what your friends are saying instead of the whole world. There had not been an easy way to customize Twitter search for this functionality, until now.

Flocking.me is a great new Twitter tool that lets you search your friends tweets only and filters out the rest of the world. To use the tool, simply head over to Flocking.me and sign in using your Twitter credentials. Once signed in, you will see a search page with all your friends listed. Just enter the term you want to search for and Flocking.me will pull up the results from your friends tweets.

You can see the results as a list view, a thumbnail view or even on an interactive map. Flocking.me also takes some of the popular words/phrases appearing in your friends tweets and show them on the top of your screen.

You don’t even have to reload the page to see updates results, Flocking.me will do that automatically.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Flocking.me is a great tool to search Twitter for more relevant and focused information. It filters out all the noise and only searches tweets from your friends.

Rating: 4/5

Twitter May Have Finally Reached Profitability

Twitter-ProfitableTwitter has often been ridiculed due to the apparent lack of a business plan. In fact Twitter’s possible business model has been a topic of hot debate. Over the past year, it almost looked as if pundits were obsessed with figuring out/speculating how Twitter will ever manage to make money. Now BusinessWeek is reporting that, Twitter might have finally reached profitability.

We had earlier reported that, Twitter has inked content sharing deals with both Microsoft and Google. While these deals will undoubtedly bolster the concerned search engine’s real-time capabilities, they have also succeeded in pushing Twiter into the black. Twitter is believed to have received $15 million from Google and $10 million from Microsoft. As a direct consequence of these multi-year agreements, Twitter will be able to make a small profit in 2009.

The other important contributor has been a reduction in the bills paid to telecommunication companies. Twitter’s growing clout has allowed them to renegotiate many of the deals at more favorable terms. In fact, this has resulted in Telecommunication bills being replaced by employee expenses as the single biggest source of expenditure. Maintaining profitability in the future will depend on Twitter’s ability to explore new revenue sources and keeping the number of employees in check.

Number of Tweets Surpass World Population

Twitter has taken over the world. As of today, the number of tweets are greater than the number of people on this planet.

The popular tweet counting service GigaTweet is showing the number of tweets as 6.83 Billion and the world population stands at 6.79 Billion according to Census.gov. GigaTweet also predicts that the number of tweets would reach 7 Billion in 5 days and   10 Billion in 96 days of time. With 25 Million tweets per day andover a million tweets every hour, this number sounds pretty reachable

This is another sign of the tremendous growth Twitter has been in past few months. However, one should keep in mind that this includes the countless retweets that people do. The original number of tweets might very well be less than 10% of this number.

Twitter Is Down (Again): Defaced By the Iranian Cyber Army

Twitter’s security and stability woes continue. As of now Twitter.com is down, although the API seems to be working. At the very least, Twitter was defaced earlier today by a group claiming to be the Iranian Cyber Army.

Twitter-Hacked-Iranian-Cyber-Army

The text in the above screenshot reads:

Iranian Cyber Army

THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY

[email protected]

U.S.A. Think They Controlling And Managing Internet By Their Access, But THey Don’t, We Control And Manage Internet By Our Power, So Do Not Try To Stimulation Iranian Peoples To….

NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA?
WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST
Take Care.

The extent to which Twitter has been compromised isn’t yet clear. Both twitter.com as well as status.twitter.com have been down for more than an hour. This indicates that the attack may be a lot more serious than just defacing.

[Screenshots via TechCrunch]

Update 1: Twitter.com is back online. No word yet on what went wrong.

Twitter-Trending-Iranian-Cyber-Army
Iranian Cyber Army is now trending

Update 2: It appears that the DNS records were compromised, as a result of which users were re-directed to a different page. Twitter is still investigating the attack.

Update 3: TechCrunch is claiming that Iranian Cyber Army is not just a moniker. It is an actual government organisation and the attack is part of Iran’s strategy to go on the offensive against US and other opponents of it’s nuclear strategy.

INQ Reveals the Most Influential Twitter User in the World – You May Be Surprised

INQ Mobile has published a list of most influential Twitter users to mark the launch of its ‘Chat 3G’ phone. So, who is the most influential Twitter user in the world? No, it’s not Oprah Winfrey or Ashton Kutcher or even President Obama. It’s Pete Cashmore – founder of popular internet news blog Mashable.

The list was developed by identifying five most popular tweeps across different categories and by assigning them an influence rating out of 100. The influence was measured by taking into account factors like number of tweets, number of retweets, number of times retweeted and number of mentions.

Pete Cashmore may not be a household name like P Diddy or Britney Spears, but thanks to the popularity of Mashable, he is the most influential twitterati. In fact posts on Mashable are often the most retweeted links on Twitter. The full list is provided below.

Most Influential Twitter Users (International)
Most-Influential-Twitter-Users

For further information check out INQ’s press release.

Orkut Introduces Inline Photo Browsing, Slideshows and Face Detection

Orkut the social networking site popular in Brazil and India has rolled out a new set of features for photo sharing on the site. The new features include Inline photo browsing, photo slideshows and Face detection for tagging friends.

orkut_inline_photo_browsing orkut_photo_face_detection orkut_photo_slideshows

Photo tagging has been pretty popular on , however, Facebook still does not have options for inline photo browsing and photo slideshows.

Orkut has been spicing up the site by introducing a new design and several more features which have brought it on par with other social networking sites like Facebook and . However, Orkut still lacks the popularity of Facebook and more and more users are now migrating to the other available options.

Do you use Orkut? Have you left it recently for Facebook or Twitter? Let us know through your comments.

Faster, more fun photo sharing on orkut [Official Orkut Blog]

Judges and Lawyers Cannot be Friends on Facebook

We never think about the impact of social media on different professions. For some, it is not as simple as we think it is. According to a ruling by the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee of the Florida Supreme Court, a lawyer who appears in front of a Judge, cannot add him as a “friend” on a social networking website.

Here’s the actual link to the ruling and below are the exact wordings:

Whether a judge may add lawyers who may appear before the judge as “friends” on a social networking site, and permit such lawyers to add the judge as their “friend.”

ANSWER: No.

The other interesting parts of the ruling allows a Judge to post comments on a social networking site and allows lawyers to be ‘fans’ of Judges as long as the fan page is not managed by the judge himself.

New Facebook Privacy Settings Are Controversial

Is Facebook really all about user’s privacy as often claimed by the Facebook team? If so, why would Facebook prompt users to make their status updates visible to the whole internet and even indexed by search engines?

This question comes after Facebook announced new privacy settings today for it’s 350 million users. You can always change your privacy settings and make your status updates visible to only friends and network, but for all the users who have ever changed their privacy settings, it would be defaulted to everyone.

Along with that, some of your profile information such as name, profile picture, current city, pages, network and friend list would be make public. This comes as a recommended setting from Facebook now but can be changed if you don’t want it to be so.

Facebook claims that these settings would provide user more control over their privacy, however, a lot of people have already started bashing these changes as awful and bad.

How do you feel about this? Are you okay with Facebook making your friend list public? At least I am not. I also don’t want the whole world to know what pages I am a fan of.

Here’s a snapshot of some comments posted by users about these new settings:

Here’s what some popular blogs and websites are saying about these new settings:

Gawker says:

Facebook begins ‘Privacy’ Con

ReadWriteWeb says:

This is not what Facebook users signed up for. It’s not about privacy at all, it’s about increasing traffic and the visibility of activity on the site.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says

EFF Doesn’t Recommend Facebook’s “Recommended” Privacy Setting.

Tumblr Introduces Password Protected Blogs

Tumblr is one of the most famous micro-blogging service which provides users with a easy way to post images, videos, links and more. We have a mini blog at Techie Notes, which runs on Tumblr and uses the custom domain name feature from them.

tumblr_password_protect

Tumblr just announced today that they are introducing password protected blogs. This new feature will allow users to password protect their blogs. Once a blog has been password protected, users who visit the blog can only access your posts if they have a valid password.

Password Protecting Blogs in Tumblr

password_protect_tumblr_blogs

Tumblr provides users with an option to password protect their blogs when they create a new one. Just select the checkbox next to Password protect this blogand provide a password for it.

You can password protect existing blogs by going to the customize page for your blog.

What We Would Like to See

This is definitely a great way for people to create private blogs and share them with only a select few, however, it would be also be nice if they could add support to password protect individual posts instead of the entire blog.

What do you think? Let us know through your comments.

Facebook Testing New Design [Screenshots]

has been changing their design far too often these days. However, more often then not their new design and changes have been quickly slammed by users.

The last Facebook design change was pushed out last month, however, Business Insider is reporting that Facebook is working on a new design for the most popular social networking site on Earth.

Take a look at some of the screenshots below; courtesy BI.

New Facebook News Feed