Twitter Releases Lists (Beta)

Not so long ago, Pallab wrote an article about Twitter incorporating a list feature that enabled users to manage the information overload. Today, just as I logged into my account I found an alert waiting for me with a large reddish orange New!preceding it that managed to catch my attention more than the super large (and no-doubt super-chirpy) Twitter bird. I had Twitter Lists – A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts. in (Beta) of course.   So what is a Twitter List? And what differentiates it from the host of similar features touted by many Twitter clients such as DestroyTwitter’s Groups?

To better answer those questions, it would be easier to show the entire process of making a list and finding strengths (and flaws) of this new feature.

twitter_lists_homepage

This picture shows my Twitter home screen as of now. There is of course the large alert, and along with that, my following/followers row has an addition called listed. This counts the number of lists you are a part of. Below the search bar is the Lists explanation and a link to create a new list.

new_twitter_list_url

Clicking that brings up an overlay dialog box that asks you two things: the name of the list and its visibility. The name of the list is becomes the page name (i.e. twitter.com/username/listname) and a private list can only be accessed by you, while a public list can be accessed by anyone. Pretty straightforward.

add_people_to_twitter_lists

The list gets created and the only occupant of the list is a search bar urging you to find people to add to that list or you can add them from your following page as well. I decided to go to my following page and add people.

add_followers_to_list

Here I see an added button to the left of the settings called Manage lists in which <username> appears. Clicking on it brings up a checkbox. After clicking the checkbox I see a small Your lists: URLadded to the bottom of the user.

Add non follower

You can also add a user who does not follow you (and you do not follow the user either). Just a click and you are done!

Final List

And finally, the list view. Here you have made a personal timeline of stuff you want to see grouped under one view.

For all I know, the private list is indistinguishable from DestroyTwitter’s Groups feature. Thus, for me, this was nothing new. I guess the catch lies in the public lists which allow people with similar interests to follow, say, amateur astronomers and their like (the Twitter Team List is an excellent example).

P.S. Don’t forget to follow all the Techie Buzz authors at the Techie Buzz Twitter list.

Switch Back to Old Facebook News Feed

If you are one of the many people who were surprised to see a new homepage on , here is a quick tip that will allow you to switch back to the old Facebook Feed.

click_on_more

Step 1: Click on the more link in the sidebar in Facebook Home.

drag_facebook_status_updates status_updates_on_top

Step 2: Drag the Status Updates menu item and add it to the top of the sidebar.

Step 3: Refreshing the page will now display the live feed to you instead of the news feed by default. Enjoy.

You can also make use of Facebook Lite (http://lite.facebook.com) to view status updates instead of news feeds as default.

[via Steve Rubel Lifestream]

Get Rid of Explore Feature in Google Reader

Google recently added a new feature to called Explore, which suggests new feeds to users based on their reading habits.

google_reader_explore removed_explore_section

Many users apparently did not like this new feature, and there is no way to opt-out of the Explore feature as of now. If you are one of the disgruntled users, who do not want to have this thrown on your face, you can get rid of Explore in Google Reader by using a script for .

This works on too, however you need to add a new start switch to Chrome. You can find the instructions on how to install Greasemonkey scripts in Chrome. You will need to edit the script, once you have saved it in the User scripts folder for Chrome.

change_tld_explore_greasemonkey

Just change the .tld to whichever Top level domain you use to access Google Reader in Chrome, in my example I changed .tld to .com. You might have to do the same in Firefox too. Thanks Shiva

Download Google Reader Remove Explore

Best TweetDeck Tips, Tricks and Use Cases

I have been using for quite sometime now, and I must admit that sometimes it is a bit of memory hogger. However, the fact that it is one of the best clients available today, I continue to use it, albeit by tweaking it to use lesser memory and provide me with more functionality.

Here are some tips, tricks and use cases, which will help you out when it comes to using TweetDeck. Most of the tips are generated using TweetDeck version 0.31.1, so you might not see the options if you are using a older version.

Disable Notifications: In my experience, the notifications provided by TweetDeck are the biggest memory hoggers. It is best to disable the notifications to reduce memory usage in the application.

turn_tweetdeck_notifications_off

To disable the notifications, go to the Settings -> Notifications, and click on the Detail on and Summary on to turn them off.

Save on API Calls: Twitter has a limitation on the number of API calls any third-party service or application can make to them. If you are a heavy twitter user you might run out of API calls quickly, and then have to use the web interface to update your status and view other’s updates.

tweetdeck_disable_profile_views

If you use TweetDeck, you can save on few twitter API calls, by disabling some features. By default, TweetDeck is setup to display user profiles directly inside the app, you can save some API calls by choosing to Open profiles in a web browser instead. Go to Settings -> General to make that change.

Quick Reply, Retweet, Direct Message or Favorite a Tweet: When I first started out using TweetDeck, I was a bit clueless about these features.

qucik_actions_in_tweetdeck favorite_tweet_in_tweetdeck

When you hover over the profile image of a twitter user, you will find options to reply to a tweet, retweet the message and even send a direct message to the user. To favorite a tweet, click on the other actions icon and select Favorite from the Tweet submenu.

Save Time While Typing Twitter Handles: In twitter, you need to type the handle of the user, preceded by a @in order to send a message to them. You can have TweetDeck auto-complete the twitter usernames for you.

autocomplete_twitter_usernames tweetdeck_username_autocomplete

To turn on auto-complete, go to Settings -> General, and select the checkbox next to Use autocomplete for usernames. The next you type @ in your tweet, a new overlay will popup, allowing you to autocomplete the twitter username. This overlay will also show up when you begin your tweet with D, the shortkey for sending direct messages to users.

Create Groups of Users: Twitter by default does not provide users with an option to create groups, they have introduced a feature called lists, but it is not available for all users yet.

tweetdeck_groups tweetdeck_group_column add_new_users_to_group

Using TweetDeck, you can add users to different groups and then track them in a separate column. To add a group, click on the twitter icon and then click on the groups icon in the overlay window. Give you group a name and select the members who form part of the group.

Once you have added the group members, click on Add group, it should then add a new column to TweetDeck, where you can follow tweets from just the group members.

Adding new members to a group is easy, just hover over a user’s profile picture and click on the Other actionsicon. From the user menu, click on add to group to add the user to a pre-created group.

Limit Number of Updates per Column: If you are like me and have 20 columns related to different accounts, searches and trends, you might want to limit the number of updates that are shown in each column to reduce memory usage.

limit_updates_per_tweetdeck_column

To limit the number of updates per column, go to Settings -> General and change the Max numbers of updates in a column to suit your needs.

Access Multiple Twitter Accounts in TweetDeck: Many users choose to have multiple accounts in Twitter. For example, I have a personal account @keithdsouza and a account for Techie Buzz, @techiebuzzer where we push latest news updates.

add_new_twitter_account_to_tweetdeck

TweetDeck allows you to add and manage multiple twitter accounts from the same interface. To add new accounts to TweetDeck, go to Settings -> Accounts and choose to Add new accounts.

Access Facebook and MySpace Feeds in TweetDeck: TweetDeck allows users to add and MySpace feeds to their interface. In addition to that you can also comment and like items from your friends on Facebook, directly from TweetDeck.

tweetdeck_facebook_news_feed

To add your Facebook or MySpace account to TweetDeck, click on the icons on the top of the application and follow the steps to authenticate your accounts. Once done, you will see new columns with Facebook and MySpace updates in TweetDeck. You can also follow the previous tip to add new Facebook or MySpace accounts to TweetDeck.

Quickly Search and View Twitter Trends: TweetDeck allows you to quickly search the twitter Timeline for keywords and trends.

twitter_search_column twitter_search_update_column

To add a new search, click on the twitter column and then click on the search icon. Input the keywords for the search and click on the search icon next to the input box. This should add a new search column, where you can follow all the public timeline updates from twitter that contain the keywords. You can also all the latest trends in Twitter, by adding a column for Twitscoop.

Sync your Accounts across multiple PCs: Sometime back TweetDeck announced the ability to sync your accounts across multiple PCs, by providing users with cloud storage on their servers.

create_new_tweetdeck_sync_account

To create your own account on TweetDeck servers, go to Settings -> Sync and create a new TweetDeck account. Once you have created your account, your searches and default twitter account will be synced with TweetDeck servers.

You will be able to access the settings from any other PC or even your iPhone, once you have signed into your sync account. TweetDeck will automatically alert you to add columns when you access TweetDeck on a new PC.

View and Follow New Followers in TweetDeck: A new feature introduced in TweetDeck version 0.31.1 allows you to view and follow new followers inside the application.

tweetdeck_add_new_followers_column new_followers_choose_account

To add the new followers column, click on the twitter icon and the on the New followers icon. If you have multiple accounts you will be asked to choose, which account to display the new followers for. Make that selection and click on Finish. A new column will be added to TweetDeck, from where you will be able to see the new followers and also follow them from within TweetDeck.

Quickly Report & Block Spam Users in TweetDeck: Twitter is notorious for spam, and have been taking some steps to allow users to easily report spam users.

tweetdeck_block_and_report_spam

However, if you use TweetDeck, it is much more easier to report spam and block users. If you want to report & block a user. Click on the more options on the profile picture and go to the User menu. From the submenu, either choose to Block the user or Block & Report the user as Spam.

block_and_report_spam

When you choose the second option, a popup overlay will be displayed, asking you to confirm the block. Once you click on Ok, the user will be blocked and a direct message will be sent to @spam with the twitter user’s handle.

Quickly Drag and Drop Images for Sharing: The latest versions of TweetDeck allows users to quickly share images and photos by dragging it to the update textbox.

choose_photo_uploading_service_tweetdeck

When you drag and drop images to the update input box, you will be given an option to choose which service you want to upload the images to. TweetDeck supports uploading images to TwitPic, YFrog and TweetPhoto.

You can setup your accounts for the above services by visiting Settings -> Services.

Record and Upload videos to Twitter: You can record and upload videos from TweetDeck, by associating your 12seconds account.

twitter_12_seconds_integration

Once you add your account, by clicking on the twitter account and adding the 12 seconds service. You will see a new column with the 12 seconds videos you have created, click on the record button at the top of the column to record videos and share it on twitter.

Associate your Bit.ly account with TweetDeck: TweetDeck allows you to shorten URLs using several services. Out of them Bit.ly provides users with an option to create API accounts, in order to track the shared URLs.

bitly_tweetdeck_integration

You can associate your Bit.ly username and API key with the shortened URLs by visiting Settings -> Services and entering your Bit.ly information.

Summarizing: I am certainly happy with TweetDeck and use it on both my PC and the iPod touch, these tips may come in useful to you, to help you use this software better. However, there might be something’s, which I   may have missed out on, so do feel free to add your own tips to this list. Also don’t forget to tell us, if these tips come in handy to you.

Please note: TweetDeck is based on , you will need to download and install that before you can use this application.

Access Wolfram Alpha Free in iPhone & iPod Touch

Wolfram Alpha just released a new app in the Apple app store for $50, we thought it to be a ridiculous price and asked users to vote on it. If you are looking to access Wolfram Aplha from your iPhone or iPod touch, here is how you can save yourself $50 and do it without having to buy the expensive app.

It is a pretty old trick, but still many of you might not know about it. You might not be able to access all the features available in the application, but what the heck you are saving $50. So here goes.

Adding Wolfram Alpha to the Home Screen as a App link

 wolframalpha_iphone_url wolframalpha_bookmark_app   wolframalpha_save_iphone_home_screen

Step 1: Open Safari and browse to http://wolframalpha.com/iphone.

Step 2: Click on the + symbol in Safari to add the site as a bookmark. In the bookmark options click on the Add to Home Screen button.

Step 3: Give the bookmark a appropriate name and click on the Add button.

Once you follow the above steps, you will see a new icon in the home screen, which will allow you to directly access the Wolfram Alpha site.

Search using Wolfram Alpha for Free on iPhone & iPod Touch

wolframalpha_iphone_app_icon wolframalpha_iphone_search wolfram_alpha_iphone_results

Step 1: Go to your home screen and click on the Wolfram Alpha icon. This will open the Wolframalpha.com webpage in Safari.

Step 2: Click on the search box and enter your query and click on the Go button.

Wait a few seconds for the results to come up, it will be pretty similar to the results that the $50 Wolfram Alpha iPhone app will display to you. There, we saved you 50 bucks. Have fun and enjoy.

Convert Your Images To Text Online Using Free OCR

Free OCR is a tool that helps you to convert scanned images to text online. You can convert printed text to editable text online with this utility.

How is this useful?

These types of tools are useful in many ways:

  • Free OCR comes in handy when you have pages of text that you’ve scanned or captured with a camera.
  • You will need one less program on your computer since OCR can be done online without any installation.

So, after knowing the importance of the tool, let’s proceed to explore its features.

Features:

  • Free OCR accepts almost all common image formats such as JPG, GIF, TIFF and BMP.
  • It also accepts PDF documents. So, it can also act as PDF to Word Converter.
  • There is no hassle of registering. Just upload your image and convert it to text.
  • No Email-ID required. So, no fear of SPAMS.

But, there are some limitations that you should know in this utility.

  • You cannot upload files larger than 2MB.
  • You cannot upload images bigger than 5000 pixels.

However, keeping in mind its good features, those limitations doesn’t matter much. Go ahead and convert your images into text here.

Filing DMCA Notice Against Blogger/Blogspot and WordPress.com Spam Blogs

Splogs or Spam Blogs are a nuisance in every sense. The lazy people buggers running these sites, leech content from Techie Buzz and hundreds of other blogs and pass them of their own, making money in the process. So in short, it is we who do all the hard work for them these scumbags.

Out here at Techie Buzz, we provide readers with full feeds, to make it convenient for them to read content at their own leisure, in their favorite feed readers. However, some lazy bums also use the same feed to leech content and add it to their own site effortlessly.

I have had a choice of taking an easy way out by changing our feed to a partial feed. However, that is not an option for me, since it will cause inconvenience to our readers. That is not something we want to do, to just to get rid of these lazy bums.

In the past month, I took a hard stance and have been reporting these spam blogs and making sure that they get suspended. Though, this may sound harsh, please note, that these blogs add no value to the internet, and don’t deserve to be there in the first place. As a added note, if you are a splogger who leeches our content, please make sure to read our terms of use, anyone found to be violating these will be dealt with appropriately.

If you are a blogger, don’t sit back and let these sploggers use your hard work just like that, here are some ways in which you can report spam blogs on .com and file DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests for Blogger/Blogspot blogs.

Reporting WordPress.com Spam Blogs

WordPress.com has the best spam reporting option for blogs, the response is pretty quick and if a blog is found to be offending, they are immediately suspended.

report_wordpress_com_blog_spam

To report a offending WordPress.com blog as spam, just visit the blog, and hover over Blog info. In the dropdown menu, click on the Report as spamlink.

add_spam_info_wordpress_blogs

Clicking on that link will open a new page, where you will have to fill out information about Whyyou are reporting a blog as spam. Once you have added relevant information, click on the Report Blogbutton. That’s it, the WordPress.com support staff will evaluate your request and suspend the offending blog.

Reporting Blogger/Blogspot Spam Blogs

Majority of spam blogs, that leech content from other sites exist on the blogger network. One of the major reasons for this is that, unlike WordPress.com, Blogger allows their free blogs to advertise on the site using .

Blogger has a much more lengthier process for reporting spam blogs on their network. The process is also a bit slower, compared to WordPress.com, but they eventually get to it.

To file a DMCA request against a blogspot blog, visit the Blogger DMCA page and fill out the lengthy form. You will need to provide all the details of the infringing site, which has copied your content. In addition to that, you will also have to provide links for your own content in the request.

blogger_dmca_complaint_processed

Once a DMCA request has been filed, expect a wait time of anywhere between 48 hours to 1 week for your issue to be taken up. Once your request is taken up you will receive an email, similar to the one above.

Summarizing

Dealing with spam blogs is a tough job, they are just a waste of time. I have put in lot of efforts to track and deal with such blogs, but no efforts are guaranteed for success.

We would really appreciate, if you would contact us, whenever you come across splogs reproducing content from Techie Buzz. We spend hours and hours to find softwares, news and then convert them into presentable content. We certainly hate people leeching our hard work.

How Is Bounce Rate Calculated in Analytics?

If you have been using a web analytics service to track visitors on your website, you might have noticed an attribute called Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate basically tells you how many users visited your website and left immediately.

However, don’t take that as a full-fledged definition. The Google Analytics blog had a rapid fire question and answer session, where they answered several questions, including:

  • How is bounce rate calculated
  • Effect of search bots on data collection
  • Finding a benchmarking category for sites that don’t fit into any particular benchmark category
  • What is the best way to identify landing pages with high bounce rate
  • How to find new keywords to improve content performance
  • Effects of private browsing and incognito mode on data collection

Watch the video below to find answers on how bounce rate is calculated in analytics, and the other questions discussed in the session.

Visit our section to find more handy and useful tips, which will help you to manage your blog/website better.

Rapid Fire Web Analytics Q and A [Official Google Analytics Blog]

How to Uninstall/Remove Apps from iPod Touch & iPhone

Apple has a huge app store, full of useful apps and games. Sometimes, you might install apps just to try them out. However, what if you don’t like the app? How do you uninstall or remove them?

Turns out that, uninstalling or removing apps is not pretty straightforward on an iPod Touch & iPhone. Here are some easy steps for uninstalling or removing unwanted apps from your iPod touch & iPhone.

remove_apps_iphone_ipod_touch

Step 1: Click and hold a app icon for a few seconds. Once you do that, you will see a remove icon on all the apps. In addition to that the app icons will start to shake.

confirm_app_removal_iphone_ipod_touch

Step 2: Click on the close button on the app, which you want remove from your iPod touch or iPhone. Click on the Delete button in the confirmation message to completely remove the app.

Step 3: The app icons will continue to have the remove icon, even after you have deleted the app. To go back to normal screen, click on the home button.

How To Take Screenshots in iPod Touch & iPhone

I just got hold of a brand new 32GB  iPod Touch, and have been playing around with it, installing apps and listening to music. There have been so many things that I am discovering with it, so expect a lot of and how to posts in the future.

I was trying to look for an app to take screenshots on the iPod Touch/iPhone. However, I did not find one. Turns out that it is pretty easy to take screenshots on an iPod Touch/iPhone.

ipod_iphone_saved_photos

To Take a screenshot on a iPod Touch or iPhone, press the power button on the top and the home button simultaneously. When you do that, the phone will flicker for a second and you will hear a sound.

That’s it, the screenshot has been taken. It will be saved in a new album named as Saved Photos.