Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tech Tuesday Tip

Tech Tips for the non-techie

On Labor Day, I was listening to an author talk to Diana Rehm on our local NPR station about how connected we are with the rise in technology and how we need time to disconnect.

Fortunately there is technology that helps you with that!

First my own personal story:

In 2003 I bought a couple of new computers including my first laptop, which needed a plug in wireless card to get online.

I'm on my 3rd or 4th laptop now, (I've kept this one for nearly 3 years).

Cell phones. I inherited a Trac Phone and a desktop computer when my Mom passed away in 2001. In 2002 I bought a regular cellphone for my wife and one for me. 4 years ago we switch carriers and got new phones and this summer I finally upgraded to a smart phone.

My radio station work requires me to use email everyday. Usually I use my laptop, as there are other programs on that computer that I use in conjunction with email for work.

My blogs are updated via my laptop and most of my Twitter, and Facebook activity is also done with my laptop.

However I have nearly 1200 Twitter followers and over 500 Facebook friends. How do I keep from it becoming overwhelming?

With Twitter, you get to decide who you are going to follow. It's not automatically reciprocal the way it is with Facebook. Twitter also lets you create lists. Everyone I decide to follow I place on at least one or more lists. These lists are fully customizable. I have a list of "Fort Wayne" people. I have a list of "Marketing-Advertising" people. But the key was to put everyone on a list.

Lists are limited to 500 people. But you can put people on more than one of your lists. And here comes the sneaky part. One of my lists is RF. These are the people that I am Really Following.

My RF List is fluid. People come and go on that list. I may drop someone from my RF list for awhile and then bring them back.

Facebook. I rarely use it, but since so many people are on it, I use it by default. I learned a few months ago, that you can block applications for games like Farmville and Mafia Wars from showing up on your Facebook home. Just visit the privacy settings and set them up.

Now to manage Facebook and Twitter, I use third party applications. On my laptop I use a program called Tweetdeck. (On my Droid phone I use Twicca for Twitter, while Tweetdeck continues to improve their Droid App.)

Tweetdeck is free.

Tweetdeck allows you to create customizable columns. I have 4 columns on my Tweetdeck.
They are Twitter/RF; Twitter/Mentions; Twitter/Direct Messages; and Facebook/Status Updates.

That's it.
I get an email when someone sends me a direct message on Twitter.
I can check my Twitter lists on my Droid if I want to.
But overall, I am not tied to my laptop or a screen which is good since most of my real work involving earning money is best done face to face with people in my own community.

How are you managing your connectiveness?

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