Oct 11, 2010

Technical advice from a completely non-technical person

First of all, I'd like to say THANKS to all of you who suggested blog topics in your Comments on the Target post last week. Some of them are things I never would have written about because I would have thought nobody cared, but then again, I don't know why that would have stopped me. Many of them were great and I'll be using them as inspiration going forward.

Second, it was nice of you to request MORE of some of the things I already write about. That makes me feel like there's already something for everyone around here, and I can kind of just keep doing what I've been doing, and you're likely to be okay with it.

So I'm the LAST person who should be giving anyone out there computer or technical advice of any sort, but I noticed in the Comments on that same post that many of you either don't have a Twitter account or have one and don't use it. Since it's become my favorite form of social media, it occurred to me that I might give you a few notes on it, as well as how to customize your Internet browser to improve your overall Internet experience.

Don't click away yet. Hear me out.

First of all, you can create a Twitter account and never Tweet. You can set one up just to be able to READ Tweets, which is really the fun part, anyway. Second, unlike Facebook, you can follow anyone who has a public profile, even if they don't know you. That means you can follow artists, actors, celebrities, musicians … and you get their funny little thoughts and even their brief conversations with other famous people as they Tweet back and forth to each other. I think that is all kinds of fun. I highly recommend getting a free account, and if you think you won't ever check it, that's where my Big Tip of the Century comes into play.

Set your home page for your Internet browser to be multiple pages. If you're using a current version of most any mainstream browser (Safari, Firefox, Explorer), you can easily do this. (And if you're not using the most current version, you should definitely upgrade.) What is your home page today? Your e-mail log-in page? CNN.com? Some default Microsoft home page? Time to upgrade!

1. Think of four or five Web pages that you visit every day (or WANT to visit every day but don't because it's too much work to to go your Favorites menu and pull down to all of them). For me, they're my Yahoo! e-mail log-in page, my blog, Facebook and Twitter.

2. In your browser, open up the first one, the one you'd use most often.

3. Then, in Internet Explorer, for example, go to your File menu at the top and pull down to New Tab.

4. Surf to your next site so that it shows up in the newly opened tab. Repeat until you have as many tabs open as you'd like. (Some people have 20 or more. I like the simplicity of four with a fifth that serves more of a Surf/Search function.)

5. Once you have all the tabs open to the pages in the order you like them, go to the Tools menu at the top and pull down to Internet Options. (Again, these are IE instructions, even though I use Firefox, myself. Instructions are available for all browsers through a simple Google search, and video tutorials are even available on YouTube if you want a video step-by-step.)

6. Under the General tab there's a setting for Home Page. Click Use Current. (You should see your multiple addresses appear.) Click OK.

You're done! Now each time you launch your browser, those tabs will all load. That means that Facebook and Twitter would always open up when you check your e-mail or whatever, making it VERY easy to check in on them periodically. Setting up multiple tabs as my home page totally changed the way I use the Internet, and now I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Like I said, I use my four main tabs all the time, and I have a fifth tab that launches blank. I use that tab for surfing to other sites I use regularly but don't want to permanently be part of my launch process. Sites like CNN.com, weather.com, the ballpark, dictionary.com, my work e-mail, movietickets.com … I navigate to those kind of sites from that fifth tab nightly.

So there you have it: technical advice from a technical idiot. But I hope it helps revolutionize your Internet experience like it has mine. AND FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE GET ON TWITTER!


Rachel said...

Okay! Okay! Okay! I'm on twitter now. :) Lord help us all! :)

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

What's your Twitter name?

RLR said...

I do the same thing - a few tabs open for my "needs" and one for surfing. It's good to know I'm not the only one! Though I do have to figure out how to open Firefox and get all my faves to just BE THERE!

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Ryan Leigh, I'm glad you already know about the tabs. Just set them as your home page and you're good to go!

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