6 Effective Ways to Tweet From Your Browser

twitterbird

Twitter is already a social networking phenomena in its own right and every other person who has an active online presence also seems to be tweeting.  Rather than posting directly on twitter.com’s default web interface, here are 6 ways to become a quicker and more effective tweeter, just by tweaking your web browser.

1. How to tweet URLs and post to del.icio.us with one click

bigtweet

 Bigtweet allows you to share websites you visit by clicking a bookmarklet which automatically puts the URL which you’re currently browsing into your tweet and shortens it for you.  It also posts to del.icio.us and/or Ping.fm so you can even share the URL easily across other social networks.

2. How to tweet URLs and enter contests at the same time

twitthis

Much like BigTweet, TwitThis also automatically posts the URL you’re currently browsing and shortens it for you.  The unique spin here is that you’re able to enter contests as well, which allow you to tweet and win cool prizes at the same time like iPhones and Kindles.

3. How to tweet even faster

twitlet

With Twitlet, one can tweet just by hitting a bookmarklet on your browser.  No installation, no browser extensions, just a simple bookmark, and a window pops up where you put in your dose of 140 characters without having to load twitter.  It’s really one of the quickest ways to tweet from a browser.  No sign-up required.

4. How to tweet directly from the Firefox address bar

 twitterbar

Twitterbar is a Firefox add-on that allows anyone to post to Twitter right from the address bar! Just type in any text you want and press the tweet button. Also convenient for posting URLs, in which you just have to press a button on the browser bookmark toolbar.

5. How to integrate Twitter into your Firefox sidebar

twitbin

Self-proclaimed ˜best twitter addon for Firefox’, Twitbin allows users to do anything Twitter-related (send/receive updates, messages etc.) right from the Firefox sidebar. Pretty handy if you are sidebar junkie.

6. How to share links and track them on Twitter

bitly

If you use the Bit.ly sidebar to post links to Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail, you’ll also be able to see how popular the link is on bit.ly by being able to track the clicks it gets.  You’ll also be able to read all existing twitter and friendfeed conversations surrounding the link you’re sharing.

This post was jointly written by Chan Huey Hoong and James Yeang

What tips do you have for Twitter productivity? Tell us in the comments!

5 Easy Ways to Combat Spam on Your Blog

nospam

Do you spend too much time fighting spam on your blog, and not enough time writing meaningful content?  Here are 5 techniques which will help you in your effort to keep spammers at bay.

1. How to help literacy and fight spam at the same time

recaptcha

About 200 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that’s not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into "reading" books.

reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read correctly by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher.  If you sign up for free with reCAPTCHA, every time someone leaves a comment and deciphers a CAPTCHA, you’re helping to make a positive contribution towards literacy. 

2. How to protect your comments from spam

 akismet

If you’re running WordPress, Akismet is the spam filter which is installed by default, and I’m a pretty big fan of the service.  How it works is that when a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your site it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment to determine if it should automatically be flagged as spam. 

While a certain measure of spam still does manage to get through, it is constantly evolving and improving.  Also, you can argue that a bit of spam falling through the cracks is always better than false positives with legit comments being flagged as spam.  To date, more than 700,000 spam comments have been caught on my site alone. 

If you’re already using this, and want to try something else, good alternatives worth considering include Defensio and Bad Behavior

3. How to avoid email spam from your site’s contact form

contact form

Aptly named the ˜Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form’, this contact form has been widely touted as one of the most secure blog contact forms around.  Easy to style, simple to implement, and easy for readers to use, it offers 16 different countermeasures to help provide a secure experience for your readers.

4. How to detect if your content is being used for a splog

fingerprint

Splogs or spam blogs, and automated sites which scrape content from others and re-post the material as their own in order to earn money.  To fight this, run the ˜Digital Fingerprint’ WordPress plugin, which will place a small digital fingerprint into blog posts. The fingerprint is only visible in the RSS feed, not on the website itself so it’s hardly noticeable.  From here, you’ll be able to track down where your stolen posts are popping up, and try to shut them down.

5. How to display your email address on your blog without exposing it to spammers

emailcover

Openly display your email address and email harvesters will collect it, and place it on spam lists.  One easy way to avoid this, is to display your email ID as an image.  My preferred service is Nexodyne Email Icon Generator which generates a nice little image like this.

image 

For more traditional looking images that blend in better with your site, you can try email2image, or emailcover which adds an extra layer of protection by displaying your email CAPTCHA style!

Do you take active steps to fight spam on your blog?  Tell us in the comments!

3 Productive Ways to Handle Documents When Making Purchases [Manuals/Warranties/Receipts]

credit cards

Let’s be honest, when we come home with a new shiny toy, we just want to unbox it and have a go at it.  Manuals, receipts and warranties get shoved in a drawer somewhere and are long forgottenthat is until you need them and you can never seem to find them. 

Here are 3 practical ways to deal with these documents in an efficient manner.

1. How to organize your warranty information

warranty elephant

Warranty Elephant allows you to organize your warranty information quickly.  After entering a few key details, you can upload a copy of your warranty itself and your invoice, so you have a softcopy of it.

The best part is that it will send you reminder emails at 6 months, 1 month and 1 week before your warranty expires. This will remind you to check your item and ensure it is in good working order. If it is not, you will have all the information needed, right in front you, to arrange for warranty service

2. How to find manuals for anything

messy

Seriously, who reads manuals?  While you can get most devices up and running right out of the box, reading the manual actually allows you to discover the finer points of your device and gives you the chance to push it to the limits.  Of course when you feel like doing that, you can’t find the manual any more :) 

SafeManuals/Diplodocs is a huge resource of authorized manuals with more than 1.2 million manuals uploaded for almost everything you can think of with a manual – from domestic appliances, TV & Audio equipment, phones, to computers, cars, watches and digital cameras.  

3. How to dig up old receipts quickly

 evernote text

Evernote allows you to capture information, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time.  Some people think of it as an extension to your brain. 

One of the key features is it’s ability to recognize and index TEXT within pictures.  What this means is that you can snap a picture of your receipt from your phone, and Evernote will index it and make it searchable so you can find old receipts in a hearbeat!

Bonus tip: Flatten your boxes: If you plan on selling your electronics on eBay, you’ll find that having the original box is a big plus to potential buyers, and you can typically demand a higher price.  Of course, storing the box can be another space headache as well.  To get around this, flatten a box by simply cut along the taped join at the bottom and fold flat. Your box will be kept in good condition until it is ready for reuse.

Would you use any of the above services?  Tell us in the comments!

5 Alternative Fun Ways to Earn Money Online

twentydollarbill

Tired of boring daily work? Why not try some other (fun) ways to earn a little bit of money? You won’t need any special skills or resources: just a bit of free time to earn some cash daily. 

1. How to Earn Money from Your Pictures

shareapic

ShareAPic pays you cash if you are good at sharing your pics uploaded to the service; the details:

  • Get paid $0.22 per 1000 pic views;
  • Pay out within 30 days
  • Payments via PayPal
  • Alternative prizes: gift certificates from Amazon and eLuxury

2. How to Earn Money With Your Knowledge

justanswer

JustAnswer pays its experts for answers the provide to the random user.

  • Earn 50% (25% if you are new) of what a customer is offering for an answer;
  • Payout threshold: $20
  • Payments via PayPal

3. How to Earn Money with Online Coupons

buxr

Buxr offers you the way to earn money by sharing online coupons and deals. If you found a great deal, share it on Buxr, create compelling title and description and hope the community will find it useful.

  • Daily prizes: $10 and monthly prizes: over $100
  • Alternative prizes: mugs.

4. How to Earn Money by Participating in Social Networks

mylot

MyLot is a social media community that pays its members for being active: participating in discussions, sharing photos, refer friends, etc.

  • Payment threshold $10
  • Payments via PayPal

5. How to Earn Money by Completing Simple Tasks

turk

Amazon Mechanical Turk pays you money for completing "HITs" – Human Intelligence Tasks – simple tasks which are either impossible to do for a machine or work as a machine enhancer (a good example of such a task is Google image labeler which helps to improve Google image search).

Sample HITs: answer the question "Are these two products the same?" or complete the easy task: "Find the item number for the product in this image."

  • Rates depend on hits;
  • Payments via Amazon Payments account

This is a guest post by Ann Smarty, who does SEO and Internet Marketing when she’s not writing for blogs-named-after-food.  Want to write for Friedbeef’s Tech and share your tips with thousands of people?  Drop me a line.  We’re looking for paid regulars, as well as guest appearances.