A MEMORIAL ON FACEBOOK

One of our best friends passed away recently, and we were reminded of the digital afterlife: Facebook accounts and email that just keeps going.

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MORE ABOUT TWITTER

We recently explained what they call a “hashtag” on Twitter: It looks like this: “#.” It’s used to organize and navigate your way around Twitter. Typing #BillGates when you’re logged into Twitter, for example, takes you to Gates’ Twitter page. A reader wrote in to say he loved the explanation, but what about the “@” on Twitter?

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WHO’S LOOKING AT YOU KID?

If you’re one of the 271 million Twitter users, you may want to know how many people are potentially viewing your tweets. Go to Analytics.Twitter.com to find out. We found that our tweets were received daily by around 1800 people. Of course, just because someone is getting your tweets doesn’t mean they’re actually reading them. Stop us before we tweet again!

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TWEET TWEET

Many people tell us they’re confused by Twitter. What is it? Who’s out there? And what are they saying? Oh: And why would we care? Twitter delivers “tweets.” And each “tweet” is no more than 140 characters. But there’s usually a link in there to a longer story. Tweets can come in to your computer, your phone, or whatever you have that can connect to the Internet. You can get pages of tweets from sources and subjects you select and they can range from bits of chit-chat about family members to what’s happening in the Congo. Surprisingly often the source of those tweets may be from someone right on the spot, perhaps snapping a picture long before a reporter gets […]

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FACEBOOK TIP

Ever notice that the same Facebook friends are always at the top of your page? You can fix that.

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TALK TO ME

You know those science fiction movies where the Earth crew lands on a planet populated by green furry creatures? They start talking to each other.

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GROUP MESSAGING

Remind101 — After a high school principal reminded us of the text messaging app “Group Me,” a teacher wrote with another suggestion: “Remind101.” This is free from Remind101.com and lets you send text messages to any group. They can’t reply. He just wanted to notify parents and teachers of events; he doesn’t really want to hear back.

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VIDEO MESSAGES THAT DISAPPEAR

SnapChat became famous for photo messages that quickly disappear after they’re viewed. Now they’ve added video messages that disappear. So you can take as many dumb pictures as you want and at least they won’t be saved.

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CALL ME (BUT NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT)

A high school principal wrote to ask us what’s the best way to send text messages to a group. Before we could answer, he wrote back to say he’d tried “GroupMe,” and unfortunately woke up a bunch of teachers in the middle of the night. (Those teachers should have adjusted their settings to turn off the message alert. You don’t have to get a ding every time a message comes in.)

Just as it sounds, GroupMe works on the computer or phone to send text messages to groups. If you have a person’s cell phone number, they don’t need to have the app installed. If you only have their email address, they’ll get an invitation to install the app.

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WHAT’S THE FUSS?

Facebook paid 19 billion dollars to buy “WhatsApp.” What’s up with that? “WhatsApp” is an app, and it works with almost any smartphone to let you exchange an unlimited number of text messages for free. The app itself is free for the first year and a whopping 99 cents a year after that. We don’t need or use WhatsApp ourselves because we’re on a $30 a month unlimited plan from T-Mobile (with just 100 voice minutes). But we installed it anyway to try it out. A message appeared immediately warning us to uninstall two of our favorite apps, Battery Doctor and Mobile Care. Both are so-called “task killers” to prevent battery power loss. For us that’s a deal killer. Because […]

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