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Social Media

TweetDeck lets you post tweets to both your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Here's how to set it up.

Question: When someone puts RT before your name on a tweet, what does that mean?

Answer: RT means "retweet". It's similar to forwarding an email to someone else, but in this case you're forwarding a tweet to anyone who is following your updates on Twitter.

RT's are used when you find something interesting that someone else said, and you want your Twitter followers to read it (because your network is probably different then the network of the original Twitter poster).

Here are a few other useful Twitter shortcuts:

Direct Messages

Adding d in front of a twitter address (e.g. d@rickysays) will send your message directly to that person in the form of a private direct message that won't be visible to anyone else.

Direct messages are great for taking Twitter conversations offline that are private or too detailed for a broader audience.

Editing a Tweet

Sorry, there's no way to edit tweets. Once they're out there, they're out there.

But don't stress too much about things like typos or abbreviations. Twitter users are very good at figuring out what you're trying to say, even if you've highly abbreviated your message.

Posting Pictures

At the time of this writing, Twitter doesn't offer any built-in support for posting pictures. However, you can use a free service like TwitPic to store your photos and post links in Twitter.

Once you create your TwitPic account, just enter your Twitter user name and password to get an email address you can send pictures to as file attachments. The email subject is the tweet that will show up in Twitter (no email body needed), along with a link to the photo that you attached to the email message.

If you're using Twitterrific on your iPhone, it also has a built-in feature for posting pictures as a tweet - using existing pictures or letting you take a new one on the spot.

Shortening URLs

I'm hooked on Twitter. It's grown into much more than even it's original charter ever dreamed, which was (quoted directly from their sign-in page):

"Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"

Twitter has evolved into a place where people post (aka. "tweet") not only what they're doing, but what they think about any topic under the sun, resources they've found interesting, photos they've snapped from their mobile device, and even a marketplace where business connections are planted, cultivated, and harvested on a minute-by-minute basis.

How to link to a specific Tweet:

With all those tweets floating around the Twitterverse, there's bound to be one you'd like to link directly to. Maybe you want to send it to a friend or coworker, or bookmark it for future reference.

You can link to any tweet on http://www.twitter.com just by clicking the date-time below each tweet (go ahead and click the image below to try it).

That'll take you to a page showing just that tweet, which you can bookmark in your browser or share with your favorite online community.

If the tweet is a reply to another tweet, you can also view the original tweet (which sometimes is necessary to figure out the context behind what might otherwise seem like an odd comment).

A few days ago my wife complained to me that her Facebook page looked different and she didn't like it at all. She asked me if I could figure out how to get the old one back.

I assumed she had probably accidentally clicked something to agree to let Facebook use her as a guinea pig, but I couldn't figure out how to get her old Facebook back. Mine was still the old one too.

Well, that all changed this morning, when I logged into Facebook like millions of other users and discovered that I've been switched over to the new Facebook too.

I'm not sure if I like it yet or not. All I see so far are rounded corners on user avatars, and have read lots of complaints about bugs and scripting errors. There are even Facebook groups that are being created by users who think the new look just plain sucks.

Oh, and the question has changed to "What's on your mind?", and "What are your thoughts?" (I've seen both today, so I think they're testing each one to see what users feel about it).

Is that what this has turned into? What we're thinking about?

I like the good ole' "What are you doing?" much better. It feels a lot less touchy-feely. And to me it's a better subject to learn what my friends have been up to, which keeps me connected. I learn their thoughts along the way, while they describe what they're doing, and that feels like a better starting point to me then jumping right into how we're feeling about things.

Many people just want things back to the way it was, which was awesome. Facebook membership has been growing extremely fast lately, and it's a great way to connect with old friends and stay connected with existing friends.

What do you think?

Do you want the old Facebook back, or do you like the new look and feel? What do you like about it?

This week Mother Nature decided to dump a few inches of snow on Oregon, and another 4 piled up this morning while my kids and I built a huge igloo in our front yard.

Question: I've seen people's blog posts showing up in their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. How do they do that? Answer: (this question is waiting for an answer. If you know the answer, please feel free to use the comment form below and be sure to leave your name and a link to your website, so I can give you credit for your answer)

I love Facebook and have connected with several old time friends that I haven't seen in ages. I find though that my inbox is filling up with emails from Facebook, letting me know every little thing all my friends are posting. Is there a way to turn off these emails?

Question: How do I set up a group in Facebook? I'd like to get some conversations going around some health care topics that I'm interested in, and would also like to share what I've found helpful with others.

Answer: (this question is waiting for an answer. If you know the answer, please feel free to use the comment form below and be sure to leave your name and a link to your website, so I can give you credit for your answer)

Here's how to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts, so you can have your updates automatically show up in both places.

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