How to Use New Twitter Design Effectively

Twitter began rolling out a new redesign for their social media platform to beta testers several months ago. This new feature has now been given to everyone, should they choose to accept it. Eventually we are all going to have to use it, so let’s make the best of this new Twitter design.

How to Use the New Twitter Design

The new Twitter redesign focuses on highlighting your best content, and dividing it up into more categories. Think of the highlighting aspect as a ‘sticky’ thread in a forum. These are the new ‘pinned tweets,’ not to be confused with the ‘pins’ of Pinterest! These pinned tweets stay at the top of your feed for as long as you want.

The new header images are also designed to feature your one great piece of (visual) content.

Twitter header photos are similar to Facebook pages header photos

The new header photos are now eerily similar to Facebook. While this is a bit disappointing, due to it being terribly unoriginal, it does give us the chance to learn from our past and current Facebook profile pictures. You can even use your Facebook profile as your new Twitter header if you’re pressed for time. Or lazy. The photo below shows Mashable using the new Twitter header:

new-twitter-design

If you don’t have anything to draw from, here are a few ideas for your Twitter header image:

  • Run a contest that gets your fans taking photos of your products, or anything else that’s related to your business, and use them in a collage.
  • Get everyone in the office together to give your fans a ‘behind the scenes’ photo. Or show your fun side and have everyone dress up as character from a popular TV show. The Office seems appropriate…
  • If you want to use photos of your products and services, be sure that they’re unique to the Twitter header and interesting enough to get someone to look twice.

The same old marketing techniques will not cut it in today’s online world; the same static marketing photos will also not work. See that Mashable header up there? It’s distinctive with their blue, currently relevant with Obama making an appearance, and FUN!

Use pinned tweets to drive emotion

Your pinned tweets are the written equivalent of your header image. They need to have immediate emotional impact. Consider pinning tweets that:

  • Contain a fast approaching event
  • Have exciting announcements in them like new product, new locations opening, contest winners
  • Popular tweets that were shared, retweeted or favorited often
  • Any kind of tweet that can acts as a summary of your brand message

Each one of these should have this in common: they create emotions amongst your followers.

new-twitter-design

Mashable has a fun example above about an impending event, the Gay Pride Parade. There are bright, eye catching colors, photos that show some history, and ahndy #Hashtag to connect it to other people discussing #Pride2014.

Use your @-replies wisely

The new redesign also has the goal of organizing conversations better. That’s difficult given the nature of Twitter. What they have done is take any tweet that starts with an @-reply and considered it part of a bigger conversation. It will now not appear in your main feed, only in that specific conversation.

Here’s an example of a tweet that won’t go into your main feed:

new-twitter-design

Write it like this to get around this feature:

new-twitter-design

The three types of tweets you can view

Twitter’s new design is all about helping you make more sense of many tweets, just like how their recent analytics upgrade helped you make more sense of your data. Another way that they’re dividing up conversations is by content. You can now view tweets by:

  • Tweets with replies
  • Tweets with nothing attached
  • Tweets with photos and videos

The new Twitter design sets your updates to automatically show tweets with nothing attached, and filters out @-replies, as I demonstrated above.

You can choose to view tweets with photos or replies in their specific new tabs, another aspect of how Twitter is trying to organize your conversations for you a little better with their latest new design.

This Guest Post is written by: Ernest, he is the social media writer over on the Viral Tactic blog. He writes about successful viral marketing campaigns, social media marketing techniques, and current events related to this digital world. If you would like to guest post at RealTimeTricks, check our guest posting guidelines

Defend Your Money with These 5 Online Security Tips

You’re working hard to make money online with your various online ventures. Do you know who else is working hard to make money online? Hackers!

Ok, that may be an overstatement, they don’t really work that hard. Most are just small time scammers who stumble into big time luck.

Defend Your Money with These 5 Online Security Tips

Don’t be that big time luck. Follow the five online security tips I present here and keep the money you make…yours!

Trust your specialists

A mistake that too many companies make is hiring specialist companies to handle an aspect of their online security, like customer history, credit cards, bank accounts of the business, and other money related data points, only to also store that information themselves.

This type of dual data storage creates a second, and knowing most businesses, weaker entry point for hackers. If you do have some data storage needs that you’re not trusting to a specialist, be sure to keep them offsite on a device that does not connect to the internet.

Encrypt any data that you do store

This follows on the point above. There are many types of storage options, all of them can be encrypted for further protection:

  • Portable disk drive
  • USB
  • SD card
  • Tablet
  • Smartphone
  • Laptop

Even if I did not list it here, if it’s digital you can encrypt it. If you’re not giving this to your customers, you’re risking their money just as well as yours.

For your laptop and desktop, follow the links to see how you can encrypt part, or all, of your Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux operating systems. These are features built into your operating system at no charge – use them and protect your money!

online-security-tips

Use VPNs for remote access and offices

If you’re making money online, chances are good that you either have a mobile office, or employees who work remotely. The first VPNs (virtual private networks, an encrypted form of communication over phones and the internet) were set up years ago by large corporations that wanted to keep their confidential information away from prying eyes. These were costly, but did a great job.

VPNs are now available to the smallest of online businesses at an affordable price. You can read more about great VPN providers over on the website I write for, look in my author profile for the link. We review 10 of the best VPN providers, costs vary from $3 – $10 per month. Not bad for secure transactions and communications!

Sign up for a password manager

There are two types of passwords:

  1. The ones which you can remember: they are easy to steal.
  2. The ones that you can’t remember: they are hard to steal.

Why is this? Because passwords that you can remember are often simple and easy for hackers to just guess. You’d be shocked to know how many people still use ‘password’ as their password…

Fortunately, there are tools know as password managers out there. They will help you create strong passwords, that hackers can’t guess, and store them for you. Most will auto fill the passwords as well so all you have to do is click ‘sign in’ and your online accounts will be secure.

Use two step authentication

Two step authentication works by connecting your password with your phone. Once you enable two-step authentication, you will enter your login details as normal. Then a pop up window will come up asking you for a code. This code will be sent to your phone via SMS, you enter that code and you’re good to proceed.

Online businesses will typically find the following websites with two-step authentication valuable:

  • PayPal
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Google
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • GoDaddy
  • HootSuite
  • WordPress
  • Evernote

It isn’t the beginning and ending of online security, but it is an added layer of protection for your most sensitive data, clients, and money.

These online security tips are easy to follow

Making money online is lucrative, so is exploiting those who make it. Stop those hackers who would exploit you by using the online security tips above. Either pick and choose what will work for you best, or do all of them for maximum protection of your money and online assets.

The last two points, and the first one, won’t cost you any additional money. The second point, on encryption programs, may cost you nothing at all, depending on whether or not you buy a separate device to store data. A VPN service will encrypt everything you do online for as little as $3/month!

You don’t need an expensive IT team to protect the money you are making online – just a few dollars and a bit of extra time spent setting up these online security tips!

This Guest Post is written by: Marcus, he is the security and online privacy writer over on the Best VPN Providers blog. He writes about internet security issues, occasionally goes on rants about the government, but usually doesn’t go too far off the rails…usually. If you would like to guest post at RealTimeTricks, check our guest posting guidelines. Photo Credit.

How to Use Tumblr for Marketing [Infographic]

Tumblr for Marketing is not a new thing one can hear about; it’s not even newly launched social networking site still one of the powerful medium/platform for marketing being totally neglected.

If you know Tumblr and, know how it works, still haven’t took it seriously then you were doing exactly what I did until I read this infograph created by NEIL PATEL on his blog quicksprout. I knew the value of Tumblr the day yahoo bought it for an insane price, still wasn’t giving it a try!

But the way Tumblr’s traffic have increased at a rate of 74% a year with over 300 million unique visitors a month hitting Tumblr.com I have gained a lot of interest to use Tumblr for Marketing, as I have started a new blog for my sister under makeup & beauty niche, it is good to start with Tumblr.

Pretty interesting, yeah?

Now here you should take a look at Neil’s infographic to understand what opportunity you were missing till now.

how-to-use-tumblr-for-marketing
created by quicksprout

Conclusion I know it’s quite not possible for us to be on all available social networking sites but do we have any choice? We have to be at Tumblr!

Neil is right; we have no choice but to be on Tumblr. Believe it or not but Tumblr is the 28th most popular site on the web, with revenue per visitor being just behind Facebook’s, an opportunity to grab immediately.

Regarding how to use Tumblr for Marketing or how to be a Tumblr Hipster – I would suggest just check out the 10 best practices Neil have mentioned in this infographic, make sure you implement them all, it will create a huge impact.

Let me know if this has helped you? And if not then let me know your tactic on how you are going to use Tumblr for Marketing?

How To: Merge Multiple MS Word Documents into a Single Document

You must have been stuck to a situation when you had created multiple MS Word file for some school or college project but at the end you realize that something had gone wrong as project file has to be submitted into a single document i.e. one MS Word File.

Now how you will fix the situation, you find that the only way to fix it is to create again using MS Word but this would surely waste your valuable time.

Here in this tutorial I’ll tell how to merge multiple doc files into one.

How to Merge Multiple Doc Files into One

Step 1: Open a new Microsoft Office Word document or can open the first file/document from those single documents you have created.

Step 2: Use the “Cursor Key” or press the “Page Down” button to take your cursor at the bottom of the page or you can put the cursor where you want to insert the next document so that it can be in order to read.

Step 3: Go to “Insert” (you can find insert on the top panel) and press “Object File”.

How To: Merge Multiple MS Word Documents into a Single Document

Step 4: One box will get open. Choose “Create from File” from those two options available in that previously opened box.

How To: Merge Multiple MS Word Documents into a Single Document

Step 5: Now browse and show the path of the document you want to put next to your first document file. Hit “Ok” and you are done.

If you have followed every step correctly you can see two different MS Word files are now in one single document. Repeat the steps if you want to put more documents to make one Single MS word Document.

Also Read: How To: Create Fake Screenshot by Editing Web Page Live

If still the issue is not clear watch the video to merge Multiple Doc Files into one.

Same thing had happen to me when I was creating an ebook for one of my client – Bamidele Onibalusi. He didn’t told me that the ebook should be in one single MS Word file so as obvious I had created multiple MS Word documents. Hence, on his request I have been told to combine word documents into one as that would be easier to upload so that incident has inspired me to write this trick on MS Word.

Comments are welcome! Please do share this article if it may have helped you in any way! Also Like – Facebook & Follow us – Twitter to get connected.

A Guide on How to Convert AVI to DVD

How to Convert AVI to DVDKnowing how to convert AVI to DVD files will let you play AVI files on a DVD player. You can then watch them on your TV.

Tools and Materials required:

  • File converter (this guide uses WinAVI Video Converter)
  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • DVD player

Step 1:

Get WinAVI Video Converter from the Net or another program that can convert the files. Most of these programs are shareware, but some are free to download. Follow the instructions on how to install the file. Enter the code and registration name.

Step 2:

Open the program and click the DVD button. This is at the bottom of the window just to the right. When the box opens, look for the AVI file that you want to download.

convert AVI to DVD files

Step 3:

Select the AVI file. If you want to add more files – click the green button and if you want to remove some files – Click the red button. It is also possible to merge several files into one. You can also separate the title on a single DVD. Make all your choices before you convert AVI to DVD. You may continue after making the appropriate choices.

Step 4:

Browse the output folder. Select the output format. The default is for DVD. There is no need to change it. Click OK.

Step 5:

The conversion will now proceed. This may take a while to finish depending on the file size.

convert AVI to DVD files

Step 6:

To burn the DVD you need to click on the button at the bottom left of the screen. When the window opens go to the output folder you just made. Put the DVD label on the right side and click the Burn button that will burn the disc.

  • #Downloading or Buying AVI / DVD Converters

Make sure that the program can convert the files correctly. It must also have all the options you need. As stated earlier, some of these apps are freeware, while others require payment to use. The free programs have basic features, but for casual users they may be sufficient.

If you are serious about editing video, consider buying a dedicated converter it will have more advanced options and features. Before you do so, make sure your computer meets the system specifications.

  • #Tips and Warnings

Read user reviews before you download or buy a program. Some of these apps may have bugs. They may also not be compatible with software that is installed in your system. You should also look at a few programs before deciding what to buy. Many of them are affordable, but that’s no reason to waste money.

The process described on how to convert AVI to DVD is applicable only to WinAVI Video Converter. Other programs will have a different way of converting the files.

 

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Author – Alicia Conrad writes on how to convert AVI to DVD and how to burn a DVD.

How To: Install And Configure COMODO VPN

Comodo VPNComodo Virtual Private Network is a very easy software to use. It has been designed in such a manner as to bring out the same features found in other instant messaging software such as Yahoo Messenger and Skype. Using the interface of Comodo VPN is quite simple and for people who have gotten used to using IM software over the internet, using Comodo VPN should be a walk in the park.

To use Comodo VPN, One Should Use The Following Steps

  1. Download the EasyVPN software from several websites which can be gotten through the use of search engines. Some of the websites that one can use to download this software include easy-vpn.comodo and download.cnet.com.
  2. Once the software has been downloaded, one can then install it on the PC. This can be done through using the run button to install the software.
  3. Once the software has been launched, one can then register with Comodo VPN and follow the activation link through a message sent on ones email to make the account active.
  4. Once the account has been activated, one is almost done and the only thing to do is to log into the account to start using the service. Once logged in, an IM window such as that of Gtalk or Skype comes up.
  5. Once the IM-like window comes up, create a new network by clicking on the networks place and come up with your own username and password. Once this is done, your network is already active and ready to run.
  6. In order to grow your network, it is necessary to invite friends to your network or have friends invite you to their networks. For friends to invite you, they must also have Comodo VPN installed in their computers as the software can only be used by people with it commonly.

Verification as to whether one is connected can be done by clicking on the Networks tab. When this is done, one can see their friends PCs and vice versa and this way, one knows that a connection was established.

 

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Author – Sathishkumar is a Blogger and Internet Marketer from India. He now works for Pixloo, a free
Virtual Tour
services company.

How to Burn a DVD Like a Professional

DVDs that are burned at home and are compatible to pay with DVD players are economical. They may be shared with family and friends. If you wish to learn how to burn a DVD like a professional? Why not give a read here and now?

What You Will Need

A computer system with dvd burning software downloaded.  The software that you use will play a pivotal role in determining how professional the resulting DVD will be.

The DVD that you wish to copy along with blank DVDs preferably rewritable.  A CD/DVD compatible printer will also be needed to label the DVD after it has been burned. Since Nero is so common we will use Nero as our software for this tutorial.

Step One – Load The Software

After deciding on the software you will use. Load it to the system. Also load the DVD that you are going to copy. This is usually a simple process since you will be prompted on what to do next by the wizard.

Step Two – Open The Software

Open the Software that you wish to use to burn the DVD . It can usually found on the start menu. If it is hidden then select all programs. It should emerge among the options.  After opening Nero Rom you should close its wizard and all other opened windows. The screen that appears should have ‘Nero-Burning- ROM‘ as its title.

Step Three – Start a New Compilation

You can do this by selecting file on the top menu and then clicking ‘New Compilation. An alternate way to do this is to click on the ‘create new compilation‘ icon. The shortcut ‘Ctrl+N‘ can also be used to start a new compilation. The ‘New Compilation’ window should pop up. On this window look to see if ‘DVD’ is written in the “selection” box the is located in the top left hand side of the page. If it is not there you will have to change it from Cd to DVD. Select ‘DVD-Video‘ as the mode.

Select Your Burn Preferences

Ensure that the correct setting has been selected. Under ‘File/Directory name length’ it should be ‘ISO Level 1 (Max. of 11= 8+3 char ‘while under ‘Character Set’ it should be ‘ISO 9660‘. Make sure that all the other options remain blank before moving on to the next aspect, the ‘label‘ tab. On the label tab you select the title for the DVD. Move to the date tab and keep the settings there.

Step Four – Initiate The Burn Process

The final tab is the burn tab. In this window you have the option of allowing the program to select the burn speed or to select it yourself. After all this is done; you should click ‘new‘ which is located in the top right hand corner of the window.

A new project will automatically be created. It will bear the name that you selected in the label tab. Find the shrunk files on the browser on the right and drag them to the empty Video_TS folder in the left panel. Click on the ‘Burn Disc‘ icon that is found at the top of the page and select ‘write‘ from the options in the top left hand corner. You have now initiated the burn process. Nero will let you know when it is finished.

Step Five- Packaging

Nothing says professional like the appearance of the finished product. Polish your burned DVD by adding a label. Buy DVD labels at a computer supply store. Design the label and print. Attach it to the DVD. For an even more polished look, print the label on the DVD itself. To do this you need a printer that is CD/DVD compatible printer. You could also use the less popular and more outdated method which entails the use of an old-fashioned, press-on disc-labeling kit.

Tips and Warnings

Ensure that you are not infringing on the copyright privileges of the owner when you burn a DVD. Also prepare to use up quite a bit of time when burning DVDs as the process is more lengthy as a ‘do it yourself project’ than it would be if a professional is hired.

Now that you know how to burn a DVD like a professional, don’t hold back. Start making your very own professional quality DVDs today! And let us know your thoughts here on comments.

Author – Belle Mutchler who blogs about burn dvd and free dvd burning software.

How to Protect Yourself from Online Fraud

These days becoming an online fraud victim is almost more common than having your house broken into. That’s because it’s a lot easier to trick you online and access your banking information than risk being caught by the police when forcing your door open. Unfortunately, there is no universal recipe for protecting yourself from online fraud. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of being caught out.

1. Use Reliable Security Software

How to Protect Yourself from Online FraudMost Windows users know how important it is to have antivirus software installed on their computers. There are a lot of different antiviruses and security suites available today, but not all of them have the features to protect you from online fraud. When choosing an antivirus, make sure that it offers real-time protection, has privacy control features and anti-phishing tools.

2. Never Share Your Bank Details

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should avoid sharing your bank details with anyone. There are plenty of secure online payment systems, such as PayPal, Moneybookers and AlertPay to name a few that only need an email address to send or receive payments.
Another thing to avoid is bogus emails pretending to be from your bank. If you receive an email asking you to enter a new PIN or update your information, ignore it and notify your bank immediately.

3. Never Respond to Suspicious emails

Most people receive dozens of emails from unknown senders and sometimes it’s very tempting to reply to one or two of them. Well, don’t. Responding to such emails will only tell spammers that your email address exists and they will start bombarding you with spam.

4. Verify The Seller

Sad as it is, but there are a lot of bogus online stores out there. That’s why you should check and double check unknown stores, especially if they are offering deals that sound too good to be true. A legitimate store will always use a verified secure connection (https://), have security seals, and have clear shipping, return and refund policies. If you are not sure about a particular vendor, you can check it out on ripoffreport.com.

5. Use Your Credit Card

When shopping online, it’s always safer to use a credit card. That’s because credit cards offer better fraud protection and you won’t have to pay huge overdraft fees if something goes wrong.
These tips will help you to stay away from cyber criminals and protect yourself from online fraud. Remember to always rely on your common sense and you will never become the next fraud victim.

 

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Author – Liz Cornwell is an experienced writer who currently works for Auslogics Software. Auslogics makes software to speed up and clean up your slow computer.

[Photo Credit – Lance Wolf]