Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Cleanup

Yesterday I didn't post a damn thing on any of the LostGirls sites.  I was a bad, bad, bad girl.  But I did do a few things I've been meaning to do for several weeks now.  Let me start by saying that (I know it's not a good excuse, but) I had a slightly unpleasant, unhappy weekend prior to doing all this.  It's funny how much a slight change, some tidying up and learning a couple new things can turn a crap day into something you actually want to write about.  Whether or not its interesting for your readers....well, here's hoping.

First, I finally got around to coloring my hair (which was dyed a pale strawberry blonde, which faded into dirty blonde and had lots of gray roots showing).  I used this...  (same item, different models and those hair colors do not look the same!).

And got this...

Which dried to look like this...

Suddenly those mismatched models up there make sense.

The second thing I did was a disk cleanup on my laptop.  A friend of mine once deleted a bunch of seemingly unnecessary files from her family's desktop computer.  After she restarted it, she found out that erasing those files had rendered the computer utterly useless.  I like to learn from other people's mistakes once in a while (but not too often).

So when I want to do something technical and have no clue how to not destroy whatever I'm trying to work on, I start with simply going to the item in question's manual, or in this case my computer's Help and Support menu.  I don't do a general online search, because that's just going to confuse my techtarded brain and I will undoubtedly do something that looks complex but should've been simple and have to go buy a new computer.

My computer was running a bit slow and I had already moved a bunch of stuff off to an external hard drive, so I just said, "Hey,Computer...'sup?" And asked it how to make it run faster.  Obviously, if you have an IT person/team or someone you know who can get you up to speed, you should use them instead.  But some of us are not so lucky and I'm all about being independent, as long as it's in a smart way (a dumb way would be insisting I don't need help moving the couch to another room and scratching the hell out of the hardwood floors while putting out my back, not that I'd know about that or anything).  The cleanup was easy, didn't take very long and I read the instructions very carefully.  Understand, that last part is a rarity for me.

But the best thing I did with my day (though it won't sound like it in a moment) was to sit down and research applications that will make using Twitter easier for me.  Since I don't have an assistant to time my tweets, as it were, and organize the folks I follow, I decided that I need some tools.  There are a very many apps/tools/whatnot out there that can help you get a bit more organized with Twitter, Facebook and your blog (it's all saving your time you can spend more time on Pinterest).  Now, were I not a blogger, I would not care about any of this (my mother mocked me today about just that).  But once you're doing something business-y with social media, you have to recognize that you will lose your mind if you do not use whatever tools are at your disposal.  This part of the post is mostly for my blogging buddies, but even if you aren't using social media for a blog or business, these are excellent tools if you're devoting a lot of time to Twitter.

Twitter Feed:  I use this app to have every new post (separate feeds for each site) sent to the LostGirls Facebook page.  I already have the Facebook page setup to link automatically to Twitter (creating a tweet for anything that I share as LostGirls), but Twitter Feed can also auto-post to Facebook for you (your user wall or your page).  This tool means that I won't have to worry about going to all these different programs the moment I finish a post - everything updates automatically for me.
Tweet Deck:  The first program like this that I saw was Postano, but I quickly realized it wasn't the one I wanted, especially since its free service is so limited.  Tweet Deck's freeness is fantastic and they have a mobile app to match (though I haven't had a chance to explore it).  I use this app to look at the lists I made on Twitter (you can add people to lists that you create, see our Blogs We Love list - @LostGirlsDC) in a more organized fashion.  So instead of looking at one list at a time, I can look at 3 to 5 columns of tweets (each column contains a list that I made).  The number of columns you see depends on the size of your monitor, so I probably wouldn't use this on an iPad or Netbook, but on a big ol' external monitor, it's the bees knees.  I now log in to this app instead of Twitter.  I use the Chrome extension of Tweet Deck, but you can download  it here, as well.

Buffer:  I put this last, but it was actually the first app that I signed up for.  Buffer is my lazy tweet system.  This app is actually an incredibly efficient tool for Twitter.  You can record up to 10 items to tweet with the free version and create a timeline so that they will be released into the world at the times of your choosing.  The point with this is to keep up a regular stream of tweets (4 times a day is a nice option, that way you're still out there and you can retweet anything you like on your own schedule) so that you're staying in touch with your followers, without being a slave to Twitter.  This is also great if you want to retweet something you sent out before (seems to be a regular practice on Twitter, to make sure you don't miss anyone based on time of day).  Tweet tweet tweet.

If I write tweet one more time, I'm going to slap myself.

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