What’s your social media type?

Just about everyone is hooked to social media. Every morning, we check notifications, read suggestions from friends, chat with some and comment on people’s travels. If you can’t help but log into your Facebook timeline while in the loo, or can’t wait to click group selfies and post them when out with friends, here’s a profile test for you—identify your personality type.


The GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, barometer and various other sensors in smartphones were created just for you. You have a Fitbit or a smartwatch and a gazillion apps which auto-post on your timeline. They tell others what speed you’re running at, which restaurant you’re exiting, what you are listening to now, even how many times your toilet was flushed today. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but someone must surely be thinking on those lines.

Food for thought: In a paper published in the Optics Expressjournal in June, German researchers displayed a sensor system for smartphones with potential for use in biomolecular tests—monitoring diabetes, for example. What’s more, your smartphone might soon be able to analyse your sweat and blood to provide more statistics. Can’t wait to get your hands on that one, can you?


You love to rant, on the weather, on how someone has got it completely wrong, on how you would love to see people think before they speak, on the politics of someone else, or even on things that the government is doing. You love writing in CAPITAL letters, sometimes getting the spelling wrong (who cares about editing when one’s so angry), and usually follow all the celebrities on Facebook and Twitter, spending a copious amount of time correcting them.

Food for thought: If you’re mirthfully grinning at this type, here’s something to worry about: According to a study published in the Personality And Individual Differencesjournal in September, you have the classic symptoms of a Dark Tetrad (no, not Darth Vader). You are an explosive cocktail of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and a classic Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.


You travel everywhere with your smartphone, clicking the lunch you’re having, clicking friends at a pub even before you say hello. In fact, even if you were at a beautiful beach, you’d be mentally thinking of ways to capture and post it perfectly first. You also like to take pictures of your cat, sofa, the street, the car…and take time to add filters, crop, add mood before posting the photograph. You’re mostly found on Instagram and sometimes on Facebook.

Food for thought: Enhance your gadget with nifty accessories. Try Olloclip (Olloclip.com, $70-80; Rs.4,400-5,200) for zoom, or a Joby Gorillapod (Rs.1,450 onwards; Joby.com) to add stability to those pictures. If you’d like to outsource to a bot, get Moment Case (Momentlens.co/case), a smartphone cover ($69.99 onwards) with a lens, which automatically takes pictures through the Moment app. Happy clicking.


You don’t post. You don’t “like”, comment or retweet. You’re the quiet one, scrolling through the timelines, people’s pictures and posts, your social presence barely visible. On Twitter, you’re listening to the people you follow, observing rather than posting anything.

According to a survey published in April 2013 by First Direct, a telephone- and Internet-based bank in the UK, there’s a whopping 45% of you on Facebook, watching what others are saying and rarely participating. Oh, and you call yourself “observers”.

Food for thought: It’s hard, but try to participate and interact online. You might find a sudden inexplicable increase in the number of offline friends.


You thrive on anonymity. You like to have various personalities on social networks, constantly use fake names and give out little or no information about yourself. It might be paranoia about your privacy that makes you do this or simply the fact that you like hiding behind a mask and peering into others’ lives. Your online personality might be completely different from who you are in real life. You’re found mostly in forums and on Twitter.

Food for thought: Shift to Whispero (Whispero.com), an app that lets you stay in touch without exchanging any personal information.


You are the ultimate knowledge-seeker, going through the timelines and Webs looking for good, edible, sensible information to share with your fellow social hogs. You have various RSS feeds that come to your phone, news and social apps and give you the latest in your field, and on people that you follow online. You see, like, share, retweet anything that comes your way. You are also a slacktivist, sharing posts of missing children, funds needed for the sick, petitions, etc. Many a time, you download something from Reddit and share it across your Facebook and Twitter timelines.

Food for thought: Tried Glean (Get-glean.com) yet? Built especially for Android devices, Glean offers interest-based news from over 15,000 sites. Use it and it’ll learn what you like to read and give you your favourites and trends in a single feed.


Most of your posts feature your child doing something. You can’t help but post pictures of your child making a putty face, smiling, frowning, doing the Dubsmash, with cake all over the face, giggling, looking all so cute. You love to post constantly on Facebook and in your family WhatsApp groups, with a singular comment on what the child did today and what your response was. You’re not alone.


For the complete article, head to Livemint.com

Digital star wars

Celebrities are fast realizing the power of social networks and are working hard to engage their fans. Here are some lessons you can learn from them…

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has over 8,117,186 fans on Facebook and 7,550,474 on Twitter; at any given point when he logs in to a social networking site, at least 7,550,474 individuals will listen to his opinions and thoughts. And they respond to him, all the time.


Social networks make it easier than ever for everyone to be heard, but real-world celebrities still tend to get the lion’s share of attention. This fan following can make a new release a hit or drive attention to their favourite causes, if they can hold your attention more than other celebrities, of course.

“The superstars can share their personal experiences and get creative in terms of how they want to present themselves to their fans off-screen, which was never possible before,” says Puneet Johar, co-founder and managing director of To The New, a digital services company which has just released a report that compares the activities of Bollywood stars on Twitter. Bachchan has the most followers, and the number has grown most quickly too, at 87% over 2012. Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor are among the other fastest growing Twitter users. What can the rest of us learn from this?

Ashish Joshi, vice-president, digital, and business head, Fluence, a digital media company that handles the online lives of Bachchan, Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor, believes that celebrities really want to increase their digital reach. “One aspect of it is to give something precious to the fans but another important thing that’s there in the back of their head is brands. Advertisers today evaluate a celebrity’s penetration on social media platforms while figuring out a fee for them,” he says.

Keeping it real


Having a social media team doesn’t mean someone else is tweeting for you. “We do not actively control a celebrity’s Twitter page,” says Joshi. “They have to do their own communication. But what our creative team does is build a story around his or her personality, an online story which our sales team can sell to brands as a concept.”

Once they have figured out a story, they guide the celebrity and package the content well. Joshi gives the example of Tuesday Memoirs, a series of Facebook posts where his team uploads pictures of Bachchan from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s on the sets, or during tours, and writes stories around them. “These stories are precious to his fans, it increases his reach on Facebook, and the artiste loves the engagement it provides,” says Joshi. All posting, blogging, writing is done in consultation with the celebrity, though there’s a team from Fluence which acts on his behalf.

“Web presence has to be personal,” agrees Bunty Sajdeh, chief executive officer, Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment, which handles the accounts and online lives of sportspersons like Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Sania Mirza, and actor Sonakshi Sinha. “That is what the fans want.”

Updating Twitter, Facebook and other accounts every day, multiple times a day, is a full-time job though, and not something most celebrities can actually manage. “Virat Kohli tries to keep it personal but we have to help him out a little since he can’t give the fans enough due to his busy schedule,” says Sajdeh. His team keeps more than two million Twitter, and nearly 4.2 million Facebook, fans happy by ensuring all his activities are posted online, but Sajdeh says the actual interaction with fans remains strictly with the cricketer.

Ashwin Sanghi, author of The Krishna Key, who has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 600,000 on Facebook, says he uses automated tools to keep on top of social networks. He uses an app called Buffer to send updates he has saved in one block every half an hour. “I check Twitter only once in three days to check replies,” Sanghi says.

He adds that it’s important to distinguish between the networks. Facebook is for books and events, YouTube is for uploading lectures, Flickr has photos and Google+ has the articles he writes.

Faking it

The desperate desire for a fan following could lead a celebrity to buy followers and likes. A big following can make a difference, allowing a celebrity to get the next big project, movie, or sign a new deal. It can even make you a celebrity, as it did in the case of starlet Poonam Pandey(@ipoonampandey), who has over 450,000 followers on Twitter. “Paying for likes is foolish,” says Sanghi. “An inflated following might satisfy your ego but will give you no sales. It’s only valid for those who want to show to the world that they are being followed by a large number of people.” Fake likes and followers are so prevalent though that Facebook, Google and Twitter are trying to filter them out.

“For a celebrity, the number of likes and followers is extremely important as most brands check out their online engagement,” says Joshi, “but fake likes just doesn’t make sense. The engagement and reach is pretty low and platforms like Facebook now show how many likes you have and what’s the number of people who are talking about you.” He believes that it’s parameters like reach and engagement, rather than just numbers, that most advertisers are now looking at before signing a celebrity. After all, for a fan, the whole idea is to get closer to the star.

Show me the money

In October, Fluence, along with Twitter and ZipDial, a mobile marketing service, ran a campaign around Bachchan’s birthday. A fan who wasn’t on the Internet could give a missed call to follow the handle @SrBachchan and receive tweets on SMS. “It was a win-win situation, for us, the platform and the fans,” says Joshi….

Read the complete story on Livemint.com

Beyond Instagram

Looking for image-editing apps to share your photos along with your tweets? Skim through our list.

Twitter and Instagram might have started off as a match made in heaven, but over the last couple of months, signs of a break up have been showing. First, Twitter deactivated the ability to transfer your Twitter friends’ list to Instagram, and this month, Instagram removed the ability to post images directly into your Twitter feed, forcing you to visit the Instagram site to see images.
At the same time, Twitter also added Instagram-style image filters to its iPhone and Android apps, and it doesn’t seem like the two networks are going to see eye to eye again anytime soon. But if you don’t want to use the official Twitter app, there are still plenty of alternatives with image editing and timeline image-sharing built in. We list some of our favourites.
Pixlr Express
One of the smoothest edit apps in the market, Pixlr Express offers you capability to minutely edit your photos in a simple, clean and easy-touch layout. It has four levels of editing. Adjustment can sharpen, whiten, remove red eye, touch up, focus, blur, crop, rotate and autofix. In Effect you can choose vintage, creative or default effects. Overlay adds masks to your photograph and Border adds various styles of borders.
Shareability: Pixlr supports Twitter, Facebook and some other photo-sharing networks, and has a feature that lets you share large, medium or small versions of the picture, depending on whether you want a fast upload or a high-detail picture online.
What we like: It’s simple, clean and has an easy-to-manoeuvre layout.
Get it: Pixlr Express is available on Google Play, iTunes, and web
Aviary Photo Editor
One of the most popular photo editors on Android, Aviary Photo Editor comes loaded with simple features like auto enhance to beautify your photographs with a single tap. Other features include enhance, effects, stickers, orientation and crop. You can edit colour brightness, warmth, contrast, saturation as well as draw and add stickers on to the image.
The Aviary Photo Editor is made by the same company which also created the image-editing filters for the official Twitter app.
Shareability: The app automatically picks up social networking apps on your phone to share with. You need to choose one by one to share as there is no share-all option.
What we like: The layout is simple and changes made to the photos are fast. The editor gives you a high-resolution output and you can customize your tools.
Get it: Aviary Photo Editor is available for free on iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone. Effects packs such as Grunge and Nostalgia cost Rs.53.72 per pack (each pack comes with six filters).
If you are tired of photographs that look pretty, opt for Decim8, an editing app which lets you systematically destroy the photographs you have taken. The app applies filters which make your photos look glitchy on purpose. When you apply a filter through Decim8, it goes into the image file and corrupts the data resulting in hi-resolution messy images.
Shareability: Direct upload to Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and Postagram.
What we like: You can save combinations of your own favourite effects and use them on more photographs. And the fact that the app comes with a warning sign: “This app is capable of completely destroying an image. If this doesn’t appeal to you, there are lots of apps out there to provide all the ‘safe’ effects you could ever want.”
Get it: Decim8 is available on iTunes. A desktop version will launch in 2013.
A popular editing app for professionals on iPhone, Snapseed was recently bought over by Google and made available on Google Play free of cost. Earlier this year, it was designated the Best Mobile Photo App of 2012 by the Technical Image Press Association (Tipa). The app which is meant as an editing tool for professional or advanced amateur photographers, comes loaded with different enhancement options for cropping, straightening, adjusting focus and fine tuning hues by adjusting white balance, saturation, contrast and more. You can even choose to use Selective Adjust and make changes to a part of the photograph (like removing shadows on people’s faces) and add on filters and borders for a finishing touch after your basic editing is done.
Shareability: With a click share to Google+, Facebook, Twitter and
What we like: It gives you a stronger control on editing your photo as well as undoing edits, filters or reverting to the original.
Get it: Snapseed is available for free on iTunes and Google Play (Android OS 4.0 or later)
Hipstamatic makes your iPhone feel like an analog camera. You can choose the type of lens, kind of flash and the film that you want, with hundreds of different combinations possible. Once you set up the shot, the screen looks like an analog camera, complete with a small view finder with a faux leather finish. And the final photograph is a replica of what you’d get with the same combinations in a real, analog camera….
To read the complete article head to the Livemint.com website.

Krishna tweetathon

Krishna commands you to come out with all the weird questions about Krishna: Defender of Dharma and ask them on Twitter. I will be there as will be the talented artist of the graphic novel, Rajesh N (@rajeshcolors) and Campfire (@campfireindia) to talk about how we created this marvelous book. Join us at #krishnacampfire  tomorrow evening at 4.30pm.


Twitter POST copy

Third-party Twitter

Fed up with the official Twitter app? Want something better? Get more with the right apps
 Twitter’s rise to one of the most popular social networks was driven in part by the open nature of the service, helped along by a number of third-party apps to access the network. This started changing last year though as Twitter banned certain apps to try and create a uniform experience.
Aaron White, co-founder of the third-party app Proxlet (which was one of the apps Twitter suspended), says in an email interview, “The diversity of the third-party ecosystem certainly contributed to Twitter’s fast rate of growth, considering how long it took them to launch an official iPhone client!”
According to Paris-based analyst group Semiocast, the social network had 517 million accounts as of July. That is a lot of eyeballs, and Twitter has begun to try and market to advertisers with expandable tweets (or a short blog with pictures and videos) and sponsored accounts under #Discover. As any regular user knows, there are two basic ways to access Twitter—you can either use your browser or an app. Apps range from the official Twitter application to custom applications that can use the features of the social network and give you a different experience.
Since the new official app can also serve ads, users might want a third-party experience instead, and there are a number of different apps to choose from there.
Monika Katkute, ideator and project lead at Lemon Labs, which created the Hashtag App for the platform in May, hopes that Twitter will remain an open platform for all developers. “If a third-party app is making tweets available in a more attractive and usable format, Twitter shouldn’t have an objection to that,” she says.
Like to try different flavours of tweets? Then try some of these innovative, out-of-the-box apps for a different take on Twitter and support the third-party ecosystem that has made Twitter what it is:
Is your timeline flooded with inane tweets? Slices is a free third-party application which divides your stream into categorized information. Launched in August, Slices lets you “browse” your timeline. The app does three important things: First, it automatically divides your Twitter stream into neat categories like technology, celebrity, etc.. Second, it suggests new people to follow through its Explore tab, where it divides users by categories like News, Local, Celebs, Humour, Music, Tech and Science, etc. Finally, it lets you choose from live events and trending topics from around the world or locally, in a simple interface which is actually quite addictive to use.
Free to download, on iTunes, Google Play and Web
Some innovative and out-of-the-box apps for a different take on Twitter. Illustration: Raajan/Mint
With more than five million downloads on Google Play since its launch in October 2010, TweetCaster is the No. 1 app for Twitter on Android. It offers basic Twitter functions like timeline, compose, mentions, Direct Messages, favourites and lists. What sets it apart from even the official Twitter app is its search mechanism, called Search Party. It allows you to search not only your own timeline, but also someone else’s timeline, mention or favourites. It even allows you to search for tweets near your location.
Free to download, on Windows Phone, Google Play, iTunes, Samsung apps and BlackBerry. The ad-free TweetCaster in a unique pink-colour version is available for $10 (around Rs.555).
Tweets between
This one’s meant for those who love to eavesdrop on conversations. Missed out on what your friends were chatting through tweets? Simply type in both their Twitter IDs on the Tweets Between website and see what their most recent conversation was all about. Launched in February, the app is quite addictive.
Free to use, on Web
Created by Japanese developer Tetsuya Aoyama, this lightweight Twitter app gives you great filtering tools and basic Twitter app functions. The interface is clean, without too many buttons, icons and menus. Additionally the app has features like colour codes for lists or individual users so you never miss tweets from those important to you. It mutes overzealous tweeting individuals quite well too. The app is relatively new, having launched in May, but it comes with a lot of polish. It even has a built-in image viewer that supports a lot of image-hosting services—Flickr, yfrog, Twitpic, Posterous, etc.
Free to download, on Google Play
To read the complete article go to the HT Mint website.

Freelancing with friends


Find freedom from a 9-to-5 job with a little help from social networks

In April, when sisters Sunitha, Mariamma and Soumya Thomas started their online business of selling handcrafted dresses for girls, they found they could not afford the cost of designing and hosting a website. So they decided to go in a different direction—they created a Facebook page for their shop called Little Women, hosted pictures of the products and sold their products through their networks as well as those of their friends.

“On a website, we would have had to invest a lot and figure out how to build traffic, which a small start-up like us couldn’t afford,” says Soumya, who is based in Bangalore, “but on Facebook we already have a network which we can use. All we need to do is share our products with them.” Four months down the line, they have had more than 120 orders.

Illustration by Raajan/Mint

Illustration by Raajan/Mint

Whether you’re selling a physical product, like the Thomases, or your skills as a freelancer, knowing how to use social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, is now an essential skill.

Considering that 63.50% of Internet users in India are on Facebook, making it the largest social network in the country, according to real-time statistics researcher Socialbakers, this could be a good time to be a freelancer or an entrepreneur on social networks. Here are some useful tips to build your presence across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook:

Become the expert

Working as a freelancer requires you to be good at what you do, right? Then why not tell that to people on your social networks? If you are a photographer, write blog posts explaining how your followers can improve their photography, and post your own photos. If you’re a Web designer, share tips that anyone can follow to improve their websites. Retweet and share good content, and answer questions on LinkedIn.

“This way, you position yourself as an expert in the domain and generate leads or business,” says Aditya Gupta, co-founder of Hyderabad-based Socialsamosa.com, a social media consultancy. “Once you are known as an expert in a field, people start sending leads your way,” he says.

Talk about your projects

If you put all your projects on a page or a resume, you’re the only person who knows about them. Social networks aren’t like blogs—you don’t just talk about a project once. Post regularly about the work you do, several times every day. Vishwaraj Mohan, who in December 2010 opened a restaurant-bar featuring live music in Bangalore called CounterCulture, uses the pub’s Facebook page to connect to musicians who will come and perform there. “I do a minimum of five posts a day which include details of shows, our food, media coverage, pictures, videos and such,” says Mohan. More than five times a day starts to feel like spam, but updating up to four times a day is a good idea.

Clean up your mugshot

Is your mugshot the same bearded or sloppy photo which you took early Sunday morning with your laptop? Change it. The mugshot is small but says a lot about you to someone who checks out your profile or timeline on any social network. Your personality, and even the kind of work you might be doing, is formed from that mugshot, so keep it clean and professional. Facebook and Twitter both offer backgrounds in which you can put images to show your personality to the world.

Most of the social networks give options on more than one picture to tell the world about you. Use this well. Use the small mugshot with a clear photo of you as personalisation always helps and use the background space to create a careful collage of your brand’s personality.

Find the right groups

Like LinkedIn, Facebook has groups which has the people you may want to network with. Want to sell your art? Join some city-specific art groups. You will find artists and buyers in such a group. Little Women got a lot many orders because Soumya stumbled upon a Facebook group called Chennai Shopping. “It’s a very active group run by a bunch of women who give honest feedback to a seller. It has both buyers and sellers, making it a market,” she says.

Bangalore-based Ruche M. Mittal, a graphic designer, started a group for women entrepreneurs on Facebook. Called Entrepreneurial, the group has seen active postings of jobs, business suggestions and connections and even media exposure for a lot of members. Media Movements is a well- known media industry group on Facebook.

Connect with prospective clients

As a freelancer, you already know the companies and people you want to work with. Follow them on Twitter and add them on Facebook, not just LinkedIn. Mumbai-based Anuya Jakatdar, a freelance writer and social media consultant, got a chance to work on a Vidhu Vinod Chopra film commercial when she tweeted that she was looking for work a few months ago. “I got a reply from one of the associate directors and ended up doing the project,” she says. She feels that freelancers should get into conversations with people who are in the industry they want to break into. “Tweet and ask for work and keep an eye out for tweets which are looking for work, of which there are many,” she suggests.

Express your personality

You need to reach out to people and make contacts that can lead to projects, but if you’re a holier-than-thou know-it-all, people will avoid you on social media. If you’re connected to people on a social networking site, they’re going to hear from you, a lot, and this requires you to have a personality that reaches out.


To read the complete article on the HT Mint website, click here.

Tweaks for tweets


Are endless tweets giving you a pain in the neck? We list some cool apps and websites that guide, curate and arrange the massive sea of information into bite-sized pieces for you

Time was when life was simpler. When all you had to do was reach office in the morning, check your emails, read some blogs, have a steaming cuppa and get on with your work. In the good old days, a message like “You’ve got mail!” brought a smile to your face. Heck, it even brought back the memory of a romantic movie.

Tracking tips: Who you should follow, and how to increase your popularity on Twitter.

Tracking tips: Who you should follow, and how to increase your popularity on Twitter.

In Twitterverse, the voices in your feeds never stop. According to the official Twitter blog (blog.twitter.com), as of June end the micro-blogging social network was generating a whopping 200 million tweets per day. That is equivalent to a 10-million-page book of tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 epic novel War and Peace. Reading this much text would take more than 31 years, the blog tells us. Here are some efficient ways to manage the information overload on the five-year-old micro-blogging site.

Find the right people to follow

There are oodles and oodles of tweeters online, but there are only a few hundred influencers. If you don’t hear them on time, you might just miss the next big thing your fellow tweeters are talking about. Find the right influencers of your industry on Twellow (www.twellow.com) by category. The website scrounges through Twitter.com every day to come up with a list of influencers tabulated on the basis of number of followers, industry or categories such as entertainment, news, society and sports. Here you will find the people who are heard by thousands of people and whose tweets are retweeted the most, etc. TweetLevel.com, on the other hand, lets you search the right people to follow by entering a word in its search box.

Tell a tweet story

Feeling creative and want to play with your and other people’s tweets? Check Storify (http://storify.com). Still in its beta stage, the website is an innovative way of telling a story using social networks and the endless information online. You can use tweets, Flickr photos, YouTube videos and articles from the online space to tell a story about a topic, idea or concept. The interface is simple, with a search button where you can search for tweets using hashtags or words and then drag and drop them in your story. The story is publicly available and can be embedded into a website or a blog.

Archive a hashtag

Hashtags were lying forgotten on the number “3” key of your keyboard before Twitter introduced them to create tweet groupings. Now, a hashtag before any word in a tweet makes it about a group, event, occurrence, meet-up or idea. But what happens a day, a week or a month after the hashtag has been used? If you want to save the tweets of a hashtag from being lost forever in the ocean of information that is Twitter, try the Twapper Keeper (http://twapperkeeper.com) free service. It lets you archive up to two trends by hashtags, keywords or fellow tweeters. Another such free service is The Archivist (http://archivist.visitmix.com), which focuses only on hashtags. Once you link the site to your Twitter account, it can track a hashtag for you on a daily basis, and analyse it by users, volume, sources and retweets, etc., in a fancy graph.

Mute the noise

Your stream is inundated with the tweet traffic of retweets, automatically generated tweets from Foursquare or Gowalla about where your friends are or those irritating “I am sleeping now” tweets. In between all this traffic, you could miss the tweets that may actually be relevant to you. Mixero (www.mixero.com) is a Twitter client developed with the idea of “reducing the noise” or information overload. It lets you collate the people you follow by groups and see tweets according to groups, user platforms or channels….

Continue reading “Tweaks for tweets”

While online, thou shalt not…

Be it Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, follow these 10 commandments of social networking etiquette


Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have their share of boorish people who jump into other people’s conversation, generally create a ruckus or bombard your Wall with their gaming updates—and don’t know when to stop. Here’s a list of things to avoid.

Playing games on other people’s Walls

Yes, we know that you love to play Farmville, take mid-afternoon quizzes about “Which Mahabharata character are you?” and “What kind of Ramdev follower are you?”, and dozens of other apps that come your way on Facebook. That doesn’t mean your friends should suffer from a perennial feed of your app activity. It’s not only irksome to see who you just added as a “friend” on Facebook, but also increases the silly updates on people’s Walls. Before they turn off the extra noise you are creating by un-friending you, turn off the bot updates that these apps generate.

Go to your Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites. Click on “Edit your settings”. On the Web page that follows, click on the “Edit Settings” button along with the “Apps you use” header. This will list all the apps you use and what your profile is being used for. Uncheck the feature “Post on your Wall” for every app. Believe us, your friends will thank you for it.

Saying no to your mother

No sneak peeks: Online etiquette demands that you keep your eyes off other people’s screens. Illustration by Raajan/Mint

You might dread the day your mother, or the gossipy aunt who wants you to get married to her cousin’s son, sends a friend request on Facebook or Orkut but you cannot really stop them from coming into your online social spaces. Not unless you change your cellphone number and house and shift to another planet. There are some people you just cannot avoid, but don’t despair—Facebook lets you divide your friends into different lists through which you can control who sees what on your Wall, your status updates, your photographs and even tags. Keep a list of people you couldn’t say “no” to and limit the way they see your profile. You can control the status updates they read, the photos they see and the discussions they can keep a tab on. Make Lists by clicking on Friends on the left-hand side of your Facebook profile. Now go to Edit Friends > Create a List. Once you have completed segregating your friends, simply go to Privacy Settings. Click on Customize Settings in the section “Sharing on Facebook”. You can click on each of the elements on your Facebook profile, such as your information, posts, photographs and details, and for each set which lists of people can view them.

Using all caps

Except when it’s a bank that has just used your credit card for an unauthorized payment, or when you want to make a point strongly, never ever use all caps for any communication online. In the online world, talking in all caps is not talking, but YELLING…

…Read the complete story on the Mint website here.

Keeping it short and sweet

A friend tweeted about her company’s requirement of mobile content creators. Now the term is understandable if rather pretentious (like using sales executive rather than the obvious salesman). But what I want to talk about here is what these content creators are actually doing and getting paid oodles of money for. What does a person who writes for mobile phones actually write? So I search and found it out: The mobile content creators write SMSes, one-liners for blogs or websites. Basically single liners which intrigue the reader, catch her attention and make her click and read. It means someone who can provide catchy one-liners which fit into the browser space of a small mobile screen and incite the user to click on it. For most of us, with our Tweet-long attention span, we give only a nano second to an SMS or tweet. In than time, we want someone to goad us with interesting headlines or single line sum ups of stories.

With more people getting hooked to this mobiles for content, I think this is here to stay. Easy money you think? Try writing one SMS with a 140 character limit and you will know. It does takes sheer creativity and ingenious to write that one liner; to sum up a whole story in a single line. It’s the same as writing a novel, which btw I think is fast becoming a dinosaur. I hear less and less people talking about reading novels. Especially the younger ‘uns.

Wonder if I should try my hand at a tweet-novel. Bet someone out there is doing it. Lemme find out.