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Posts from the ‘Social Media’ Category

YouTube Shortcuts

I’ve written many times that YouTube videos are an excellent source for online education: cooking, crafting, fixing, decorating, exercising — even how to play the violin.

When watching YouTube videos on my computer, I use the following keyboard shortcuts:

Press the letter K to play (or pause) a video
Press the letter J to replay the last 10 seconds of a video
Press the letter L to forward a video 10 seconds

By design, these letters are grouped together.

There are other useful YouTube keyboard shortcuts. You can find them — where else? — on a YouTube video!

Check it out at

Subtitles/Close Captions

If you think that YouTube is just videos of cute cats riding Roomba Robot Vacuums, then you are missing out. (Although those videos are pretty cute.)

YouTube videos can teach you almost anything: how to mix a vodka martini, make a chocolate molten lava cake, apply eyeshadow and nail polish, change a bicycle chain, de-scale a Keurig machine, reboot your smart phone, etc. You get the idea.

Go to (or open the mobile app), type a subject in the “search” box, and click or tap on one or more of the search results. Some videos are quite informative.

But what if those around you don’t share your interests or would rather not hear the audio? Or perhaps your computer volume — or your hearing — is not as clear as you’d like. Or maybe the person speaking in the video is difficult to understand. Don’t miss a good video; tap the “subtitles/closed captions” icon and read the audio.

Every YouTube video has this option; it might mean the difference between learning something important to you and never knowing it. Totally worth a try.

Skip Ad?

Do you click “Skip Ad” when you are waiting to watch a YouTube video?
I did, until I learned that the person who made the video makes money if I don’t skip the ad. Sometimes I let the ad play.
YouTube offers a wealth of information — in video format — about almost everything: crafting techniques, product reviews, technology, and cooking demonstrations, to name a few. Some videos are more informative and better produced than others. If you like a video, reward the creator.
Here are a few ways:
  • Don’t skip the ad. Of course you don’t know if you like a video until you watch it, but if you watch it again or watch another video by the same person, don’t click “Skip ad.” If the ad plays all the way through, the video creator gets a portion of the ad revenue.
  • Subscribe to the channel. If you like a video and want to see more from that creator, click “Subscribe.” You can be notified when a new video is uploaded.
  • “Like” and/or comment on the video. Let the creator know that you enjoyed the effort so he/she will make more videos.
  • Click a link in the description box below the video to purchase a product the video creator uses and recommends. This is called “Affiliate Marketing.” The video creator gets a commission if you click the link to the merchant (usually Amazon) and purchase that product.
If you want to support the knowledge, presentation, and skill of your favorite YouTubers, be sure to reward them.

Holiday Cards 2016

How is your holiday card project coming? All done? Working on it? Just realized it’s December … yikes!

There’s still time to get it together; your computer can be a big help. Here are some options:

Do the whole thing electronically
Upload one or more pictures to a web-based photocard site
Choose your card design
Type your message
Upload your mailing addresses (to send a printed card) or your email addresses (to send a paperless electronic card)

Do most of it electronically
Use the card site to create your card but have the company mail you the cards and envelopes (with printed return address option)
Add a personal note and address by hand (or label)

Do some of it electronically
Create your card (or holiday letter) on your computer
Print copies on your printer
Add a personal note and address by hand (or label)

Do most of it manually
Purchase or handwrite cards but print your addresses from your computer onto labels.

Lots of choices. Where to start?

To find a web-based service that is right for you, type “holiday photo cards,” or “holiday ecards” into your computer’s search engine. (I’m sure some of the company names will look familiar to you from their commercials). Or look at a card you saved from last year — or ask the person who sent it — to learn which company created it.

I’m sure your friends and family will appreciate your holiday sentiments no matter how they arrive.


If you know anything about Twitter, you know that tweets have a 140 character limit. (If you don’t even know that, read on anyway; you might still appreciate this information).

Thus, Twitter users rely on popular acronyms to express themselves; why waste characters on three words when three letters will do?

And why confine these acronyms to just Twitter? They make email, texting, and facebook (which don’t have character limits) more efficient, but also more confusing. You’d better know a few acronyms, just in case …

LOL: Laughing out loud

ICYMI: In case you missed it

SMH: Shaking my head (usually in disgust or disbelief)

B/C: Because

BTW: By the way

IMHO: In my humble opinion

ROTFL: Rolling on the floor laughing

GMAB: Give me a break

JK: Just kidding

I hope this list is helpful. You may never type one of these acronyms but your grandkids might. For them, it’s NBD (no big deal).


Post Thoughtfully

If you choose to post messages on social media, please think about what you are writing and who may read it. Consider this example:

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine in Philadelphia hosted a luncheon to celebrate a significant accomplishment.  The day before the luncheon, a woman who was invited but not able to attend posted this message on the hostess’ Facebook page: “I hope the luncheon was wonderful. Congratulations again on this special occasion.”

What is unfortunate about this post?

  1. It referenced the wrong day
  2. It announced to all of the hostess’ Facebook friends a luncheon to which they may not have been invited

I asked my friend whether this post caused her any angst. She said that three invited guests called in a panic thinking they had missed the luncheon.

Did she anger anyone who was not invited? She hopes not, but she really wished the “poster” has been more thoughtful.

Think before you post!