Category Archives: Social Networking

iGoogle Going Away

The world is changing again!

My comfortable iGoogle homepage has served me well for quite a long time (I moved to Google from Yahoo a few years ago…).  I use Chrome (fast, reliable, etc) and have almost totally moved to the Google universe…and I am very happy here.  But….

Now I see a banner on my iGoogle home page that says iGoogle is going away.  Yikes!

After clicking on the information link, and pondering what this meant….not one to let grass grow under my feet…..I moved on and downloaded separate apps that give me quick access to the Google features I use the most:  Mail, Docs (Drive), Chat, Voice, News, YouTube, etc.

As I work, I will add more….Ah….Calendar…see…the more I work, the more I add…how funny.  🙂

My new Chrome homepage looks like this:

Alternatively, I can have this page showing my most visited sites show up:

Google Chat and Voice show up in the top right hand corner of Chrome:

Using the NEW WAY

I moved very quickly to using the separate apps to access my Google universe.  I suspect since I was already doing this on my smartphone, the move to this way of navigating on my computer was virtually painless.

Time marches on….keep up or fall behind…



Google+ Hangout Video Conferencing Meeting, Part 1

Before any good, errrr…..AWESOME meeting, there is preparation.   That is especially the case with a video conference.  The initiators of the video conference must work diligently to make sure the meeting goes off without a hitch.

No joking around….deadly serious business.  If you want to get involved in video conferencing and put on an AWESOME meeting (watch for Part 2 of the “Hangout Meeting” here later today)…throw your sense of humor out the window….. and get to work!

Here is a video clip of our Pre-Google+ Hangout Preparations.  We learned from the BEST….kidding around is for losers!  SERIOUS is the only way to make it in this business.

Now watch the video!  Do it!  😐


David Maldow, Telepresence Options

Mike Pihlman….you are here!


Information Technology

The world is changing. Rapidly.

Bits are flying over the Internet at an unprecedented pace.

As my loyal reader… know my feelings about Cisco and video conferencing, but, it looks to me as though they are getting back to focusing on handling bits….a very good thing.  For everyone!

This commercial by Cisco is interesting.  I LOVE the part where they say that you do not need to be in the office to be productive.

DUH.   Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework


Dare I say it?   Cisco rocks?   Ouch….that hurt…. 🙂

Oh yeah…the bridge at the end is awesome…again, back to cisco’s roots.

Facebook Video Chat

I mean seriously...who is better looking? 🙂

I tried video chat (video conference) via Facebook about a year ago…it sucked.

Now…the good folks at tell me that the co-founder of RealNetworks, Rob Glaser, has developed a new Facebook video chat (video call) application called “SocialEyes“.

Very clever name.

But it remains to be seen how well it works….you know me…Mr. Skeptical.

I’ll give it a whirl sometime when I get the urge.  If you have already done so…leave a comment below.

According to SocialEyes can connect 5 to 7 people in a video chat (a good thing), and uses Adobe Flash 10.  Maybe not so good as I have had dropping issues with Flash-based video stuff.

Anyway…if it works well, this could be a great thing.  Facebook connects the world, if it can connect these people using video conferencing …WOW!

Playing with It a Bit

Just a few quick tries.  I can record a message and play it back using Chrome and Firefox (IE does not exist in my world).  BUT…I can’t figure out how to add friends to send the message to, and every time I click “Send” it wants me to record again.

It SHOULD be a whole lot easier to use than this.  I logged in with my Facebook account…it should grab all my friends and allow me to send a message easy as 3.14.

Some work still needs to be done.  I’ll keep playing with it…

HootSuite Review: A Quick Look

hoot suite

Rating: 4 WaterTowers (Cool Twitter app)

Do you Tweet?  If so, you may want to try HootSuite 2.0….I think you will like it.  I have been using HootSuite for a few days now and I am hooked, hmmmm..well, I’m getting there.

HootSuite does almost everything I need it to do, and it does some stuff I have not used yet. For a full list of features, visit the HootSuite web site.

Sign Up and Installation

Since the folks using HootSuite are computer (or other electronic devices) users, the installation, for them, is a breeze.

I had a bit of an issue logging on to my TracyVirtOffice Twitter account, but, the next day I came back to it and it worked perfectly.

TelBitConsulting says: HootSuite will only work as well as Twitter works.   If you see the Big Blue Whale…you are down until the Whale goes away.

What I Like

Since I have only been using HootSuite for a few days (and love it!) I have yet to try every feature offered (and, knowing me, I probably never will), but, here are the features I do use (or friends use) and like a while bunch.

Shrink the URL right on the page

Using Twitter I had been using the TelBitConsulting manual method to shorten a URL:  I went to the web site, copied the url, went to, pasted the long URL in, shortened it, copied the new shortened URL, tested it, then put it in  the tweet.


The new HootSuite procedure is:  Go to the web site, copy the URL, paste it in HootSuite, click “Shrink It”, send the tweet.

Much better!

Profile and Keyword columns

If you want the big view of your tweets and want to follow tweets with certain keywords (coworking, Neotics, etc) as well as view your Direct Messages (in and out boxes), and what you sent….Hootsuite shines!  The figure below shows the first page of columns for my account.

Three Hootsuite Columns

Three HootSuite Columns

The Home Feed is what I would see on Twitter.   I have a column looking for the keyword “coworking” next and then a column looking for “Mentions” of TracyVirtOffice.  Very cool.  I have more columns if you slide the pages over.

Oh yeah…if you find you need to move the columns…just grab one and slide it over to where you want it.  Extreme coolness.


As you may know, I am a stats freak.  HootSuite satisfies my need for stats.

You can view general stats which show how many clicks to the URL’s you embedded in your tweets.  Better yet, you can dig down and look at the clicks from each individual tweet.  You can also see where the people live who clicked and where the clicks took place (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Total Click Statistics

Total Click Statistics

Individual Tweet Click Statistics

Individual Tweet Click Statistics

Very easy to Retweet (RT), Reply (RE) and Direct Message (DM)

Just click the appropriate icon.  Dang….HootSuite makes this soooo easy.

In Twitter:  I copied the message, hit the “Reply” icon, typed in RT (or RE), pasted the message, then sent it.

Multiple “Profiles” and the ability to assign other users on a per “profile” basis

If you have more than one Twitter account, you can easily monitor each of these, send tweets from any or each, and set up users who can tweet from that profile.

I do not have multiple accounts, but, @nitewraith does and he loves this feature (I got this info from him!).

Delayed sending of a tweet!

I can be tweeting when I am sleeping (which happens earlier and earlier the older I get).  You can also experiment to find the perfect time period where everyone is looking at tweets and ready to click on your URL or RT.   🙂

RSS / Atom feed

I blog…obviously.  In Hootsuite I set up the RSS / Atom feeds to this blog as well as my Book Review blog.  6 hours (or less) after I publish a new blog entry, a link to it, with a few words and the title are tweeted.  The time Hootsuite scans for new entries is settable from 2 hours (see dislike below) to 24 hours.

RSS / Atom Feeds

RSS / Atom Feeds

What I Don’t Like (or What Can be Improved)

Caveat:  I may have missed the following or I may not know how to do it.  If that is the case, please leave a comment enlightening me! 🙂

I can’t see who I am following or who is following me.

I sometimes have to go into those lists to add a person to a tweet.  For those times that I need to see these lists, I have to go back into Twitter.

Embed a keyword column on my Blog or Web Site can’t be less than 300 pixels wide

My blogs columns, where I put ads and other interesting stuff, are 230 (or 250…I forget) pixels wide!  Yikes!  I can’t put the HootSuite embeds in my blogs.

I would to shrink the columns to fit 4 or 5 on a single page.

There is no number in front of  “hour” when setting RSS / Atom feeds.

@nitewraith just pointed out that you can set the RSS / Atom feed to 1 hour.  I missed that because my mind was looking down the list:  24 hours, 12 hours, 6 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours, hour.  Where is the 1 in front of the hour?    😉

When I click on the icon of a Twitterer I cannot tell if I am already following them or not.

I can only find that out AFTER I click on “Follow” or “Unfollow”.  It would be nice if there was an indication ahead of time.

IDEA for HootSuite:  Possibly a color change?  For example, if “Follow” is RED, it means I am already following that person.


HootSuite 2.o is a cool Twitter application.

I am using it, and will continue to use until something better comes along.  I will only go back to the Twitter interface when I need to find my followers or who I am following.

Oh yeah…sometime in the next 6 hours, you will see this on my Tweet!  🙂

Posted:  11:04 AM, Pacific, Nov 6, 2009.

Reality Internet Video Gone Too Far?

OK, this is happening faster than YeOldeTechy can keep up….well almost.

Check this out. People who live their lives with a web cam stuck to their heads. They are then “streamed” live on the Internet throughout their entire day.

If Yeoldetechy did that….you would get a lot more sleep. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

I do not know about you, but, maybe this is a bit over the edge?