Desk with computer, camera, notepads and chargers

Do you worry about your privacy online? These days I am proper hot on protecting my identity as much as possible. Obviously as I have this site, Linked In and Twitter amongst other social networks people have a good idea on who I am. However, there are lots of details I want to keep private, you never know what weirdos look at your site. I detail the steps I go through in keeping myself safe.

Google yourself
I do this occasionally, however, just to see what is out there about me and check anything I don’t know about.

Location Status
I always turn my location status off. Every post I upload does not have the location status unless it is a place I don’t go to often like the London Eye. This is because I do not want people to see where I live down to the exact coordinates. Especially in the case of Instagram where this can happen. I never give away my exact location on social media either. For example on Twitter I write that I live in the West Midlands. This, is true but the West Midlands is a pretty big region. Even on Facebook where my privacy settings are at it’s highest, I don’t have the name of the exact place where I live.

Ramp up the privacy settings
On Facebook, I have ramped up the settings quite considerably to the extent that I could not find myself on Facebook when I did a quick google search! I also clear my friend’s list out quite regularly – you know when someone should go when you cannot even remember where you have met them! My Twitter isn’t private but I like above I don’t have where I live or my birthday or even where I work. No one needs to know my birthday!

Linked In is a bit harder because you can up the privacy settings but if you are looking for a new job then it will make it harder for people to link in with you if you don’t give them many details. My birthday and marital status is only for those linked to me. I don’t put in anything that doesn’t need to be on Linked In. If people add me, I check if either if I know then, am related to me in some way (such as working in the same place as me or similar field) I will accept, anyone else I decline.

Google + Again I have hidden my marital status, birthday and where I study.

Photography
If I take photos before I put them online I check that there isn’t any landmarks that can identify where I live. Be careful that your background doesn’t contain any post that can give away addresses.

In the home
Privacy doesn’t just stop online. I shred all documents with my address on it, especially important if you live in a flat and numerous people have access to your bins.

These steps are not exhaustive but go along way in protecting you and others. Do you have any tips to share below?

 

I realised the other day that I had never changed my favicon on my blog. As I am currently getting my blog to a level of professionalism. It meant that I had to change the Blogger favicon to my own.
Not everyone has Photoshop on their computer, especially if you are starting out. I don’t have the software as my computer is so old, loading Photoshop will just cause it to break and I need my laptop to survive another year. So I found PicMonkey instead! Here is a little tutorial on how to make a favicon using PicMonkey.
What is a favicon?
A favicon is a little image at the top tab where your blog title is (yep I had to ask my partner what one was first).
How to create the favicon:

Open up PicMonkey and click on design.
Select a plain background and click text. Add the initials of your blog into the background. Increase the text size so it is as large as possible.
Save the image as a JPEG I saved mine in size 100x100px
Open up Blogger.
Go to the layout on the left-hand side of the site.
Click it and then click on edit on the Favicon section which is at the top of the page.
Upload the favicon and save.
Your favicon should now work. You may need to clear the cache if it doesn’t show immediately although oddly enough it took a few days for mine to show through.

 

Laptop on a table with notepad for blogging

I have hosted Twitter chat’s before . It was a really good experience and one I would do again. There were some fun moments and some moments where I was thinking no one is going to talk to me! This post will go through my experience and some pointers to keep in mind when thinking of hosting one.

How did I go about hosting a chat?

I am signed up to Pick A Blogger’s free subscription service and saw on their Twitter an advert advertising people for their chat. I went onto the page and emailed a topic (Past, Present and Future of blogging, if you wanted to know) and four questions I wanted to ask. This was back in July, I got an email confirming the date a day later. The week before I got an DM from them checking I was ok to do the chat and if I had any questions. I asked when do I need to start advertising heavily about it and they said from now. Pick a blogger tweeted me out on their chat Twitter page a few times on the week of the chat.

What is the chat like?

When I first started I was really nervous, I sent out a tweet that morning saying I was doing the chat and then sent a tweet out an hour before reminding people and asking if they were having a good Sunday which I got some interaction with. I sent another tweet which was with five minutes to go and then bang on five I just started the chat.

At first I wasn’t getting any responses and I was so nervous. But Pick a Blogger tweeted out my chat and after about five minutes in I was getting interaction. I was making a conscious effort to favorite and comment on every comment I was receiving. At one point my phone was going crazy with over fifty notifications! As I had four questions I made it so one question was asked every fifteen minutes which worked well as it kept the conversation flowing. I wrapped it up at the end by asking people to share their links. Pick a Blogger kindly thanked me for taking part and asked me to host one again in the future.

The chat was what I thought it would be, to be honest, I hoped more people would take part but I was grateful for those that did take part. At the end of the day they are giving up their hour for you!

Would you do it again?

Yes I would, I want to try another one though to get different experiences.

Tips:

  • Don’t feel disheartened if there are not many people responding, sometimes it takes a while for the conversation to warm up.
  • Obvious, but make sure you are in a place with a good internet connection.
  • I would use a laptop or computer to chat, I found it easy to keep on track looking at everything on a big screen than a tiny phone and it wouldn’t use as much battery up.
  • Have you hosted a Twitter chat? What are your thoughts?

 

 

Image of woman on her macbook

I have taken part in a fair few twitter chats in my time. I usually take part in #bloghour run by UK Blog Awards and sometimes I take part in the #PABchat conversations. If you know any others, let me know and I can add them below.

Note: The list has been compiled through using some sources and my own knowledge. Sources used are listed below:
Design that fits
BeckyBedBug

 

Monday Twitter Hours
12noon -1pm #UKBizLunch
1-2pm #HerefordHour
1-2pm #1pmlunch
2-3pm #BizHour
2-3pm #SouthWestHour
3-4pm #B2BHour (Business to Business hour)
4-5pm #4oClockVacancy
4-5pm #SouthendHour
6.30-7.30pm #DentistHour
7-8pm #WineOClock
7-8pm #bdib (Blogs do it better chat)
7.30 – 8.30pm #DorsetHour
7-8pm #IlkleyHour
7-8pm #LeylandHour
7-8pm #CumbriaHour
7-8pm #DarloBizHour
7-8pm #LateBookingHour
8-9pm #BrandYorkshire
8-9pm #HarrogateHour
8-9pm #CheshireHour
8-9pm #NorthEastHour
8-9pm #ConnectingEssex
8-9pm #VintageWedHour
8-9pm #LincsHour
8-9pm #StockportHour
8-9pm #ChristmasGiftsHour
8-9pm #CoachingHour
8-9pm #OurYorkshire
8-9pm #YorkHour (official)
8-9pm #WorcesterHour
8-9pm #BrighouseHour
8-9pm #PrestonHour
8-9pm #Didsburyhour
8-9pm #Gigglethings
8-9pm #Enterprisehour
8-9pm #HorseHour
8-9pm #TradesHubHour
8-9pm #CreativeBizHour
8-9pm #BlackburnHours
8-9pm #WorcestershireHour
8-9pm #PBoroHour
8-9pm #ApprenticeHour
8-9pm #MarketHour
8-9pm #YateleyHour
9-10pm #TwitterBrothers
9-10pm #MotorHour
9-10pm #Venuehour
9-10pm #OldhamHour
8.30-9.30pm #MondayMadness
8.30-9.30pm #WightHour
8.30-9.30pm #BuyOnlineHour
 
Tuesday Twitter Hours
12noon -1pm #UKBizLunch
12noon – 1pm #YorkshireJobsHour
12noon – 1pm #AutoHour
12-1pm #GlasgowBizHour
1-2pm #1pmLunch
2-3pm #NorthEastHour
2-3pm #BizHour
3-4pm #B2BHour (Business to Business Hour)
3-4pm #HartlepoolHour
4-5pm #4oClockVacancy
4-5pm #ColchesterHour
4-5pm #TendringHour
4-5pm #MaldonHour
4-5pm #BillericayHour
4-5pm #MerseaHour
4-5pm #IpswichHour
4-5pm #MaldonHour
7-8pm #WineOClock
7-8pm #WhitbyHour
7-8pm #FashionHour
7-8pm #BlkCountryHour
7-8pm #Awardingpeoplehour
7-8pm #SMEHourUK (Small Medium Enterprise) 
8-9pm #CalderdaleHour
8-9pm #DiscoverRipon
8-9pm #WetherbyHour
8-9pm #DoncasterHour
8-9pm #HampshireHour
8-9pm #WestMidsHour
8-9pm #MerseyBiz
8-9pm #UKEtsyHour
8-9pm #ChesterHour
8-9pm #NosCymru
8-9pm #FBLikeHour
8-9pm #KetteringHour
8-9pm #NidderdaleHour
8-9pm #FoodHour
8-9pm #MaidstoneHour
8-9pm #EastYorksHour
8-9pm #FleetHour
8-9pm #BeverleyHour
8-9pm #ScotWeddingHour
8-9pm #PetworthHour
8-9pm #WyreFyldeHour
8-9pm #ChorleysHour
8-9pm #RVHour
8-9pm #DartmoorHour
8-9pm #MusicHourUK
8-9pm #UKGeoCachingHour
8-9pm #LanarkshireHour
8.30-9.30pm #SouthEastHour
8.30-9.30 #KentHour
8.30-9.30pm #MallowMummies
8.30-9.30pm #WiltshireHour
9-10pm #SmallBizHour (There is a topic of discussion each week based around 5 questions).
9-10pm #ChickenHour
9-10pm #BlogHour
9-10pm #4NHour (4 networking)
9-10pm #SkiptonHour
 
Wednesday Twitter Hours
12noon -1pm #UKBizLunch
12noon -1pm #energyhour
1-2pm #1pmLunch
1-2pm #LocalLunch
1-2pm #BuyYorkshire
1-2pm #UKlegalHour
1-2pm #TheLegalHour
2-3pm #BizHour
2-3pm #TeesTime
2-3pm #NewcastleHour
2-3pm #EssexHour
2-3pm #CoDurhamHour
2-3pm #TheatreHour
3-4pm #B2BHour (Business to Business Hour)
3-4pm #VolunteerHour
4-5pm #4oClockVacancy
4-5pm #BraintreeHour
4-5pm #HarlowHour
7-8pm #lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers)
7-8pm #MidlandsHour
7-8pm #WineOClock
7-8pm #LincolnHour
7-8pm #RyedaleHour
7-8pm #HambletonHour
7-8pm #HartlepoolHour
7-8pm #MusicHourUk
7-8pm #IndieDevHour
7-8pm #RecruitHour
7.30-8.30pm #CornwallHour
7.30 – 9.30pm #HandmadeHour
8-9pm #YorkshireHour
8-9pm #NorthWestHour
8-9pm #EastMidlandsHour
8-9pm #ShropshireHour
8-9pm #CambsHour
8-9pm #OxHour
8-9pm #HorshamHour
8-9pm #MidlandsHour
8-9pm #ColneValleyHour
8-9pm #DevonHour
8-9pm #StaffordshireHour
8-9pm #CardiffHour
8-9pm #WolverhamptonHour
8-9pm #StaffordshireHour
8-9pm #DGHour (Dumfries & Galloway hour)
8-9pm #SalisburyHour
8-9pm #WebHitsHour
8-9pm #WoofWoofWednesday
8-9pm #SlaithwaiteHour
8-9pm #BramhamHour
8-9pm #YorksBuildersHour
8-9pm #CotswoldsHour
8-9pm #Pontcashour
8-9pm #FranchiseHour
8-9pm #MusicHourUK
8-9pm #WarwickHour
8-9pm #PNDHour (Postnatal Depression Awareness)
8-9pm #WrexhamHour
8.30-9.30pm #BuyBritishBrands
8.30-9.30pm #NorfolkHour
8.30-9.30 #GossipGirls
9-11pm #IrishBizParty
9-10pm #WeddingHour
9-10pm #ScotlandHour
9-10pm #StirlingHour
9-10pm #EventHour
 
Thursday Twitter Hours
12noon -1pm #UKBizLunch
1-2pm #VeggieHour
1-2pm #1pmLunch
1-2pm #ConstructionHour
2-3pm #BizHour
3-4pm #B2BHour (Business to Business Hour)
3-4pm #Aycliffehour
4-5pm #4oClockVacancy
4-5pm #ChelmsfordHour
4-5pm #BexleyHour
6-7pm #WineOClock
7-8pm #OtleyHour
7-8pm #LoveLichfield
7-8pm #LoveSwad
7-8pm #LoveUttox
7-8pm #LadiesCoffeeHour
7-8pm #PromotingWomen
7-9pm #LoveMids
8-9pm #HuddersfieldHour
8-9pm #LeedsHour
8-9pm #BradfordHour
8-9pm #WakefieldHour
8-9pm #SheffieldHour
8-9pm #ManchesterHour
8-9pm #KirkleesHour
8-9pm #SouthWestHour
8-9pm #SomersetHour
8-9pm #LancashireHour
8-9pm #EastAngliaHour
8-9pm #DerbyshireHour
8-9pm #NottsNatter
8-9pm #HullHour
8-9pm #SunderlandHour
8-9pm #BlackpoolHour
8-9pm #BarnsleyHour
8-9pm #LiverpoolHour
8-9pm #WarringtonHour
8-9pm #ChesterfieldHour
8-9pm #PinHitsHour
8-9pm #LondonHour
8-9pm #LoveBurton
8-9pm #CottageHour
8-9pm #NorthantsHour
8-9pm #UKStartUpHour
8-9pm #HalifaxHour
8-9pm #Shoutlouderhour
8-9pm #Bromleyhour
8-9pm #BrideHour
8-9pm #OurNewtonAbbot
8-9pm #ExeterHour
8-9pm #NWalesHour
8-9pm #WirralHour
8-9pm #RobinHoodHour
8-9pm #ChesterfieldHour
8-9pm #GrowthYorkshire
8.30-9.30pm #SussexHour
8.30-9.30pm #TwitterSisters
8.30-9.30pm #MKHour
8.30-9.30pm #UKHolidayHour
9-10pm #MumPrenuerHour
9-10pm #ThirskHour
 
Friday Twitter Hours

10-11am #ConnectFriday
1- 11am #CleavelandHour
11am -12noon #NewcastleHour
11am -12noon #LondonHour
11am -12noon #YorkBizHour
11am-12noon #WightHour
12-1pm #UKBizLunch
12-1pm #SkillWillHour
1-2pm #1pmLunch
2-3pm #BizHour
3-4pm #B2BHour (Business to Business Hour)
3-4PM #CakeClubHour
4-5pm #4oClockVacancy
4-5pm #GBHour
4-5pm #DunmowHour
6-7pm #WineOClock
7-8pm #MusicHourUK
7.30-8.30pm #SouthHamsHour
7.30-8.30pm #flowertalk
8-9pm #RetailHourTime
8-9pm #HortHour
9-10pm #SciFiHour
9-10pm #NorthWestHour
 
Saturday Twitter Hours
8-9.15am #SatChatUK
11-12noon #WeekendHour
6-7pm #SpeedNetworking
8-9pm #BrandYorkshire
9-10pm #EnglandHour
 
Sunday Twitter Hours
All day #sundayblogshare
11-12noon #WeekendHour
5-6pm- #PABchat (Pick a Blogger chat)
5-7.30pm #SBS (Small Business Hour, tweet a short bio of your business to @TheoPaphitis with #SBS and he will Retweet his favourite 6)
6-7pm #HartlepoolHour
7-8pm #lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers chat)
7-8pm #CraftHour
7-8pm #LadiesCoffeeHour
7-8pm #PromotingWomen
8-9pm #HolmfirthHour
8-9pm #WalesHour
8-9pm #RLHour (Rugby League Hour)
8-9pm #CharityGolfHour
8-9pm #CoDurhamHour
8-9pm #BrumHour
8-9pm #BabyHour
8-9pm #SpHour (Sunday Punday)
8.30-9.30pm #Funickers
9-10pm #EnglandHour
10-11pm #HauntedHour

Non Twitter Hours but hashtags you can general chat on
#BufferChat
#books
#fbloggers
#fblchat
#bbloggers
#crazybloggers
  

Image of woman on her laptop

Due to the success of my first post (Yes I do look at my Google Analytics :D) and it was a post I enjoyed writing so much I decided to write another. So if you want more tips on improving your blog, read on.

Performance monitoring tools

riteTag– This site I use to see which hashtags are the best performers and then use those hashtags to help advertise my posts.

RSS Feed

Bloglovin– Very well known app which is essentially an RSS feed of all your favourite blogs.

Spelling and grammer checker

Grammarly– If grammar or spelling isn’t your forte (not thinking about myself here…) then this app is great. Just download it as a Chrome plug in and it works like a Microsoft Word spell check does.  It underlines all your grammar and spelling errors, for spelling errors it will give you alternative spellings and for grammar errors it will explain what you did wrong.

Setting up competitions

Rafflecopter– I haven’t used this myself, but it is a popular plug- in for those that want to run give- aways where people are chosen at random.

Licensing your work

Creative Commons– a non- profit organisation that allows people to pick and choose what work they would like copyrighted by creating a variety of licences. If you are interested in protecting your work so companies don’t steal it or just want to make sure people cite you. This is the site.

PicMonkey– Another free photo editing site. It is really good for the numerous effects you can add to your images. If you want to add text to your images PicMonkey is a great for this.

Generating feedback

Survey Monkey– I have used the paid version for a few years now in the work place. The free version makes it really easy to create a survey (perfect if you want feedback on your blog) and analyse the results as you can download them in a PDF or Excel version.

Development tool

Google Developer- If you have Chrome you can find this in the more tools bar. If you find a colour on a blog you like and want to see it’s hex code or want to see how your blog or site would look in mobile version or just want to see how a website is structured this is that developer tools are for. I don’t think I use the features to its full advantage but it has helped me in the workplace.

Free fonts

Dafont is widely used amongst graphic designers and it is a source full of free fonts.

Google Fonts– similar to Dafont it is again a source of free fonts for download.

Creating free animated videos

Powtoon– Want to add an animation to your site but don’t have the money to create one? Powtoon is a free way to create an animation. My manager created one for work and it was different than using Powerpoint.

Blogging directories

Pick a Blogger– Get yourself on a blogger directory for free! If you sign up for the free membership you get put on a directory, get access to a forum area, eligibility to host #pickablogger chat on Twitter which are on Sundays and other stuff. As it’s free to use you cannot complain and it doesn’t take long for your profile to be set up.

Further reading

Econsultancy– The blogs I have found very helpful in forecasting and explaining digital media trends.

What do you think? Have you got any sites you would like to add?

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