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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~October 2011~

lady computer


David Pogue is a writer for the New York Times.  He has a free blog where he shares tips and hints on using your computer or cell phone more efficiently or effectively.  Here are some samples of his advice. 

You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it’s the Command key and plus or minus.

  • On most cellphones, press the Send key to open up a list of recent calls. Instead of manually dialing, you can return a call by highlighting one of these calls and pressing Send again.
  • When you’re filling in the boxes on a Web page (like City, State, Zip), you can press the Tab key to jump from box to box, rather than clicking. Add the Shift key to jump through the boxes backwards.
  • When you’re searching for something on the Web using, say, Google, put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. For example, if you put quotes around “electric curtains,” Google won’t waste your time finding one set of Web pages containing the word “electric” and another set containing the word “curtains.”
  • You generally can’t send someone more than a couple of full-size digital photos as an e-mail attachment; those files are too big, and they’ll bounce back to you. (Instead, use iPhoto or Picasa–photo-organizing programs that can automatically scale down photos in the process of e-mailing them.)
  • Come up with an automated backup system for your computer. There’s no misery quite like the sick feeling of having lost chunks of your life because you didn’t have a safety copy.
  • You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it’s the Command key and plus or minus.

    To read more of David Pogue’s writing visit his blog

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Am I crazy or has the era of “impersonal-ness” growing?  I get LinkedIn standard invites from people I know.  Is it too hard to make it personal, like, “Hi! Nancy, will you link up to me on LinkedIn?”  The standard message is cheerless and makes me feel like a number.   

When you want to link to someone at LinkedIn there is an automatic invitation.  But you are not required to use it.  You can pen a more personal request. 

Some of the invitations to link come from friends, but many times it is from someone who is “collecting links” or trying to sell something. I guard my LinkedIn list zealously and sometimes cannot fathom why someone wants to link with me.  There is no connecting point.

I have a new resolution.  If I am going to the trouble to invite someone to join my LinkedIn contacts, I will be more personal.  It will be worded for the individual and be personal. Here are some tips for making those connections meaningful.

  • Always, always, always, personalize your message.  sign-you are what you send
  • No history with the person, explain why you want them to join you.
  • Remind them of how you met.
  • Reference an article or post they have written.
  • Comment on something about their profile.
  • Mention the mutual benefit of being connected.
  • Take the time to explain your invitation

Now, how do you respond to invitations from seemingly total strangers?

  • Be forth coming and acknowledge the invitation.
  • Ask how you are connected.
  • If it doesn't seem to be a good fit, send a courteous message when you decline the invitation. Leave a good impression

Finally, when someone agrees to join you on LinkedIn, be sure to send a thank you reply.

It is not about how many connections you have. It is about how many meaningful connections you have. It is not a numbers game. It is what you do with the numbers that count.

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