The Whole Enchilada

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Archive for the ‘What is..’ Category

What is Twitter? Better yet – what’s a tweet??

Posted by wholeenchilada on March 11, 2008

Twitter. Funny word for the latest trend in online social networking. There are a ton of posts, articles, videos and more on twitter. Here are two I particularly enjoyed:

Why Twitter is worth the risk – this is a post from Jochen Lillich discussing the benefits of using Twitter and why you might want to take the plunge. Here’s an excerpt:

Twitter asks its users: “What are you doing?” and puts a 140 character limit to your answers. Those “tweets” get sent to everyone who subscribed to your Twitter account, either by the Twitter website, via email or over SMS sent to their mobile phone.


You can also mark tweets that are meant for a certain person by starting them with “@username” (an at sign followed by their Twitter name). If you’d like to send them a non-public message, start it with “d username”.


In a way, Twitter is the virtual equivalent to your pub at the corner. You periodically spend some time there and, over time, start conversations and learn to know the other regulars. Sometimes, you even engage in a deeper discussion, but most of the time it’s just smalltalk. Nonetheless, you learn about what people are doing, what happens in the community or in the lives of your friends.


Twitter does the same for you, but you are able to choose the people whose messages you get. It’s your decision who you’d like to “follow”, as Twitter puts it. By posting what you’re doing or thinking, you let people participate in a little bit of your life. Over time, your followers will recognize things they share with you, be it that you are a Mac user or going to be a parent. You can direct people to interesting websites, maybe your own. Pose a question and often you’ll get responses from your followers in a matter of minutes.

Read more of this informative post here: http://www.jochen-lillich.de/why-twitter-worth-risk

Another source of great info on using Twitter was found via McGee’s Musings, and includes an embedded video introduction to the service. Video: Twitter in Plain English is worth the watch if you want to learn more about what the creators refer to as “micro-blogging service Twitter“.

Click here to access McGee’s post and watch the embedded video from Lee and Sachi LeFever.

BONUS: Here’s a third  post from Caroline Middlebrook with TONS of great info: Twitter Guide Part #1: What is Twitter?

Now, before you ask, no – I’m not yet a member. I blog too much and between that and the real world I don’t think I’d have the time to manage another network. The service does sound interetsting though and I can see the appeal. I wonder how long I can hold out before I drink the kool aid??

Related info:

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What is anonymous web browsing or web surfing?

Posted by wholeenchilada on January 23, 2008

Ever wondered what anonymous web surfing really is and why you might want to use it? Here’s some info from a post titled What is anonymous surfing?

Anonymous surfing is browsing web sites privately.

Anonymous surfing encompasses two different forms of privacy:

  • Privacy protection from the web site you are browsing.
  • Privacy protection from eavesdroppers who may be watching your network connection.

Anonymous web surfing works by putting a proxy server between the user and the web site. The web browser talks to the proxy server, and the proxy server talks to the web site.

The web site does not know who you are, it only knows who the anonymous proxy server is. The anonymous proxy server does know who you are — so you had better choose an anonymous proxy server that you trust.

Going online and browsing anonymous isn’t just for people looking to hide bad habits, it protects your privacy and will stop websites from dumping cookies and temporary internet files on your system, and also help stave off phishing attacks, identify theft and more:

There are many reasons why someone would want to do anonymous surfing. People surf anonymously to protect themselves from the government, their employers, or nosy family members.

People in Iran use anonymous surfing to prevent being executed in the streets. People in corporate America use anonymous surfing to avoid sharing the details of their personal lives with their employers. Everyone uses anonymous surfing to protect their privacy from nosy web sites and annoying advertisers.

There are different types of anonymous web surfing:

  • Anonymous surfing through a web site — With these systems, you browse the web site of the anonymous proxy server and enter in the URL of the web page you actually want to surf.
  • Anonymous surfing through client applications — With these systems, you download and install a client application which manages the details of anonymous surfing for you.
  • Anonymous surfing though an anonymous web proxy service — With these services, you configure your browser to point to an anonymous web proxy. These systems are public and are setup and advertised for anonymous proxy usage.
  • Anonymous surfing though an anonymous server — With these systems, you configure your browser to point to an anonymous web proxy. These systems are published in constantly updated lists on many web sites on the Internet. You normally do not know who is running each of these anonymous proxy servers. You hope it isn’t someone who is recording your traffic.

As for the “best” free anonymous browsing website or proxy service, it’s hard to say since new sites and services are popping up all the time, while others fade to black. Your best bet will be to do a quick internet search and weed through the current top dogs.

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