Technology Advice in Plain English

To Tweet or Not to Tweet…


I thought that was one of the big tech questions of late, but I was surprised to find out from some friends that their question was actually, “What’s tweeting?” or more precisely, “What’s Twitter?”

With all the buzz Twitter receives in the tech world, I assumed that everyone had heard of it and that I was a relatively late adopter. (I created a personal account in December 2008, and I created a TechKathy account in January 2009.) And while it has taken me a few weeks to understand what all the fuss is about, I have to confess that I’ve grown to like the service.

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Choosing a Blogging Service


With the demise of JournalSpace two weeks ago and news of cutbacks at LiveJournal last week, blogging has been a hot topic lately. There are literally millions of blogs on the internet, ranging from simple online diaries to cute and crazy animal sites to news and commentary sites. People around the world use blogs to discuss anything and everything with friends, family members and anyone else who happens upon their blog.

Have you ever thought about starting a blog? It may seem like a daunting task, but it can be a really fun project. To begin, you just need an interesting topic to discuss or a niche to fill and a few ideas for blog posts. But once you’ve got a clear idea of your blog’s purpose, and you’re ready to start, where should you create your blog? There are a dizzying array of sites out there vying for your blogging business!

If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely want to find a free or low-cost blogging service that hosts your site for you. That’s what I did for my first blog (my personal site, Life in Amsterdam). These services are great because they don’t require much (if any) knowledge of HTML coding or any special software, they offer a number of great features and add-ons, and they can produce surprisingly professional-looking results. Plus, free and low-cost blogging services are a great way to try out the blogging medium without much financial commitment.

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Website Security


This is my very first post on my new website, and I want to share some lessons I’ve already learned the hard way about website security. I purchased my domain last month; and, though it took me a while to choose, I settled on DreamHost to host my site a little over a week ago now.

Last Friday night, I tried to take a look at this site – not because I had done too much with it yet, but just because I was happy with the way it was taking shape. I had installed my content management system, and I had loaded my lovely website theme onto the site earlier in the week. That night however, I was stunned to find that when I typed in, my site no longer loaded. Instead, I was rerouted to some German guy’s website devoted to new developments for the iPhone.

I was shocked, upset, angry and confused, all at the same time, but I slowly pulled myself together to take action. Unfortunately, since this is my first website, I wasn’t exactly sure what that action should be. I struggled for the next four hours to figure out how this had happened and what I could do about it.

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