How do I set the default Web browser in Windows 8?

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Dave Taylor

I have a new HP Elitepad running Windows 8.1 and it’s great, but I can’t figure out how to switch my default Web browser back to Internet Explorer 11 from Chrome?

One of the big things to get used to with Windows 8 is that the search feature is now super useful (curiously, that same change in user behavior is also true for the next version of Mac OS X Yosemite, with its beefed up Spotlight feature). One big reason for this is because help information is now included in the search results so your query for “default program” can now match a tutorial on how to set your default program, not just look for files with a matching name.

Can I Fix My Google Plus Custom URL?

Posted on August 5th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

Thanks to your article [ed note: see Claim Your Custom URL on Google+], I now have a custom URL for my Google Plus profile, but I’d like to tweak it so that the first letter of my last name is capitalized. How do I fix it?

How to Post Articles on LinkedIn

Posted on July 9th, 2014 by Bill Hartzer

Since there has been a lot of talk and controversy in the SEO community about guest blogging, and how guest blogging is either dead or not dead, a lot of people have been looking for other platforms where they can post their articles. Well, now there is a great new platform (site) where you can post article: LinkedIn.

How Do I Change Permalinks URL in WordPress

Posted on June 18th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

I just posted a link to a particularly good blog post on my Facebook page and someone said that my permalink URLs, that are of the form “?p=39″, are bad. What’s wrong with them and how do I fix it in WordPress?

I don’t know if I agree that your permalinks are “bad”, per se, but I will agree with them that the link is suboptimal.

How do I get Firefox for my Windows PC?

Posted on May 7th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

I have two computers, one running Windows XP, one with Win7. How can I download and install Firefox on both so I can stop using Internet Explorer?

That’s a smart and timely question because of two factors: first, as you likely known, Windows XP is dead. Microsoft is no longer supporting the operating system, no longer releasing system patches, etc. Time to upgrade because of the second reason this is a good question: hackers have figured out an exploit in the Flash system within Microsoft Internet Explorer and it’s dangerous for all Windows users, but especially dangerous for people running WinXP.

Add an Etsy search box to your Web site?

Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

I’m a huge Etsy fan and would like to add an Etsy search box to my Web site. Is that possible?

Well, there’s a little bit of HTML coding involved, but yes, you can definitely add a search box to your site, though it won’t have all the fancy bells and whistles (read “suggested searches”) that you’d see on the home page of the Etsy site, because that’s a considerably more complicated coding task.

Thing is, most search systems on sites are really easy to duplicate because they use the same “method=GET” style of query, so you don’t even need to look at the source code to the page to know how it’s done. You can tell because, as we’ll see in a moment, the URL of the search results page includes your actual search pattern as one of the variables.

But let’s start at the beginning with the Etsy search box itself.

Go on the site and you’ll see this along the top:

etsy search box -

Type in a search term and press “Search”.

Now in the address bar of your Web browser you’ll see a URL like this one I got for a search for ‘nose ring’:

etsy search url

Why “nose ring”? Why not? :-)

Looking closely at the URL and armed with the knowledge that everything after the “?” are name=value arguments, we can disassemble the search into:

  • q=nose%20ring
  • view_type=gallery
  • ship_to=US

Those are the default values, a gallery view and vendors that ship to the US.

With a tiny bit of experimentation, it becomes clear that the view_type and ship_to values are unneeded and that the URL below produces exactly the same search results:

This means that in the language of HTML, we have the following simple form:

<form method=”get” action=””>
<input type=”text” name=”q” />
<input type=”submit” value=”search Etsy” />

Simple enough, and if you look, you can see how the “q” shows up as the search variable name and the Etsy search URL shows up as the action in the form tag.

Here’s how it looks:

Try it, though you might search for something other than nose rings.

So that’s it. Simply copy and paste the above code and add it to your site. There are, of course, a zillion different ways you can tweak and tune the search box, particularly using CSS, but that’s your functional starting point and I’ll let you experiment from this point.


How do I get started with LinkedIn Post blogging?

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

I heard that LinkedIn is letting certain members post articles on their profiles through a blog tool called “Post”. Cool. I want in. How do I get started?

I had read about the Post tool on LinkedIn a few weeks ago, but it took a while until one day when I went to check on my LinkedIn account status and got a notification that I was hooked up and ready to go, able to access the Post tools. If you don’t get the notification, the way you can tell that LinkedIn blogging tool is available to you is by looking for the little pencil icon on the status update entry box.

But let’s back up a second. The system, formally called Publishing Power, started as “influencer posts” and has actually been available for a while on LinkedIn, but only for a few hundred top executives and celebrities. So why open it up? I think it’s best answered from a Mashable quote: LinkedIn staffer Ryan Roslansky explained that ”the more content we have, the more content that’s going to be consumed.” Content. More content. Because the Internet needs more stuff. :-)

The tool itself is fairly rudimentary, about the same level of sophistication as the built-in editing tools in WordPress.

To demonstrate, here’s what my LinkedIn status box now looks like:

linkedin status box with publishing power post pencil icon

You’re used to seeing the paperclip, but the pencil icon is new. If you have it, you have access to Publishing Power / Post.

Click on it instead of entering a status update, and a clean, uncluttered edit window appears:

publishing power from linkedin

With the magic of superfast typing, I’ll enter a title and a few paragraphs of text:

sample demo example article in publishing power

To add a graphic — always a good idea when you’re writing online! — move the insert cursor to the desired spot (in this case, I’ll place it just before the first word in the prose) and click on the camera icon in the very right of the toolbar.

A window pops up:

choose image to include

Pretty easy from here, click on “Choose File” to pick an image file on your computer, then click “Submit” to upload it.

Note that there are no image resize tools I could find in the Publishing Power system, so you’ll probably want to resize the image on your computer before you upload it.

Once included, it looks like this:

tempests in teapots

The image is still a bit big for the piece, but I’m going to ignore that problem and proceed.

LinkedIn recommends you preview your article to ensure it’s ready to go, a good idea, so click on “Preview” to clean up any layout issues. Then click “Publish” to proceed.

You sure about that?

sure you want to publish?

Since the tiny Twitter box was checked in the edit window, the next thing that happens is that a tweet box appears, pre-filled with a shortened URL and all:

tweet about your exciting linkedin post

Looks good? Click on “Tweet” or just close the window if you’ve decided you don’t want to share this missive with your loyal Twitter following. Either way, done.

Now on your profile and for those who follow you, here’s the snippet they’ll see:

publishing power post live on linkedin

Notice it did a nice job scaling the image down and producing an attractive summary, etc. Nice.

Now let’s see if it’s worth the time to publish exclusively on LinkedIn…


Disable Bing search tips in Windows 8?

Posted on March 6th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

Whenever I start to type in a file or app search on my Windows 8.1 laptop, all sorts of weird suggestions appear. I don’t like it. How can I turn them off?

How do I disable Google Plus users emailing me without my address?

Posted on February 12th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

This is crazy. I got an email from Google saying that people who have circled me on Google Plus can now send email to me even if they don’t know my email address. Uh, no thanks. How do I turn this off?

Before you throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater, it’s useful to have a closer look at exactly what Google’s talking about with this new feature, and worth knowing that by default people cannot send you messages without your email address: it’s a feature you have to enable, not disable.

At some level, I also would say that this is something that people can already do through many other social media services. For example, if you’re on Twitter, people can “@-reply” you or mention you, bringing attention to their tweets, regardless of if you follow them or not. On Facebook, you can even email people through the “other” feature whether they are friends with you or not. And LinkedIn has “InMail”, offering you the ability to email people who you can find on their service but otherwise don’t know.

Still, I completely understand privacy concerns, it’s one of the great challenges of our era.

So let’s start by seeing what it would look like if you were sending me an email via Google Plus without having my email address. It’d look like this:

email someone from google plus without their email address

As you can see, I’d show up as a “Google+ connection”.

On my end, when the message arrived, it’d be denoted in Gmail thusly:

email received in gmail from google+

Notice that I now see Ted’s email address. Not sure it tells him that I’m going to see that when he sends it, but if you are going to use this feature, it’s good to know.

And as for me, I can opt out if I want, or just enable this to see what happens. So far, my friend Ted’s doing just fine.


To opt in – or out – or otherwise see how your account is configured, go to “Settings” in Gmail and look for this:

google plus gmail privacy setting

Since I’m always interested in how things work and figure that Gmail already has splendid crowdsourced spam management, I want to see what options there are:

options for google plus gmail privacy

They don’t really define things well, but I have mine set for “extended circles” which I assume means that people who are one hop away from me can also send me email with this facility. (My assumption: circles = people who I have circled, extended circles = people I have circled and the people they have circled, anyone on Google+ is, well, anyone on Google Plus).

So now you know and can make your own decision about privacy versus opening it up a bit to incoming messages. And I’m curious: after reading through this, what did you decide to do?


How do I tag someone in an Instagram photo post?

Posted on January 15th, 2014 by Dave Taylor

I like Instagram but I haven’t figured out how to tag someone in a photo, though others have tagged me in their own Instagram pics. Can you explain?

Next Page »