Streamlining my web experience.

I scrapped some of the plans that I thought I would get to this weekend. I fell into the usual trap of slacking off for the majority of it. I did get around to writing some lyrics for a new Shadows of Immurement song, catching up on some blog posts, and watching the movie Network. The last may not be as much of an accomplishment but I’m glad I did. For one thing, I get to send it back to Netflix for the next disc. But I also discovered why it’s hailed as such an important movie. I recommend everybody watch it—not based on how good it is but how big the message is. I also didn’t get around to hooking up my computer to that tape recorder to see if I can record some of those older songs digitally. However, I know that I have two demos I made years ago that I transferred to disc somewhere around here. It’s just a matter of finding them.

I should also mention that I’m writing this on Sunday with a few hours to go before bedtime. I want to get to some work on the novel and maybe even work on those song lyrics some more. But first thing’s first. I’m going to get this blog post out of the way. I spent a few hours today doing something that distracted me from getting any creative work done. However, it should improve my life a little so I decided that I’ll go ahead and make it the subject of today’s blog post.

I’m constantly trying to make my experience using a computer as efficient as possible. After writing, the two things that I most use a computer for are web-browsing and using social media. I have several pages saved as favorites in my web browser but it’s a hassle to click on each one every time I want to see an update. This especially goes for news sites that take so long to load. Also, having four tabs open on my browser every time I go online slows it down. Today I discovered two things: a program called Yoono and just about every page I want to check up on has a Twitter feed.

I’m sorry if this is turning into an advertisement for a few services but I don’t think I’m announcing anything new or obscure. I’m just figuring a bunch of this stuff out today. Yoono is a program that connects to several social media sites and can open as its own program on the side of my desktop. As a result I can open my web browser right next to it and view whatever web page I bring up as well as both my Facebook and Twitter feeds all at once. I also noticed that the Facebook feed in Yoono is a lot smoother and up-to-date than when using the actual web page. Both social media feeds update automatically without me having to click a refresh option every time somebody posts something (like on Twitter). It’s like having a news ticker which includes what my friends are doing.

So I knocked off two of the four tabs in my web browser when I get online. That leaves two more: my Yahoo! e-mail account and the page that allows me to update this blog. Alas, Yoono does not have the function to connect to e-mail and because I don’t have a paid service from Yahoo! I can’t have my inbox show up in Facebook. But because I got this far I can’t rest until I have at least some function in my web browser that allows me if not to see my e-mails right away then at least notify me when I get one. That lead me to download and install something that I got rid of years ago because it messed up my web-browsing then. I decided to give the Yahoo! Toolbar another go.

So far the toolbar hasn’t caused my web browser to act weird like it used to. It primarily just slowed things down. Both it and my web browser are newer versions than what I had back then so it could be that they’re a lot more compatible these days. Besides, now that I only need to load one page at a time the browser shouldn’t be stressing out. Now I’m down to one page loading.

Yoono also has a web browser but I’m not using it extensively. It’s very basic and isn’t as secure. However, it is a neat function for the program. If somebody uploads a photo that I want to see I can make the program quickly expand and show the photo in the browser. I have the option to have things open in my main browser if I want to but so far this is working out. The only reason I might change my mind on that is the security issue. I also notice that some websites that can’t open properly in my version of IE will open in the Yoono browser. David Byrne’s website, for example, is practically unreadable in IE but I was able to read his online journal fine in Yoono.

I know that it’s unfashionable to have a Yahoo! e-mail account these days and that their CEO is on Wal-Mart’s board of directors (I can’t believe I mentioned that store twice in one day). Still, I have a hard time letting go of something that I’ve used for years and have used when signing up for other services. I know, too, that Facebook and Twitter aren’t always on the side of good, either, but they really do make my life much easier. That’s not to mention that I use them to promote this blog. It feels weird to justify these things but I don’t want people to think that I’m going against my values using these products (even though they’re free). Then again, look at the Walt Whitman quote above.

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