Tag Archives: How To

Free Money? Almost!

*ETA: I took out links for now because wordpress isn’t playing nice, but I’ll add them in if/when I can figure out what’s going wrong. In the meantime, I listed them all out in the first comment 🙂

On Swagbucks:

If you follow me on twitter (which I think is how many of you found me), you’ll know I talk about Swagbucks every so often. It’s something I discovered sometime in February, 2009. Thus O_o holy cow – just calculating, I’ve made around $450 (in gift cards) from them. In less than two years, for doing nothing. (Well, almost nothing. Seconds of clicking, really.) Proof? You’ll notice that’s a screen cap, and how long the page goes by the size of the scroll bar. I’ve also conveniently included links to everything linkable that I talk about.

In the two years since I joined, I haven’t noticed any sort of increase in spam, or any security risks. My email hasn’t been hacked, and so on and so forth. Just to let you all know, because I know that’s often a concern – and a very valid one.

What is a “swagbuck”? Well, basically a virtual dollar that you trade in for stuff. Obviously I gravitate towards the Gifts & Rewards Cards. Aside from a few sweepstakes (called “Swagstakes”) that’s where I spend all my Swagbucks. Yes, it sounds stupid, but hey, it works. “Swag” to me is defined as “stuff we all get” – probably because I spent so long in school and discovered it while in school. There almost is a free lunch when you’re a student.

You can win swagbucks by searching via the swagbucks search engine (based on google and yahoo and ask?), finding codes which are released almost daily, watching videos, and a few other daily tasks. I’ve actually timed it, and you can get a minimum of four swagbucks a day – which takes less than a minute. (I think it was like 49 seconds… both times I timed it. Yes, I actually do put thought and preparation into these posts!) Searching wise, you can enter anything. Many have a random search bookmarked, and click it a few times a day. Sometimes you get bucks, sometimes you don’t. For the denominations, anything from 7-50 swagbucks may be rewarded on any given search. Also, if you don’t trust the links (which I don’t if they’re “sponsored links”) – I just run the search then type in the url. I seem to visit the same places over and over so they’re already there anyway. The links are also listed – like a google search, so click through at your discretion. I don’t tend to like the videos as much because many seem to be older youtube videos, but what I do like is the meter- which tells you how close you are to winning swagbucks. You have to watch X number of videos. And… if you leave it on in another window and check back every so often, it’s an effortless way to make 5 or more swagbucks.

The four tasks are as follows: 1) Refreshing the toolbar/simply having it installed 2) Answering the Daily Poll question [the day of] 3) Checking the “Trusted Surveys” – you don’t even have to complete any [most people screen out of most anyway, it seems, or at least my age demographic – but those are extra. I’ve gotten a few] and 4) Going through the No Obligation Special Offers, aka NOSO – I don’t do any of them, I just click “skip” as many times as it takes for me to get my buck. (And yes, I included the skipping time in the 49 seconds.) If my math is right, even if you only do those four things every day you can make $20 a year. Which, somehow when I was doing it mathematically is around $9/hr. But you know, don’t hold me to that, because I’m definitely not a mathematician.

As I stated, there are a number of ways to “win” swagbucks. Personally, I would caution against the do X for swagbucks “Special Offers.” E.g., trials of magazines, or downloading or installing whatever toolbar (outside the swagbucks one). I’ve done fine without, and those “free trial” types have a way of biting you in the ass. You know the horror stories about people getting like $300 bills for supposedly free magazines, etc. But if you want to go ahead and do them, by all means – go for it!

If you want to, you can friend Swagbucks on Facebook – where if there are codes, users often post hints… or on the Twitter account. There are also other twitter accounts such as WeLoveSwagBot which tweets a link to anything potentially a code.

I know other people use swagbucks too, to varying degrees. It takes a tiny bit of effort to figure out, but I feel like this post sufficiently explains it so you can go forth and win. At least enough to make joining worth it.

There’s also a “Shop and Earn” section, where if you click through from the swagbucks site, you get X number of bucks for Y number of dollars. I generally use this if I’m buying from a place where I don’t get any sort of extra cashback bonus from my credit card. It’s nice because iTunes, Target, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Newegg, and a hundred+ other stores are part of the program. And, if you buy some sort of electronics from Newegg, you can really rack up the shop and earn bucks. What’s even better is sometimes there are coupons listed.

*Disclaimer/Note: I would really really really love if you used my referral link (http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/limecello). You don’t have to, but if you sign up it’d be a nice thing to do. And we all know the universe eventually rewards those who do nice things, right? Anyway, what do I get from it? I get matching swagbucks for the first 1,000 bucks you earn via searches. So, translated into gift cards, you’d be giving me ~$10.00, at no cost to you. I don’t see any of your personal information, or what you searched, or anything. It’s just a little way to share the love.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or if you want me to respond via email say that. I’m happy to do the best I can! Oh, and yes, I realize the swagbucks look absolutely goofy and spammy. I have to say, when I started, the site looked different, otherwise I never would have considered it. It seems the larger swagbucks get, the more cartoonish it becomes. But, I’m not going to complain about it too much, because the gift cards keep rolling in. <3

Twitter 101

Rest assured this is not a post telling you what to tweet or “how to twitter.” Much as I might want to, I’m not going there. ;)

Let’s start at the very beginning. I know some of this seems extremely, even painfully, rudimentary. But I’m mentioning it because I’ve seen [X] occur multiple times.

@ is an at sign. Or the at symbol. Promise. It does not mean “about.” Generally, in internet speak, about is “a/b” or “abt.” Swear. With twitter, you @reply or “at reply” someone – basically you’re talking to him/her. So, if I were to say something to Dee, my message would be “@DeeTenorio hey where are you?!”

In the romance community, from what I’ve observed, twitter is used more like a chat room than how the general public perceives twitter. The whole “I’m tying my shoes now.” “It’s raining outside.” “This coffee is hot.” The inanities are what annoy so many people. I’m not addressing that as you choose who to follow. But I will say as a whole the romance community isn’t like that, and kudos, my friends. Kudos.

When you’re at http://twitter.com/ – what you see is your updates, and the updates of people you’re following. If using the webpage, when someone who you don’t follow [talks] to you, it goes to this page: http://twitter.com/#!/mentions – on the main page, it’s the second tab under the “what’s happening” box, and it says “@Mentions.” Sometimes people include multiple users in a tweet, and if you’re not following the first person mentioned, it won’t show up on your main page. That’s the name of the game and has been such for nearly a year. (Twitter has gone through some changes we don’t need to mention.) It is really your responsibility to check.
You wouldn’t think it necessary for me to say this, but, it’s really bitchy to @reply someone and snottily say “you know, I won’t see your tweets unless you direct them at me.” First, false. You can see them if you check your @Mentions, which you should be doing. Next, I can tweet however I want. That’s the beauty of having a personal twitter account. Now if I was “@Macmillan” … I’d have to be a lot nicer and more “professional” and I’m sure none of us would want that. *deadpan*

However, there are people who feel this is a pain – myself included, which is why I use a twitter client. I’ve used tweetdeck, tweetie (but only for a short period of time) twhirl, seesmic, and echofon. Of course I used echofon on my ipod touch and phone. Tweetdeck has columns, which I know people like. It didn’t really matter to me because I don’t have lists (so I won’t get into them). On twhirl and seesmic, your at replies show up on your “main screen” – and you can also click to check for at replies you may have missed. But this is a 101, not about twitter clients, so that’s really all I’ll say. You can customize them multiple ways, and I prefer seesmic because I can choose which updates have an audio notification vs window pop up, both, or neither. (The others aren’t as customizable, by my experience.)

I really don’t think this needs to be mentioned, but a direct message is a message that goes only from you, to the person you’re messaging. You can only direct message one person at a time. Think of it as an instant message. Not a group chat. You can set up email alerts for them, so on and so forth.

As twitter is social media, and there are lots of brilliant things to be found on twitter, sometimes we want to share it. (Or mock it – I’m not judging.) There are multiple ways to share a message you thought worthy of sharing. If on the web page, or most twitter clients, you can retweet with the nifty “Retweet” button – and the message won’t show up in your stream as a new update, but it will appear on everyone else’s stream. I feel like in some way I haven’t bothered to figure out, this method is preferable for those on the receiving end because the tweet only shows up once, even if multiple people hit the retweet button.

Next what you can do is hit it up old style/school, copy and paste the tweet you’d like to share, and simply add the letters/characters “RT @tweeter :[original message here]” “RT” stands for retweet, of course, the “@” sign is so the original tweeter is mentioned [and thus credited] and the colon shows where the tweet began. Simple, yes? This way you can also add a comment – most people usually comment at the start, before the “RT” so readers know where the original tweet ends. (Makes sense, yes?) Nevertheless there are a number of tweeple (twitter people?) out there who comment at the end. It takes some getting used to but you generally figure it out. Many people have their own method of distinguishing their own comments at the end.

Or, if you want to comment, you can provide a link and then credit the original twitter account with a “(via @twitteraccount).” Parenthesis are used in the “via” to make it clear the message isn’t to the person you’re mentioning.

You can block people, or report them for spamming – just go to his/her/it’s main page, http://twitter.com/#!/username and there will be a button near the top that looks like a gear, which has a drop down menu.

Twitter makes it easy to have conversations because you can reply to each other, and have a conversation chain. There are buttons for you to reply, or retweet. To reply on a twitter client, you hit the “reply” link – see why I mentioned it? You can follow the “in reply to’s” for as far as it goes. Sometimes you need to go searching, but generally it’s all right there. Unless you talk to someone like @jenthegingerkid who is crazy and regularly deletes all her tweets. She’s a conversation chain ruiner. If you want to respond to someone then, just hit reply. There really is no reason to retweet every message. If you’re afraid you’ll forget what you were responding to, the lovely “in reply to” link will save you.

Also, if you @reply someone, the message goes to that person, and only to others who are following you both. For example, if Dee, who is @DeeTenorio tweets, oh, Ashton Kutcher, who is @aplusk, I won’t see the message because I don’t follow him. But if Dee tweets someone totally awesome like @helenkaydimon (even though she has a ridiculously long name and thus twitter handle…) I will see the message. Because I follow both Dee and HelenKay. Guess I’m a lemming. (And this is why people get snotty about the @replies to multiple people.)

Obviously you can choose who to follow, and how many. Or who you don’t want following you by blocking them. I don’t follow indiscriminately because I have like OCPD (which I’ve conveniently linked for you) or something and have to read every single tweet in my tweet stream. Yes. Every. Single. One. So the ones I missed while sleeping, or away, I scroll back. I need to limit myself, obviously. We don’t need me to be even crazier.

So anyway, what seems to confuse most people is the manner in which to respond to a tweet/how to tweet. There’s no need to @reply someone with their original message, and then your comment after. Especially since you’re @replying said person… well I don’t need to explain. (I hope.)

Another quick tip – if you tweet too much, you get sent to “tweet jail” and you won’t be able to update for a while. For those of you who are considering promotions, or twitter chats… you might want to take that into consideration.

Which brings us to hashtags. A hashtag is the number sign “#” and a word or number. Hashtags often are what topics are trending (as in what everyone across the board is talking about most on twitter.) A common one is #ff or #followfriday. This is a hashtag used on Fridays where people recommend other twitter users you should follow. It’s generally a giant lovefest. There’s also #WW which is Writer Wednesday, which is the same thing as #ff basically, but done on Wednesdays, and for writers only. (Yeah, they’re an elitist bunch, aren’t they?) Television shows are also popular hashtags, as well as current events, movies, sports events. Like the wonderful world of COLLEGE FOOTBALL! <3

Of course people sometimes used hashtags tongue in cheek. But, the point of a hashtag, is that it becomes a link. Like #reading may be a common one you see, and if you click on “#reading” you’ll see every single person’s tweet that includes the “#reading” hashtag, whether you’re following them or not – it’s a way for people to connect or comment on a common interest or issue.

You can post pictures to twitter through twitpic or any other number of sites. Twitpic is/was the go to, however, because if you have a twitter account, you have a twitpic account, and it’s the same username and password. You can choose when you upload a picture whether or not you want a tweet to appear as an update as well.

And here, we get to something else – those quizzes and memes. Those things you hate on facebook, yeah? Every so often there’s one that pops up that spreads like the plague, and you get so sick of it you want to stick a fork in your eyes so you’re blind and don’t have to see it anymore. (Er…) Anyway – on most of those things, you can usually check a box that says “do not update to twitter.” So if you don’t want to spam your nice followers, I’d recommend checking that box.

Along those lines – often the memes require you to give a third party your information – much like with facebook, there are security risks. Be aware of those. Change your password regularly, and so on.

Okay, who am I kidding. I can’t refrain from saying this on “how to” – I don’t need to know intimate details about say, your personal hygiene or sex life. And yes, I have seen tweets of “I’m off to masturbate now!” – ones that were constantly tweeted and retweeted, and such persons are quickly unfollowed. And I won’t go into judging people – not by who is following you, but by who you follow and retweet. But you know, maybe that’s something you should think abo