MONEY

3 Ways to Get Online When Your Internet Is Down

Teen using laptop, tablet and smartphone
Dina Marie—Getty Images

What to do if your internet service cuts out? Here are 3 ways to prepare so you'll always have a way to connect.

Early Wednesday morning, a massive Time Warner Cable outage left customers across the country without internet access. While the cable company reports most service was restored by 6 a.m., data from downdetector.com, a website that tracks internet outages, showed nearly 10,000 complaints at the height of the blackout. Time Warner services about 11.4 million high-speed internet customers nationwide.

So what do you do if your internet goes down and you absolutely, positively need to get online? You can’t just run to Starbucks in your pajamas if the outage hits in the middle of the night, as this one did, so the best strategy is to plan ahead. Putting one of these backup methods in place ahead of time will keep you connected the next time your ISP decides to cut out.

1. Tethering. As any smartphone user knows, wired internet isn’t the only internet available. As long as you have a working cellular data connection, you can transfer your phone’s internet access to your laptop or desktop computer via a method called tethering.

Both Android and iOS phones can tether, although the costs may differ. The only option for iPhone users is to purchase a tethering plan from your carrier, which can add around $20 a month to your bill. On Android, it’s possible to tether for free by installing third party apps, but carriers may add a charge if they notice increased data usage. For more, check out these iOS and Android tethering guides.

2. Mobile Broadband. Mobile broadband is similar to tethering in that you’re using cellular data to get your computer online. But instead of through your phone, it works via a separate device that provides a mobile internet connection, generally by generating a wifi hotspot.

One advantage to mobile hotspots is that many offer prepaid plans. For example, Verizon offers plans for its 4G LTE Jetpack that allow users to buy as little as a week of service at a time. Another service called Karma provides pay-as-you-go internet for $14 per gigabyte. That means if your internet cuts out unexpectedly, you can jump on your hotspot’s wifi for a relatively small fee. However, the devices themselves can cost around $100 for the initial purchase.

3. Public Wifi. If all else fails, there’s always mooching off Starbucks or other free wifi locations. Apps for Android and iOS provide maps of publicly available wifi hotspots that can work in a pinch. But most people don’t know their internet or cell provider might also provide a network of wireless hotspots.

Optimum, AT&T, and other ISPs provide maps of their wifi locations. In some cases, access is included in your pre-existing internet or cell service contracts. In other cases, wifi access might require an additional subscription. Services like Boingo also offer a mixture of free and paid-wifi hotspots, and map apps to help locate them.

 

TIME Internet

Why Mark Zuckerberg Has a 99% Approval Rating From His Employees

like-button
Getty Images

This question answered by Han Qin and Amir Memson on Quora

Answer by Han Qin:

I can not speak for the rest of the Facebook employees, but I can tell my stories to explain why I believe the 99% approval rating is pretty fair.

After I joined Facebook in 2010, I worked on a secret project “graph search”. Within a couple months, I attended two Zuck reviews to discuss the project. He absorbed our ideas and provided feedback and support. I am not sure how other CEOs work, but as an entry level engineer I was really impressed. In the later years, I attended more Zuck reviews and saw Zuck reviews happening every day (his office has glasses walls) with both VP/directors and eng/designer/PM.

In 2012, Facebook IPOed, so we had an in-campus celebration event at Hack Square. Everybody was drinking and laughing. I was trying to push my code out so I was a little late to the party. When I walked into Hack Square, Zuck was talking to someone else but he turned to me and said “congratulations”, I was so surprised that I said “thank you”. Looking back, I think he was actually the one we all should have congratulated but I am so touched by the congrats he gave me (again, an average engineer) first.

I can list more details that Zuck is so awesome but I think you can get some sense from my stories. He is a really unique CEO that I will forever love to work with. He keeps great relationship with most CEOs in the industry. He loves his wife and always mentions how much he owes her in front of the whole company.

If you still wonder why Mark Zuckerberg has the highest approval rating after reading all the answers, join Facebook and you will know for sure.

Answer by Amir Memson, iOS Software Engineer at Facebook:

Because he is just that awesome.

There are several reasons why we “approve” of him:

  • The story: He built this billion user and billion dollar company from his dorm room, overcame one obstacle after another, and assembled a company with some of the most talented employees in the world.
  • The principles: He is dead-focused on “making the world more open and connected.” The guy doesn’t waver; all the investments in R&D and acquisitions have been along these lines.
  • The heart: He was the biggest donor of 2013, and is generally a minimalist. He is clearly committed to Internet.org, even though that’s not necessarily where the short term revenue increases are. We really feel he wants to change the world for the better.
  • The guts: What other CEO has the… guts… to purchase a chat company for $19B??? It’s a very smart purchase for various reasons, but still, $19B! Even other Silicon Valley CEOs acknowledge Zuck’s fearlessness: http://read.bi/1n24ctW
  • The wisdom: When we hear him speak, he gives us brain wrinkles. He has this uncanny ability to make all the right strategic moves, and when he explains the reasons for making those moves, it simply makes sense. Sure, mistakes have been made, and hindsight is 20/20, but at decision time, it was for all the right reasons.
  • The trust: He doesn’t make all the decisions, in fact far from it. We feel entrusted and empowered to drive our features the way we feel is best for the people that use Facebook. This is drastically different from many top-down corporations. We’re happy with the balance between management-mandated and grass-roots-inspired decision making.
  • The character: He wears T-Shirts and jeans, talks with humility, and he just seems generally very approachable. We like that.
  • The business: Facebook is a rock solid business that is rapidly increasing in revenue as we speak. It makes more than 70% more in revenue than it was making just one year ago.
  • The free food and perks: Yes, this makes us like him and the company too. He has the ability to put an end to it at any time, but he keeps it coming. If somebody gives me free cookies, I like them, this part is not rocket science.

And, no, having a lower approval rating is not a good thing. People don’t “approve” because they agree with everything, rather they know that they have a say, and that their opinion matters. It’s a good thing to like your boss.

This question originally asked on Quora: Why does Mark Zuckerberg have a 99% approval rating from his employees? See more:

TIME Companies

Time Warner Cable Outage Affects Users Nationwide

Internet and TV blackouts reported in areas ranging from New York to Texas to California

A massive Time Warner Cable outage reportedly brought down internet and television services in cities from coast to coast in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Customers began to grasp the scope of the outage on Twitter, as users from multiple cities reported service blackouts spanning several hours and customer service hotlines returning busy signals.

The website downdetector.com, which tracks reports of outages in real time, posted a map of affected areas, showing a large number of reports in areas ranging from New York to Texas to California. At the peak of the outage the site reported almost 10,000 complaints.

Time Warner Cable released a statement on the outage. “At 4:30am ET this morning during our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services,” the statement read. “As of 6:00am ET services were largely restored as updates continue to bring all customers back online.”

TIME Opinion

How to Reclaim the F-Word? Just Call Beyoncé

Beyonce performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.
Beyonce performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Beyonce’s brand of empowerment isn’t perfect, but her VMA performance on Sunday accomplished what activists could not: She took feminism to the masses.

Militant. Radical. Man-hating. If you study word patterns in media over the past two decades, you’ll find that these are among the most common terms used to talk about the word “feminist.” Yes, I did this — with the help of a linguist and a tool called the Corpus of Contemporary American English, which is the world’s largest database of language.

I did a similar search on Twitter, with the help of Twitter’s data team, looking at language trends over the past 48 hours. There, the word patterns were more simple. Search “feminist,” and you’ll likely come up with just one word association: Beyoncé.

That’s a product of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, of course, in which the 33-year-old closed out the show with an epic declaration of the F-Word, a giant “FEMINIST” sign blazing from behind her silhouette.

As far as feminist endorsements are concerned, this was the holy grail: A word with a complicated history reclaimed by the most powerful celebrity in the world. And then she projected it — along with its definition, by the Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — into the homes of 12 million unassuming Americans. Beyoncé would become the subject of two-thirds of all tweets about feminism in the 24 hours after her appearance, according to a data analysis by Twitter, making Sunday the sixth-highest day for volume of conversation about feminism since Twitter began tracking this year (the top three were days during #YesAllWomen).

“What Bey just did for feminism, on national television, look, for better or worse, that reach is WAY more than anything we’ve seen,” the writer Roxane Gay, author of the new book, Bad Feminist, declared (on Twitter, naturally).

“HELL YES!” messaged Jennifer Pozner, a writer and media critic.

“It would have been unthinkable during my era,” said Barbara Berg, a historian and the author of Sexism in America.

Feminism may be enjoying a particular celebrity moment, but let’s just remember that this wasn’t always the case. Feminism’s definition may be simple — it is the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, as Adichie put it — and yet its interpretation is anything but. “There was only about two seconds in the history of the world in which women really welcomed [feminism],” Gail Collins, The New York Times columnist and author of America’s Women once told me in 2010, for an article I was writing about young women and feminism. “There’s something about the word that just drives people nuts.”

Over the past 40 years in particular, as Berg explains it, the word has seen it all: exultation, neutrality, uncertainty, animosity. “Feminazi” has become a perennial (and favorite) insult of the religious right (and of Rush Limbaugh). In 1992, in a public letter decrying a proposal for an equal rights amendment (the horror!) television evangelist Pat Robertson hilariously proclaimed that feminism would cause women to “leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

Even the leaders of the movement have debated whether the word should be abandoned (or rebranded). From feminist has evolved the words womanist, humanist, and a host of other options — including, at one point, the suggestion from Queen Bey herself for something a little bit more catchy, “like ‘bootylicious.'” (Thank God that didn’t stick.)

It wasn’t that the people behind these efforts (well, most of them anyway) didn’t believe in the tenets of feminism — to the contrary, they did. But there was just something about identifying with that word. For some, it was pure naiveté: We were raised post-Title IX, and there were moments here and there where we thought maybe we didn’t need it. (We could be whatever we wanted, right? That was the gift of the feminists who came before us.) But for others, it was a notion of what the word had come to represent: angry, extreme, unlikeable. As recently as last year, a poll by the Huffington Post/YouGov found that while 82 percent of Americans stated that they indeed believe women and men should be equals, only 20 percent of them were willing to identify as feminists.

Enter… Beyoncé. The new enlightened Beyoncé, that is. Universally loved, virtually unquestioned, and flawless, the 33-year-old entertainer seems to debunk every feminist stereotype you’ve ever heard. Beyoncé can’t be a man-hater – she’s got a man (right?). Her relationship – whatever you believe about the divorce rumors – has been elevated as a kind of model for egalitarian bliss: dual earners, adventurous sex life, supportive husband and an adorable child held up on stage by daddy while mommy worked. Beyoncé’s got the confidence of a superstar but the feminine touch of a mother. And, as a woman of color, she’s speaking to the masses – a powerful voice amid a movement that has a complicated history when it comes to inclusion.

No, you don’t have to like the way Beyoncé writhes around in that leotard – or the slickness with which her image is controlled – but whether you like it or not, she’s accomplished what feminists have long struggled to do: She’s reached the masses. She has, literally, brought feminism into the living rooms of 12.4 million Americans. “Sure, it’s just the VMAs,” says Pozner. “She’s not marching in Ferguson or staffing a battered woman’s shelter, but through her performance millions of mainstream music fans are being challenged to think about feminism as something powerful, important, and yes, attractive. And let’s head off at the pass any of the usual hand-wringing about her sexuality — Madonna never put the word FEMINIST in glowing lights during a national awards show performance. This is, as we say… a major moment.”

It’s what’s behind the word that matters, of course. Empty branding won’t change policy (and, yes, we need policy change). But there is power in language, too.

“Looking back on those early days of feminism, you can see that the word worked as a rallying cry,” says Deborah Tannen, aa linguist at Georgetown University and the author of You Just Don’t Understand, about men and women in conversation. “It gave women who embraced [it] a sense of identity and community — a feeling that they were part of something, and a connection to others who were a part of it too. Beyoncé’s taking back this word and identifying with it is huge.”

Bennett is a contributing columnist at TIME.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. A former Newsweek senior writer and executive editor of Tumblr, she is a contributing editor for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s foundation, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

TIME How-To

Manage What Happens to Your Online Accounts After You Die

computer keys
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Consider the size of your online presence—your Facebook account, which details your daily life and personal history; your email account, which contains a wealth of your personal and business communications; photos, music and documents you have stored in the cloud; online banking accounts and records; frequent flier miles and more.

What happens to all this stuff when you die?

Will heirs be able to access your accounts to manage your affairs or do you want to prevent them from snooping around in virtual territory you want kept private? Will your accounts simply evaporate over time or will your Facebook page still be up long after you’re gone?

While some people don’t care, others find the idea of their digital assets outliving them disconcerting. Creating a digital will helps you determine which accounts survive and which you take to your grave.

How to Create a Digital Will

The U.S. government wrote a blog post about this very topic and suggested that people create social media wills that spell out how their online identities are to be handled after death. To do it, you should:

  1. Appoint someone as an online executor. Because you’ll be leaving this person with the keys to your digital kingdom, this person should be someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to close or memorialize your accounts, capable of protecting your sensitive information from identity thieves or snoopers, tech-savvy enough to be able to make changes to your accounts and trustworthy to carry out your wishes.
  2. State in a formal document how you want your profiles and accounts to be handled. For example, do you want your email account deleted without anyone reading your messages? Do you want your Facebook account deactivated or would you rather have your Timeline memorialized (meaning only friends can see your page and leave posts in remembrance)?
  3. Understand the privacy policies of each website with which you’re associated. You should know that unless you leave your online executor your passwords, there might not be much he or she can do. Google, for example, won’t let anyone into your email account without that person putting forth an application and undergoing a formal and lengthy process and, even then, he or she might not get in. Same goes with Facebook.
  4. Provide your online executor a list of all the websites and login credentials for which you want he or she to take action. If someone makes changes to your account by pretending to be you it may violate a website’s terms of service, but legally your designation of an online executor is akin to granting a limited power of attorney.
  5. State in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. This may help him or her take action on your behalf with various websites and accounts.

Working With Your Lawyer On a Digital Will

Julie Min Chayet, managing director and trust counsel for Fiduciary Trust Company International in New York City, says the idea of a digital will hasn’t become mainstream. However, clients do ask attorneys to include all sorts of requests in their Last Will and Testament, so requesting that someone clean up a digital footprint online is perfectly acceptable and recommended.

Chayet says the executor named in your Last Will and Testament has to settle all matters relating to one’s life—financial or otherwise—and you can specify that this person also should handle your online accounts.

“From a legal standpoint, the responsibilities of a court appointed executor or administrator include shutting down digital assets and accounts. It’s just important to be clear about what needs to be done with information and for the not-too-tech-savvy executor it is important to be explicit about next steps,” she says.

For example, you could leave a written statement to be posted on your Facebook account.

“It’s comparable to someone planning his or her own funeral down to every last detail of choosing the burial site, the music to be played, clothing to be worn, flowers displayed, poems or readings to be read and food to be served,” Chayet says. “Settling an estate is incredibly stressful and emotional. Being prepared will only help your loved ones in every aspect of their mourning.”

Websites That Can Help

While you can certainly keep your digital asset information on paper to be handed over to your online executor once you die, the reality is passwords frequently change and keeping an up-to-date paper list can be a pain. Instead, many password management websites offer features that will turn your digital assets over to others at the appropriate time.

Password Box’s Legacy Locker feature lets you identify your online assets and login credentials as well as “verifiers”—people you trust to handle your online accounts after your death. Once you have passed away, your verifiers must contact Password Box, confirm their identities and the website transfers your account information to them as well as any letters you may have left at the site for family, friends or colleagues.

Price: The first 25 saved passwords are free. Additional password slots can be purchased for $12/year.

SecureSafe is similar to Legacy Locker, but adds various amounts of file storage along with password management and transfer to beneficiaries.

Price: Several pricing and storage tiers are available, starting with a free account that gives you 50 password slots and 10 megabyes of storage.

This article was written by Christina DesMarais and originally appeared on Techlicious.

More from Techlicious:

TIME Family

It Took 9 Months to Make This Vine

A pregnancy in six seconds

There’s nothing as awe-inspiring as the creation of life — except for maybe this man’s dedication to creating this Vine.

Filmed over nine months, the mini-video documents a pregnancy from barely showing to baby toting. It’s Vine user Ian Padgham’s (@origiful) modern take on the staid old tradition of the pregnancy photo.

Padgham,whose day job involves making time-lapse clips on the social site for various brands, used his professional skill set to film his wife, Claire Pasquier, over the course of the nine months of her pregnancy. He captured her physical transformation in a six-second-long looping clip, shooting to frames at a time over nine months.

It’s a cool homage to family, life and technology, that has become one of the most viewed Vines of all time, with more than 12 million views so far.

MORE: Get “Happy” With This American Sign Language Performance of Pharrell’s Hit Song

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TIME Internet

59 Free Twitter Tools and Apps to Fit Any Need

Twitter Says 23 Million of Its Users Are Not Actually Bots
A user scrolls through a Twitter feed. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twitter is a fascinating adventure of relationships, entertainment, education, and fun. Now imagine layering on a few dozen powerups.

That’s how it feels sometimes when you find just the right Twitter tool. And there’s a tool for practically every desire or whim.

Tools for productivity, for efficiency, for research, and so much more. With such a generous API, Twitter tools have become legion—and we social sharers are better off for it.

At Buffer, we tend to come across a fair share of social media tools. We’ve collected a great bunch to share with you! Here are all the tools we’ve found helpful and many more that we’re excited to try. If there’s a free Twitter tool out there, you’re likely to find a mention here in our list.

(If we missed any good free Twitter tools, let us know in the comments!)

The big list of 59 free Twitter tools for marketers

Navigate this list fast

Looking for something in particular? Try clicking one of these categories:

Analytics | Chats | Discovery | Follow/Unfollow | Mentions & Monitoring |Scheduling | Timing | Trending Topics | Twitter Clients | Other

Twitter Tools for Analytics

1. My Top Tweet: Your Top 10 list of tweets

Find anyone’s Top 10 tweets, ordered by engagement.

2. Wildfire: Follower growth analysis

Compare your follower growth to your competitors’s follower growth. Simple, helpful, enlightening.

3. SocialBro: Analytics, optimization, and more

A nearly all-in-one platform for all things Twitter. The free plan comes with analytics, best time to tweet, follow/unfollow tools, and community segmentation.

4. Riffle: Data visualizations for any Twitter user

This browser plugin reveals vast insights into any Twitter user you choose. Discover statistics, popular hashtags, most shared links, connected profiles, and much more.

5. Twitonomy: Detailed analytics on users and tweets

A dashboard of analytics for whichever Twitter user you choose (even yours). Analyzes profiles, tweets, engagement, and more.

6. Klout: Twitter scores

Track your influencer score (on a scale of 1-100) and use the Klout dashboard to create and schedule new tweets.

7. SumAll: Email reports for Twitter stats

Sync your Twitter to SumAll, and start seeing daily or weekly emails on how your followers are growing, your mentions, and your engagement.

8. SocialRank: Follower analysis to find your most awesome fans

Receive a sorted list of your best followers, most influential followers, and most engaged followers. Useful to track the important people to engage with on Twitter.

9. Twtrland: A Twitter resume

Plug in your Twitter account to see a snapshot of who you follow, which demographics you fit, who’s in your close network, and more.

10. Bluenod: Community visualization

Type in a user or hashtag and see a detailed map or visualization about the community around the user or the people using the hashtag.

Twitter Tools for Chats

11. Beatstrap: Team liveblogging

Cover live news, sports, and events through Twitter, via hashtags, and collaborate with your team on the coverage. Completed “Beats” come with an embed code.

12. TweetChat: Twitter chat management

Log in to follow a specific hashtag, hang out in a room that collects the hashtagged tweets for you, and reply as you like (with the hashtag added automatically to your tweet).

13. Chat Salad: A calendar of Twitter chats

See upcoming Twitter chats and when they’re scheduled, as well as the hashtags they use (so you can follow along).

14. Twubs: Twitter chat homepages

Register a hashtag for your chat and collect/view the tweets from one location.

15. Nurph: Chat planning and organizing

Nurph channels let you plan and organize your chat, complete with follow-up stats and replays.

16. TwChat: Real-time chat rooms for Twitter chats

Submit your hashtag. Enter your chat room. Have fun!

Twitter Tools for Discovering Fresh Content and Fun Users

17. BuzzSumo: Find influencers, topic-by-topic

Type in a keyword to see which voices get the most shares on Twitter. Find influencers, sniff out headline ideas, and learn what works on Twitter and who’s working it.

18. Nuzzel: Discover what your friends are reading

As described by Twitter’s Joanna Geary, “find out what’s trending among the people the people you follow follow.” Make sense? Translation: Content discovery from friends and friend of friends.

19. Swayy: What your followers are interested in

See the content that your followers recommend plus the topics they most enjoy. View it all via the dashboard or from a daily email digest.

20. Twipho: Searchable Twitter feed of photos

Search by keyword or by location to find photos shared on Twitter.

21. Sonar Solo: Discover keyword-related content

Search any topic to see a visualization of the related topics, trends, and Twitter profiles connected to your search.

22. Topsy: A search engine for social

The most recent and most relevant tweets (and other social updates) based on a keyword search. Also shows keyword volume, sentiment score, and other analytics.

23. Digg Deeper: The best stories from your friends

An algorithmic display of the top articles and links that your Twitter followees have shared. Pair with News.me: a daily email newsletter of what your friends share on Twitter.

24. The Latest: A museum for the day’s best Twitter links

A real-time, constantly updated list of the most interesting links on Twitter, culled from the accounts of interesting people

Twitter Tools for Following & Unfollowing

25. ManageFlitter: Follow/unfollow in bulk

Segment your followers according to a number of factors: last tweet, follower count, location, language and whether or not they follow you back.

26. Tweepi: Tidy up who you follow

Cleanup inactive follows, flush those who don’t follow back, and reciprocate someone else’s follow—all done in bulk and with a few clicks of a checkbox.

27. Unfollowers: In-depth follow/unfollow

Get a complete breakdown of those you follow, and unfollow with ease.

28. DoesFollow: See who follows whom

Does A follow B? Does Bill Gates follow Skrillex? Does Guy Kawasaki follow Jay Baer?

Twitter Tools for Hashtags

29. Hashtagify.me: Complete analytics into any hashtag

Enter a hashtag to discover related tags, recent conversations, usage patterns, and influencers.

30. Rite tag: Hashtag recommender

Plug in a hashtag and see feedback on the tag’s reach and popularity as well as suggestions for some alternatives to try. Complete with pretty colors to see at-a-glance which hashtags are best.

31. Seen: Hashtag-based curation

Collect the media that was shared with a certain hashtag, then rank the results. Share your curation with friends and followers.

Twitter Tools for Mentions & Monitoring

32. Keyhole: LIke Google Alerts for Twitter

Ask Keyhole to notify you whenever a particular keyword, hashtag, or URL is mentioned. Helpful to track mentions of your own name or your company’s blog or campaign.

33. The One Million Tweetmap: Geolocated, real-time tweet monitoring

Track and follow keywords as they’re tweeted in real-time and at real places. Zoom in to a geotargeted area for super fine results.

34. Twilert: Real-time email alerts for keywords

Track keywords on Twitter and receive an email notification every time they’re mentioned. Great for keeping an eye on company names, new products, and branded hashtags.

35. Mention: Monitor your mentions

A listening tool for keeping up with all your mentions on Twitter. Tracks, analyzes, and displays any number of keywords via the Mention dashboard or via email digests.

36. MentionMapp: The web of you and those you mention

Get a visualization map of you and all the people you mention (and they people they mention).

37. Twazzup: Real-time keyword monitoring

Search and track any keyword, username, or hashtag. See a results page full of relevant tweets, user accounts, and influencers.

Twitter Tools for Scheduling Tweets

38. Buffer: Schedule your tweets (plus a whole lot more)

Simple social media management. Fill a queue of tweets, analyze their performance, and find new, hand-picked stories to share.

39. Tweet4me: Scheduled tweets via DM

Send a direct message to the Tweet4me account, use shorthand and prefixes to denote when to share, and let Tweet4me schedule and send the tweet for you.

Twitter Tools for Timing

40. Followerwonk: Search Twitter bios and analyze your followers

Every analysis imaginable for your Twitter feed, your profile, your followers, and your competitors.

41. Tweriod: Find the best times to tweet

Tweriod analyzes the tweets you send and your followers’s tweets to find the optimal time for engagement.

Twitter Tools for Trending Topics

42. Trends24: Detailed breakdowns of trending terms

See trending terms from the last—you guessed it—24 hours, broken out hour-by-hour and country-by-country. Enlightening for social media campaigns and geographic/timing research.

43. Trendsmap: Monitoring for local Twitter trends

A zoomable map that shows popular hashtags and terms from anywhere in the world with easy-click buttons to hone in on My City, My Region, and more.

44. iTrended: Did it trend?

Search the past 15 days to find whether certain keywords trended or not.

Top Twitter Clients

45. Tweetdeck: The king of Twitter clients

Via the app or the web, stay on top of your Twitter stream with Tweetdeck’s organization and tracking tools. Split your stream into segmented columns to stay engaged with what’s important.

46. YoruFukurou – Twitter client

A native Twitter client for Mac OS X. Dashboard views of incoming tweets, lists, and searches, split across multiple tabs. Comes highly recommended from Kottke.org.

47. Happy Friends: Mailbox-type reader

Pick the friends you want to hear from. Never miss their tweets. View all their activity via an inbox-style layout with nested updates.

Miscellaneous Twitter Tools

48. TW Birthday: Dig up the date someone joined Twitter (even if they won’t say)

For those who omit the “date joined” on their profile, there’s still a way to discover it. See how long your new favorite follow has been tweeting or when a new profile officially landed.

49. Bio is Changed: be alerted when someone changes their Twitter bio (good for job moves)

Rather self-descriptive, this tool updates you when someone changes their Twitter bio. Useful if you’d like to track job moves and major news or even to learn from how people craft unique Twitter bios.

50. Like Explorer: See shares per article

Type in a URL. See the share numbers. Simple.

51. Tweet Beat: List management

A powerful tool for managing your Twitter lists—adding, removing, discovering, and sharing.

52. and 53. IFTTT & Zapier: Automate your tweeting

Connect multiple apps in unique ways to your Twitter account. For example, post your Instagram pictures as native Twitter photos.

54. Be Present: Track how fast you respond on Twitter

Real-time reports on your response time, response rate, and performance based on industry benchmarks. Also, really pretty to look at.

55. SavePublishing: Tweetable snippets on any website

Install the bookmarklet, and you can reveal any tweetable sentences (140 characters or fewer) from any article.

56. Tweekly: Once-a-week email of tweets you care about

Tell Tweekly which Twitter account you want to hear from, Tweekly pulls all their tweets and emails you weekly.

57. GroupTweet: Collaborate with teammates on one account

Let your teammates and coworkers share to the same account automatically with zero password-sharing. GroupTweet can even append usernames on to the end of individual tweets.

58. Storify: Beautiful Twitter storytelling

Grab any number of tweets and media elements, and place them all into a Storify collection that you can embed and share anywhere.

59. Tweet Topic Explorer: A word cloud per user

Discover the most-used words of any user you choose (even you).

Additional resources:

What are your go-to Twitter tools?

Which tools are must-haves for you with your Twitter experience?

Which Twitter tools have you already used today?

My mornings always start with a read of News.me (the email version of Digg Deeper) and a dip into Buffer to check some stats. I spend most of my Twitter time replying to others directly from the native web app. In the evenings, I’ll grab some content suggestions from Buffer, Swayy, BuzzSumo, and a couple others and fill the Twitter queue for the next day.

I’d love to hear about your favorite Twitter tools in the comments!

 

This post originally appeared on Buffer

TIME Internet

A New Viral Fundraiser: The ‘Abortion Rights’ Tacos and Beer Challenge

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Soft Chicken Tacos Getty Images

What started as a Twitter joke has turned into another social media funding movement

While it’s unclear what dumping a bucket of ice over your head has to do with ALS research, there is no question that the Ice Bucket Challenge — inspiring $53 million in donations and some 2.4 million videos posted on Facebook — has been incredibly effective and might even change the future of charitable fundraising.

And so, political reporter Andrea Grimes decided to apply this nonlinear, activity-based fundraising ideology to another cause. The directive is simple: Eat a taco or drink a beer, and then donate to any abortion rights fund — from Planned Parenthood to another local or national organization.

While the #TacoBeerChallenge started as an ironic Twitter joke, the straightforward message resonated and pictures of carne asada wrapped in a corn tortilla are proliferating on the web–though members of the pro-life movement have tried to hijack the hashtag to harness the attention for their cause.

“What do ice buckets have to do with ALS? I don’t know. What do tacos and beer have to do with abortion? I don’t know that either,” Grimes writes for RH Reality Check. “What I do know is that eating tacos and drinking beer is more pleasurable than getting doused with ice water, and that lawmakers around the country are passing increasingly restrictive anti-abortion access laws.”

Grimes continued that a first donation to an abortion fund can be hard, but, “It’s so not-shameful, in fact, that you can be the kind of regular ol’ human being who eats a taco or drinks a beer and funds abortion.”

The Taco or Beer Challenge’s Tumblr also showcases other Taco-eating related videos as well as a database of abortion-rights funds to donate to.

Here are some of the early participants:

Let’s see if Oprah, Justin Timberlake, and Jimmy Kimmel get on board with this initiative, too.

 

TIME

Most Teenagers Believe Porn Is Damaging. Could Sex Ed Be The Answer?

Teen Computer
Getty Images

A new poll of teenagers in Britain shows that many think porn leads to unrealistic or damaging views about sex

The rise of online pornography has long worried researchers, feminists and parents about the toll easy access to graphic images would take on young people.

It turns out, young people are grappling with the same concerns. A poll released on Wednesday by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a British think tank, asked 500 18-year-olds about their views on pornography and its impact on their lives. The results aren’t pretty.

Most of the teens polled said that “accessing” pornography was common throughout their school years, with many starting around the ages of 13-15. And, according to the poll, a whopping 72 percent of 18-year-olds surveyed believe that pornography leads to unrealistic attitudes about sex, while 70 percent believe that pornography can have a damaging impact on young people’s views of sex or relationships.

Negative feelings about porn and its impact were more pronounced among teenage girls. Nearly 80 percent of the young women polled said that porn puts pressure on girls to look and act a certain way. Meanwhile, only 18 percent of the young men strongly agreed with the statement “pornography encourages society to view women as sex objects,” compared to 37 percent of young women. But the overall majority of teens — 66 percent of women and 49 percent of men — said they believed “it would be easier growing up if pornography was less easy to access for young people.”

“This new polling data shows that pornographic images are pervasive in teenagers’ lives and that young women in particular are acutely conscious of how damaging they can be,” said IPPR associate director, Dalia Ben-Galim, about the poll’s results. “It paints a worrying picture about the way online pornography is shaping the attitudes and behavior of young people.”

So what can we do about this issue? It should be noted that in the U.K., internet providers are now required to block explicit websites as a default — people who want to remove the blocks in order to view porn must opt in. Yet it’s obvious that teens are still finding access to pornography and it’s a cause for concern for many of them.

One way to address the concerns could be found in another question from IPPR’s poll. When asked, the vast majority of the teens polled — 86 percent — said they thought that “sex and relationship advice should be taught in schools.” Now some form of sex ed is already a part of British public school’s curriculum from the age of 11 onwards (though parents do have the right to withdraw their children from parts of the course), but perhaps these courses should be tailored to actually address what teens are seeing in pornography and the way it impacts their lives.

It’s also possible that by age 11, it’s already too late. Miranda Horvath, a psychology professor at Middlesex University in London who has done research on pornography, told the New York Times earlier this year that kids would benefit from some form of sexual education before they actually encounter pornography:

One of our recommendations is that children should be taught about relationships and sex at a young age… If we start teaching kids about equality and respect when they are 5 or 6 years old, by the time they encounter porn in their teens, they will be able to pick out and see the lack of respect and emotion that porn gives us. They’ll be better equipped to deal with what they are being presented with.

According to IPPR’s poll, teenagers are looking for help dealing with the pornography that clearly isn’t going away. It’s just up to educators and policymakers to listen to them.

TIME Internet

The New Science of Pairing College Roommates

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Students Working Together Moving Dormitory on University Campus YinYang—Getty Images

At one school using the new app RoomSync, roommate approval was up 40 percent

This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone.

Eight years ago, when Robert Castellucci worked for a housing complex at the University of Florida, his main job was to pair roommates based on a few simple lifestyle questions. But what had once been a straightforward task – matching smokers with smokers, separating early risers from night owls – was getting difficult thanks to social media. “We’d get 30, 40, 50 calls a day asking for a new roommate based on their Facebook profile,” he says. “They didn’t get the roommates they wanted, and I couldn’t get my job done.”

(MORE: Before Belle Knox: 8 College Sex Scandals That Got ‘Extra’ Curricular)

So in 2009, Castellucci launched RoomSync, a Facebook app where students fill out a finely tuned questionnaire. An algorithm suggests possible dormmates, and students themselves get to decide whose dirty underwear they’ll be stepping over for the next two semesters.

More than 60 schools now use RoomSync, with promising results. At New Mexico State, 50 percent of students used to ask to switch roommates the school chose for them. But among students using the app, that number dropped to 10 percent, according to Julie Weber, director of housing. RoomSync user GPAs were .25 points higher, at 3.05, and their re-enrollment was up 6.6 percent, to 96 percent.

(MORE: Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuses)

For decades, universities believed that acclimating to the quirks of a complete stranger was an essential part of college. That’s still the case at schools like NYU and Stanford, where the 1,700 incoming freshmen are hand-paired by two upperclassmen. “Education’s about putting people in uncomfortable situations so they start to learn about themselves,” says NYU housing head Thomas Ellett. “[Programs like RoomSync] are a good customer-service tool, but there’s a big difference between customer service and education.”

(MORE: 50 Things Millennials Know That Gen-Xers Don’t)

But in the past half-decade, universities have moved to more modern systems – by 2012, about 70 percent allowed incoming freshmen to select roommates, according to one informal survey. Besides RoomSync, there are similar programs like Roomsurf and RoommateFit; some schools have proprietary systems, like Oregon State, which lets incoming freshmen use a school-only social network to choose future bunkmates.

But as all are quick to admit, one reason these programs work so well is that students are less likely to complain when they get to pick their own roommate. “That way, they are more invested in who they have selected,” says Weber. “They can’t blame us for it.”

(MORE: In Pics: Millennials’ Most Earth-Shaking Sexual Moments)

 

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