Author Archives: Michelle Lentz

25 Jun


by Michelle Lentz

I first read about Twellow on Mashable yesterday. Once I started using it, I was hooked.

The one thing Twitter has always lacked is a reliable and useful People Search tool. Now there is Twellow. Twellow was developed to help you “cut through the clutter.”


Twellow is a service of WebProNews and at this writing, it had indexed over 331,000 Twitter users and filed those users into categories based on their Twitter profiles. A lot of folks, myself included, make sure to use useful key words in their Twitter profiles, and now there is a reason other than SEO. You can be indexed in Twellow!

You can’t be indexed if you have a Twitter account without an entry, no Twitter account, or a private/locked Twitter account. Therefore my professional account is available and my personal account is not. For me, this is perfect.

A search on my name or my Twitter user name produces, well, me. A search on my company name does not produce me, so obviously I need to make some adjustments.

Much more fun is a search on topics – “Blogging” brings up names like Anil Dash and Six Apart. You can also search within pre-defined categories, many of which you can find on the front page of the site, and from there you can drill-down into sub-categories.

The oddest thing I found about Twellow is its seemingly random updating of your latest Twitter post. My latest is listed as several days old, when I have in fact Twittered since then, whereas other folks are listed as “8 minutes ago.”

Regardless, Twellow is a much-needed search tool that just adds to the power of Twitter. Twellow is currently in Alpha, but is open for public use.

Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via
Twitter, or via Pownce.

by Michelle Lentz

Today, Twitter announced a third round of funding from Spark Capital and Bezos Expeditions. With the funding came new investment team members, Bijan Sabet and Jeff Bezos (yes, the guy).

On Twitter’s blog, they called the new round of funding the runway they need:

Twitter will become a sustainable business supported by a revenue model. However, our biggest opportunities will be worth pursuing only when we achieve our vision of Twitter as a global communication utility. To reach our goal, Twitter must be reliable and robust. Private funding gives us the runway we need to stay focused on the infrastructure that will help our business take flight. We will continue hiring systems engineers, operators, and architects, as well as consultants, scientists, and other professionals to help us realize our vision.

The new investors are very excited about Twitter. Perhaps they have the ideas for the new revenue model and I can’t wait to find out what that is. Aren’t we all curious about how Twitter plans on making money?

To me, Twitter has become a requisite part of my overall Internet experience and a normal part of my daily commications. I’m glad to see a third round of funding coming through.

Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via Twitter, or via Pownce.

by Michelle Lentz

I occasionally worry that backing up my world – particularly the world of my business – onto a 2-1TB drives is not smart. Sure it removes the files from the local machines, but if there is a fire or some other catastrophe, I doubt I’ll remember to grab my external hard drives as I run for safety. So I sometimes ponder whether or not to invest in some sort of off-site storage. I use, on a limited basis, GSpace. GSpace is a Firefox plug-in that turns your Gmail accounts into off-site storage. This works for current client files, but certainly not for everything I routinely back up.

SmugVaultEnter SmugMug. Yesterday they announced that they are offering SmugVault. Using Amazon’s network of datacenters, you can now store more than just your photos at SmugMug. You can store all of your files. They suggest you do this because of what? Natural disaster. They’re preying on my own worries, so they must also be the worries of others.

To the best of my knowledge, SmugVault requires a SmugMug account. With your SmugMug account (one of three different pricing tiers), storage of image files is included. You can store other files, such as DOCs, PDFs, and more. Amazon will bill you for storing those file types.

- Storage costs 22 cents per gigabyte per month.  2GB = 44 cents/month
- There is a $1/month recurring charge.
- Data transfer in is 30 cents per gigabyte. Data transfer out is 51 cents per gigabyte.

    For many folks, this gives the opportunity to back up RAW image files or the full video, pre-edited, without the web resolution. This is just pure data.

    So, is the price right? Would you use a service like this? Let us know!

    Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via Twitter, or via Pownce.

    by Michelle Lentz

    A Cincinnati company called metaphor, and their affiliate editspot, did some research on a domain name. The name they wanted was available, but they didn’t purchase it right away. A few days later they did try to purchase it, but it was gone. A company in the Bahamas had purchased the name and offered to sell it to metaphor for $30,000 instead of the $30 they would have paid to their registrar.

    Personally, I spend a lot of time frustrated because most of the domain names I’d like to have – more common iterations of write technology or wine girl – have been parked somewhere and aren’t used. But I could buy them for a large amount …

    According to today’s Cincinnati Enquirer:

    More than 162 million new “domains” – the name under which a Web site and e-mail server operate – were created in the first quarter of this year alone, up 26 percent from the same period last year, according to a report by Verisign, a major player in the domain industry. And growing by 40 percent were instances of “cybersquatting” - the practice of buying a domain name that is a registered trademark for someone else – according to a MarkMonitor survey.

    metaphor is suspicious of how the Bahamas-based company learned of their chosen domain name. metaphor had originally searched through Network Solutions. I know I usually search through PairNic. Whether or not those searches “leak,” metaphor wanted to make sure that it didn’t happen again. They created a desktop tool that directly searches the domain name database without having to go through a provider. You still have to purchase the domain through a provider, but you can research your chosen name without leaving the comfort of your desktop.

    You can download their free desktop tool for Mac, Mac Dashboard, and PC at

    Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via
    Twitter, or via Pownce.

    by Michelle Lentz

    I’m a stickler for etiquette. It makes me think of an older era of simplicity and politeness, pre-cell phone, and I love that. I send handwritten thank you notes within days of receiving a gift. I make sure invitations go out at the right time, with the appropriate handwritten addresses, and I only use electronic invitations when absolutely appropriate. I send actual birthday and anniversary cards. I have stacks of books on etiquette – both old school and “urban.”  So I’m a big fan of the British etiquette experts Debrett’s. When I was getting married, I bought Wedding Guide to Etiquette without batting an eyelash.

    Debrett’s has now issued 5 Golden Rules for Sociable Social Networking.  Research by British Telecom Orange found that 62% – nearly two-thirds of us – are frustrated by new situations we find ourselves in on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and BeBo. How appropriate is it to be poked or poke someone anyway?

    So, in partnership with Orange, Debrett’s now offers these 5 rules to help alleviate your confusion:

    1. You don’t have to make friends with people you don’t know. It’s not a competition to see how many friends you can get. Think before you poke.
    2. Always wait 24 hours before accepting or removing someone as a friend. The delay will help you gather your thoughts.
    3. Birthdays, engagements and weddings are not ‘virtual’ events. Always send birthday cards or call your friends when there’s important news.
    4. Consider your friends’ feelings before posting pictures. Put yourself in their shoes before clicking ‘upload.’
    5. Think carefully about your profile picture – if you don’t want to see it in your local newspaper, don’t put it online.

    Many of these rules are things that I teach in my LinkedIn and Facebook sessions. Truthfully, they’re common sense for most adults – or so you would think.

    Social networking now has official Rules of Etiquette.

    As an aside, the Independent took this one step further with the Geek’s Guide to Netiquette that’s pretty funny.

    Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via
    Twitter, or via Pownce.