Eight tips to fine-tune your online life

Here are a few tips that I’ve found useful for living online.

Get more out of your web surfing

  1. Use delicious or a similar utility for your bookmarks. Then you have them available to you at any computer – with the power of tagging.
  2. Use delicious to tag what you intend to do with a bookmark – to_read, to_blog, etc. Also use delicious tags to record what you did with a bookmark. I tag blog posts of others that I’ve commented on with icommented.

Email like a pro

  1. Most email programs (even the one on my BlackBerry) have a spell-checker that you can set to automatically run before the email is sent. Make sure that option is activated. It prevents you from forgetting to spell-check a message and making a mistake that makes you look dumb, or at least unprofessional.
  2. Entering email addresses in the To:, CC: and BCC: fields should be the last thing you do when composing an email. Write it, review it, revise it. Entering email addresses last ensures you don’t accidentally send off a half-written email.
  3. If you don’t need a reply, say so in the message. If you can get your message across clearly in the subject line, do so, and add <eom> for “end of message” to the subject line.

Be a better online publisher

  1. If you’re going to write anything about sex, politics, religion, personal relationships, using illegal drugs or drinking heavily on any web site – your blog, Facebook, whatever – think twice. Then think a third time. I’m not saying not to post it, just consider it carefully. Current and future employers, customers, investors and others may see it. You have the right to say whatever you want, but you also can’t escape the repercussions of doing so.
  2. If you publish a blog, subscribe to your own feeds, via both RSS and email. This allows you to get the same experience many of your readers will, and when the experience isn’t very good you, you’ll know it. Then you can fix it.
  3. Also, if you publish a blog make sure you have your comment options set so that when you get a new comment on your blog, you get an email about the comment. In my early days of blogging I failed to do it and discovered only after several days that enormous amounts of comment spam were being published on my blog.
  4. Buy your own domain name, as in “JoeSixpack.com.” If you don’t, someone else might, and you might not like what they do. Heck, it’ll only run you $10 or $15 a year, depending on what registrar you use.

What are your top tips for making life online a little easier? Please let us know in the comments.


  1. Kim says

    Thanks so much for the tips on using del.icio.us, Mark! I just started tagging according to your advice and I already feel more efficient and organized.

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