Ask Dr. Webbie
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? Email your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.
To assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible, be sure to include the following: the name of the browser you are using (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, etc.), the name of the email software you are using (i.e. Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0, OS 10.4 Mail, etc.), and the version of your system software (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
I'm still using Windows XP as my operating system. How much longer can I continue before support for it ends?
First of all, you're not alone. Windows XP is still used on about 32 percent of computers, according to December 2011 statistics reported on w3schools.com. Microsoft has announced that end of support for Windows XP will occur on April 8, 2014. This refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
For more information, visit: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle
How young is too young to be on Facebook? I've heard of children using the site and wondered what the rules are.
Facebook requires individuals to be at least thirteen (13) years old before they can create an account. Providing false information to create an account is a violation of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. (This includes accounts registered on behalf of children under 13 years old by older parties including parents.)
Contrary to popular belief, this minimum age requirement on Facebook was not developed to protect children from online threats or adult content/language. The requirement stems from the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) enacted by Congress in 1998. COPPA requires commercial websites to obtain parental permission before collecting the personal information of any user under the age of 13. Facebook and other social networks avoid COPPA's costly, cumbersome restrictions by simply placing limits on user age.
A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that found nearly half of all 12-year-olds in the U.S. are using social networks. Facebook removes the accounts of 20,000 underage people a day.
QUESTION: With respect to Twitter, what does the term "Follow Friday" mean and how does it all work?
Follow Friday is the name of a trend (or game) on Twitter in which people tweet suggestions every Friday on who to follow. Users list the usernames of people they recommend and add the hashtag #followfriday or #ff somewhere in the tweet. People tweet out their favorite colleagues, celebrities, or any interesting, funny, or insightful people they already follow and want to recommend to others.
For example, such a tweet might look like this: #FollowFriday Follow @Person'sName, a real knowledgeable guy on politics and very funny
You might be interested in the history of the #FollowFriday phenonmenon. It began on January 16, 2009, with a simple tweet by Micah Baldwin, a startup advisor: "I am starting Follow Fridays. Every Friday, suggest a person to follow, and everyone follow him/her." A friend then replied that a hashtag was needed and suggested #followfriday. Near the end of that day, almost every half second, a tweet went out with the hashtag #followfriday and it has grown in popularity ever since.
You can go to twitter.com/#!/search/follow%20friday to find everyone's #followfriday suggestions.