Ask Dr. Webbie
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? E-mail 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 e-mail 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.)
Aider s’il vous plait! After I installed the 2007 Microsoft Office system, the only Outlook Express 6.0 spell check I now have is in French. How do I get spell check in English?
This “language barrier” has been an irritation for many users and a frequent discussion topic online. You’re not alone.
I checked the Microsoft website at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/932974. It says that if you install the 2007 Microsoft Office system, you no longer have spell-checking capabilities in some languages when you use Outlook Express 6.0. The old spell-checking files are removed for English, Spanish, and German. These files are replaced with newer versions that are included in the 2007 Microsoft Office system but are incompatible with Outlook Express 6.0.
You can resolve this issue by installing Windows Live Mail, which is downloadable from http://download.live.com/wlmail, and using it instead of Outlook Express 6.0. If you don’t want to switch e-mail programs, you’ll have to download one of the free third-party spell-checking programs available on the Internet in order to have spell check in English. You can learn about these programs at microsoft.com/communities/default.mspx, where you’ll get advice from other users and Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs).
As someone just getting started on Twitter, I’d like to know more about hashtags. What are they and how do I use them?
Hashtags are a community-driven way to label tweets (posts made to Twitter). They begin with the hash mark (#), followed by a word, phrase, or abbreviation — examples of hashtags include #jobs and #redsox. When you insert a hashtag in your post, it makes it easy for Twitter users who don’t already follow you (plus anyone searching Twitter) to find your public contributions to the discussion on that particular topic.
Here are some tips for you:
• In order to get tracked via a hashtag, you need to opt-in and follow twitter.com/hashtags. Every time you make a post in Twitter that includes a hashtag, it will show up as a real-time post on hashtags.org.
• If you visit hashtags.org, you can click on any tag and it will show you all of the posts that have been tagged with that keyword.
• You can view all tweets that contain a specific tag by modifying the URL a bit, such as: hashtags.org/tag/redsox.
• You can also subscribe to any updates that contain a tag by visiting hashtags.org, entering in the tag you want to follow, and then clicking “subscribe.”
I’m curious — where did the expression “surfing the Web” come from?
Over time, the word “surfing” became less tied to surfboarding and took on a more general meaning that alluded to moving easily and smoothly from one place to another. In 1986, The Wall Street Journal used the term “channel surfing” to describe the use of remote controls to effortlessly switch from channel to channel on a TV. In 1989, the phrase “crowd surfing” emerged in reference to the act of a crowd carrying a person overhead, often at a rock concert. The first recorded use of “surfing the Web” was in November 1993 in a Usenet newsgroup posting. “Surfing the Web” is similar to “channel surfing” in that both expressions refer to flowing movement.