Category Archives: Social Media Bytes

The Best Coffee Blogs

  So last month —  in my piece about tea blogs —  I promised a column on coffee blogs for those who prefer the dark brew that Talleyrand famously said should be drunk as “black as the Devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.” Here’s a rundown of the most interesting and educational coffee blogs that I’ve come across so far. In the spirit of Talleyrand’s conception that coffee should be ‘pure as an angel,’ most of these blogs feature a focus on specialty coffee people, preparation and places. No instant coffee here. Here, in no particular order, is my list ... [ Read More ]

Tea Time

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one is either a coffee drinker or a tea drinker. Hopefully, one is knowledgeable about their chosen brew. Social media is a great way to learn informally and for those of us who fall into the tea-lover category, there are tea blogs. (Next time, I will take pity on the other half and talk about the best coffee blogs.) Tea blogs are written by people who are passionate about food and drink who want an outlet to write about the drink they love or who want to connect to other tea-lovers. Sometimes, the bloggers ... [ Read More ]

Top Sites for Flights

If you’re like me, you no longer use a travel agent and book all your travel online by yourself. While the standard way to book tickets is often to use an airline’s website, there are other websites that specialize in comparing fares across all the airlines that service that route to check for the best deals. Sites like or allow you to put in your proposed route and dates of travel, and then sort between all the airlines to show you the best deals. These sites also offer e-mail newsletters, which you can subscribe to, so you can ... [ Read More ]

March 15, 2017

Social media tools, sites and apps seem to change almost overnight and this can be confusing for companies looking to target the huge numbers of people using social media. I surveyed some of the top business and marketing sites (Forbes, HubSpot, BrandWatch, Business2Community) to see their predictions for social media trends in 2017. Here are the top trends predicted for the coming year:   Livevideo  Companies are increasingly using live video as a marketing tool. Another term for live video is ‘authentic content’ as live video is often un-scripted or un-rehearsed. Videos on social media have more engagement than any other type ... [ Read More ]

What the Alt Does It Mean?

You would have to be living under a rock – or without Internet access – to know that since Donald Trump took over the White House in the United States, there have been protests, demonstrations and civil action from the public unseen on this scale since the Vietnam War era. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has seen unprecedented donations of millions of dollars from the public and hired 200 new lawyers to challenge a wave of what they call Trump’s ‘un-Constitutional’ Executive Orders. This is protest on a grand scale. And of course, social media is the best platform ... [ Read More ]

Do Children Thrive Online?

Teens are now spending an average of almost nine hours a day on line — watching videos, posting photos on Instagram or chatting with friends on Snapchat — according to a recent study prepared by Common Sense Media, a family technology education non profit. Common Sense’s mission is to ‘help kids thrive in a world of media and technology.’ According to Common Sense Media’s mission statement, ‘the media content [kids] consume and create has a profound impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.  Learning how to use media and technology wisely is an essential skill for life and learning ... [ Read More ]

How To Learn Online

I often use online tutoring to help my ten-year olddaughter with schoolwork or to find sources that can teach her what she doesn’t learn in school. Especially in areas where I can’t help her (coding) or in areas where   I may know subjects well but can’t explain them effectively (math, science.) Here is a list of sites for online learning. Some of these I have used myself (EdX, Khan Academy) and some are new to me. There is a mix of sites for young learners and adults. I covered skill-sharing websites in a previous column – topics like knitting, cooking, yoga, etc. You can find ... [ Read More ]

November 9, 2016 has been called ‘the most comprehensive independent online guide to travelling in South East Asia.” With the demise of Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree online forum, travelers in the region have few online resources for meeting other travellers and getting sound, up-to-date advice and itineraries for where to go and what to see (and what to watch out for) in South East Asia. Travelfish focuses on travel in Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The free-to-use site helps independent travellers plan their trips with travel advice and itineraries and inspires them with travel stories from its own ... [ Read More ]

October 12, 2016

This week, I focus on virtual physical training: workouts and classes. Although a virtual class or workout video can never really replace taking a class in-person or having a personal trainer, often issues of time, location or weather can make it much easier to watch online videos and be able to work out at home. In addition, for those of us living in Bali, apart from yoga or the gym, often the training or classes available can be limited and not inexpensive. Here’s a list of some popular online sites that offer virtual workouts and classes. Daily Burn ( Daily ... [ Read More ]

September 14, 2016

When I set out travelling and living overseas in the 1990s, I quickly found that one of the first things I missed most was having access to instruction: in martial arts, in crafts, in writing and in physical exercise. This was still the era of the instructional video  (think Jane Fonda’s exercise programs) and I had no way to carry a video player with me. After I settled in Australia for a time, I could attend local classes and resume my learning. I took writing classes through an adult education center, knitting classes at my local yarn shop and martial arts ... [ Read More ]