LET’S GET GROWING! ROMANCE SCAMS STEAL MORE THAN HEARTS WHAT IMPACTS YOUR HOME’S INTERNET SPEED? 15 TIPS FOR SHOOTING BETTER VIDEOS SPRING 22 The World’s #1 Internet Magazine WebsiteCompass
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WebsiteCompass 1 8 Contents WebsiteCompass 18 Website Compass™ is a publication of Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. 4815 Caravelle Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-818-5012 ISSN 1525-951X No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, electronic, photocopying, recording, mechanical, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher. Website Compass™ is a trademark of Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. Copyright© 2022 by Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. TRADEMARKS – All brand names and product names used in this publication are trade names, service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Website Compass magazine is an independent magazine and is not affiliated with, nor has it been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation, Google, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. All screen shots are the property of their respective owners. ADVERTISERS – To obtain advertising information, contact: Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. 4815 Caravelle Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-818-5012 INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS – To obtain additional information about distribution of Website Compass magazine to your internet subscribers and a free customized online version of Website Compass, contact: Shane Petersen Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. 4815 Caravelle Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-818-5012 firstname.lastname@example.org Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. (the Author and Publisher) as well as any participating Internet Service Provider Partners hereby disclaim all warranties relating to Website Compass magazine or its website, whether expressed or implied, including without limitation any implied warrantied of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Although the Author and its ISP Partners believe the information provided is accurate, neither party claims responsibility for any damage or loss of data to a user’s computer caused by utilizing this information. The Author and its ISP Partners will not be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, indirect, or similar damages due to loss of data or any other reason when utilizing information/tutorials from Website Compass magazine or its websites. In no event shall the Author or ISP Partner be liable for any damages, regardless of the form of the claim. The person using the information contained in Website Compass magazine bears all risk as to the use of the information provided. Cornerstone Group is not responsible for the quality, performance, or reliability of third-party tools or software. 2 10 16 13 FEATURE STORY 2 Let’s Get Growing! Use trusted practices and new trends to cultivate your best garden INTERNET CONNECTIONS 8 What Impacts Your Home’s Internet Speed? You may be surprised how many factors could be at play SOCIAL MEDIA BASICS 10 The ABCs of DMs Learn the “how,”“when,” and “why” of direct messages BACK TO BASICS 13 15 Tips for Shooting Better Videos There’s lots to think about before you press RECORD BEYOND THE BASICS 16 Romance Scams Steal More Than Hearts Don’t get tricked by a fake love interest who only wants your money FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 18 Ask Dr. Webbie Answers to your internet questions A TO Z 19 Internet Glossary Words and definitions Tutorials in This Issue 12 How to Send a DM on Instagram 12 How to Send a DM on Twitter 12 How to Send a DM on Facebook
LET’S GET GROWING! Use trusted practices and new trends to cultivate your best garden 2 WebsiteCompass Feature Story Many people have taken up this rewarding hobby over the years, but each garden is unique. In the next few pages, we offer information to help you make yours the best it can be and get the most from your resources, region, and skills. Beginners will find how-tos and guides to get started, and experienced gardeners will appreciate the new advice and trends. We gathered a list of helpful apps to bring into the garden with you, along with your shovels, gloves, and seeds. You’ll also learn common gardening mistakes to avoid, how to start your garden indoors before planting season, and why it’s super important to know where utility lines are buried before you start digging. We hope this information will help you take the next step in your gardening journey, even if it’s through the mud! So, roll up your sleeves, grab your watering can, and dig through this content to pick up terrific tips for this year’s garden. Whether you have a single container with a tomato plant on your balcony or an elaborate flower collection in your backyard, you’re likely getting the many benefits of gardening, which include relaxation, enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment, and connection with the earth. QUICK TIP: Consider joining a local gardening group to trade tips specific to your region.
WebsiteCompass 3 If you’re new to gardening, the amount of information about it online may seem overwhelming. To help, we’ve harvested a collection of sites that offer critical basics like what you need to start a garden, how to compost, and how to grow specific plants. Read on to grow your gardening savvy. You Won’t Be a Beginner for Long with These Gardening Guides Gardening Know How gardeningknowhow.com This comprehensive site offers information about both edible and ornamental gardens, including sections on topics like plant diseases, fruit tree care, and even how to grow in the snow. You’ll also find a tool for posing your gardening question to a pro. Almanac almanac.com The annual Farmer’s Almanac is still published in book form and is packed with weather predictions, tips, recipes, and, of course, gardening advice. The online version is just as helpful, with sections related to weather, gardening, calendar, and food. BBC Gardening Guides – Basics bbc.co.uk/gardening/ basics/techniques The UK is known for its beautiful gardens and the country’s leading public service broadcaster has published an extensive gardening guide. Step-by-step instructions will have you performing basic gardening tasks like sowing, pruning, and cutting in no time. National Gardening Association garden.org/getstarted The mission of the National Gardening Association is to promote gardening. Its website includes “A Primer for Getting Started,” which is perfect for beginners with information on when to plant, where to buy seeds, and how to teach kids about gardening. Sunset Garden Basics sunset.com/home-garden/ garden-basics Sunset magazine has long been a resource for gardeners in the U.S. West. Its Garden Basics section offers dozens of guides for planting, design, and smart gardening hacks. You’ll learn about herb garden basics, plants to grow between seasons, and the best gardening gear. You’ll Want to Avoid These Common Gardening Mistakes Whether you’re growing beautiful flowers or bountiful veggies, you can keep your plants healthy by avoiding these common mistakes: • Poor watering technique. Avoid watering at the hottest time of day. Instead, do so first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Be sure to water the soil, not just the plants. • Ineffective weeding. If you just pull the leaves of a weed, it will grow back. Instead, remove the entire plant, including the root. • Planting in the wrong place. Some plants thrive on lots of sunlight while others do much better in shade. Research your plant before you choose a location for it. • Placing plants too close together. Plants don’t like to be crowded. Follow spacing instructions for each plant type, or thin out groupings as they start to grow. • Planting at the wrong time. Most plants have a specific time of the year that they grow best. Research your plant to find out their ideal growing season. The gardeners at your local nursery can help you avoid some mistakes by directing you to the right plants for your location and climate.
4 WebsiteCompass Feature Story From Farm to Table in Your Own Backyard Eating produce you grow yourself brings a whole new level of enjoyment to meals due to the pride of accomplishment, freshness, and convenience of shopping in your own backyard. Look around these sites and get a taste of what’s possible in vegetable gardening. Better Homes & Gardens bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/ vegetables/planning-your-first- vegetable-garden This detailed article presents essential steps for starting your first garden. The practical tips include starting small, growing what you like to eat, and planning your garden in advance. Don’t forget to check out the helpful video about the best places online to buy seeds. Skippy’s Vegetable Garden skippysgarden.com This online journal tracks many activities and helpful hints from gardener Kathy Martin and her helper/dog, Skippy. Especially useful are the garden diagrams, planting schedules, and variety lists. You’ll also find links to download Skippy’s vegetable planting calendar app. Herb Expert herbexpert.co.uk This site is mostly about herbs—how to cook with, grow, and harvest them. But it also includes a helpful section about vegetables, especially specific kinds like nightshades, legumes, and root veggies. After you explore the site, take the vegetable expert quiz to see how much you’ve learned. The Spruce – Gardening Basics thespruce.com/ gardening-basics-4127766 In this website section, you’ll find articles on growing your own veggies in helpful categories like garden tasks and gardening by region. Topics include fertilizer, soil, seed storage, and how to start a garden from scratch. Harvest to Table harvesttotable.com This site is literally an A to Z of how to grow specific vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Click in one of those sections and you’ll find a listing of many you probably have on your list and others you’ve never heard of. Also check out the sections on harvesting and cooking. Start Your Garden Early in the Year While it’s easy to go to a nursery in the springtime and buy all the vegetables you want to plant in your garden, it can be more rewarding to grow those plants from seed. Here are the steps to take: 1. Gather seedling trays, soil mix, grow lights, spray bottle, labels, and seeds. 2. Plant the seeds in the soil in the seedling trays. It’s important to plant at the right time, so check the seed package or ask a nursery gardener when to plant each variety. Insert labels so you know what’s growing where. 3. Place the trays under your lights, or near a sunny window. 4. Spray the trays just enough to keep the soil moist. When the plants start to grow, use a watering can. 5. In the spring, gently remove them and plant them in your outdoor garden.
WebsiteCompass 5 Do You KnowYour Planting Zone? Many plants grow best in certain climates, and the USDA has developed the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map that shows the various planting zones throughout the U.S. Descriptions of plants and seeds often reference planting zones, so when you’re researching anything having to do with gardening, it’s important to know which planting zone is yours. When a plant is referred to as hardy to a particular zone, it means it can survive in the lowest winter temperatures of that zone. Note that the zones don’t fit into neat categories such as states. They’re smaller, more specific regions with unique climate conditions. To discover which zone you’re in, visit planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/pages/view-maps. There you can find and download state, regional, and national Plant Hardiness Zone Maps at various resolutions. You can also enter your address and use the color-coded legend to identify your zone. Sustainable gardening is gaining momentum as people realize their gardens can have a positive impact on the environment. For example, certain techniques invite and protect wildlife on your property. Sustainable gardening can also save you both time and money. Sustainable Gardens Contribute to the Health of the Planet Mother Earth News motherearthnews.com/ organic-gardening In addition to its magazine, Mother Earth News also offers a natural living website with many resources for helping people live in healthy, sustainable ways. Its Organic Gardening section provides dozens of articles about things like gardening techniques, tools, and pest control. Treehugger treehugger.com/garden-4846054 Treehugger is a sustainability site that offers advice for green living. Its Garden section provides eco-friendly methods for planting and maintaining your garden, including composting, natural pest and weed control, and the sustainable practice of growing food at home. HGTV hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/ planting-and-maintenance/10-waysto-green-your-garden-for-earth-day One of the preeminent gardening resources, HGTV, has put together this article on ways to green your garden. Ideas range from planting trees to using organic seeds to using smart watering strategies to reducing your reliance on chemicals. Homes & Gardens homesandgardens.com/gardens/create-an-eco-friendly-garden-220348 In this article, Homes & Gardens offers 18 ways to create an eco-friendly garden. By doing things like choosing native plants, using natural pest control, collecting rainwater, and planting more trees, you’ll make your yard even greener. Joe Gardener joegardener.com PBS fans might recognize Joe Lamp’l from the show Growing a Greener World. His gardening resources include videos, podcasts, and articles and his website is helpfully divided into sections about how to prepare, plant, grow, and care. QUICK TIP: For information about a specific plant, try the search tool at davesgarden.com/guides/pf.
6 WebsiteCompass Feature Story Update Your View of Gardening with These Current Trends Many gardening practices are tried and true, while others are just starting to take off. The following sites describe the latest trends and will give you plenty of ideas for creating unique garden spaces inside and out. LivingWalls realhomes.com/us/advice/ how-to-create-a-living-wall Living walls are vertical surfaces with plants growing on them. They’re perfect for bringing some greenery into limited outdoor spaces and can also be used to create more privacy or soundproofing. This detailed Real Homes article explains what living walls are, how they work, and how to build one. Outdoor Rooms thisoldhouse.com/yards/21018978/ 39-budget-wise-ways-to-create-outdoor-rooms The definition of an outdoor room is pretty broad. Generally, it’s a defined space with no walls and/or roof. A balcony, patio, or other designated area can all be considered outdoor rooms. This guide from This Old House will help you select the perfect details for your new outdoor hangout. Balcony Gardens housebeautiful.com/uk/garden/designs/how-to/a781/balcony-garden-guide No backyard? No problem! You can create a garden even in the smallest of outdoor spaces like a balcony. This House Beautiful guide offers tips for planning, choosing plants, picking planters, and setting up your space. Pollinator Gardens fws.gov/midwest/news/PollinatorGarden.html Pollinators like bees and butterflies are essential for healthy habitats. You can encourage their activity by growing plants they like. This page from the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service offers great tips for choosing your location and plants, as well as prepping, planting, and growing your garden. Rewilding mossy.earth/rewilding-knowledge/rewild-your-garden Rewilding is the practice of returning land to its natural, uncultivated state to provide benefits for local plants, plus birds, insects, and other animals. The Mossy Earth organization has put together this helpful guide, complete with a glossary of terms, to help you understand why and how to rewild. How to Grow a Bouquet-Worthy Flower Garden When you have your own cutting garden, you can create beautiful floral arrangements for your home whenever you want, without the expense of buying flowers from the store. Plus, you’ll know the flowers are fresh and will last longer in a vase. Here are a few pointers to grow the flower garden of your dreams: • Plant flowers that work well for cutting, including cosmos, dahlias, and zinnias. • Choose varieties that coordinate well together in terms of color, size, and shape. • Select flowers that are resistant to drought and weeds and that produce blooms for several months. • Check your growing zone to find out which flowers grow best in your region. • For many flower types, the more you cut, the more they produce. • Dead head your flowers—that is, regularly cut off any dead or dying blooms. Don’t limit yourself to flowers when gathering stems for a floral arrangement. Also include using branches from bushes in your yard as well as herbs such as sage, oregano, mint, and lavender.
WebsiteCompass 7 Bring your guides out to the garden with you by downloading the apps on this list. They make it easier to identify, grow, and care for plants, as well enable you to ask real live experts for advice. These Apps are Handy Gardening Tools From Seed to Spoon seedtospoon.net This comprehensive app includes detailed growing guides for more than 100 specific plants, step-by-step instructions for veggie gardening, customized planting dates based on your location, and help with critters that might try to destroy all your hard work. Smart Plant Home smartplanthome.com/app-1 Wouldn’t it be great if your plants could tell you what they need? Now they can. With this app, you can set up a digital garden and get notifications when your plants need water or other care. The app also recommends other plants you might like. Garden Plan Pro (iOS only) gardenplanpro.com Planning is a big part of gardening, and this app helps you do it with flexible drawing tools and an extensive database of plants and varieties. You can easily design the perfect garden layout, rearrange plants, and track your progress. Plant advice is based on your location. Moon and Garden moonandgarden.com This unique app uses information about the phases of the moon to help you know what to do in your garden each day. It includes a calendar, photo gallery to store snaps of your garden, and alarms to remind you to perform gardening tasks. Garden Answers gardenanswers.com A useful tool for any gardener, this app helps you identify plants, diagnose diseases, get expert advice, and keep all your answers in one handy place. The simple interface makes it easy to snap a photo and ask your questions, and you’ll get detailed information in return. Don’t Forget to Call Before You Dig Gardening is delightful, but there are things that can interfere with your enjoyment—like too much or too little rain, a hailstorm right after you plant, or hungry animals that eat your produce. Another potential problem is hitting a buried line as you dig, which can interfere with both your garden and your utility service. To prevent this situation, always call 811 before you dig to request that utility representatives mark with paint or flags the location of buried utility lines. That way, you can avoid these areas when you begin any outdoor project that involves digging, from planting a garden to building a patio. You can also visit call811.com/811-In-Your-State for more information. For best results, plan ahead and call a few business days before you want to dig. QUICKTIP: Want to garden with others? Explore community gardening at communitygarden.org.
8 WebsiteCompass Internet Connections However, the internet speed you experience while using different devices inside your home is subject to more fluctuation, depending on factors including these: Wired vs. Wireless A hardwired connection will almost always be faster than a Wi-Fi connection from the same router. That’s why you should consider connecting as many of your devices as possible—such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, smart speakers, and other devices that stay in one place —using an Ethernet cable rather than your Wi-Fi network. Number of Users and Devices All the devices in your home share your internet connection, so many devices running simultaneously can negatively impact your internet speed. Imagine your total bandwidth is a pie, and every device connected to the internet takes a piece of that pie. The fewer the devices, the bigger each piece of pie, meaning the faster the speed. But the more devices you add to your home’s connection, the less speed each one of those devices will display. Keep in mind that some online activities use a lot of bandwidth including streaming, video chats, and online games. It’s not unusual for your speeds to come down at night when everyone at home finishes dinner and starts enjoying these activities on different devices. Slow or Outdated Devices A speed problem might not be with your What Impacts Your Home’s Internet Speed? You may be surprised how many factors could be at play The first thing you think of when it comes to your home’s internet speed is probably what you signed up for with your internet provider, such as 100 Mbps. This network speed represents the speed that comes into your router from outside, and it typically stays consistent within a given range.
WebsiteCompass 9 internet connection—it might be with one or more of the devices you use. Your computer, tablet, phone, or gaming console could be outdated and not capable of processing today’s internet speeds. Each device has its own speed limit, which in some cases may not be as fast as your internet service. The newer the device, the more likely it is to have a faster processor, as well as additional wireless antennas that allow it to send and receive data over Wi-Fi much faster. Older devices can even slow down the speed you get on another device. How? All the information traffic from your entire home network has to wait in line to pass through your router, and older devices with slower connections can cause delays for any traffic lined up behind them. Age and Location of Router Like your devices, older routers can slow down your internet connection. If your router is more than three or four years old, it’s probably time to think about replacing it. The location of your router in your home can also impact speed. When you’re using Wi-Fi, you’ll get the strongest signal by being closest to your router. Place your router in a central location as high up as possible. Avoid putting it near appliances that send wireless signals such as microwave ovens, cordless telephones, baby monitors, and home automation equipment, since they transmit in a frequency range that’s most likely to generate Wi-Fi interference. Wi-Fi extenders can improve signal strength if your setup is less than optimal. Viruses and Malware Computer viruses and malware can also slow down your internet by connecting to your network without your knowledge, lurking in the background, and hogging your bandwidth. To guard against this happening, always run internet security software and never open email links or attachments from an unknown source. Data Cap Some internet providers have data caps, and if you go above a certain threshold of data use, they may slow your speeds down to a crawl. You may even be subject to extra fees. If a data cap applies to your internet plan, regularly monitor how much data you’ve used by checking your online account or using your provider’s app. Check withYour Internet Provider for More Assistance If you make changes based on the factors described here and still experience internet speeds that are slower than you want or expect, the next step is to contact your internet provider. Your situation may call for upgrading the speed of your internet plan, especially if the number of connected devices being used in your home has increased significantly since you signed up. Ask what speed options are available to you, since they often vary by location, and get guidance on which plan may best fit your needs. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much additional internet speed you can get for only a few dollars more per week. Should you suspect that your internet speed issues are related to your Wi-Fi equipment, bring this up with your internet provider. They may be able to lease you a new router with better functionality and provide a managed Wi-Fi service that will handle router placement, maintenance, and troubleshooting for you.
10 WebsiteCompass When to Use DMs DMs are like text messages you send through a social media platform, though with some differences. The primary one is that you might not always know the person you’re DMing well. DMs can be used to jump start conversations, make plans, or begin business deals. Here are some scenarios in which you might want to use a DM: • An old high school friend connects with you on Facebook. You want to tell them how something they said back then inspired you but don’t want to share it with all your Facebook friends. You also don’t know their email address or any other way to reach them, so you send them a DM to share your thoughts. • You’ve reconnected with a former work colleague on Twitter and want to ask them to get a cup of coffee to catch up on both of your professional lives. It’s not appropriate information for a tweet, and you know they spend a lot of time on Twitter, so you send them a DM to make your plans. • For professional networking purposes, you connect with many colleagues on LinkedIn. In an effort to start conversations with people you don’t know well, you send each new connection a DM to say hello and introduce yourself and your expertise. How DMs Work Rather than showing up on a user’s timeline, DMs show up in a separate section. They appear in a format similar to text messages, in which you can see the back-and-forth exchange between yourself and the other person. When you receive a DM, you’ll see a notification icon letting you know it’s there. Each platform has its own rules for who you can DM with. For example, on Twitter, you may only send a DM to someone who is following you. Some platforms The ABCs of DMs Learn the “how,”“when,” and “why” of direct messages Social media is for broadcasting your thoughts, images, and videos to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of followers. But what if you have something to say to just one person? Direct messages, known as DMs, are the solution, and they’re available on all the most popular platforms. Social Media Basics FAST FACT: “Slide into someone’s DMs”means to send them a DM, often for romantic reasons.
WebsiteCompass 11 allow you to send DMs to more than one person at a time. When using DMs, remember that, though they are private between you and another person or people, they can still be copied and shared and may not be entirely secure. Use DMs with discretion and consider another method to communicate if your information is confidential. History of DMs DMs are a form of instant messaging, which started in the late 1990s with platforms like ICQ, AIM, and MSN. In the 2000s, this functionality shifted to mobile phones, making it possible to share messages and photos. Skype and Google Talk came along around this time. In 2006, MySpace launched the first instant messaging function within a social media platform. In 2008, Facebook Messenger, then known as Facebook Chat, was released. In 2013, both Twitter and Instagram rolled out their DM features. In 2014, Facebook Messenger became a separate platform, followed by similar applications such as Whatsapp, WeChat, and Snapchat. DMDos and Don’ts DMs are a private space, so be courteous when approaching anyone you don’t know well. • Do connect for genuine reasons, such as appreciating something they’ve posted on the platform. • Do use DMs for making plans or anything else all your connections don’t need to see. • Do keep DMs short and to the point. • Don’t use DMs to harass others. • Don’t try to sell things or make demands. • Don’t send multiple messages. If someone doesn’t respond, it’s likely they don’t want to engage. In other words, be nice and treat fellow social media users with respect. QUICK TIP: If you can’t DM someone on Twitter, get their attention by using their handle at the beginning of a tweet. Contacting Celebrities Using a DM Social media has leveled the playing field in terms of celebrity accessibility. They’re as likely to respond to mentions or DMs as anyone else. Right? Well, not exactly. Given the number of these messages they receive, it’s not always possible for them (or their assistants) to respond. But there are some ways you can make it more probable that a celebrity will notice your DM: • DM for a reason other than, “I’m a huge fan.” Arouse their curiosity with valuable information or something you can offer them. • Get to the point quickly. Don’t waste valuable DM space with disclaimers like, “I hope I’m not wasting your time.” • It’s okay to DM the celebrity regularly, but don’t go overboard. Remember, celebrities have a lot of demands on their time and attention. You might use these tips, yet still not get a reply. But the thrill of hearing from someone you admire is often worth the effort.
12 WebsiteCompass How to Send DMs on Popular Social Media Platforms Finding the messaging features of social media platforms is easy if you know where to look. The following instructions are for desktop access; phone app processes may differ. TUTORIAL Send a DM on Instagram Sending a DM in Instagram is as easy as texting. TUTORIAL Send a DM on Twitter Clubhouse is pretty straightforward, so you’ll quickly learn how to use it. 1. In the left rail, click the Messages (envelope) icon. 2. At the top of the Messages section, click the Newmessage (envelope with a plus sign) icon. 3. In the Newmessage box, select the names of the people you want to send your message to, then click Next. 4. A new panel appears, showing previous DMs you’ve exchanged with this person or group, if any. At the bottom of the panel, click the Start a newmessage box and start typing your message. 5. Click the Send arrow to the right of the message box. Your message is added to the DM exchange. 6. Alternatively, navigate to a user’s profile page, click the Message (envelope) icon under their name, and follow steps #4 and #5 above. Social Media Basics 1. At the top of the Home page, click the Messages (paper airplane) icon. 2. In the middle of the next screen, click Send Message. 3. In the New Message screen, choose the person or people you want to send a message to. Click Next. 4. The following screen shows your previous messages, if any, with this person or group. At the bottom of the screen, in the Message box, type your message. Click Send. 5. The message you just sent shows up on the screen. TUTORIAL Send a DM on Facebook Facebook has its own messaging component, called Messenger. 1. From anywhere in Facebook, navigate to the profile page of the person you want to message. 2. On the profile page, to the right of the person’s name, click Message. 3. A messaging box comes up that displays your previous messages with the person, if any. 4. At the bottom, type your message in the text box, then press the Send arrow to the right of the text box. 5. You can also access the messaging box from your Home page by clicking the name of a user in the right rail, under Contacts. Social icon Circle Only use blue and/or white. For more details check out our Brand Guidelines.
WebsiteCompass 13 Video is now such a commonplace way to communicate and share stories that it’s worth knowing how to do it well. Whether you want to gain followers on TikTok, post fun moments on Facebook, or simply create cherished memories, the following tips will help you put all your subjects in the best possible light. 15 Tips for Shooting Better Videos There’s lots to think about before you press RECORD 1. Start with a clean slate. It may sound too obvious to mention, but it’s something many people forget. Before you start filming, clean your camera lens using a microfiber cloth. Debris and smudges can interfere with your video quality. 2. Check your settings. Before you start filming, check your video settings. Choose your video resolution, such as 1080 HD or 4K; your frame rate, such as 30 or 60 frames per second (fps); and your shutter speed, such as 1/40 or 1/50. There are many more settings, so check online to determine the best ones for your project. 3. Pick a good background. The right background will help you better tell your story. Use an interesting scene, but one that doesn’t have too many details. As you would with a photo, also think about composition, such as the “rule of thirds” in which you place your subject one-third of the way in from one side or the other. 4. Choose the right orientation. For many videos, you should hold your phone horizontally to get the best quality shots. But remember that some platforms, like TikTok and Snapchat, are more suited to vertical orientation. Before you begin, think about what you plan to use the video for and base the orientation on that information. 5. Avoid shaky camera syndrome. If you can hold your phone steady, great. Most cameras now include gridlines so you can tell when you’re not level. Another method is to use a tripod to stabilize your device. If you’re panning, consider using a gimbal, which is a pivoted support that permits rotation of an object to help smooth out any shakiness. Back to Basics
Back to Basics 14 WebsiteCompass 6. Don’t forget about audio quality. Choose as quiet a location as possible so the camera’s microphone can pick up the sounds you want to include. Hold the camera close enough to your subject to be able to pick up the noise they make. Consider using an attached microphone to improve sound quality. 7. Know when to zoom. Modern cameras, including those on smartphones, include optical zoom, which enables you to zoom in or out without losing video quality. But, unless you’re doing it for dramatic effect, limit your use of zoom to avoid making viewers dizzy. 8. Learn about lighting. Film in a welllit area that shows light on the subject’s face. As with still photography, it’s best to avoid shooting toward a light source. If you’re shooting at night or in a dark location, be sure to have a ring light or something similar or use night mode if it’s available on your camera. 9. Get the right point of view. The right point of view in a video can help tell your story. For example, if you’ve seen videos filmed with GoPro cameras, you know how exciting it can be to see daring physical feats from the adventurer’s point of view. Footage from cameras attached to pets’ collars can also be entertaining to watch. 10. Stay in focus. Many modern cameras focus your videos automatically. But, before you press RECORD, you should check it to make sure your subject is clearly visible. Each device or application has its own method for doing so. With QUICK TIP: Making a video for professional purposes? Plan ahead, create a script, and practice, practice, practice. Why Family Videos are So Important Family photos have always been important for remembering fun times, recalling the past, and illustrating family history. Photos are still important and digital tools have enabled us to capture more of them than ever. These same tools enable us to capture videos just as easily and we should for a variety of reasons: • Video captures interactions between family members. • Video includes more details, such as the surroundings. • Video allows us to hear people’s voices and see gestures and quirks that photos can’t. • Video gives the opportunity to narrate situations and provide context for what’s going on. • The video maker can turn the camera on themselves too. There are many ways to incorporate more video into your family archives. For example, if you send out a holiday card including a family photo each year, consider also (or instead) making an annual family video sharing highlights from the year, including achievements, challenges, and new circumstances. As you would do with photos, share this video on social media, just send to close family and friends, or keep it in a special place to view later on.
WebsiteCompass 15 most modern smartphones, you can simply tap the image of the subject to focus on that element. 11. Try time-lapse. Many smartphones, including iPhones, have time-lapse features to help you create interesting films of things that normally take a long time, and might make for a somewhat boring video. Examples include clouds moving across the sky, or people walking through a square in your vacation destination. 12. Slow down. It can be fun to experiment with the slow motion effect. Use this setting on your camera, if you have it, to create videos of things that include a high level of action, like a sporting event, or a dog shaking off water after swimming in a river. 13. Play with special effects. Part of the fun of today’s video creation is that it doesn’t have to be entirely real. For instance, Snapchat lenses enable you to make yourself or other subjects look different as you record. Afterwards, you can add things like text, stickers, and other fun elements. 14. Do a do-over. Some video moments, like your child’s ballet recital, only come once, and there’s no way to create a new video if the first one doesn’t work out. But others that are more staged can be repeated if needed. Before you end the filming session, review your video and try it again if you’re not happy with the results. 15. Edit with care. Today’s technology allows even amateurs to perform expertlevel video editing. It includes basics like trimming and adding transitions, as well as more advanced functions like splicing two or more videos together and combining sounds. Use these tools to perfect your videos but be careful not to overdo it—a few rough edges keep your videos natural and fun. Improve Videos Even MoreWith the Right Equipment We’ve mentioned a few accessories you might want to consider, including tripods, gimbals, microphones, and ring lights. Other possibilities include the following items: • Creative lens add-ons for effects like fisheye and tilt shift • Filters to enhance colors or modulate exposure • Flash kits and light tents to help you get just the right lighting • Audio recorders to achieve higher sound quality • Storage disks to keep all your creations in a safe place • Laptops and monitors with strong video editing capabilities to support your fine-tuning • Cleaning tools to ensure your equipment is in top condition • Bags to carry all your gear Even a simple selfie stick can help you create special shots with more context than you can get when you hold your phone or camera with your hand. QUICK TIP: When shooting videos of kids, try to focus on one activity theme like “first haircut” or “bath time.”
16 WebsiteCompass Beyond the Basics Dating apps and social media sites have become hot spots for criminals masquerading as Mr. or Mrs. Right to prey on lonely, unsuspecting people looking for love. But instead of finding romance, victims find themselves tricked out of money. Romance Scams Steal More ThanHearts Don’t get tricked by a fake love interest who only wants your money Carefully Crafted Deception Romance scams tend to follow a pattern. First, you receive an invitation to connect with someone while you’re looking at prospective partners on dating apps or scrolling through your social media feeds. You decide to accept the invitation and find yourself communicating frequently with this person. They suggest the conversation be moved off the dating app or social media site to another mode of communication (such as email or texting). A romantic relationship seems to quickly develop. The person gives plausible reasons why the two of you can’t meet in person— they’re working abroad, serving overseas in the military, or suffering from COVID-19. Eventually, requests for money begin. The “relationship” ends when the fake love interest disappears, or you realize you’ve been scammed. A Growing Problem The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the number of romance scams has skyrocketed in recent years, and the record high loss of $547 million in 2021 was more than six times the reported loss in 2017 and a nearly 80 percent increase compared to 2020. This increase is more than any other FTC fraud category. The median individual reported loss in 2021 was $2,400. Reports to the FTC about romance scams increased most strikingly for people ages 18 to 29, where the number of reports increased more than tenfold from 2017 to 2021. However, the reported median loss from romance scams increased with age. Those 70 and older reported individual median losses at $9,000 compared to $750 for the 18 to 29 age group. The real numbers are likely much higher since
WebsiteCompass 17 many people are too embarrassed to report the crime to authorities. Watch Out for Red Flags If the following scenarios look familiar, your “love connection”may be a scammer: • They profess their love too quickly. If they tell you they’re falling in love after just a few conversations, be suspicious. That only happens in Hallmark Christmas movies. • They work faraway. Some of the most common occupations claimed by romance scammers include oil rig workers, military personnel in an undisclosed location, and physicians practicing outside the U.S. • They ask for money for an emergency. Con artists will use sob stories of deaths in the family, injuries, or other hardships to keep their new love interests concerned and involved. Then they’ll ask for money to help them overcome a difficult financial situation. Gift cards and wire transfers are the most frequently reported payment methods. • They want to send you a large sum of money. Some criminals are looking for people to launder money for them that was gained unlawfully. If a romantic interest you’ve only known for a short while wants to send you a pile of money, don’t accept it and break off communications. • Their online profile seems a little too perfect. Their photos will display romantic vistas of them on a beach or atop the Eiffel Tower, they’ll look incredibly attractive, and they’ll have all the same likes and interests as you. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. • They prefer only written communication. Someone who refuses to do video calls —or will sit in low light rooms so it’s nearly impossible to see their face—is shady and can’t be trusted. Report Romance Scams If you believe you’ve been the victim of a romance scam, report the activity to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov or to the FTC at reportfraud.ftc. gov/#/. You should also contact your bank or credit card company if you discover fraudulent or suspicious transactions and notify the dating app or social media site where the contact began. Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to These Scams The best defense against romance scams is education and awareness. Follow these tips to avoid being fooled by a phony love interest: • Take it slowly and ask the other person lots of questions. A scammer may try to move things along quickly. • Trust your gut. If something feels off, it very well could be. Talk about the new relationship with trusted friends or family members and pay attention if they’re concerned. • Never send money, gift cards, or wire transfers to someone you haven’t met in person or give them your banking or credit card information. If you’re asked for money from someone you’ve only met online, the chances it’s fraud are extremely high. • Do a reverse image search of the person’ profile picture using Google’s “search by image” tool to see if it’s associated with another name or with details that don’t match up. Those are signs of a scam. • Cut off contact immediately if you suspect a romance scam. Take care to protect your heart and your wallet!
18 WebsiteCompass FAQs Dr. Webbie Answers your frequently asked questions QUESTION: What exactly does metaverse mean? I keep hearing the term these days. ANSWER: The metaverse has been a hot topic of conversation recently, especially after Facebook changed its name to Meta. So it’s time we all understand what metaverse means. For decades, technologists have dreamed of an era when our virtual lives would be as important as our physical realities. Author Neal Stephenson is credited with coining the term “metaverse” in his 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, in which he envisioned lifelike avatars who met in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality environments. Since then, steps have been taken toward creating a real metaverse—an online virtual world for users that incorporates augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D holographic avatars, video, and other means of communication. In the metaverse, we could play games, go shopping for outfits and objects for our digital avatars, hang out with friends at a virtual coffee shop, work with colleagues at a virtual conference, take a virtual trip around the world, and much more. Inklings of the metaverse exist today in online game universes such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox, and some work socialization tools have implemented metaverse elements into their ecosystems. In addition, cryptocurrency projects like Decentraland and The Sandbox already have their digital world up and running. Despite these developments, the metaverse concept is still relatively new and most of its functionalities remain under development. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, estimates it could take five to 10 years before the key features of the metaverse become mainstream. QUESTION: In texts and chats, do “okay,” “OK,” “k,” and “kk” send different messages? ANSWER: Yes, the various forms of the word “okay” can connote different things, especially if you use them when messaging Millennials and Gen Zers. To avoid communication misinterpretations that might lead to bad feelings, make sure you understand the message you’re sending with each one: “okay” Using the full word is the most professional way to inform others that we’ve received their message, and it’s also safe to casually use in text messages. Some people feel, however, that typing out all four letters is a waste of time. “OK” or “ok” These formats can generate a variety of responses. There are those who feel “OK” is aggressive but acceptable and view “ok” as a bit offputting. You may want to use “OK!” or “Ok!” and let the exclamation point convey enthusiasm (and make it clear you’re not angry). “k” The consensus is to not use “k” since it’s often interpreted to mean that you don’t care what the other person said. This is especially true if you receive a long, emotionally charged message and respond with the single letter “k.”That can feel like a dig to the recipient. “kk” This form of “okay” is generally seen as the one to use to avoid any suggestion of sarcasm or doubt. When you say “kk,” it simply means “gotcha,”“message received,” and “we’re good.” Plus, it’s fast to type.