Web Tips: E-Mail a Page, Customize YouTube, Kid-Friendly Videos
It's been a while since I passed along some useful Web tips. Heck ,the last time was back in May, with "Quick Fixes for Internet Annoyances." This week I've got some more ideas for you.
Quickly E-Mail a Web Page
So you just stumbled across a killer blog post, maybe something to do with, oh, I don't know, solving PC hassles. It's so good, you immediately want to share it with friends and family members.
There are plenty of ways to send a Web page. You can copy the URL and paste it into an e-mail. You can look for an embedded "e-mail this" icon and use the site's own mail form. Heck, I've seen some people take a screenshot of page and send that.
Why overcomplicate things? Both Internet Explorer and Firefox have built-in tools for e-mailing whatever page you're viewing.
In Firefox, for example, click File, Send Link. Presto: You get a new e-mail message (in your default mail client) with the page name in the Subject line and the link already pasted into the body. Choose your recipient(s), add a quick note, and click Send. Easy-peasy.
In IE, click Page, Send Link by E-mail to get the exact same result. Don't confuse this with the nearby Send Page by E-mail option, which embeds the entire Web page in the body of your e-mail, not just a link. While that may seem like a convenient way to go--hey, here's the whole thing, no browser required--IE does a terrible job of preserving the formatting of the original page.
Customize Your YouTube Homepage
You probably don't give much thought to what appears on the YouTube homepage every time you visit. You should, however, especially if you have a YouTube account. Let's take a look at some of the settings you can--and possibly should--change.
To get started, head to YouTube and sign into your account (if you're not already signed in). Near the top of the page, click Add/Remove Modules. (If you don't see that option, find your username in the upper-right corner, click it, and then choose Account. Finally, click Customize Homepage.)
As you can see, YouTube offers about dozen "modules" you can add to or remove from your homepage. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but there are few worth discussing.
First, I strongly recommend turning off Recent Activity, which shows your friends and subscriptions just about everything you've done on YouTube lately. I think what I watch or "favorite" on YouTube is my business, thank you. (Imagine my embarrassment if friends learned I like piano-playing cats!)
Second, if you upload a lot of videos and want to know how they're trending, enable Insight Map and Insight Chart. When you return to your homepage, you'll see various statistics and data on how (and where) your videos are being viewed.
Third, after clicking Save Changes and returning to your homepage, click the Edit link atop any module that has one and you'll be able to make changes to how many videos are displayed and in what layout.
Finally, if you want to change the order in which modules appear on your homepage, just click their corresponding up/down arrows. For example, if you want the aforementioned Insight Map to reside at the very top, click its up arrow repeatedly until it lands there.
YouTube offers a lot more homepage customization. Experiment a bit and you'll be able to configure your own page exactly how you like it.
Turn Your PC Into a Kid-Friendly TV
Calling all parents: YouTube is a mighty popular destination for kids, but not all the content there is kid-appropriate.
Send your toddlers and tweens to Kideos instead . The site serves up thousands upon thousands of child-friendly videos, from Animaniacs to Pixar shorts to Sesame Street to Word Girl (a personal favorite).
All you do is click an age group (0-2, 3-4, 5-6, etc.), then choose a "featured video" to watch or click into any of the dozens of available "channels." There's also a search option, natch.
When you click a video, you're presented with a simplistic player--and none of the often-disturbing user comments commonly found on YouTube proper.
My favorite Kideos feature? The free iPhone companion app. When you need a five-minute break from screaming in the car or the kids are getting restless at the restaurant, presto: child-friendly video on the go.
Just one word of warning: Avoid that insidious "Gummy Bear" song at all costs. You'll never get it out of your head!
If you've got a hassle that needs solving, send it my way. I can't promise a response, but I'll definitely read every e-mail I get--and do my best to address at least some of them in the PCWorld Hassle-Free PC blog . My 411: firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week .