How to Add Your Local TV Listings to myEarthLink

myEarthLink with TV listingsWhat’s on TV? Just check myEarthLink.

Yes, most paid TV services, whether cable or satellite, have channel guides built in. But there are a lot of times that it’s helpful and convenient to see what’s coming up without turning on the TV (especially if you want to plan your night’s viewing before you leave work).

So many EarthLink Internet access customers like to add local TV listings to their myEarthLink Start Page. It’s a very simple one-time setup. Here’s all you need to do to get more out of your TV viewing:

  1. Go to your Start Page at http://my.earthlink.net/ and sign in if you aren’t already signed in.
  2. Scroll down to the TV Listings section (since pages are custom, it can be in many different places). If you don’t see TV Listings at all, you may need to add it (look for the Add a Feature section, click TV Listings and then the Add button).
  3. Click Go to your local TV listings.
  4. Enter your zip code.
  5. Click on your TV provider type: Cable, Satellite or Antenna (FiOS, U-verse and other fiber-based TV providers are listed under Cable).
  6. Click on your television provider.
  7. You should now see current local listings provided by TotalTV.
  8. Click the categories shown under the blue bar to show All listings or only Movies, Sports, Family programming or News.
  9. Use the drop-down menus on the right to select a different time of day (you’ll see two hours of programming displayed starting at the time you select) or a different day.
  10. Click on any of the listings to get more information about the show: an overview, cast and photos.

That’s all you need to do to set up your local TV listings. Next time you’re on your Start Page, simply click the local TV listings link to see what’s on. Happy viewing!

Add Your Favorite Movie Theaters to myEarthLink

If you’re an EarthLink Internet access customer, you may already know what a good choice myEarthLink.net is a to start all your surfing: because it has a great mix of relevant content that can be personalized based on your location and your interests.

We’ve written in that past about how to personalize your myEarthLink page in general, moving features up or down, deleting or adding features, and more.

We’ve also looked more closely at how to check your email on myEarthLink.

myEarthLink-my-favorite-theaters-moviesToday we’ll focus on movies and show you how easy it is to add your favorite movie theaters, so you can keep up on all those summer blockbusters heading your way. It will not only give you easy access to movie showtimes at your favorite local theaters, but also let you see trailers, get movie information, and in many cases buy tickets.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to your Start Page at http://my.earthlink.net and sign in if you aren’t already signed in.
  2. Scroll down to the My Favorite Theaters section (since pages are custom, it can be in many different places). If you don’t see this feature at all, you may need to add it to your page (look for the Add a Feature section, click My Favorite Theaters and then the Add button).
  3. Click the edit link on the My Favorite Theaters feature bar.
  4. Enter your zip code or a city and state.
  5. Click the Go button.
  6. You’ll see a list of the theaters closest to the location you entered. Click on your favorite theaters and click the Add button. You can add up to 5 favorites. (Factors you may want to consider if you have lots of choices: how close the theater is, how easy it is to park, whether there’s public transportation, how many screens, and how comfortable the theater is.)
  7. Use the arrow buttons to move your choices into your preferred order.
  8. Click Save Changes when you are done. (You can always go back and delete a choice, change the order or add a new favorite.)
  9. Now on your Start Page you should see the theaters you chose listed under My Favorite Theaters. If the times aren’t displayed, simply click the display showtimes link. If times are displayed and you want to save space on your page until you’re in movie mode, click hide showtimes.
  10. Click on any movie link to get more information about the film, such as Rating, Running Time, Stars, Director, reviews, and more.
  11. Click on any Play Trailer button to watch the official movie preview (you can watch with Windows Media player or Quicktime).
  12. Click on specific showtimes to buy tickets online (online ticketing is not available for all theaters).

We hope you enjoy some good movies this summer!

Tax Day: How to Get Ready, Pay Less

There are exactly 25 days until Tax Day. (Don’t shoot the messenger.)

Of course, if you aren’t reading this on March 21, you’ll have to go to the handy Days Until website to see exactly how long you have to procrastinate before you have an IRS issue.

Today we’re going to focus on you non-procrastinators (and moderate procrastinators) who might like some help preparing for April 15 and making the process as painless as possible.

myEarthLink Finance and Tax CenterOur advice is simple: head over to your myEarthLink Start Page™, click on the Finance   link under Channels, and then click on Taxes in the green bar.

Or, even simpler, click the following link to go directly to the EarthLink Tax Center.

A good place to start is the Tax Basics link in the middle of the page. It will take you to a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to understanding your overall tax situation (your filing status, what forms to use, your rates, etc), preparing for your taxes (understanding deductions, tax credits, and how life events can change your tax situation), and all the little details you should pay attention to so you don’t end up owning more than you should.

The Tax Guide link takes you to Bankrate.com’s excellent Tax Center. There you can check out your state tax rate, get tax forms, and learn some valuable tax lessons, like What the IRS doesn’t want you to know.

The Tax Calculators link offers 11 interactive tools to help you with your taxes. Some will be helpful this year (e.g., 1040 tax calculator) and others will help you plan better to maximize next year’s return (payroll deductions calculator).

And make sure you look through the Helpful Hints section at the bottom of the page for tips like What to do if you don’t get your W-2 or a Tax valuation guide for donated goods.

The Tax Headlines section at the top will be changing frequently. So browse through to see what might be helpful to you.

And good luck on April 15!

Google Reader RIP, MyEarthLink MVP?

Google Reader shutting down.Google Reader is shutting down on July 1.

That’s what I found out (via a pop-up) yesterday when I went to visit Google Reader to research Internet news storied for this blog post.

Because it has been my go-to site for Internet news stories, Google Reader was one of the tabs I set up to automatically open when I start my web browser (the myEarthLink Start Page® and EarthLink Web Mail open in two other tabs).

So it will be missed. But, as we reported last July, Google has been steadily shutting down services for some time now.

What should you do if you’re a Google Reader … reader? We’ll, if you are an EarthLink Internet access subscriber, myEarthLink is a good place to start.

You can very easily customize the page to get local news, business news, technology news, sports, health, political – up to 12 news categories in all. Just make sure you are signed in (with your full EarthLink email address and password), and click the Edit links next to the Local and News Headline sections.

You’ll also have easy access to lots of other customizable content (weather, TV & movie listings, stock quotes, sports scores, etc.) while you’re checking your news. So it’s definitely worth a try. It could turn out to be your MVP (most valuable product).

But as convenient as it is, myEarthLink is not a full RSS reader like Google Reader, so it isn’t a direct replacement if that’s what you are looking for.

There’s buzz today that Digg is working on a replacement for Google Reader. But there are plenty of other ways to do RSS right now.

Feedly is a popular one. It’s available as a browser add-on (for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari) as well as an app for both Android and iOS. They’ve been kind smart enough to provide these Tips for Google Reader users migrating to feedly.

NewsBlur is another that has earned high praise, but it appears the rush of traffic is making their website unavailable today (they must not use EarthLink Business Cloud Hosting), so I won’t link you there now.

Mashable.com has a slide-show with other Google Reader Alternatives.

I have personally enjoyed using Google Currents on all my mobile devices (Android and iOS).

Let us know what your favorite Google Reader alternative is by leaving a comment below.