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BccthisWhen you think about the privacy quandary, it is so common that we almost overlook it. In the new web, everything is open to everyone.

To save time we send group or mass emails more frequently than single ones. Most of our tweets are public, broadcast to our legion of followers.

The flip side is that we are also on the receiving end of public tweets and multiple recipient emails.

What if I want to send a personalized email or a private tweet to a contact? The only obvious recourse to send private messages on Twitter seems to be to compose a separate email or send a direct tweet again. The less obvious solution would be to search for an alternative method which would save us all this bother. The software development community has taken it upon themselves to make us do less.


The alternative solution presents itself as an Outlook plug-in and a Firefox add-on for Twitter.

[NO LONGER WORKS] Bccthis is a free application which lets you add a personalized message (or a Tweet) to selected recipients. Think of a Bccthis enabled message as passing a private chit to someone even while chatting to a group. Or you can even think of it as a message within a message. The best thing is that the recipient does not need to have Bccthis installed either for emails or for Tweets.

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The official line from the developers is this – Bccthis extends the capabilities of Outlook and Twitter by creating a richer, more contextual messaging experience.

So, let’s carry out a few conversations on the side with”¦

Bccthis For Outlook

Bccthis for Outlook is a free plug-in that installs in Outlook and gives you another way to compose your group emails. Bccthis for Outlook is a 1.45MB sized download. The installation prompts you to install an additional (free) Microsoft component if it is not there.

private messages on twitter

The Bccthis plug-in options can be accessed from the Outlook toolbar. You can choose to enable or disable this plug-in.

On a new compose window, the Bccthis task pane appears as below.

private messages on twitter

The working of Bccthis for Outlook is well explained by an instructional YouTube video.

Just for the sake of explanation, here are the simple steps –

Compose your mail as you would normally do. The Bccthis for Outlook is a full featured mail editor as well. You can write your personalized message and customize it with the formatting tools. After adding the addresses in the main email, click on the Select Bccthis Recipients box to add the contacts who will receive your private message.

private messages on twitter

Available recipients are listed automatically from the To, CC and Bcc fields of your original email.

That’s it! Send the mail as you normally do. The contacts who were not selected for the private message receive a normal email. While the selected recipient’s email looks something like this (the message in the squared box is the Bccthis private message) ““

private messages twitter

Bccthis enabled emails are also protected from an accidental Reply-all as any forward is prompted with a private message alert.

If you think that the Bccthis task pane is intrusive, you can customize a few settings from Bccthis Options. Also, the task pane can be resized or closed by clicking the little pointer on the task pane.

private messages twitter

[NO LONGER WORKS] Bccthis for Outlook is supported on Windows XP/Vista and 7.

Bccthis For Twitter

Bccthis for Twitter is a full featured Twitter client. You can sign into the online service with your Twitter account or download the Firefox addon. For other browsers like IE, you can drag a bookmarklet to the toolbar.

private messages twitter

Again, the same principle applies to our Twitter habits also. Tweet as you normally do. You can now also add a private Tweet and enter the recipients to whom you want to tweet it across. The recipients receive the private message with a link back to the public tweet. All private messages remain available as a thread so you continue your conversation. Bccthis users can add other recipients to the private conversation.

Bccthis06

A YouTube video demo is provided to bolster your understanding of how Bccthis for Twitter works.

Bccthis fulfills a fundamental need to carry on confidential conversations bang in the middle of a micro-blogging web that’s increasingly social and public.

What do you think of this web application? Do you agree that Bccthis is a simple solution for a simple but real problem?

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