Facebook For Dummies

If you haven’t already heard, it’s perfectly kosher for folks over 35 to jump on the social networking bandwagon.  

Many of these users are braving new territory, but they aren’t quite sure how to maneuver through this latest internet phenomenon.  How does one  tailor the many features of Facebook to get maximum effectiveness for their specific needs?  Here are a few tips and guidelines to help anyone look like a professional bookie in no time!

Main Page

Some people are uncomfortable with the voyeuristic nature of Facebook, but you have complete control of what you post. After you set up your account the first thing you want to deal with are your account settings, located in the top right hand corner next to your name.

Clicking on the Privacy link lets you determine who can see what. On the privacy page, Profile lets you control who can see your profile and personal information.

Search controls who can search for you, and how you can be contacted.

News Feed and Wall controls what stories about you get published to your wall and to your friends’ News Feeds.

Applications controls what information is available about applications you choose to use on Facebook.

Application Settings

What this means is you can block any or all information from any public access based on your personal settings.  You may want to choose to allow everyone to see your name and/or picture to make it easier for people to search for you.   Privacy can be very guarded until you “confirm”  someone as a friend if this is what you choose.  In each of these sections there are options from just friends to all my networks. Some categories like photos will even allow you to choose only me.

You can even customize the views for each friend by typing in their name for each setting or if there’s someone out there in cyber world like an ex, you can individually block them from ever having any type of access to your Facebook profile.

Privacy Settings

If you have a public persona, you may want to keep your main settings more limited and type in your real friends names to allow them broader access.   

The wall is one of the main features of Facebook. Just under the person’s name you’ll see a box that says write something, which is pretty much “dummy-proof”. You can post link, post photo or even record video. Clicking on these links highlights this information in a specific format to best feature your links, pictures or videos and gives your friends easy access to check them out. It’s especially handy for posting a link to your favorite blog, a breaking news story or the latest YouTube must see. 

Keep in mind everything posted on any wall is public.  You choose the privacy settings for your personal page, but you do not have control over what your friends think is a good idea to put out on the world wide web.

The Wall

If you want it private then go “off the wall”, by choosing send a message. Click on that link under your friend’s picture and it will be sent as an e-mail. 

There are some people who choose not to have a wall. This limits how you can communicate with these friends via FB. However, most bookies discover you can get around by clicking on comment boxes that accompany their posts so you can still make some snide remark about their lame status update.

There are a lot of applications to choose from.  No need to feel overwhelmed.  No need to feel like you have to allow any or all of them, that’s what the ignore or block this application buttons are for. Start out slowly and once you’re ready you can decide if you want to start poking, rate a movie, create a piece of flair, join a group or merely keep an eye on everyone else from afar!  

3/14/09 Facebook introduced a few changes yesterday, which are mainly “cosmetic”.  The main difference in reference to this post is the links for posting a link, photo or video are hidden until you click on the “write something” box on either your main profile page or your home page.  This is the same for posting on your friend’s walls as well, click in the “write something” box on their wall and these specific links appear so you can attach any of these forms of media.  The jury is still out as to whether people like these changes, but when it comes to technology, don’t get too attached because nothing stays the same for long!

3/25/09 Facebook discusses redesign of it’s redesign with VentureBeat.


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