Saturday, October 1, 2011

Be My Guest: Marian Allen - Part 1

Please welcome Marian Allen as our guest on the Blood-Red Pencil today.

When I first joined Facebook, it was a confusing mess. Then I got accustomed to it, and I could use it to do what I wanted to do, within the limits of its programming.

Again it changed, and it was a confusing mess. Again I got accustomed to the new way it worked.

Then it changed....

You see where this is going. Facebook, like everything today, is changing more often and more suddenly than I'm completely comfortable with.

It's like playing Mau--adapt to the rules and enjoy the game. The abrupt changes are part of the fun.

If you don't want to be blindsided, you can always subscribe to the Facebook Blog and be that much ahead of the curve.

Here are some of Facebook's changes, as they affect the News Feed, and what I love about them:

Lists

You can organize your "Friends" into lists--Close, Family, I Need A Laugh, Critique Partners, Editors...any way you want. The same person can be in multiple lists. Okay, so your lists are over there in that sidebar. Click on the name of the list and ONLY see the News Feeds from the people on that list. Hover your cursor to the left of a list and click on the wee little pencil that appears to add a list, a page, a group, or an app to your Favorites (the items at the top of the sidebar, easy to see and access).


Your Friends are already sorted into some lists according to similarities in your and their account settings.. If you told Facebook you went to Podunk High and Backwater University and now live in Wherever, anybody on your Friends list who ALSO claims they went to Podunk or Backwater or lives in Wherever will automatically appear in those lists.

You can click on a list so that you're in that list's News Feed and do a status update just to that list. So, if you want to tell your family that you're moving, but you don't want everybody else on Facebook to know it, you can do it. If you have a list of fans, you can do an update JUST to your fans.

If you hover to the left of the words News Feed under Favorites, and click on the pencil and Edit, you get a list of all the people and apps you've hidden from yourself because you don't want to see their updates anymore. If you've changed your mind and WANT to see one, click on the X next to it, and you'll start getting those updates again. In that same Edit window, at the top right, is a line that says Manage Subscriptions.


Click on that, and you get a list of all your Friends. You're automatically Subscribed to all your Friends, but you can unsubscribe to any or all updates. Just hover over the Subscribed button to access your options. I always unsubscribe to Games.

Coming up in tomorrow's post: the Middle Bit and the Ticker.

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Marian Allen writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.


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12 comments :

  1. Too much work to do lists for me now. I've already reached my 5000 friend max. I'll just have to go with the flow.
    Morgan Mandel

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  2. Wow, Morgan! You're mighty popular there!

    Elle

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  3. I hear you on those Games Updates, Marian. I've been blocking those individually for years. I also don't use any apps myself, which makes things much simpler, as well as taking away the temptation to use FB to procrastinate too much.

    Elle

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  4. THis is really helpful. I noticed the changes and they scared me so I just kinda ignored them but they're not to bad. Thank you!

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  5. Morgan, now people who can't get into your Friends can Subscribe to your feed.

    Elle, I was so happy when I found out ways to block the Games notification! lol--My feed was clogged with people getting cows and jewels and hugs. That's what THEY love on Facebook, but it isn't what I love. :)

    Clarissa, I'm with you--New=Scary. How do you like the new Profile page? I REALLY love it! Now I'm hoping they do something nifty with the Fan pages, too. :)

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  6. Thanks for having me as a guest, Dani and all. :)

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  7. Great post. I love the close friends list. I hid the rest because it was annoying, but I like knowing the option is there.

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  8. girlseeksplace, that's why I love the ticker: I can just see the stories of the people I most want to keep up with, but all kinds of random stuff scrolls down the ticker. I'm always finding gems I never would have caught, otherwise. It's great!

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  9. Marian, or anyone else in the know who comes back to this list: desperate to get out of the "games notifications" as well! I don't see any such list as "subscriptions." Help me do this, please!

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  10. This is a helpful post, Marian. You done good.

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  11. Thanks, Bob!

    Kathryn, here are a couple of ways to do it:

    1) Go to your home page. On the left column are (is?) Lists. Click on More to open a ... well ... list of lists. Click on one of them to see updates just from that list. NOW, in the upper right corner, click on a button that says Manage Lists, and click on the drop-down menu item that says Choose Update Types. Untick Games. You will no longer get Games updates from anyone on that list.

    2) Go to your Profile page. Under that big picture at the top is a bit that says Friends. Click on that to open a list of all your friends. Hover over a name and a box comes up with two buttons: Friends and Subscribed. Hover over Subscribed and you can select how many updates you want and can untick Games in particular.

    Hope this makes sense! :)

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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