Sunday, October 2, 2011

Be My Guest: Marian Allen - Part 2

Yesterday Marian Allen discussed the new List feature on Facebook. Today she looks at the changes to the rest of the News Feed.

The Middle Bit

If you keep your News Feed open, the Top Stories will disappear as they're replaced with new stories. Hover over the upper right corner of a Top Story and click the little arrow that appears to mark or unmark the story as a Top Story, hide it, report it, and manage your subscription to that person’s stories.

If you get an item in your News Feed that you want to know more about the next time it is discussed (Facebook changes, for example), mark it as a Top Story. Going forward, anything on that topic will be prioritized as a Top Story for you.

The coolest thing about the Middle Bit of any of your Facebook pages? Click on Update Status (“What’s on your mind?” (or sometimes called “Write something”)) at the top of any page. Type in “Super secret birthday party”. Down next to the POST button, there's a button with an arrow next to it, indicating who can see the post. Click on that arrow. Click Custom. Now you can choose a list with whom to share it and hide it from the birthday individual!

The Infamous Ticker Bar

Are you used to it yet? I LOVE it! If it bugs you, one thing you can do is go down to the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and click on the Chat bar. It'll move the ticker bar over to the extreme right of the page, further from your peripheral vision. This is especially cool, because that Chat bar follows you all over Facebook, so, if you love your Ticker bar, you can always have it. If you DON’T love it, you can click the horizontal bar between the people available on Chat and the Ticker Bar and move it upwards until only the top ticker item shows.

You may have already discovered that hovering over items in your ticker bar allows you to engage with them. If my friend Likes a page, I get that in my ticker bar. I hover over it, and I get a button to Like that page, too. If my friend becomes friends with somebody we both knew in school, I can hover over that item and I can friend request that person right from my own News Feed page. If a friend is listening to a song, I can hover over that item, and, if I have the Spotify app installed on my page, I can listen along. I think that's AWESOME.


To edit what you see in your ticker bar, you need to edit what you see from your friends. This is where editing your Lists and News Feed Subscriptions comes in (see yesterday’s post). You can hide any individual story or all stories from a particular person, page, or app by hovering over a Ticker Bar item, hovering over the upper right corner to access the arrow and clicking on the arrow. Each story behaves in the same way in the Ticker as it does in the center column. You can remove one story, everything from that person, or report that person for spam. Click here for more information.


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

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  1. I'm getting more used to the Ticker Bar. At first it made me dizzy!
    Facebook is still giving me lots
    Ore work to do to get it the way I want. Unfortunately, I have other priorities, like getting manuscript ready and don't want to spend the time tweaking FB.
    Morgan Mandel

  2. I hear you, Morgan! Fortunately, the biggest thing is the ticker bar, and I find that the one little click that takes it to the edge of my screen really helps clear the way for business. I can move it back or scan it whenever I have the time and interest.

    Thanks for commenting. :)

  3. I have to say I didn't notice the ticker bar for a long time, because I don't use the News Feed page. Instead I had begun separating my friends into groups years ago and FB kindly moved my groups into Lists. Now I tend to keep my FB open on one of those Lists with all of the people I really want to have constant updates from. Works really well for me.


  4. Marian, thanks for much for the great posts. I just got back from the MPIBA Fall Conference and will dig into (and try to assimilate) tomorrow. Be sure to share with BBT Cafe because I think those pals would find your posts very useful. :)

  5. hearwritenow, you and I are ahead of the game! My problem is, I have so many people in the Writers/editors/publishers list, I have to sort that one into smaller bits.

    Dani, I haven't put anything about these posts on BBT because it isn't Wednesday. What do you take me for, a troublemaker? ;)

    joomla templates, I call "spammer" on you, but I appreciate the positive comment, anyway. :D

  6. Marian, thanks so much for the tips on using the new Facebook. Technology and I do not associate with ease, so I need all the help I can get.

    It was purely by accident that I found out about hovering over an item in the ticker bar to open a little window so I can message that person. I was just moving my curser and the mouse slipped. This little window opened and I said, "cool." LOL

  7. My ticker bar comes and goes, and as far I'm concerned, it can stay gone. I spend a lot less time on Facebook because of the new changes - that's probably not what they were going for.

  8. Maryann, I'm with you--I think the changes are super cool! :)

    girlseeksplace, no, I'm sure they hoped they wouldn't irritate people and drive them away, although it's had that effect on some. In the end, Facebook are all about the diehard users and the merchants (like writers!) who hope to reach them. The ticker bar puts us in front of eyes much more than before. It behooves us to be selective about what and how much we blast out, especially from our pro pages. Thanks for your feedback!

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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.