Thursday, April 29, 2010

Technology Lesson: Facebook Anatomy

Facebook can seem overwhelming if you're a new user. It uses a lot of its own jargon, and even the standard activities may not make sense if you're not a seasoned social networker. I'm outlined some simple and common activities below to help new, or simply inexperienced, Facebookers below.

This is when you respond to someone or something in the public area of Facebook. This would include status updates from friends and groups, discussions in groups, photos, videos, and links posted by friends, and the walls of friends and groups.

This is a thumbs up sign located beneath content (status updates, photos, albums, links, video, etc.) If you click LIKE, your name will be added under the content. ("YOUR NAME likes this." or "5 people like this." Your name will be listed with those four other people.) There is no dislike button, so make sure you don't click any thumbs unless you really, really, really like something.

Think of the message center as your Facebook-only inbox. Messages are sent person-to-person, person-to-group, group-to-person, group-to-members, and person-to-people. These messages can only be viewed by the sender and recipient. You can not visit a person's page and see his or her messages.

News Feed
This is the area you see when you log in. It displays status updates and activity (joining groups, commenting other friends—mutual and not mutual—posting photos, etc.) in the center column. You can post your status or share information above, and you can comment and engage in discussions here too.

Status Update

This is a person's...activity. ("FRIEND is going to the gym." "FRIEND loves the weather!") The area to update your friends on your inner thoughts is at the top of the news feed and the top of your profile page. Make sure you don't fill this in with a comment to someone else by accident. That would be a major faux pas. (See also: Updating your Facebook status)

This is the main feature of a person's page. It shows activity (adding friends, sharing content, etc.) and status updates. You can comment on a person's activity or leave a public message here. What people see from you will depend on the person's privacy settings.

Additional Resources:
Facebook lessons

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