Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Social Media and Me-Facebook

Are you on Facebook?  I joined Facebook with a personal page a couple of years ago because I was curious about what it was all about.    Here's what Facebook says about itself:

  • There are more than 500 million active users, about 70% outside the United States
  • The average user has 130 friends, is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events, and creates 90 pieces of content each month 
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • About 50% of the active users log on to Facebook in any given day.  People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users. 

Wow!  Pretty impressive.

How do you use Facebook?  I use Facebook to stay up to date with a small group of friends and family through my personal page.  It keeps me in the know about birthdays, new babies, weddings and other significant activities.  My "Friend List" is relatively short as compared to the average user's 130 friends.  A quick check of my friends' "Friend Lists" reveals a range of friends from 15-575.  Can a person actually have 575 friends?

I log on to my personal Facebook page daily.  Facebook recently changed what you see when you log in to your page.  "Home" now brings you to a News Feed view of either "Top News" or "Most Recent".  In the picture below you'll see that "Most Recent" is selected.
      You can, and should, switch back and forth between "Top News" and "Most Recent".  There are some things you should be aware of about how the Top News and Most Recent news feeds work.  You might assume that by clicking on either you will receive the most recent updates from all of your friends.  Not true, my friends.

      Facebook uses an algorithm to choose what you see in both "Top News" and "Most Recent".   Oh yes, "Facebook Big Brother" is editing your information.  Are you surprised?  I certainly was when I heard about it.  So to understand what you see and don't see it is important to know something about how the algorithm works.
      • If you are not interacting with someone on your friend list you won't see his/her updates in your News Feeds. This is one way Facebook is helping us to weed out those who are "really" friends from those who are not.   Interactions mean comments.  So if you are not seeing any posts from someone you want to keep up with you should visit his/her profile page and post a comment.  I know some of us like to observe, more than comment, but commenting is important in the Facebook world.  You must comment, friends, to keep the updates coming.

      • Facebook likes links better than updates.  If you are posting links in your updates those updates will be ranked as more important that a mere update about who was at last night's party.

      • If you frequently just visit someone's page without commenting (stalk) it will result in seeing photos of them in the upper right of your screen, but not news feeds or status updates from that person.

      • Being tagged in pictures with others tells the algorithm who your friends are and will drive whose updates you see.

      • Using chat impacts whether or not you see someone is online.  The algorithm will show you those who are deemed to be your "best" friends or those with whom you have chatted online.  Chatting could result in getting both chatters in each other's news feeds.

      • The algorithm also drives the search engine.  Best friends appear first in the search engine results.

      Are you seeing updates from someone you don't want to see?  You can edit your News Feed options.  Go to the very bottom of your Home page and you will see the "Edit Options" link:

       Click on the "Edit Options" link and you will see this box:

      Click the Learn More link found on the left side of the box under "Hide posts from" to learn all you want to know about additional edit options. 

      Interesting stuff, right?  Now let's talk about privacy.  Privacy is something we need to stay on top of with Facebook.  Facebook is all about data mining and as a result they try to keep all the information we post on Facebook as open and public as possible.  Things are always changing on Facebook and sometimes they make changes without telling us.  Should you worry about it?  Well, "worry" is perhaps too strong of a word, but vigilance is prudent.  Periodically you'll want to review your privacy selections to be sure they are what you want them to be.  You can always access your privacy options from the Account drop down in the top right corner of your Facebook page.

      You may have noticed that many businesses, organizations and even blogs, like Just One Donna! are setting up Facebook pages.  These pages are otherwise known as Fan Pages.  I'm still in the process of setting up my Fan page and just last week, Facebook made significant changes to how Fan pages look and work, so how I will be using the page is yet to be determined.  For now I view the Facebook Just One Donna! page as an extension of my blog.   I'd love for you to visit and become a fan.   Unlike my personal Facebook page I'm looking for many, many fans for Just One Donna!

      "How do I become a fan?" you ask.  If you look over at the top of the right column on this blog page you'll see a Facebook "Like" button.

      If you go to the  Just One Donna! Facebook page you'll find the "Like" button right next to the name Just One Donna in the page header.

      Clicking on the "Like" button connects you as a fan to my Just One Donna! Facebook page and you then become part of the Just One Donna! network.  That's what social media is all about.

      Are you one of the 500 million active Facebook users?  Is your personal Friend List short, like mine, or do you have a posse of friends?

      Whether you are a frequent or reluctant Facebook user, remember, comments are important...on Facebook...and here, on Just One Donna!

      Your Facebook friend,

      Read other posts in this Social Media Series:


      1. I've been on facebook for only a few months. I learned a few things from your blog today. Thanks!

      2. I know what you mean, Amy. I'm learning every day.

      3. Your recent technology blogs frighten me....I cannot even figure out how to forward a message from my sister-in-law to friends on my email list. Sad but true, I owe it all to you (are these words from a song????) I need help. Facebook.....never...


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