Back to School with Facebook?

We use the Internet daily for information about anything and everything.  Today parents of school age children are fortunate as school districts have websites  containing a wealth of information including school calendars, homework assignments, teacher’s email addresses, as well as links to textbooks and outside resources, all of which is really good stuff.

Chances are your teen is using Facebook, and like it or not, Facebook is another online resource that is  becoming increasingly more important for students.  Group pages abound as a primary form of communication for sports teams, clubs, and study groups.   Facebook is now so mainstream that it can be a social handicap if a student is not on Facebook.   My daughter gets her scheduling changes, reminders, and information she needs to know about her school team’s activities via the team’s group page on Facebook – without it we’d be lost.   Just the other day she was offered to join a club via a group page invite.

Facebook is being used experimentally in the classroom in Amsterdam, as Timeline is a great tool for organizing history complete with images, audio, and video.  Check out the history of Magellan’s voyage   or  20th century inventions.  Although not in English you can get the idea.   It’s a great way to learn history.

For older students, needing to use Facebook may not be an issue as hopefully they’ve learned the Facebook dos and don’ts.  Parents still need to make sure their young teens and older students practice “safe Facebooking” and know how to handle their Facebook data.

Here is a good example.  My computer savvy high school sophomore was recently tagged in a photo on Facebook.  The only problem was this picture was not my daughter nor was it an appropriate photo for her Timeline.   In another instance, she was tagged in an unflattering photo which also automatically posted to her Timeline.  These situations are easily to avoid – just make sure the automatic Timeline posting setting  is off, meaning you have to approve any posts or photos before they appear on your Timeline.    Navigate to Privacy Settings, and edit your settings for Timeline and Tagging.  “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline” should be on.  This way if you are tagged, the post or photo will not appear on your Timeline, it will land in your Activity Log.

Your Timeline Activity Log will let you approve an item which will cause it to post on your Timeline, or you can dismiss the item, but it won’t remove the tag.  Your name is still associated with the item.   To remove a photo tag,  you need to click on the photo, then click on Options below the photo.  You can then remove the tag, and also request that the photo be removed from Facebook.  You can also compose a personal message that will be sent to the poster asking for removal.

Facebook does offer some safeguards for users under 18.  Their Timelines and posts do not appear in public searches.  Also only their friends, friends of friends, and networks they may belong to can view their posts.   Facebook does offer its own resources at www.facebook.com/help  where you can find links to its Safety Center and also a link to report abuse of the service.  Note that you can view this help feature even without a Facebook account.

My suggestion for parents of teens on Facebook is to learn as much as you can about Facebook, review your child’s Account and Privacy settings with them, and be their friend on Facebook so you can watch out for inappropriate posts.  My daughter may not be too happy that I know so much about Facebook, but we both know she is a bit safer because of it.

Avoiding Friends on Facebook

Ok, yes I know the idea behind Facebook is to find friends and be connected.  So you joined Facebook to connect with relatives and friends, and just when you think you are done you have more friend requests.  Then you friend acquaintances, and before you know it your News Feed is jammed with a lot of stuff you don’t care about.  If that sounds like your News Feed it is time to hide from some of these “friends”.

Now, how do you hide News Feed posts  from someone without their knowledge so you don’t hurt their feelings?

The simplest way to ban someone from your News Feed, and they will never know, is to go to their Profile or Timeline, click on the Friends button (the one with the check mark and next to the Message button), and click on the Show in News Feed option from the dropdown.  Clicking on items in this dropdown will add or remove the check mark.  In this case a check mark indicates updates will show, no check mark means they won’t show.  No muss no fuss!

If that is too drastic and you don’t want to ban all posts from this friend in your News Feed, this dropdown also allows you to select which type of updates you want to appear in your News Feed.  Additionally the dropdown also gives you the opportunity to Unfriend.  If you do unfriend your former friend does not get a notification but they will find out they are no longer your friend if they try to visit your Profile/Timeline.

An alternative way to trim your News Feed is to click in the top right corner of a post on your News Feed.  The dropdown will give you choices to Unsubscribe, or to receive All Updates, Most Updates, or Only Important Updates.  Facebook is deciding here what is important or what to not show based upon its own algorithm.  For more control over what updates to receive, use the method from a friend’s Profile/Timeline described above.

Don’t forget that your News Feed has a Most Recent and Top Stories Sort or filter (top right corner of your News Feed).   It is likely you have already missed some of your friend’s posts anyway.   If you are interested in what you’ve missed, the best way to review all posts from a particular friend is to go directly to their Profile or Timeline.

Now, what if you don’t want your friends to see your posts?  Then you want to add them to your Restricted List.  By doing so, they will only see posts that you share publicly.  Navigate to Privacy Settings, Blocked People and Apps, click on Manage Blocking,  and then click on Edit List from  Add Friends to your Restricted List.  They will never know!

Small Business Wins Big with Facebook Pages

If you own a small business it is possible that you haven’t invested in a website due to the cost associated with development and maintenance.  A quick and easy alternative is to create a business page on Facebook.  Here is why:

1.  A business page on Facebook is free – there is no yearly hosting fee, and no fees to create or maintain a page.

2.  You can create a username for your page (i.e. mypage) and now your business has a web address which is http://www.facebook.com/mypage.

3.  You can easily update the page yourself, you don’t have to hire someone to code or update your page.

4.  Facebook provides Insights, their statistics on user interactions with your page, again free which includes extensive documentation in PDF format.  Statistical data can also be exported.

5.  Facebook has great support for its pages, starting out with its help pages at www.facebook.com/help/pages.  To help you even more, Facebook has a video tutorial, at www.learnfacebookpages.com.

6.  As you accumulate fans (people who Like your page), your page automatically provides word of mouth advertising for you.

7.  What can you post?  Information about your products or services, discounts or other specials, new items that you may be promoting, links to topics of interest, polls asking customer opinions¸ and whatever else you may want your customers or prospective customers to know.

Note that more than half of the US population is on Facebook, but keep in mind that one does not need an account on Facebook to access a business page.  You can access a business page by using the page’s web address or use a search engine such as Google or Bing and type in the company name followed by “Facebook”. 

If you have any questions about Facebook business pages please leave a comment or email me at ju.coaching@gmail.com.  You can visit my Facebook business page at www.facebook.com/compcoach.

Facebook Feelings

Mention Facebook, and there is emotion.  People love it, hate it, love it and hate it, are confused by it, afraid of it, addicted to it, depressed by it, and sick and tired of hearing about it (in that case read no further).

We sure do hear about Facebook every day don’t we?  TV and radio programs tell us to visit and become a fan on Facebook  –  the Facebook logo, white f on blue background, is in print ads, websites, and TV commercials.  Facebook is always in our faces.

We have two new social maladies thanks to Facebook – Facebook addiction and Facebook depression – both very real and recognized.

It is easy to understand our Facebook addiction, despite our privacy concerns over using it.   We receive a lot of positive reinforcement – our friends “like” our posts, or pictures, and make comments on them.  Furthermore, the reinforcement is intermittent which creates the greatest habit for the behavior.  Most of us know someone who seems to live on Facebook.  Do you find yourself checking Facebook multiple times a day?

Facebook depression is prevalent among teens and young adults.  It is easy to believe that everyone else’s life looks much more exciting and fun than yours when browsing friend’s photos and updates.  Picture the teen at home whose friends are posting pics of the party while it is happening and that teen didn’t get an invite.

It is not all doom and gloom.  On the upside, a study last year from the University of Maryland documented the positive effect Facebook has had on our economy, by creating U.S. jobs not only at Facebook but at companies which build applications and websites which integrate with Facebook.  There have been some critics of this study as it fails to mention loss of employee productivity and job loss due to Facebook.

Despite our feelings about Facebook, one can’t help but be amazed at its impact  on culture and business worldwide.  So,  how do you feel about Facebook?   I would love to hear from you.

A Little More Privacy – Take Control of Facebook Tagging

We seem to enjoy posting pictures and videos on Facebook and then tagging them with the names of one or more of our Facebook friends.    Once you are tagged in a Facebook video or photo, that video or photo will be displayed on your Timeline (Profile) and end up in a Photos and Videos of You section in your Photos folder.

Perhaps you went to a party Saturday night, and you wake up Sunday morning to find there are pictures of you already posted on your Timeline.   Perhaps these pictures show you really enjoying this party, and you’d really rather these photos remain private.   Additionally, in an effort to bring your attention to a photo or video, you may even be tagged in a photo or video in which you are not even present!

An easy solution to avoid these situations is to enable Timeline Review in your Profile Settings.  Click on Privacy Settings, then Edit Settings on How Tags Work.  You want to enable Timeline Review.  Once you do the setting will indicate On.  If the setting indicates Off, click on it and then click on Enable.

Now that you’ve enabled Timeline Review, you’ll receive a Facebook notification when you’ve been tagged in a photo or video, as you did before, however the photo will not be posted to your Timeline or your Photos folder.  You can now click on your Activity Log (new Facebook Timeline feature) to review the items in which you are tagged.  Posts and Info to Review will be at the top of the Log.  In the right column there is a check mark to approve or an X to ignore the item.  If you approve the item it will be displayed on your Timeline.  If you ignore the item it will remain in your Activity Log, but will be hidden from your Timeline.

If you are not on Timeline yet,  there will be a Needs Review folder in the left column on your Wall.  Once you click on that folder  the items for review work the same as described above.

How can you remove the tag altogether?  To remove your name from a photo in which you are tagged, you must click on the arrow next to the round tool gear at the top right corner of the photo.  There will be a choice to Remove/Report the tag, which will then give you additional choices to remove the tag.

Hope this helps you feel a bit more in control of your face on Facebook!

Facebook Timeline Tips

Don’t be intimidated by Timeline it is not that scary – here are a few tips to help you get started.

The latest version of the Facebook Profile is called Timeline.  All Facebook Profiles will be converted to Timeline, there is no escape.  You can wait until Facebook converts you or go to the Introducing Timeline page (www.facebook.com/about/timeline) and choose to upgrade by clicking Get Timeline.   Facebook will allow you 7 days to preview and modify your Timeline prior to publishing it.  During this time, your Facebook Friends will see your old Profile.

Timeline is a reformatted Profile that allows you to easily go back in time to see past posts.  It has all the same elements of the old Profile with a few additional features.

There is now a predominant Cover Photo which is larger than your Profile Picture.  Adding a Cover Photo is optional, although it does make your Timeline more attractive.

Activity Log is a new Timeline feature that allows you to edit the activity entries on your Timeline (likes, comments, tags) and review pending posts (if you have enabled Timeline Review for photo tags in your Privacy Settings).

About and Update Info takes you to the same page and allows you to edit your Facebook information (similar to the former Edit Profile).  All of your former Profile information is now contained in About, it is formatted differently but you can easily modify your share options for individual items.

When you scroll down your Timeline, a box appears along the top left of the page that allows you to easily move to different time periods on your Timeline.  This Timeline display replaces the former Wall.  If you hover over an item a star and a pencil pop up in the upper right margin of the post.  The star is a toggle that allows you to resize the post.  The pencil allows you to hide the item from your Timeline, delete the item, and other options depending upon the type of post.

Click on Activity Log (just beneath your Cover Photo), to edit the activity entries on your Timeline, and approve pending posts.  Click on the small circle to the right of the item to display edit options.

You can also change share options for an activity item by clicking on the share options drop down in the right margin of the item.

For additional help with Activity Log, Facebook’s help feature does a good job explaining it – visit www.facebook.com/help/activitylog.  Also, if you type “timeline” on Facebook Help (drop down arrow next to Home) you should be able to find answers to your questions.

The good news is that your News Feed does not change when you convert to Timeline – there you are still on familiar territory!


 

Facebook Messages You May Have Missed

Sending a message to a friend on Facebook is a handy way to communicate privately.  Your message does not appear on your Facebook Wall or News Feed, or on your friend’s Wall or News Feed, instead it can be found in the Messages folder on the left column of your News Feed.  When someone sends you a message, you should have a white on red counter by the message icon on the top blue menu bar.  You should also receive an email notification about the message (unless you’ve turned this off in your Account settings).

What you may be unaware of, is a subfolder under Messages called Other.  You must click on Messages to be able to see this subfolder.   If you have a message waiting for you in the Other subfolder, you must discover it yourself, by clicking on Other.  I recently missed two important messages within the past few months because I had not checked this subfolder.

If your message privacy is set to Everyone (meaning anyone on Facebook can send you a message), you may find messages waiting for you in the Other messages subfolder.  Typically messages from friends or friends of friends will land in your Messages folder, and messages from anyone else including business pages will land in your Other subfolder.

Your Privacy Settings determine who can send you messages.  To check your settings click on the drop down arrow next Home, click on Privacy Settings, click on Edit Settings next to How You Connect, and you will find “Who can send you Facebook messages?”.  Settings are Everyone, Friends of Friends, or Friends.

Let me know if you find any interesting messages!

Tickers, Subscriptions, and Lists – Oh My!

Ticker, Subscriptions, and Lists are three new Facebook features that may have you a bit puzzled and apprehensive.   Read on for an explanation of  how to use them.

Ticker – this new feature appears in the upper right of your News Feed.  This is a real-time stream of updates made by your Friends and Business Pages you Like.  If you hover over an item it will expand to show the entire post.  You can also make a comment on the expanded post.

Subscriptions – your Friends are already Subscribed to your postings, so you don’t have to take any action.  However you can receive Public posts from someone you are not Friends with by Subscribing to that person, if they have chosen to allow Subscription to Public updates.   Go to their Profile and click on Subscribe (upper right) if available.   While on a Friend’s Profile, if you hover over the new Subscribed button on the top right of their Profile you can manage which updates you receive from that person (you can also do nothing and accept the default settings shown).   If you want to allow Subscribers to your Public updates, click on Subscriptions in the left column of your Profile.

Lists – this is the one I like.  You can create a List, give it a name, and add Friends and/or Pages to it.  You can then filter your News Feed by any of your Lists.  Also when you post you can restrict the posting visibility to one of your Lists (click on the drop down to the left of the Post button).  Perhaps you want your post to be seen only by Family, or Work Friends, or Book Club Friends (if you’ve made such lists) you can now do this. 

I am never quite sure that my Facebook News Feed is showing all the updates by my Friends and Pages, so I’ve taken control over this by putting Friends and Pages into Lists.   Create a List by clicking on More next to Lists (left of your News Feed).  Alternatively when you are on a Friend’s Profile, you can click on the Friends button (top right of their Profile) to add them to a current List or create a new List.

Facebook has created some Lists for you already.  These Lists may already contain Friends based upon Profile information that you and your Friends have added to Facebook (for example schools, employers, family members). 

What do you think of these new Facebook changes?  Get ready, as Timeline (the Profile replacement) is coming soon!

Keeping Up with Facebook Changes

Just when you think you know how to handle Facebook, is just about the time Facebook will publish an enhancement for you to figure out.  You need not be confused as Facebook does a fair job of documenting upgrades if you know where to look. 

If you become a fan of one or more of Facebook’s business pages  (listed below) you will receive updates in your News Feed that explain new features and how to use them.

Here is a list of Facebook’s own business pages that come in handy.   You can search for them by name (bolded below) when you are on Facebook, or even browse them when you are not logged into Facebook by using their web address. Better yet become a fan of these pages (by clicking on the Like button) to receive automatic News Feed updates on the latest Facebook news and features, and yes, Facebook issues too.  If you have a question or concern about using Facebook, these pages are a good source of information.  Of course you can always contact Care Computer Coaching, Inc. too (www.facebook.com/compcoach).

Facebook and Privacywww.facebook.com/fbprivacy –  get the latest updates from Facebook on privacy topics, and watch the Facebook privacy videos on that page to learn more about privacy settings.

Facebook Securitywww.facebook.com/security – will provide you with information on protecting your information on Facebook and the Internet.

Facebook Safetywww.facebook.com/fbsafety – will provide you with information on staying safe on Facebook and the Internet.  Additionally, www.facebook.com/safety is a new page, a family resource worth checking into and exploring, as it contains tips for parents, teachers, and teens.

Facebook (www.facebook.com/facebook) is Facebook’s own business page.  Learn about new Facebook features and keep up with Facebook news.

Known Issues  www.facebook.com/knownissues –  find out about ongoing or fixed Facebook issues.  This page comes in handy when you think you are the only one having difficulty!

And if you still haven’t had enough of Facebook yet, you can check out blog.facebook.com (no www in front).  This is Facebook’s official blog.

There’s even one more for you at stories.facebook.com (again no www in front).  Here you can read about how Facebook has touched user’s lives.  You can search for stories from all over the world by theme or location.  This site is worth visiting, just to see all the different surprising locations that Facebook is used across the globe.  You can even add your own story if you like.

Do you have your own business?  Do you have a business page on Facebook?  Check out www.facebook.com/facebookpages to find useful advice on managing and promoting your business page.  If you have a Facebook business page or are thinking about creating one, Care Computer Coaching, Inc. can answer your questions or help you get started.

We hope you’ve found this information useful.

Do you have suggestions for future topics?  Please leave a comment!

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 113 other followers

%d bloggers like this: