It’s a Group Thing

Facebook surely has its fans and foes, and undoubtedly flaws.   There is of course virtue in connecting with old and new friends on Facebook.  One of those virtuous places within Facebook can be found in Facebook Groups.  You can start your own, or join an existing group.

You never know who or what you may encounter in a Facebook Group.  In my experience, I’ve unexpectedly heard from my high school math teacher, (“I’m still kicking” was his post) as well as my childhood next door neighbor.  I planned a work reunion for about 35 people that turned into 200 people.  Expect the unexpected but expect nostalgia on a grand scale if you join an alma mater or neighborhood group. My childhood neighborhood group has pictures of the neighborhood that span decades and occasionally I’ll see a familiar name in a post or comment.

So how do you find such groups?  You can use Facebook’s search and see what suggestions appear, for example the city you grew up in (or current town) followed by “group”  (e.g., Fresh Meadows group) to keep up to date on local news, commentary, and nostalgia.  You will have to click on Join, and at some point an admin for the group will make you a member.  If the group is public you will be able to see posts without joining.  You must be a member to post or comment.  There are 3 different privacy settings a group may have.  Click here to find out more about group settings.

In addition to searching for a particular group you can explore a myriad of Facebook Groups by category.  There are multiple ways, but the way that currently works on all devices is to search “groups discover”  then click on  Groups Discover.  Or search “create group” to easily start your own group.

Once a member of one or more groups, you’ll see updates from the group in your News Feed. Read not only the posts but also comments as you may find a lost classmate or neighbor or who knows?  I’d love to hear if you’ve had any interesting group encounters!

3 Time Saving Facebook Tips

time is precious

If you are reading this post, most likely you’re spending a fair amount of time on Facebook, maybe more than you’d like. Of course there are times when you are not on a schedule, and just want to relax and browse your friends and photos.  However when you’d like your visits to be more efficient, here are a few tips to help save you a bit of time.

1. Turn off  Video Auto Play – Does it drive you crazy that videos automatically play as you peruse your Facebook News Feed? You can easily turn this feature off by clicking on Settings (or Privacy Shortcuts, See More Settings), and then Videos. Set Auto Play Videos off.

2. Save News Feed Items and Read Them Later – Did you even know you could do this? This feature was rolled out at the beginning of last year. If you click on the drop down arrow at the top right of a post, you will see an option to Save post, Save link, or Save video. Then in the left column of your News Feed, under Favorites, you’ll see Saved. Click on this link, and all your saved posts will be available for reading until you delete them. (If you’re using the Facebook App on your mobile device, click on More to find the Saved option.)

3.  Prioritze your News Feed – Do you check your News Feed daily (or more frequently) to see posts from your favorite people or business pages?  Another Facebook feature introduced last year allows you to prioritize posts you see in your News Feed.  On your desktop, click on the drop down arrow on the far right of your top blue menu bar.  Select News Feed Preferences, then Prioritize who to see first.  All of your friends and business pages will display; click on those you wish to appear at the top of your News Feed, or click again to deselect. You can also click on the All button on the left to switch the view to Friends only, Pages only, or People you see first.  (Also from News Feed Preferences you can Unfollow a person or business if they are clogging up your feed. Note you can unfollow someone and still remain Facebook friends, or unfollow a business while remaining a fan, and no one will never be the wiser).

Of course the best way to minimize your Facebook time is just don’t look!!!  Please comment and share your Facebook time saving tips, I’d love to hear them!


Using Facebook More but Enjoying it Less?

looking at fYes we are addicted to Facebook, we have admitted that to ourselves already.  We receive positive reinforcement whenever someone likes our comments or posts to our Timeline.  And we love all the love from the many birthday greetings.  The benefit of Facebook is that it connects us to friends, acquaintances, and businesses.  It is a great networking tool, but not when we miss posts, or have so many posts we can’t find the ones that are important to us.  Facebook is not as much fun when we start missing out.

If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, the number of friends and pages you’ve liked no doubt has grown to the point where you cannot possibly see every update from every friend and page.   You may already know that your News Feed is filtering all these posts – you are not seeing every post from every friend  and business you’ve liked.  How Facebook filters is their secret,  and it does change periodically.   What to do?

1.  Sort your  News Feed by  Most Recent rather than Top Stories.  You will see updates in the order they were posted, rather than by the order Facebook believes is most relevant for you.  Try it both ways and see the difference.  The option is on the top right of the beginning of your News Feed.  Once you set the filter to Most Recent it may reset to Top Stories,  so you may want to notice how you’re filtering when you land on your News Feed.

2.  Use the Pages Feed.  To easily see updates from business pages that you have liked, click on your Pages Feed  (left column of your News Feed).  You may be surprised at what you’ve been missing!

3.  Create a Friends list.  I really think this is the best way of controlling your News Feed, and easily seeing what is most important to you. Click on Friends from the left column of your News Feed, then Create List.    Enter a list name (e.g., Book Club, Gym Friends) add friends to the list, and when you click on Create, your News Feed will now be filtered by this list.  To see your full News Feed, click on Home or News Feed from the top left column.  Once you have lists you can just click on the list name under Friends (from your News Feed)  to filter your News Feed to see only updates from people on the list.

Note that Facebook has already created three friend lists for you:  Close Friends, Acquaintances, and Restricted.  (Put people on your Restricted list if you only want them to see posts you’ve made public.)  If you are on a friend’s Timeline and want to add them to a list, just click on Friends under their cover photo, and you will see an option to add them to an existing list (you can also create a new list here).

4.  Create an Interests list.  An Interest list will filter your News Feed by specific business pages or a combination of  business pages and friends.  Click on Interests from the left column of your News Feed, then Add Interests, Create List, and enter the people or pages you want on the list.  Interest lists can be private,  available to your friends, or public.  They will filter your News Feed as a Friends list will when you click on the name of the list from the left column of your News Feed.  If you are on a business page you can add that business to an existing Interest list or a new Interest list by clicking on Liked (beneath the cover photo) and selecting the option.

5.  Manage friend updates.  If you want to manage the updates from friends that you do see, go to their Timeline , click on Friends (under their cover photo).  There you will find an option to show or not show their updates in your News Feed, and if you decide you do want to see their updates, you can select which updates to see.  Does this guarantee you will see their updates in your News Feed?  I would not bet on it but it will eliminate updates you wish not to see!

6.  Be direct.   Of course you can always go directly to the Timeline of a friend or business.  This is the best way to make sure you have not missed any updates.

Once you start controlling your News Feed you may find you are on Facebook less and enjoying it more!

Five Basic Facebook Tips

Use Facebook a bit more privately and wisely with these five Facebook tips.

1.  You Can Access Facebook Business Pages even if you don’t have a Facebook Account.  If you are interested in checking out a company or organization’s Facebook page, simply use a search engine and type in the name of the company or organization followed by Facebook.  Chances are that you will find a listing for their Facebook page.  Alternatively if you know their Facebook username e.g.,”username you can directly access their page by typing this into your web browser.  Why do you want to check out a Facebook business page?  You may find events, discounts, special offers, promotions, or news about a company’s products.  You will also find a link to the company’s website on the Info tab if you are looking for additional information.  Many local towns, libraries, restaurants, the news media, and small businesses have Facebook business pages.  Check them out and you may be pleasantly surprised!

2.  You Can Keep A Low Profile on FacebookYou do not have to post a profile picture or post abundant personal information on Facebook. The only information required on Facebook is your sign up information – name, email, gender, birth date, and account password for log in.  Once you have an account your birth date can be hidden by going to Profile, Edit Profile, and selecting “Don’t show my birthday in my profile” or “Show only month & day in my profile” from the drop down under your birth date.

3.  Review Your Privacy Settings Monthly.  As Facebook makes enhancements to features it may also enhance privacy setting options.  Facebook also defaults to opting in rather than opting out.  Be sure there are no new features that you are opted into.  Become a fan of Facebook and Privacy ( to get the latest updates from Facebook on privacy topics, and watch the Facebook privacy videos on that page to learn more about privacy settings.

4.  Hide from Search Engines.  To optimize privacy, make sure that your Facebook profile will not be found by search engines.  Click on Account, Privacy Settings, and Edit your settings from Apps and Websites.   Then click on Edit Settings from Public search.  Facebook will default to “Enable public search” (the box will have a check mark).  Just click on the check mark next to “Disable public search”.  To see how your profile preview would look on a search engine, click on See preview.

5.  Top News vs. Most Recent.  Your News Feed will default to Top News.  This is based upon a Facebook algorithm, and is a subset of your complete News Feed.  Click on Most Recent to see all your News Feed items.  Click on the drop down next to Most Recent for additional News Feed filtering options one of which is Edit Options.  Click on this so that you can filter your News Feed to show posts by “Friends and pages you interact with the most” or “All of your friends and pages”.  If you have been missing posts, it could be because of this setting!



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