Four basic tips to make Facebook a tad more sane in these "trying" times

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Summary: These are four tips to help work with the new Facebook Live Feed Feature, most involve the same couple of features.

Monday, 26 October 2009

(00:10:34 CDT)

Four basic tips to make Facebook a tad more sane in these "trying" times

Facebook, for reasons beyond the likes of you and me, changed its News Feed this weekend into the nadir of its usability. The new "live feed" feature gives us more news than ever before, including who friend whom and wall-to-wall posts and who joined what group and so forth, except now in a confusing morass that drops the ball in no less than three points: (1) it now decides which bits you probably want to see, (2) by default it picks from a certain number of friends and shows you only those, and (3) you get plagued with tons of minutiae (see that whole "more than ever before", above). I have looked up and practiced a small handful of tricks to try and make some sense of the void, and offer them up here in hopes they help someone.

(1a) OVERCOMING THE 250 FRIEND LIVE FEED LIMIT: I saw this on an Youtube video. Namely, click edit options down in the bottom of the "Live Feed" and change 250 to however many friends you have. According to that Youtube video, you might have to block something in order to have edit options show up (it also recommends clearing your cache and toggling live feed a couple of times, neither of which seem to be necessary so take it with a grain of salt).

(1b) CHOOSING WHOM YOU SEE MORE OF...: By the way, using the same trick as above, you can just pick out a handful of friends whom you want to see more of. Unless you seriously give a crap about what all 2,839 of your "buddies" are up to, this can guarantee you get the updates you want.

(2) BETTER YET, MAKE A LIST: Click on Friends in the top bar. Now click on Friends in the left bar. I know, you have to click two different "Friends" twice in different places because FB has some challenges to overcome that have nothing to do with its new features. Once you get there, you have a list of your friends (so many per page, but I haven't counted) and towards the top the option to "Create a List". Do just that. Make up a fancy name, such as "People Who Owe Me Money", and then add friends galore to it. Make one for School friends, Hometown friends, Drug-dealers with the inside scoop. Whatever. You can add a friend to more than one list. Once you are done, go back to your "Home" page in Facebook, look to your left at your "application" bar, and then click "show more". You should get a series of icons that looks like three lines out beside each of the applications and lists (to the right of the application/list name) you have. Drag said lists up to the top. Whichever list is on top is the one that opens by default. Because I am about as creative as mud on not particularly wet day, I named my top list "Friends I" (sure, let's pretend you are on it for now, because I love you) and my next one "Friends II". I have one for those things that I am "a fan of" as opposed to "a friend of". If there are only a certain number of people you really want to follow, this seems to be more sane as far as doable options go. This only fixes the "not seeing all the friends you want" problem, though. You still get all the minor crud floating through.

(3) OR, IF YOU PREFER, ONLY SEE CERTAIN TYPES OF UPDATES: Much like the one above, this one requires you to "Home" and then "Show more" and drag the lists/applications up and down. In this case, you could drag "Status Updates" to the top. This makes seeing your friends' status updates your default Facebook view. You will not see the rest of the bits. You have to click on "Notes" to see notes, and so forth. If you prefer to see who updated what images, you can move "Photos" to the top and so on.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT (2) + (3)... I think you are out of luck. I'll keep playing around, but Facebook does not seem to support advanced filters. It would be nice to get both. If I could only get, say, the status updates, notes, and photos of certain friends by default, I would be thrilled.

Finally, (4) SCRATCH MY BACK AND THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE, LIMIT WHAT SHOWS UP ON YOUR FEED: I am not sure how effective this is, but let's give it a shot. Hover the old mouse pointer over "Settings" and then click on Privacy as an option. Or, click on Settings and then click Privacy. Then click "News Feed and Wall". These are your bits that show up on my bits. Uncheck many or all of them for everyone's sanity.

There you go, and thanks to the couple of people who posted bits that made me think of other bits (1a comes from this Youtube video and a friend posted a different version of 4). Maybe this will help someone.

Si Vales, Valeo


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Written by Doug Bolden

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