I've always been interested in social networking sites like Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn. But lately, I've been spending quite some time on another social site which I've found to be quite worthy of my time and yours. If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm talking about Facebook. This is a powerful social networking service that you ought to give it a try and I had created a non-exhaustive guide below that will help you to test run Facebook.
So what exactly is Facebook?
FaceBook is a social networking site that allows users to connect and share information. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, threw up FaceBook while he was a student at Harvard to provide an online avenue for students to find one another. It has since morphed into a social network for everyone. Today, Facebook is built around groups and is made up of many networks, each based around a company, region, high school or college. One reason why it's so popular is because it's just very easy to use. Adding friends, updating your profile, changing your status message - whatever you do takes just minutes.
Facebook didnt stop there, it recently had opened up their API allowing anyone to write software applications that can run in Facebook. So individual software writers can add functionality to Facebook profiles. That's a large audience to get your product in front of, and a great way to spread the word about what you're all about. There are currently in excess of more than 2000 applications that users can sign up to.
How to get started?
1. Sign up and create a Facebook Account
To get started, go to http://www.facebook.com/, click "Register" and fill out a short online registration form. Once you're signed up, you will need to build up a profile of yourself. Beside your profile, you can also include photos, links to your websites or blogs and videos. Its entirely up to you how much information that you want it to be included.
Make sure you include your picture of yourself for your profile afterall its facebook and not No- Facebook! Not having a picture of yourself annoys other Facebook users. How are they supposed to know if you’re the person with that name if you don’t have a picture? So make the effort to upload a clear picture of yourself on the profile page.
- Privacy setting :
Immediately after you sign up and upload a profile picture, head on over to your security settings and decide how secure you want your Facebook profile to be. Hit the My Privacy tab and get familiar with the options. Limited profile viewing, what can be seen by your friends, what can be seen by everyone – familiarize yourself people or don’t panic later when a picture of you kissing or hugging another babe makes it onto your wife or girlfriend’s blog.
2. Find friends and connect with your community
Now that you have a Facebook account, connecting to people in your community is easy. You can start by using the friend invite feature to broadcast your facebook invites to all your friends as facebook supports all popular email providers like Yahoo and Gmail. You can also use the search feature to find friends who are already using Facebook and request to be their friend. You can add just about anyone you can think of. I m sure many of you will be able to discover and locate your long lost friends or schoolmates. Its also an avenue for them to discover you too.
Try and at least get yourself to double digits, and then relax a little and add friends as you come across them during your natural explorations of the site. As a rule of thumb, having fewer than ten friends makes you look either lame or inactive. Its good to develop to a decent number of contacts that you can manage and stay in touch.
3. Send and receive messages
Facebook offers a message board feature called "The Wall" that displays member profile pages. You can use it to post all kinds of messages to your network. But be beware: comments can be viewed by all your contacts in your list of Facebook friends.
Remember your wall is a place for other people to write you notes. When you see someone has written you a note on your wall, you then go to that person’s wall to respond.
4. Upload and share pictures
One of Facebook’s most popular features has been the ability to upload and share pictures. Facebook also offers an unlimited quota with their only restriction being a 60-photos-per-album limit. The process is very simple. Start by creating an album which you can then assign limitations to (e.g. visible to my members only) and upload photos within them. The album is then put into your profile, and other users can see and comment on them. You can also "tag" your photos with the names of people you mention and share the photos via a web link or by e-mail. What’s more is that you can order prints online! Isn't this great.
5. Promote your blog or newsletter
Facebook also helps you to promote your blog or newsletter. This feature allows you to share information beyond what's in your profile in two ways. You can either post a note on your page or import your external blog. It is a nice way to communicate with your constituents and update them on your organization. You can also integrate an RSS feed in to your blog with notes. When you post it, the note is displayed in your profile and every one of your “friends” is notified and other members can add comments.
6. Locating and joining Groups
You’ll find a lot of random groups on Facebook and you should join any that are of interest to you. However, be sure to occasionally prune your groups list. What you thought was cool a month ago may not be now. Additionally, if you’re going to start a group, make sure one doesn’t already exist for the same damn topic please. Be original or bow down to the person who thought of it first.
7. Creating Events
This is likely one of the coolest features. Parties, dinners, etc, you can create an event, invite who you want, make it public or make it private. Under the My Events tab, you can also view past events as well as friend’s public events. This way, if you weren’t one of the kids cool enough to get invited personally, you can barge your way into some free beer at the nearest public events.
8. Accesing Facebook via Mobile
This feature rocks. If you’re on facebook's supported carrier, notifications can be delivered to your mobile phone. However, you can still upload pictures and notes to Facebook from any mobile phone using the designated address and can access a mobile friendly version of Facebook at m.facebook.com.
So, there you have it – Mobiz's Unofficial and Dummies Guide to Using Facebook. Now you have no excuses not knowing how to use Facebook. So enjoy using Facebook and be sure to add me as your friend! And if you know other innovative ways that Facebook can be used, do drop me a comment and do stay on this channel as I will be blogging alot more about facebook from now onwards.