"I Signed Up For FaceBook"...NOW WHAT?!

By Bryan Lambert - Sunday, July 5, 2009

These days it seems that Facebook, the social networking site, has become the “new MySpace” – a place where people and their friends can get together and have a good time. In fact, you more than likely have a Facebook account (over 200 million do) and if you don’t then get one, they’re free! If you’re a Facebook veteran you no doubt know about many of the cool things you can do with Facebook, however if you’re new to the Facebook community, then this Tech Tip is for you! We'll look at some MUST DO things to do while on Facebook!


First things first

The first thing that you’d want to do after setting up your Facebook profile and finding friends is to set the privacy settings (under “settings” in the upper right hand corner). This will control who can “see you” and the things you post. You may want to broadcast your activities to the whole world or you may want to let “only friends” see them. Many of the fields are highly customizable, so you can actually drill down specific people who “cannot” see you.

Another really interesting aspect of the settings is that it allows you to actually “link” other accounts from other websites (such as MySpace) allowing Facebook to become your “social network hub” (so to speak). Note that not all linkable websites are listed here; some (such as Twitter) need to be added through the “search” and then “add application” function.

Water Ship DownA word about your profile

When you first sign up, you are asked to fill in a few things about yourself. This is OK as you can set who actually can see what you input (remember that privacy thing – though it won’t help you much on the ads, they key in on you). The more info you put, the easier your page will be for your current friends and family and many NEW FRIENDS to find you. Who knew that you had such an affinity for Watership Down! Be sure to update your status and then head on over to the search button to see what you can find.


Bring on the GAMES!

We all like to play games on our notebook computers and on our console game systems of choice, but Facebook 'gaming' is a bit different to say the least. It is one of the “funner” (ok, not a word, but fun to use) aspects of Facebook. To “find” the games simply put in a search for what game you are looking for and then click on the applications tab. Here you have a vast selection from classic casino such as blackjack, poker, etc., to role playing games such as Mafia Wars, simulators such as FarmTown & loads of other games (such as Bejeweled Blitz, Chain Rxn, Guess the Sketch, BejewledLexulous, etc.) Beware, they ARE addicting!

One of the terrific aspects of Facebook is the ability to become a “fan” of various things (such as the iPhone, In-and-Out Burgers, Geeks.com or even your hometown). Simply perform a search for your interest (upper right hand corner) and if they have set up a Facebook page you can become a fan, or you can also click on the groups tab in the results page for common interest groups that you’d may want to join. If you haven't already become a FAN of the BEST Fan Page on Facebook: --> Geeks.com!! (Where you will find Facebook only promotions and giveaways!)


Quizzes, Notes, Photos and other things

Not to be passed up is the fun you can have taking quizzes, passing on notes and using the photo album tool built into Facebook.. The quizzes range from the silly to the interesting and you can even create your own quizzes as well – these are loads of “quiztacular” fun! Notes are interesting in that no one seems to start them, but they seem to get passed on ad infinitum. Basically a note is just that, a note that you can “tag” to other friends to read. Many times the notes are personal questionnaires that people can erase your answers, and input theirs to keep passing the note along. A warning with notes however is that you may get more information on your "friends" then you ever wanted to know. The photo area is a terrific area to visit just simply for the fact that you can easily and quickly share photos with family and friends online. Lots of pages do this, but with Facebook your friends see them instantly! One of the “other things” that Facebook allows now is the ability to have a personalized URL (web address) for your Facebook account. Simply go to http://www.facebook.com/username to get this done (note, they may want to “verify” your account by sending you a text message to a mobile phone).

“Friending’ and “Fanning” the famous (or semi-famous)

Do you have a favorite author, chef, or maybe local radio personality – why not see if they have a Facebook page. You’ll be surprised who has one and they are usually more than happy to friend total (non-stalking) strangers. More famous celebrities, bands, etc. instead allow “fans” rather than “friends” (of course, many of the pages for celebrities are set up by fans themselves) – but they are just as fun to join.


phonrdThe fun goes on

Facebook has grown by leaps and bounds, especially since it has become open to “everyone,” not just students. Add to this the fact that many cheap cell phones as well as smart phones now have Facebook applications which keep some users connected 24/7. Bottom line is Facebook has become a vastly entertaining, highly useful, and somewhat addicting website when used properly and to it's full extent.