Getting what you want from Facebook friends

No, this is not about manipulation. A real-life friend was expressing frustration at some of the stuff she has to see from friends on Facebook that make it not as fun as it used to be. She doesn’t want to leave, and doesn’t want to unfriend people over a few posts, but it gets old, doesn’t it?

This isn’t an exhaustive treatment of such things, but here is one way of sort of controlling the flow.

If you hover over a friend’s name in your FB stream, you will get a little window with a couple of buttons associated with your friend. One of them is a drop-down menu labeled “Friends.” Click that.

friends1

Then click on the settings link.

friends2

You can choose what kind of updates to include. I’m not sure I’m not sure how FB determines “only important,” but it sure cuts down on the posts you see from that person. You can also choose “all updates,” which may change your mix at least to slant toward people who post less irritating material. You can also unclick certain things–I tend to turn off “Games” on everyone, for instance.

You can also use the Social Fixer addon to sort certain friends’ posts into their own tabs. That makes it easier to control–you can read that friend’s posts in a batch when you feel up to it, or just mark all of them “read” without having to actually read them. It has a little higher “geek” factor, though, so I will save that for another post.

Share this, please!
Share

Getting the whole feed on Facebook

A friend has asked me to point her once again to the page on Facebook that tells you how to make sure you are seeing all your friends’ posts. The page I had shared earlier to FB friends was an event (since events always show on Friends’ pages, it’s a backdoor way to make sure something gets posted, but once the “date” for the event has passed, it no longer shows), so it was no longer accessible for me to point to. So I’m posting a simplified version here, which will remain good until the next time Facebook changes its code–which could be in the next five minutes. 🙂

In one of their latest updates (“It’s a feature, not a bug”) Facebook’s defaults have left you not seeing posts from friends if you haven’t “liked” or commented on one of their posts in awhile. There are a lot of my friends whose posts I very much enjoy reading, but I don’t click the “like” button or comment on. I would prefer to be the one to decide which posts I want to see.

I’ll add to the standard “how to” though by telling you about a plugin I use to take even more control of my FB reading experience. It’s called BetterFacebook. It’s not for the faint of heart, since it gives you lots of options for changing the way Facebook works, and if you install it you will have to figure on updating it whenever Facebook code changes and the BetterFacebook developer responds.

I’ll just say I find it worthwhile. Among other things, BetterFacebook lets me sort incoming posts onto tabs according to category (if I wanted to see all those Farmville posts, for instance, I could segregate them all onto a Farmville tab, making them easier to see, and making all the other posts easier to see). The main thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that I can mark posts as read, making it easy to see what’s new.

It also has filtering capabilities, which can be helpful if you have lots of people on your Friends list that you don’t really know all that well. Otherwise, processiChange from "Top News" to "Most Recent"ng all the messages from FB can be like trying to process a firehose.

Even if you don’t use BetterFacebook, though, making sure you see every post appeals to most people I talk with, and making it like that takes a couple of steps.

First, while reading Facebook, change the setting at the top from “Top News” to “Most Recent.” Under the old way of doing things (if I understood it correctly), this was basically all you had to do to make sure you saw all posts from all your friends. With the upgrade, you will see a lot more stuff by changing to “Most Recent,” but you still won’t see everything. For that, you still have some tweaking to do.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page (it might load some more posts before Show everything my friends sayit will actually let you do that) and click on “Edit options.” (It’s possible you’ll have to do this on the “Top News” view, but currently it works on either view.) That will bring up a dialog where you can change the settings that you need to.

At this point, just change the drop-down menu so it selects “All of your friends and pages.” Remember to click “Save,” and you’ll be all set. Of course, you can switch back at any time it gets to be too much for you, but generally I would rather be the one deciding to skim through over skip over messages than to leave it to Facebook’s algorithm.

Share this, please!
Share