Monday, November 16, 2009

Facebook Friends

By Northern Colorado Writers member, Anne-Marie Nichols

Facebook is one of the most popular online social networks. Originally created for college students, now people of all ages are using it to connect with friends. More recently, Facebook has become a place where professionals network and companies connect with customers. If you have a book to sell, a writing business to promote, or you want to network with other writers, you need to be on Facebook. Hopefully, you already are.

However, the melding of the personal and the professional has become a challenge for Facebook users. You want to present a professional front, but you want to share your life with your friends, too. One way to do this is by organizing your Facebook page using Friends Lists.

How to use Friends Lists

To create a Facebook List, click "Friends" in the blue bar at the top. On the left side of the page, click the button "Make a New List." Give it a title. You should create a list (or lists) for personal contacts and another list (or lists) for professional contacts. Examples of lists on the professional side could be: Agents & Publishers, Clients, and Fellow Freelancers.

Once you have your lists set up, you can add people that you’ve already friended to your new list by typing in names one by one or click on "Select Multiple Friends" to add several people to the list all at once. (To add people, just click on their photos.) When you're finished, click the "Save List" button at the bottom.

Once you have some lists created, it is time to figure out who gets to see what. To edit your privacy settings, go to "Settings" at the top-right of the screen next to the search box. Hover your mouse over the link and click on "Privacy Settings" on the menu that pops up. On the following page, click "Profile," the top choice in the list of options.

On the profile privacy page, you have the option of customizing exactly who gets to see what. You can modify the following areas: Profile, Basic Info, Personal Info, Status Updates, Photos Tagged of You, Videos Tagged of You, Friends, Wall Posts, Education Info, and Work Info. If you're unsure of what any of those things are, click the "?" next to the item to read a definition.

Using the drop-down boxes, you can customize who gets to see your info: "Only Friends," "Friends of Friends," or "My Network of Friends." To lock down your profile to friends only, you could set all these to "only friends." But since you have now created specialized lists, you should use these instead.

To do so, click the fourth option from the drop-down box: "Customize." From here, you can add lists of people who should NOT be able to see this part of your profile. For example, if you wanted to block your high school buddies list from seeing your status updates, you could do so here – just type the name of your list in the box "Except these people" and save your changes.

More Facebook tips

- Untag unflattering and unprofessional photos of yourself from other Facebook profiles.
- Delete inappropriate comments made by either you or your friends.
- Use a professional-looking profile picture.
- Remember to put new contacts in the appropriate Friends List.
- Post content that is relevant to your professional life like publishing industry news or an article about a writing workshop you’re teaching.


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Anne-Marie Nichols is a blog wrangler and social media consultant who blogs from a mom's perspective about food, weight loss, health, social media, green and tech. You can contact her at am@the-write-spot.com. Visit her blogs: This Mama Cooks! On a Diet: thismamacooks.com, A Mama’s Rant: amamasrant.com, The Write Spot: the-write-spot.com or find her on Twitter @amnichols.

1 comment:

T.A. Northburg said...

These are some very helpful tips for facebook users. I used a few of these recently. Thanks!

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