Facebook, according to founder Mark Zuckerberg, was created to map out—online– people’s existing real-life relationships. Although this article is ancient given the speed at which the Web evolves, it’s good background information on this social force du jour.
But you’re eager to get your hands on this phenomenon you’ve heard so much about, right? Since the whole premise (or marketing angle depending on how cynical you are) of Facebook is that it’s about mapping out your existing social networks, you’re going to have to take the plunge now. Yes, that’s right, the first task in this Thing is to…
Once you have your Facebook account, you’ll need to…
Create a Facebook profile. Facebook profiles are for individuals. Facebook pages are for organizations.
One aspect of Facebook you should notice right away is that Facebook discourages anonymity. Scary? Maybe. You can blog the pros and cons of that later, but if you want the full Facebook experience, surrender to transparency. Or make up a name. Some of you may have full-fledged alter egos already—feel free to use those as well.
As you create your profile, Facebook will ask you if you want to find friends by using your email account. Facebook will ask you to provide your email account password. We strongly advise against this. There are other ways to add friends later. As a matter of fact, you can skip all of the steps in the profile setup if you want, as long as you enter your name and secret question. You can always go back and edit your profile information later.
Facebook is really not much fun without friends.
So go find some friends.
You can only see your friends’ profiles, and they’re the only people who can see yours. You can share as much or as little information about yourself as you want. When someone performs a search, only your name, photo (if you upload one) and the networks you belong to will appear in the search results.
The more information you enter about yourself in your profile, the more options Facebook gives you for finding friends. You can automatically find high school or college classmates, former co-workers, etc. — if you’ve entered your education and work history into your profile. Even if you don’t enter that information into your profile, you can still perform searches based on that information—the only difference is that you have to enter that information manually every time you search.
You can also search for people directly by their names.
Add some content for your friends to see on your Facebook Wall. Create one “What’s on your mind” statement without a link. Create one with a link to your favorite library website.
In addition to searching for people, you can search for organizations. If you simply type an organization name, like “Dallas Cowboys,” into the search box, and choose to search Facebook, you will get a list of all the different entities with that name in the title. You will find some people named “Dallas Cowboys,” even though this is technically a Facebook no-no. If you limit the search to “Pages,” you’ll find only organizations. Once you track down the organization you had in mind, you can become a fan of that organization.
Find at least one organization and become a fan. Hey, we’re all fans of Frisco Public Library, right? Right?
Novices: Write a blog about setting yourself up on Facebook. What’s your take?
Experts: We know that many of you are already knowledgeable Facebook users. For those of you who have coasted through this post so far since you already have a Facebook account, Friends, and fanship, your assignment is to think about Facebook pages. How well do the organizations you’re a fan of follow the suggestions that David Lee King puts forward in his recent blog post, “Humanizing your Facebook Pages“? Blog about Facebook pages. (You remember the difference between pages and profiles, right.) What would you like to see on the Frisco Public Library Facebook page?
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