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  1. #1
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    Where can I find a manual for Facebook?

    After fiddling with Facebook for a while, to me it looks like largely a waste of time ("Oh, look, Billybob spent the day at the beach, and Bessie Mae likes the coffee at her new job!"), but before giving up on it completely, I'd like to know that I've checked out all its possibilities. The interface is so labyrinthine that I'm sure I won't learn all there is to know merely by fiddling on my own, so I've been looking for some help. The Facebook Help section is inadequate, and what Google has turned up is not useful at all. So I'm wondering is anyone knows of a thorough, intelligently organized, up-to-date online manual.

    If no such thing exists, I'm curious why not.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidToronto View Post
    If no such thing exists, I'm curious why not.
    Why not? FaceBook is presumed to be utterly intuitive, and its usage obvious even to young children.

    It's hard to gainsay your conclusion that FaceBook is largely a waste of time. And you can, with even more justification, include Twitter in that view.
    BATcher

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  4. #3
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    I've vaguely heard that Facebook and Twitter might be useful in certain ways, Facebook for organizing family events, hockey teams, etc. It seems possible to follow breaking news from the grassroots using Twitter. So I would like to see what can be done before I dismiss them both definitively.

    Intuitive? A menuing system is intuitive. Clicking on a hyperlink with a vague label that will take you to you-can-only-guess-where is stupid. The kids may be willing to waste hour after hour clicking all over the place to see what happens, but I want a logical guide so I get the lay of the land in the quickest possible way. I've put a hold on a library book entitled Facebook: The Missing Manual (2011). Maybe that will do the job. I'd still like to have a handy online manual, too.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I do not know of a User Manual for Facebook. Will this do?
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  7. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    I visit Facebook rarely, so this is not the most informed perspective.

    There have been a lot of books published on Facebook, but for better or worse, it changes so often that such books quickly become inaccurate. I was helping someone with their privacy preferences yesterday, and they were completely different than I remembered from six months ago.

    If you want to locate people from your past, or keep up with the activity of selected friends/relatives, Facebook is a useful tool. It also has become a popular platform for participating in various social/political groups and consumer product companies' loyalty programs, although these might be accessible through other channels as well. Then there are lots of way to waste time...

  8. #6
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidToronto View Post
    After fiddling with Facebook for a while, to me it looks like largely a waste of time ("Oh, look, Billybob spent the day at the beach, and Bessie Mae likes the coffee at her new job!"), but before giving up on it completely, I'd like to know that I've checked out all its possibilities. The interface is so labyrinthine that I'm sure I won't learn all there is to know merely by fiddling on my own, so I've been looking for some help. The Facebook Help section is inadequate, and what Google has turned up is not useful at all. So I'm wondering is anyone knows of a thorough, intelligently organized, up-to-date online manual.

    If no such thing exists, I'm curious why not.
    Yea David, but did Billybob have fun and did Bessie Mae have Folgers or what brand?....... Sorry couldn't resist!
    but all kidding aside, I had to read the help section more than once to get it set the way I wanted it after all the new changes, and I'm still not satisfied... Just Sayin'
    Last edited by t8ntlikly; 2011-10-31 at 10:08.
    Thanks John
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  9. #7
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidToronto View Post
    The interface is so labyrinthine that I'm sure I won't learn all there is to know merely by fiddling on my own...
    Thank you so much for starting this thread -- I had begun to wonder whether I was "losing it" because I find the facebook interface appalling, disorganised and convoluted and far too volatile to ever get a fix on. My opinion FWIW is that it has been slung together rather quickly in the early days and since then has suffered from patchitis with one patch altering the previous one until it looks like a 30-year-old pair of work jeans. It's time they threw them away and bought a brand new pair but they are afraid of alienating the now massive user-base who raise howls of protest at even the smallest change so a complete redesign would cause global apoplexy. This is why I only maintain a simple locked-down account to enable people to be able to contact me who prefer to use it to email.

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  11. #8
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    You wouldnt think it possibe to purposely design it this way - maybe someone hacked the interface & they are still trying to undo the damage. An irrational design designed by a (rich) irrational person maybe?

  12. #9
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    Angry Time waster

    Quote Originally Posted by jimollerhead View Post
    Thank you so much for starting this thread --
    I had begun to wonder whether I was "losing it" ...
    facebook interface appalling, disorganised and convoluted ...
    My opinion FWIW is that it has been slung together rather quickly in the early days ...
    It's time they threw them away ...
    to enable people to be able to contact me who prefer to use it to email.
    Well then, here I go:

    Thanks from me also!

    I don't think you or I are "losing it"; we just may have grown up with the understanding that we want to accomplish something somewhat defined ... and that goes totally against Facebook's philosophy - if such a thing even exists.

    IMHO the "interface" is absolutely useless because it seems not to be task oriented. I never got lost as quickly as in Facebook. Even by only looking at my kid's Facebook page I see more info from/about people I have never known (and likely may not even want to know?) than about my kids and the grand kids. I am just plain not interested in what Molly Dogstail thinks about my grandson's picture.

    Oh yes, the beginnings of it have been slung together as a college student's side job. But years of corporate spin have totally covered up that fact.

    They will never "throw it away" for exactly the reason you peak of and because by now it's BIG business!

    Do I really want to communicate with somebody who "prefer[s] to use it to email"? I don't think so.

    Let me add a quip of my own:
    Right behind computers Facebook IMHO is the devil's second most successful attempt to steal our time.


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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eikelein View Post

    IMHO the "interface" is absolutely useless because it seems not to be task oriented. I never got lost as quickly as in Facebook. Even by only looking at my kid's Facebook page I see more info from/about people I have never known (and likely may not even want to know?) than about my kids and the grand kids. I am just plain not interested in what Molly Dogstail thinks about my grandson's picture.
    I think you're probably missing the point of the site. It's not a task-oriented website, and therefore neither is its interface. It's a social-consumption website - it's event oriented. If something happens, facebook tells you about it, and you can respond to said event appropriately.

    Ok, it is, however, task oriented at the start of the event chain. If you want to upload a photo, you click "upload photo". If you want to look at someone specific, you type their name in the top bar. (etc. etc.) But most things are reactive; if somebody says something you agree with, you react to it by 'liking' it.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if you're looking at facebook from a task standpoint you probably need to change viewpoints a little. Most of your time on Facebook is spent consuming rather than producing (contrast that with, say, MS Word, or even email(where one could say the split is about 50-50)).

    The other product I associate it most with in this context is Google Reader. Primary function: showing you things you want to read. Boom, right there, front page. Secondary function: adding things to that list. Front page, but a small button.

    Hope that made sense. :S

  15. #11
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    I have a Facebook account, but I don't use it and it's inactive. (I have a life.) However, as a volunteer at our public library I have checked back in "Facebook for Dummies" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook." I have no idea whether they are any good. Someone who cares (that would not be me) might like to review them and report back.

  16. #12
    New Lounger
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    Makeuseof.com ( http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/download ) has a couple of manuals on Facebook that are free to download. They might or might not prove to be useful. I believe you need to sign up for their newsletter to download the manuals.

  17. #13
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    The OP asked "If no such thing exists, I'm curious why not. ". The answer is simple: Because it's constantly changing. Nothing written will be true in 90 days. I know someone who tried to write a manual, but since authoring and proof reading and publishing and advertising take more than 90 days, she couldn't keep up with the changes.

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    Change is constant - and frustrating

    DanGuzman has it right. They run a secret snoop on my account and change the interface as soon as I start to get the hang of something or remove a feature when I begin to rely on it. I used to keep my own grouping of my Family so I could find them easily, and they replaced it with their "Family" group which seems to require a DNA test to set up, and I swear I was able to enter photo descriptions when I first uploaded an album - now I have to "edit" each photo separately - or maybe I just can't find the current way to do it!

    Meanwhile, I wish they would create a decent photo filter to weed out the endless out-of-focus, too-dark, flash reflection-in-the-mirror and too-many-essentially-duplicate shots! Obviously today's contributors think that if one terrible photo is OK, many are great!

  19. #15
    5 Star Lounger
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    Good thread, I have been wondering the same thing as I am looking to use Facebook for a small home based business. I was going to do a bit of searching and reading over the weekend. My biggest concern is locking certain things down so that I only share what I want and not "give away the farm" so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by exGuru View Post

    Meanwhile, I wish they would create a decent photo filter to weed out the endless out-of-focus, too-dark, flash reflection-in-the-mirror and too-many-essentially-duplicate shots! Obviously today's contributors think that if one terrible photo is OK, many are great!
    This isn't just a Facebook problem. I participate on several photography websites. Its amazing how many blurry snapshots of cats people offer for sale.
    Last edited by Doc Brown; 2011-11-03 at 15:40.
    Chuck

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