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Facebook: Publishing Thoughts/Links

by Wren McMains
(8/22/2009)

If you've read most of this before, you can jump directly to:

The whole idea behind Facebook is communication. Say something about what you're doing, or what you're thinking at least a few times a week.

At the top of both your Home page and your Wall you'll find a box that looks like this, just start typing:

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When you're done, press the "Share" button. Nothing to it. It appears as the top story/thought on your page, and the "Home" page of all your Friends, until something newer comes along:

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Limitation:  Facebook is almost as bad as Twitter, it limits thoughts to something like 420 characters. There are two ways around this:

  1. If you have very little more to say, copy the unfinished sentence to the clipboard with Ctrl+X and share what you've typed so far. Then use "Comment" (see below) to continue to your thought. Use Ctrl+V to paste in the start of your next sentence. This puts the continuation below your first post. Do not do another "Share" as described about as this will put the continuation before the start of your thought and confuse the reader.
  2. If you want to post a longer story, use the "Note" feature instead. You can get the by clicking on "Applications" (bottom left corner, and then Notes). Besides allowing you to write more, Notes can be formatted and you can insert pictures, click for tips on using Notes.

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Writing on someone else's Wall

To say something to a Friend, you write on their "Wall". First click on their name wherever you see it. If you don't see it, Click on "Friends" at the top of the page and choose "All Friends" in the pull-down:

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In your list of Friends, click on their name or picture:

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This will take you to THEIR Wall:

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They will see whatever you write here in the News Feed on their Home page. Their friends can also see it, but only if they look at their Wall.


Removing something you posted

If you decide you don't like what you said it's easy to remove anything you have posted. You can also remove anything anyone else has posted on your wall page the same way.

Tip: If you just want to edit it, first highlight it and copy it to the clipboard with Ctrl+C. Remove it, and then paste your thought back into your Publisher box with Ctrl+V. You can now edit it.

You can't remove it while viewing your "Home" page, but if you go to your "Wall" and move your cursor over the thought:

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The word "Remove" appears. Click on it and you get this dialog:

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Click Delete and it's gone from your page and will no longer appear on your Friends Home pages.


Comments

When someone posts on your Wall, don't answer them by using the Publish/Share box we just discussed. Instead click on the word "Comment" under their Thought/Story:

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That opens up this box where you can start typing your response/comment:

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When done, press "Comment".

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Note how your response appears under the original thought and is indented:

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To delete a "Comment" you made, just use the "Delete" button under it.

Another option is to just say you "Like" a Thought/Story. With a single click you let the writer know you read their Thought/Story and liked it.

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Notice the "Thumbs Up" that now appears under the story (when viewed by other people your name will appear by the "Thumbs Up"):

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If many people like it a count appears instead of a name and by clicking you can find out who the people are. (I know I've also seen a "Thumbs Down", but Facebook must have decided to spread only good news and doesn't allow it everywhere.)


Links

Instead of just posting your thought of the day, maybe you've discovered an interesting story or website on the internet. Share it with your friends. While you're looking at the story, highlight the URL (the http:// address up on the address bar of your browser). Then use Ctrl+C to copy to the clipboard.

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Note that in addition to the picture of the shuttle landing, this page has some more pictures at the bottom of the page:

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Now go back to Facebook and in your Publish box, click on the "Link" icon:

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That give you this box:

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Since the address you copied starts with "http://" highlight those characters and use Ctrl+V to paste the URL you copied on top of them:

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Next click on the Attach button. If the page has any graphics on it, you can choose one as the thumbnail for you thought/story:

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Use the right and left arrow keys to cycle through the (in this case 6) thumbnails. Here's the 6th one which we saw was at the bottom of the page:

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It's not the one we want so we'll use the left arrow button to go back and find the one we really want. Then BEFORE press Share, we'll add our comment about the story. Now we're ready to share:

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Here's what it looks like at the top of our and our Friends Home page:

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As you can see, what I really should have said was something like "I see the Shuttle is safely home."


Sharing a Post with your Friends

Remember what you see on your Home page (your newsfeed) is normally NOT seen by your friends. If you see something you'd like to pass on, click on "Share" (or see below is there is no Share choice):

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You'll get this dialog box where you can replace what your Friend said with your thought:

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When done, click "Share":

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Here's what it looked like after I posted it. Note that within a few minutes, someone "Liked it", commented on it, and the "Shared" it with their friends:

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If it's a thought someone posted, there is no "Share" choice. In that case you just select and copy the post and then paste it into your publishing box where is says "What's on your mind?" and click "Share".

BEWARE of any post that tells you to do this, they are usually the Facebook version of e-mail spam:

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Options for viewing/controlling your Wall

When viewing your Wall, you'll also note the word "Options" appears just under the Publishing box:

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By clicking on "Options", new buttons appear. These provide a filter that allows you to show just what you put on your Wall, just what your Friends put there, or the normal view which is the combination of both:

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More advanced users you can click on the "Settings" button and allow stories, albums, videos, etc. posted by you on other sites to appear on your wall, and therefore, on your Friends Home pages.

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If you have a Blog (anywhere) or frequently post to other sites that Facebook lets you import from, try it out. I have a friend who posts a new image each day on his Blog. I must admit that I almost never looked at his Blog, but once he imported his daily posts from his Blog to Facebook (they show up as Notes in Facebook) I almost always look when I see he's made a new post. (Too bad Facebook doesn't use his image as a thumbnail for the post, but I guess you can't have everything.)


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