Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Clean Your Facebook Mini-Feed and Make It Work

In my last post I told you how to use twitter to update your Facebook status. Twitter is an example of what has been called "micro-blogging" - weblogging with small pieces of information. In this post I'm going to show you how to control your Mini-Feed so that it contains only things your network will find useful, encouraging them to follow the "micro-blog" on your FB profile page.

We will need to do some clean-up. A lot of fairly boring or silly things get posted into our mini-feed and news feed if we're not careful. The mini-feed only shows ten items on your profile page so you want to tightly control what gets in there. First, on any Facebook page click on "Privacy" in the top right corner of the page and then click on "News Feed and Mini-Feed". This is where we control what Facebook itself places in our feeds. Since we only want significant. positive things in our feeds deselect "Remove Profile info", "Remove my Relationship Status", "Leave a Group" and "Leave a Network". Since we are all adding a lot of friends I'd also deselect "Add a Friend". Once you've deselected thse click on "Save Changes" at the bottom of the list.

Now all those fun and silly applications we all enjoy adding can also add things into our Mini-Feed. So on the right of the page you will see a paragraph that explains this with a link titled "Edit Applications". Click on this and you will have a list of your applications titled "Edit My Applications". You can remove applications here, but more importantly you can see and edit their "settings" which controls, among other things, if they post to your Mini-Feed. For all the "fun" applications click on "Edit Settings" next to their name and deselect "Publish stories about this in my News Feed" and "Publish stories about this in my Mini-Feed" then "Save Changes". Be ruthless, personally I only allow applications such as "Cities I've Visited" and "Books" to write to my Mini-Feed.

Once you've done this you're ready to start adding good information from elsewhere. I'll tell you how to do that using "FriendFeed" and some other sites in my next post.

Speaking of cleaning, if you are getting a number of friend requests and people confirming your friend requests (as all of us expanding our network should be) then your email box is getting flooded by Facebook. At the bottom of one of the emails you will see a line "Want to control which emails you receive from Facebook? Go to:" - click on it and it will take you to a page where you can turn off emails from Facebook under various circumstances and below that for the Facebook applications you have installed. Once again be ruthless - you will get Notifications from Facebook regardless of the setting here so if you visit your FB Home page regularly you don't need the emails.

My Facebook profile : http://profile.to/tonywilliams/
My twitter feed: http://twitter.com/honestpuck

1 comment:

Paul said...

Very helpful Tony I am going to put this to use right now.