Tag Archives: sns

Getting Started on Facebook

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/
2. Change it to your language if you’d like to make it easier. Languages are at the bottom of the page. You can switch languages any time.
3. Enter your name and other information. Yes, you should probably use your real name. Why? Because it will help your friends find you. (Also, Facebook requires it.) You can hide all of your other information from people that you don’t know.
4. There will be a “captcha” image. Type in the words to prove that you’re a real person. Click “try different words” if you can’t read it.
5. Facebook will offer to look for your friends who are already on Facebook, using your email. This is a good idea if you have a compatible email service, but be careful.

  • First, it will ask you to log in with each account if you’re not logged in.
  • Then it will ask you to agree and continue.
  • After a while, it will show people in your email address book who are already using Facebook. It will say “Select which contacts to add as a friend from the list below.”
  • Click the box to the left of anyone you want to add as Facebook friends.
  • Click “Add as Friends.” (If there wasn’t anyone you wanted to add–for example, it was just people from your job–click “Skip” (cancel/etc.)).
  • DANGER! Be VERY careful to not accidentally email your entire address book in this step! Now it will say “## contacts aren’t on Facebook or haven’t listed their screen names.” You can invite people or skip (not do) this step. I think you should click on “Skip” — don’t invite anyone here. If you do want to invite a few people, click on “Invite some friends.” Do not click “Invite All Friends.” So click “Skip.” You can come back to this page later. It is very useful as long as you don’t accidentally invite everyone!

Click “save and continue.”

6. Fill out basic profile information like your high school and where you work. Later, you can use this to find people who went to the same school at the same time, worked at the same place, etc. It’s also really helpful when an old friend or distant family member is looking for you. Currently, there are 600,000,000 active accounts on Facebook. There is probably someone else with the same name as you. If you want to change it later so that people who aren’t your friends can’t see it, you can. However, this means that people who are looking for you won’t get any help. Click “save and continue.”
7. Add a profile picture. You can use your computer’s camera, upload a photo of you, or upload a picture of something else. It’s nice to use a photo of you–I contacted a classmate from several years ago, and she didn’t remember my name, but she said “As soon as I saw your photo, I remembered you! I’m so happy to see you again!” Some people use a childhood photo, a photo with sunglasses, a hat, or part of their face covered. Others use a regular photo. Some really don’t want a photo of themselves, even if it’s useful, so they use something else. Click “save and continue.”
8. Now you’ll see your main page. Of course, it’ll be pretty empty right now. There will probably be a notice at the top that says “Go to your email to complete sign-up.” Facebook should have sent a confirmation link to your email, something like “Just one more step to get started on Facebook.” Look for it in your email. Find the link in the email and click on it.
9. This should take you back to Facebook. It should tell you that you’ve registered succesfully. Click “Okay.”
10. The next thing you should do is fix your security settings, which I’ll write more about later. After that, you have two more fun things to do: Finish setting up your profile and go look for more friends. I’m going to stop here, though.

If there’s anything that you’re confused by, or worried about, PLEASE ask! If you have advice or suggestions for other users, please tell me.

Next I’ll talk about how to enjoy using Facebook and how to stay safe!

What is Facebook For?

Readable Blog

For me and most of my friends, Facebook is a good way to connect with our real-life friends and family. Unlike Twitter, the people that we are “friends” with on Facebook are usually people that we know well. We also use Facebook to become “fans” (or “like”) the pages of businesses that we use a lot, brands that we like, media such as newspapers and TV stations, celebrities, local government and nonprofit groups, publishers and educational organizations, school and alumni groups, and so on.

The updates from our friends’ personal accounts and the photos and articles from the organizations’ pages are all shown in the same area, called the News Feed, when I log in. (Normal users have Facebook accounts; businesses and so on have Facebook pages. I, the woman writing this blog, have a Facebook account under my name, but there’s also a Facebook page called Readable Blog.)

I use updates from the Facebook pages two ways: First, I read and enjoy the updates myself. I get more information this way than on Twitter, since it’s not limited to 140 characters. I can watch videos or look at photos from inside Facebook. Some Facebook pages also have contests and coupons. (There are games and apps, too, but I don’t usually do those.) I comment on some of the interesting things. I also click “like” on stories, photos, and videos that are interesting and useful to me.

Second, when I see something that I think my Facebook friends would also like, I click “share.” This means that my Facebook friends will see it, too. They can comment on it, “like” it, and share it, too. Unlike Twitter, when my friends comment on it, they’ll all wind up talking together, which is nice.

It’s this mix of entertaining and useful news, video, and photos from all over the world, plus my friends from all over the world commenting together, that makes Facebook something I like. Also, it doesn’t take much time to use. If I want to share something I see on Facebook, it only takes a second to click “share” and type a comment. If I want to share something I found somewhere else, I just paste in the URL. Facebook makes it a link automatically. It’s faster than blogging, but there’s more detail than Twitter.

In the last two days, I shared some news about a charity for tornado victims in the southeast US, a comic strip about English vocabulary, a news article about a 9/11 memorial, and a music video. I clicked “like” on a lot of things, including my friend’s status update (kind of like a tweet) that she was accepted at a university, a message from a local park page announcing a free festival, an article from a travel magazine, etc. I also commented on lots of status updates and a few other things. Oh, and I entered a contest win an around-the-world airplane ticket! Heehee.

Finally, one thing that a lot of my friends do is play games and use other “apps” (mini-programs) inside of Facebook. Mixi started to also use this idea a while ago, and so did other SNSes, so you might be familiar with it already. Some of the games are really pretty good.

In some other posts, I’ll tell you how to get a Facebook account, how I use Facebook (literally–where I click and so on), how to stay safe, and how I think you can best enjoy using it.

Later, I’ll add some pages to this blog with more details (like my Twitter pages).

If you have ANY questions, please let me know!

Language Exchange Done Right?

Happy New Year! I’m slow to post again. Sorry! I have an important project that I have to finish, so I can’t spend enough time here. Anyway, I hope you had a good new year and will have a good 2009.

Today let me tell you a little about Lang-8. It’s a language exchange website. Usually I don’t link to these websites. Users often get bored or frustrated, because they can’t explain grammar problems, etc. (Yes, a native speaker can tell you “This is wrong.” However, it takes a language teacher to explain why something is wrong.) Or people just write short notes to each other. That’s pretty useful, but any language exchange site is fine for that.

Anyway, Lang-8 is a little different. It focuses on writing correction. You write a short journal entry in English. Native/fluent English speakers use Lang-8 sections to make corrections to your entry. You can see their corrections highlighted in red, marked out, etc. It’s easy to see the changes. (And you can help other people who are learning Korean, Japanese, German, etc.)

Of course, there’s still a problem. If you ask the commenter “Why did you change that?” he or she probably can’t explain very well. As a result, it’s hard for you to understand why you should write differently next time.

So I have a suggestion: If you use Lang-8, use it to practice specific grammar points and sentence patterns. Pick something where you basically understand the rules and write just a couple of sentences practicing that grammar point. Make several journal entries over several days working on that grammar point. Use Lang-8 to “check your homework” (except that the “homework” is your self-study). I think this will help make Lang-8 more useful to you.

Actually, I’m going to try this myself with Japanese! Wish me luck…