Happy Monday, iMore! And as we're getting back into the swing of things, it seems only natural to chat about that time-honored start-of-the-week occurence: social media procrastination.
You may be putting off an email, or trying to figure out a way to stay conscious in a meeting, or simply out of tasks to do at work. Whatever the case, we inevitably fill some of our time looking at Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, etc.
Today, I'm going to focus on Facebook. Because here's the thing: I really, really dislike Facebook. It's too much noise. I use it primarily to keep in touch with roller derby contacts throughout the world, but that means a lot of friends, and a lot of random invites to play games or read about people's friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-updates. Noise. So much noise.
But! Did you know Facebook has an amazing cure for such insanity? It's called Facebook Lists. You can custom-create lists for subsets of your friends — both to read just those posts, and to share information with only them. I use lists obsessively — I have a list for the few far-flung family members I want to chat with, a list for my local roller derby league, a bigger list of good roller derby friends I want to talk to... they're so useful. Why?
Less noise to read, more content you care about. When you create a Facebook List — by scrolling down to Friends in the main sidebar and clicking on More, then going to Create List — you get to choose who you want to read updates from. On top of that, when you put someone in a list, you get all their updates — not just Facebook's curated thoughts about what you might like to see — and the list is in chronological order, so you're not reading a post from last Thursday. More Twitter-esque.
You can limit your over-sharing to the people who actually care about it: Hundreds of roller derby people around the world don't need to hear about my dad's birthday celebration, but I know my cousins want to know. When you write a new status, the drop-down menu next to the Post button lets you select lists; if you post to that list, only the people on your list will ever see that status. This is also a great way to arrange local group outings among friends without pestering friends who live across the country with your dinner and movie plans.
If you care about a Business's Page, adding it to a list will let you see all their posts: Business or fan pages have a tough time getting seen in your News Feed without paying for ad time, thanks to Facebook's new algorithms. But you want to get all the updates on your favorite band, ice cream shop, or roller derby team, just add them to a Facebook Interest list. Scroll down to Interests in the Facebook sidebar and click on it, then click the Add Interests button, then Create List to create a new list for your pages.
You can even make your lists show up next to the News Feed for quick access: There's no point in a list if you can't be reminded to check it. Thankfully, there's an easy way to make them show up right under your News Feed and Events in the left sidebar: Just go to Friends > More and click the gear icon for the list in question, then select Add to Favorites. (Similar deal for Facebook Pages by going to Interests and clicking the gear icon for the list in question.)
Pretty simple, right? Now you can procrastinate in peace and not worry about missing an update from a good friend or getting blasted by another invitation from some random person to go play Farmville. Mischief managed.
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