Facebook - Getting Started

Category: Facebook , Social-Networking

Looking for an alternative to an oversaturated MySpace? Facebook is a great alternative for the college and professional set. A little more serious than MySpace, Facebook is more than just competing to see who can have the most friends. Facebook boasts over 25 million members, and is the number one photo sharing site on the Web. Here's the scoop on getting started with Facebook...

facebook profile

So What is Facebook?

In February 2004, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg was dismayed that Harvard did not publish a "face book" listing all students, a common practice at other colleges. So he created a site where students could input their own vital stats and upload photos. Within a few weeks, most of the Harvard student body had created profiles, and the project grew to include other colleges. Students loved the idea because it gave them a way to connect with other students on campus who share similar interests. Paypal co-creator Peter Thiel was so impressed by the site that he invested $500,000 in it. By December, over one million subscribers had joined. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard and with investors buzzing around him and a small circle of friends, set up company headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Facebook has since opened up to high school students and is becoming increasingly popular amongst young professionals. About 4 million Facebook users are over the age of 25. Today, Facebook is a place where users can meet and greet others around the planet, but connections must be formed based on existing real-world ties. While MySpace often attracts musicians and teens (the minimum age is 14,) and concentrates on groups based on shared interests, Facebook seeks the intellectual crowd by encouraging groups to form based on your high school, college, workplace, or even hometown affiliations.

Using Facebook

Signing up for a Facebook profile is free and easy. Connect by school, workplace, or geographical location, enter your e-mail address and choose a password. A message to your e-mail inbox welcomes you to Facebook. Confirmation is a simple click and you are there.

facebook giftsOnce you access your profile page, you can upload unlimited photos or videos, find other friends who have already joined Facebook, check out cultural events in your area, or visit the Marketplace, where you can buy and sell, seek housing, or hunt for a new job. You can also blog to your heart’s content.

One of the most appealing features of the social networking website is the ability to send others a “Gift” in the form of an icon. A new one is featured daily and users are charged $1.00 for the privilege. However, one Facebook user has created a "Free Gifts" app using Facebook's own programming interface, and it currently has over 1 million users.

A “Poke” allows you to tell another member that you would like to get together. Send one to someone who has an interesting sounding life, and the next time that person logs in, they will have access to your profile for a week, just in case they want to poke you back. The “Honesty Box” allows users to send anonymous messages (like "Your new haircut is ugly" or "Your boyfriend is cheating on you") to others on the site, allowing anyone to get in touch with their inner-cat by being brutally truthful. If you are more on the cuddly side, “X Me” allows you and your friends to hug, kiss, tickle, or send beer.

Another pastime we recommend is to join the “Food Fight,” which was created by David Gentzel. Toss some sushi to someone who would be a likely candidate as a future bud for $1.75 or a cuppa coffee for only $.50. There are over 360,000 Facebookers just waiting toss some spaghetti back at you.

Facebook Privacy

If you are concerned about privacy on Facebook (a big issue with MySpace) you have a higher degree of control over the amount of personal information displayed by using the privacy settings. The settings enable you to control who can see your profile, contact information, groups, photos, posted items, and online status. You can also control who can find you in searches and what appears in your search listing. And you get to choose which parts of your profile are visible to people with whom you initiate contact through a message, poke or friend request.

Facebook is worth a peek for anyone who wants to find a past aquaintance, a current friend, or a future chum. It’s easy to understand why its membership continues to grow, and admirable that it has not yet become the property of Internet mega-moguls Google or Yahoo, although rumour has it that the last offer was in the billions. I suggest you check it out for yourself, then toss me a cake to celebrate.

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Most recent comments on "Facebook - Getting Started"

Posted by:

14 Jun 2007

A friend of mine invited me to Facebook but I declined. For one, the user agreement states that anything you post on there is their property. So no biggy for personal photos but be careful about your work. It also requires you to give personal information like your age and keep it accurate. Theres a lot of information on 3rd parties that is anything but transparent.

"We may use information about you that we collect from other sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as blogs, instant messaging services and other users of Facebook, to supplement your profile.... We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship."

Data mining by 3rd parties has taken place and the News Feed evidently reveals stuff you've set to private, so nothing is really private that you post there. As a student tool for socializing - great. But be careful haw far you take what you put up there.

Posted by:

14 Jun 2007

I've only recently become aware of Facebook and am setting up an account there, though since my high school no longer exists, I didn't graduate from college and have always worked in very small offices, my immediate frustration is the difficulty in finding people, since there appears not to be a good "search" option. E.g., I hear that several politicians have started Facebook accounts, but I don't know how to find them.

My second problem is one that will probably not be solved for a long time -- finding Facebook members in my age range >60. Maybe I'm too hip for my peers!

Posted by:

14 Jun 2007

I have recently been bombarded with "so and so " has added you to facebook and asks me to reply. I have never heard of any of these people. I am thinking this is coming from political candidates?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Probably nothing political... sounds more like spammers trying to build a large list of "friends." You can find out for sure by visiting those profiles...

Posted by:

11 Oct 2007

Bev said
"My second problem is one that will probably not be solved for a long time -- finding Facebook members in my age range >60. Maybe I'm too hip for my peers!"
Not so! It's cool to find another savvy senior. Lots of Over-50s subscribe to Bob Rankin I'd bet, and Demystifying Digital has an entire monthly column and blog without trying to sell one single thing) about techno stuff for us babyboomers. I'm going to sign up for face page today and see what I find - I'm 58 and a Digital Grandparent.

Posted by:

08 Jan 2008

Facebook is lots of fun. It's manageable not like myspace!

Posted by:

27 Apr 2008

I have signed up for facebook and tried to log on, but whenever I do it takes me too http://www.facebook.com/select_network.php .

At the bottom it says Facebook requires all members under 18 to join a high school or college network. When I go down and hit High School, nothing happens. How do I get to the main site?

Posted by:

09 Aug 2009

How do I type a little heart into my status?

Posted by:

20 Nov 2009

To get a heart in your status you have to use 2 keys To get a heart in your status you have to use 2 keys

Posted by:

dellone gondwe
28 Jun 2010

my face book account is not well may you help me

Posted by:

04 Aug 2010

every body i had forget my facebook pass word so please tell me how to i get my password and i know i can get but if you help me so please help me okkkkkk

Posted by:

28 Dec 2011

I forgot my facebook password. My hotmail account has been hacked and had to change to Yahoo. How do I get a new password or change my password? New email account is dollarxxxxxxxx@yahoo.com

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