Author: E. A. Vander Veer
Publisher: Pogue Press, 2010 2nd edition
Aimed at: Absolute newcomers to Facebook
Pros: Useful if you've never encountered Facebook before
Cons: Has little new to say to existing Facebook users
Reviewed by: Lucy Black
If you want guidance through the whole process of starting to use Facebook you will welcome this manual.
It starts right at the beginning with signing up for an account. It goes through the process in painstaking detail which I initially thought was just to fill space - after all who needs to be told to use a working email address. Then I remembered just how many registrations to the iProgrammer site fail because people don't want to use their real email addresses - so perhaps this is worthwhile advice. Chapter 1 then goes on to finding friends on Facebook, creating a profile and adding a picture, all at a similar level of detail.
In Chapter 2 we learn how networks work - these are groups of people with something in common, typically people who used to go school together or who share current membership of a real-world group. It shows you both how to join and leave network and how to suggest a new network.
Chapter 3 returns to the topic of Friends and suggests ways to increase your circle of FaceBook friends. It also covers Friends Lists and concludes by showing how to remove a friend. The next chapter is on sending messages and imcludes Chatting, Poking, Writing on Walls and Gifts - all useful stuff for the Facebook novice. Chapter 5 gets rather more advanced, looking at automatic updates - how to customise who sees your News Feeds and Mini Feeds and how to control where your receive and notifications and from whom. It also goes into the use of Notes.
The three chapters in Part Two cover participating in groups; in-person events and "Going Shopping" - Facebook's Marketplace application which lets you place and answer small ads. Part Three is on "Doing Business on Facebook" with its first chapter on Facebook's role in job hunting/recruitment. The next, Chapter 10, Collaborating on Projects held a surprise. After a note "If your company won't let you use Facebook at work you can probably skip this chapter" it goes on to cover photo albums - and the surprise was that this topic that seems so central to Facebook could be left so late, and almost tucked away, in this book. The final chapter in this section is on advertising and covers Facebook Pages, Social Ads and connecting Facebook to your website.
Part 4: Privacy and Power Tools opens with a chapter on customising your Home Page and Profile and adding third party applications. It then discusses Privacy with some pretty sound, if common sense advice. This chapter pre-dates Facebook's recent (May 2010) changes to its privacy settings so may now be a bit redundant. The final chapter is on Facebook Mobile - using your cell phone to continue to use Facebook while you are out and about.
With an Appendix on Getting help, which includes the urls of relevant websites, and a comprehensive index this book does provide documentation that new Facebook users will find useful. Even seasoned users may find a few interesting points but on the whole will find that it is simply preaching to the converted.