Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Warning: Facebook frustrating for Bears

Facebook very frustrating!

Bear spent many hours today trying to learn more about Facebook. And thinks she has never been to such a frustrating place before, as Facebook Planet.

She's still having trouble understanding the Privacy Settings. For example, if she sets her Privacy settings to "Everyone" for the Wall, does that mean that everything she publishes on her own Wall is sent out as a "news feed" to all her friends and friends of friends? Or does it just mean everyone can SEE her wall?

And that's just one area of confusion among many.

Some things did become somewhat clearer, as she spent hour after hour combing through Help files, plus articles about Facebook on the Web. But much is still deep in fog.

Another example: why does her email address keep appearing in her Profile for others to see, even though she's set it on "Me Only" privacy setting?

And can she even trust Facebook's Privacy settings? While she was reading one Help file, she stumbled onto a Facebook notice apologizing that people's Photos were not visible at all for a short time, when they were set to Friends privacy. And apparently there are other glitches that happen like that from time to time. What kind of "privacy" is it, if the settings go on the blink from time to time?

She found one article on the Web, where a person claimed that, when he signed onto his Facebook account via mobile, he could see all his Friends' email addresses, no matter what privacy level they were at. That was back in 2007 or 2008, but if it could have a glitch then, couldn't it again?

Bear wonders.

Maybe Bear is just dumb, but she's never seen a "Help" documentation system set up so poorly, that confused her so much.

At one point, Bear was even about to delete her account and forget the whole thing, she felt so frustrated.

But she consoles herself with the thought that she did at least learn some of the basics; and after taking a Deep Bear Breath, has decided to work at being a little more patient.

She even learned how to upload all the Den's Journal Entries onto Facebook Notes tab, using a feed, and thought that was pretty nifty for awhile. But then she took them down again, deciding to use the Notes tab to put her Writing Challenge entries on (after judging is over, each week), as a sampler of her writing for editors to see.

So, instead of putting the Den's whole Living Room Journal in Notes (and having it automatically updating itself there), she'll just share some of the Journal's entries/posts on her Wall from time to time, using the share buttons in the Den to send them to her Facebook Wall.

Also, she has pretty much decided to just forget about Privacy Settings, and just put info on Facebook that she's willing to let the whole Internet World see.

The more Bear learns about the way Feeds work, and Subscriptions work, and Sharing works -- just a click of the button usually, to link or post a whole web-page in a brand new place -- the more she thinks that the words "Privacy" and "Internet" are just no longer compatible at all, no matter how much people may try to combine the two.

Bear has decided that she is only going to post on the Internet (at FaithWriters, Facebook, etc) writing that she's willing to give away free, or that she can use as a sampler for editors, or writing that has already been published elsewhere. And she's going to keep off the Web anything she actually hopes to sell, (unless she's selling it to someone on the Web.)

She may change her mind on that later. But it seems rather pointless to put writing ANYWHERE on the Net and then try to sell "First North American Serial Rights" to a publisher afterward, when it's accessible for the whole world to read already.

It will be very interesting to see what the Internet metamorphoses into during these next four or five years, Bear thinks, with so many options for instant, one-click "sharing" of information multiplying at such an exponential rate.

At any rate, after restraining herself from deleting her Facebook account completely (and stopping herself from dwelling too long on happy images of throwing the computer monitor out the front window of the Den), Bear prayed enough to settle down and to start to look on the bright side of Facebook Planet again. And just decided to learn to work with its good points, and work around the problem areas. And to be more patient during the learning phase.

She'll just try to picture blue Facebook skies ahead, with a few of those nice, puffy white clouds peacefully floating around, just to give the picture a bit of interest and contrast.
Bear's news and free multi-media Christian resources: Bear's Writing Den


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