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Facebook: The Missing Manual [Paperback]

E. A. Vander Veer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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For those seeking to become part of the growing Facebook online community, Vander Veer (whose many computer books include PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual and JavaScript for Dummies) explains how to move into the neighborhood and send messages to other Facebook "friends" for social networking and marketplace purposes. She also covers protecting privacy. Further resources, including using Facebook's help section, are appended.

-- Shannon Hendrickson,

(Shannon Hendrickson)

Facebook [The Missing Manual] is relatively short at 268 pages, but contains a great deal of valuable information for new or confused users. The book is formatted to be user friendly with lots of graphics from the Facebook interface nested in large areas of white space and easily read text...If you're interested in getting the most out of Facebook, I highly recommend Facebook: The Missing Manual; otherwise, you may continue to send me virtual gifts while I ignore your pokes.

-- Jeff Myers,

(Jeff Myers)

One of the beauties of the Missing Manuals is that there is always something new to discover and the research is quite thorough...I kept finding snippets of information, in the way of Tips or Notes, that would give just that bit extra.

-- Graham K. Rogers,

(Graham K. Rogers)

About the Author

E. A. Vander Veer has authored or edited more than a dozen books to date, including "PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual" and "PowerPoint 2007 for Starters: The Missing Manual." Her work has appeared in dozens of on and offline publications, including "Byte," "The Writer," "Salon.com," and "CNN.com."


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is no doubt the best book in print as of March 21, 2008 about Facebook... of course, it is also one of the ONLY books about Facebook in print to date!

But the "Missing Manual" series of books are exceptional in terms of quality of material... organization of that material... and great overall writing with sound critical analysis.

This book is no exception. Though a complete newb could use this just fine... I especially found the info on groups and how to use Facebook with a project team espcially helpful. I suspect many Facebook users are also not aware of the legal implications of posting your photos on Facebook (they become Facebook property in essence).

PONDER BUYING IT!!!
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Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  75 reviews
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little primer for Facebook fans Feb. 12 2008
By John A. Suda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Facebook online social network site has become a phenomenon with over 50 million account holders registered with the "online village." It is easy to open an account and almost immediately set up online relationships with friends, coworkers, and community groups. Like its online rival, MySpace, Facebook's features include easy ways for people and (businesses) to connect via blog features, online groups and networks, photo and video sharing, text messaging and postings, and an elaborate tracking system which stores Facebook's activities and allows access to that data to other FaceBook users and even to others not directly connected with Facebook.

The book, "Facebook: the Missing Manual," is designed primarily for the non-technical computer person who wants to join the fun and business of using Facebook. It is a basic primer describing how to use and enjoy the Facebook features --from registering, setting up a profile, finding and inviting friends to join your personal network, joining groups and networks which share your interests, playing with both silly and serious applications, and using Facebook for business purposes, even for job postings and searching.

The book is a relatively short 268 pages, given its layout of large-sized text, much white space, and the presence of numerous full color screenshots illustrating step-by-step instructions on using Facebook. Geeks and nerds probably will not find much value in this book, but computer neophytes will enjoy its simple, yet comprehensive, approach to its topic.

More importantly, in my view, not just for neophyte users but for many of those already using Facebook, is the books' most useful theme which is learning how to understand the privacy issues involved in using Facebook. Facebook's most salient feature is its activity tracking system which stores data on nearly all Facebook activities and provides ample means of access to that data by other Facebook users, data-mining companies, and even third-party businesses which track off-site consumer activity like shopping, - and up to recently - without a user's active consent .

Once data is entered into a Facebook account, it never disappears, not even after one deactivates the account. For those users comfortable with sharing nearly everything about themselves online - personal information, candid videos and photos, and the like, this state of affairs can have enormous practical consequences either now or later, both good and bad. Facebook's privacy preferences are mostly of the "opt out" nature, so if you don't pay attention to the consequences of even the seemingly most innocuous user configurations--for example, activating any third-party applications no matter how silly, allow the developer full access to your personal data--privacy-related problems can develop.

The book is filled with tips and practical suggestions at every section providing information on what can happen with these your and your friends' data and what steps one can take to protect your privacy expectations. Those tips alone justify the price of the book, for yourself, (or as the case may be), your kids, or grandkids.
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, lacking some information Aug. 13 2008
By Matthew Seitz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought both this and Facebook For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)). This book did include some tips not present in Facebook For Dummies, but didn't have many of the tips found in Facebook For Dummies. I also felt like Facebook For Dummies did a better job of explaining why Facebook does things a certain way, and how the whole system works together. That's probably a result of Facebook For Dummies being written by Facebook insiders, while The Missing Manual was written by outsiders.

Ideally, buy both and get the benefits of both books. But if I had to just have one, I would probably go with Facebook For Dummies.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wordy and not easy to follow; like free marketing for FB May 1 2011
By Gadgester - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this book (3rd edition) on Safari Books online for free, through a link from my local library. I wanted to read it because I had so much trouble understanding Facebook's complicated interface. There are three big problems with this book: first, the writing is wordy and hard to follow, for instance it often says things like "click [a link] and look for [another link] on the page"; second, FB keeps changing its interface so by the time you read the book, some of the descriptions and screenshots are already obsolete; third, the whole book reads more or less like a marketing book for FB, treating everything on FB as the best thing in life (get a life, girl!), and, given how FB is a treasure trove for identity thieves (and they've been hacked several times), the book doesn't discuss privacy until chapter 13, the next to last chapter, and early on it fails to warn the reader adequately about how FB by default makes most of the profile info viewable by the public. I learned little from this book and ended up using FB's help pages, so it's good I didn't pay for the book. If you are young, I think it's probably still easy to learn the ropes by poking around FB's site. If you are old like me, first pray FB will stop modifying their interface every week, second you can probably just ask some youngster to teach you - much more effective than reading this book (or probably any book on FB).
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your map to the facebook universe April 21 2011
By Ziv Kitro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is no doubt that for many, the Internet is Facebook. it is here where we talk to friends, post images and videos, share our feelings, invite others to events, try to advance our causes and, if there isn't anything better to do, poke each other. there are games, applications that can tell us what the next best book we should buy and ways to find our next date. the ecosystem is almost complete, and in such a vast place it is not always clear how things work.

The third edition of the book brings a vast amount of information. as someone who lives within the Facebook ecosystem I found a few things I never did bother to learn myself - like how to set people as family members. there are tons of tips and tricks and tons of information in regard to the ever changing security settings Facebook give the users.

The book is well written, but it is clear that the aim here is to help those who don't understand the power that Facebook can give them. you will find there information that will help you decide if you need to open a profile or a page and how to go about and really enjoy everything Facebook offers to each type of account. the order of the information make sense and when I came to a section I didn't care for, it was easy enough to move forward and find the next interesting bit.

There should be no doubt - if you are a poweruser this book has nothing to offer you. if you are new to Facebook this book will help you a lot.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To find out what your kids are up to (or what you might be missing)... Feb. 18 2008
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So let's say you're someone who hasn't dabbled much in the Web 2.0 world, and you're wondering what all this talk of Facebook is about. Or, you're a parent and you've heard media reports of how dangerous Facebook can be for your kids if they're not careful. If you want to get a overview of the site without getting totally bogged down in the details once you log on, Facebook: The Missing Manual is a good option to pursue. You'll find out the reality of what Facebook offers, why people find it appealing, and what sort of security matters you should keep in mind as you (or your kids) establish a presence there.

Contents:
Part 1 - From Signing Up to Staying Connected: Getting Started; Joining a Network; Finding and Adding Friends; Sending Messages to Friends; Exchanging Automatic Updates
Part 2 - Interest Groups and Shopping: Participating in Groups; Facebook and the Real World - In-person Events; Going Shopping
Part 3 - Doing Business with Facebook: Hiring and Getting Hired; Collaborating on Projects via Facebook; Advertising on Facebook
Part 4 - Privacy and Power Tools: Customizing Facebook and Adding Applications; Playing It Safe - Facebook Privacy; Facebook Mobile
Part 5 - Appendix: Getting Help; Index

The book starts off with the basics... how to sign up, create your identity, and what sort of groups you could join. I immediately learned something in that area when it came to what groups you're allowed to join in terms of locations and schools. I didn't realize there were the restrictions that required you to have an email address from the school you were associating with. There's also the information on how to send messages to others you know on Facebook. All that's pretty basic, and you could likely get most of that from just logging in and going for it. It's when you get to the following parts that you start to see some of the additional power that may not be readily apparent unless you dig deep on your own. For instance, I wasn't aware of being able to place ads, setting up group collaboration, or looking at Facebook as being a portfolio of your work that a prospective employer might see. Probably the most important part of the book is the section on privacy. It's tempting to want to load up all sorts of details on yourself, but it's really not a wise idea. Vander Veer does a good job in outlining where you should be drawing the line, as well as what risks you take by adding Facebook applications or not restricting your profile properly.

While I do have a Facebook presence already, I came away from this book with a greater understanding of how you could use the tool for more than just "poking" your friends. Many of the features of Facebook have stand-alone equivalents (such as blogs, picture storage, etc.), but you may choose to want to keep everything in one single place for easier integration. And if you're the parent who wants to know what your kids are up to, you'll be able to discuss Facebook with them without all the associated hype and hysteria so often present in media reports.

One thing to keep in mind, however... Sites like Facebook change often with little tweaks and new enhancements. While this book will cover the basics well, don't be surprised if there's a new feature that's not covered at all by the time you read it, or if the screen shots don't match exactly. Such is life in the world of Web 2.0.
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