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Facebook: The Missing Manual Paperback – Feb 4 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Facebook: The Missing Manual
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Feb. 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596517696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596517694
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,945,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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," "," and ""

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Top Customer Reviews

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).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c8f8be8) out of 5 stars 77 reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c90aeac) out of 5 stars Nice little primer for Facebook fans Feb. 12 2008
By John A. Suda - Published on
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.
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c90af00) out of 5 stars Good, lacking some information Aug. 13 2008
By Matthew Seitz - Published on
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.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c90c354) out of 5 stars Wordy and not easy to follow; like free marketing for FB May 1 2011
By Gadgester - Published on
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
HASH(0x9c90c714) out of 5 stars Your map to the facebook universe April 21 2011
By Ziv Kitro - Published on
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.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c90c7f8) out of 5 stars Clear and Instructive July 1 2010
By Brandon J. Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Facebook: The Missing Manual is an interesting idea. For those who came of age in the internet age, most aspects of Facebook are very obvious - it is, after all, designed to be a user-friendly social networking site. Like many computer programs, though, the basics may be simple, but the deeper features can be complicated, or, at the very least, not intuitive to all people.

This Facebook manual is clearly written and well-organized, with plenty of images to guide the reader through the many options available to you through facebook. The most important, by far, is chapter 13, which reviews privacy settings. If you have any doubts about how to protect your privacy, this should be one of the first things you review.

Facebook: The Missing Manual has one fault, though, and it is due to the nature of the internet itself. In the blink of an eye, this book can be out of date. Facebook is notorious for changing their privacy policies without warning, and they can reorganize the site and its applications at any time. So, there's a certain immediacy to obtaining this book. I would not recommend this if you want to have it available for the future, but I do think it could be useful if you want to explore facebook as it is now.