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Facebook, I don’t “like” you. Wednesday Wrant 2/22/2012

Today finds me ranting about something I think we can all rant about… Facebook. I have a general policy that my Facebook is a social media outlet completely separate from my author brand or persona, which I think is probably mostly healthy.

So for me, Facebook is all personal, and zero business (except when I am giving my book away, which I think is fair). What bothers me is other people who don’t respect those same boundaries.

“Like my page!”

“I want to play you in Scrabble!”

“I just bought a new pair of Toms and I’m doing a shitload of good for humanity with my overpriced $54 shoes!” (Hmm… there’s a topic for a future rant)

There’s also this new thing where it’ll show you where Person A commented on Person B’s status, even if you have jack shit connection to Person B. I unwittingly saw a uterus photo that way (again, a topic for a future rant).

Maybe it’s just me, but I get advertised to enough in my life; I don’t need it from my friends on my news feed in Facebook, and I don’t care to see status updates from people I don’t know. The interface has changed so that you can only determine what types of updates appear on your feed on a per-user basis. I’m not about to go through and set this for every single friend of mine, so I figured out a little trick that I thought was brilliant (and, behold my technical writing day job skills in action):

  1. In Facebook, in the left pane of the news feed, in the LISTS heading, click MORE.
  2. In the Lists page, click Create List.
  3. In the Create New List dialog box, in the List Name field, enter “All” or something and click Create.
  4. In the list page, click Add Friends.
  5. In the Edit <list name> box, add all your friends and click Finish. No, there’s not a quick way to do this. Thanks, Facebook.
  6. Now that you have everybody, click the Manage List arrow and select Choose Update Types. You might have to click this twice to see all the categories, because the UI is very finicky.
  7. And voila, you can uncheck games, likes, comments on people you don’t know, music, etc.

I was ridiculously proud of myself for figuring this out. Here’s the problem, though, it only works about 60% of the time! I still get “So and so is listening to Nickelback on Spotify!” (Really? Are you sure we’re friends?) or “Suzy just watched 20 YouTube videos and here they are in chronological order!” from time to time. So, it’s not perfect. But if you wanna hack your way to a better news feed, this is a start.

And no, I won’t host a 31 party, a Scentsy party, an Arbonne party, or any other party. I thought you were an “independent” distributor! (Yet another rant for the future.)

So, having ranted the following, it’s now the first day of Lent. Do I or do I not give up Facebook in hopes I’ll be less cranky after celebrating Christ’s resurrection?

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New Short Story: The Camera

Last week I was struggling with whether to finish either of the 2 short stories I’ve been working on for what seems like ages and whose writer’s block has given me fits of semi-insanity, or tabula-rasa it and start over, when a friend told me a crazy story.

It was all about how he found this camera while we were in Lawrence, which I remember, and how he found the person it belonged to, just by the pictures that were on it and his powers of deductive reasoning. Well, the truth might be stranger than fiction, but I’ll let you be the judge of just how implausible this really sounds. Check out The Camera and let me know what you think.

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