How to Easily Outsmart Facebook and See the Posts YOU Want to See

Have you noticed you’re not seeing Facebook updates from friends and pages as much as you used to?

There are many reasons this is happening. One is to be expected: If you have a lot of friends and like a lot of pages, you’re just not going to see all their updates unless you’re on Facebook 24/7.

Another reason? Facebook wants pages like Honest Mom to pay to reach their fans (impossible for blogs like mine, small businesses, and nonprofits). This means just because you “like” a page doesn’t mean you’ll get to see what that page posts, unless the page pays big bucks.

Annoying, right? My prediction is that everyone’s Facebook news feed will eventually become a useless feed of ads, sponsored posts from big brand pages, and a smattering of content that Facebook deems worthy of your eyes.

But there is a way to see what you want to see from the pages you like and the friends you have. It involves a little-used, super-awesome feature of Facebook that I discovered ages ago, but never used properly. Now I’m using it correctly and it’s life-changing. Well, Facebook-life-changing.

how to outsmart facebook and see posts you want to see

Let me start off by saying this: I’m talking about seeing the posts (aka status updates) you want to see from pages and friends. I’m not talking about “Get Notifications” (learn how to do that here). That’s a nice feature and another way to not miss stuff (go ahead and Get Notifications from Honest Mom!).

But the problem with Get Notifications is that you can’t see the whole post. You have to click to see the post and be able to like/interact with the post. Then you have to go back to your notifications and repeat for each post. Not exactly user-friendly. And not a solution to the crappy news feed problem.

So I have two magic words that beautifully solve the problem of Get Notifications: Interest Lists!

How to create Interest lists in Facebook

Go to your news feed. You know that left-hand column that’s always there? Look at the way bottom of that column, where your favorites, pages, groups, etc. are listed. At the bottom is something called “Interests.” (If you don’t see Interests, you just don’t have any yet. Keep reading – I’ll tell you how to fix that.)

interests at bottom of column

Click on Add Interests. You’ll then see a little button that says +Create List.

create list

Click that, and a box with all your likes and friends will appear: pages you follow, people you follow, and friends.

box

There are also categories such as art, books, business, etc. to browse and discover new pages and people. Plus there is a search box to find pages and people, whether you’ve liked them/friended them already or not. But we’re going to stick with things we’re already liked.

Let’s say you want to create a list of your favorite blogs. I’m calling mine Bloggers Who Rock. Within the Pages section of the box you’re looking at (see pic above), click on a blog you have liked or type its name in the search box. When it appears, click it. A check mark will show up so you know you’ve selected it. Here’s how it’ll look if you searched in the search box:

check

Keep clicking on blog pages or searching and adding until your list is complete. When you’re done adding pages to your list, click the next button at the bottom right. Create a name for your list, decide if you want it to be public, seen by friends only, or private, and click done.

List name

Voila! You now have a list of your favorite blogs. And their posts will appear in chronological order (none of that “top stories” crap). So far it seems that every post of my friends and pages I like appear in the lists I made for them. Success!

If you make a public Interest list anyone can follow it. You can follow my Bloggers Who Rock list – I bet you like a bunch of the blogs. Now you can actually see what they post!

How to easily find your Interest lists

Your list will appear in your Interests, but of course your Interests are waaaaay down at the bottom of the sidebar where Facebook hopes you’ll forget about them (because Facebook wants you to see its ads, not the content you want to see).

So I give Facebook the virtual finger and move all my lists up so I see them right away. Here’s how to do that:

Hover just to the left of the name of your new Interest list and a little pencil will appear. Click on it and select Add to Favorites.

Add to Favorites2

It will now appear at the top of your left-hand column on your news feed for easy access.

ta da2

When you like a new page, be sure to add it to one of your Interest lists. (If you don’t have any Interests in your left-hand sidebar on your main Facebook page, do this first. Then Interests will appear.) Here’s how:

If you’re on the actual Facebook page, click the Like button. Then hover over the button (it now says Liked ) and click Add to Interest Lists… (go ahead and click Get Notifications too, if you want them)

add on fb page

If you are looking at your news feed and like a page within your feed, you can do the same thing. Click the Like button, hover over the button (it now says Liked ) and click Add to Interest Lists…

Things to think about when making Interest lists:

1. Keep them small-ish. Better to have a lot of lists than a ton of people/pages on one list, or you’ll end up with another useless, crowded feed.

For example, if you follow a lot of blog pages divide them up into different lists: mom bloggers, food bloggers, humor bloggers. Maybe have another list for all the music pages you like, and another for TV shows. Whatever floats your Facebook boat.

2. Organize your friends. Interest lists are great for keeping up with your friends’ Facebook pages. I once tried to organize them within the Friends section in the sidebar, but doing it that way requires you to type in every name you want to add. Painful. Now I have a private Interest list of my closest friends on Facebook and I actually know what’s going on with all of them!

3. Don’t forget about your Interest lists! Be sure to add them to your Favorites as I described above.

Now go make some Interest lists and see what YOU want to see on Facebook! It’s magical, I promise!

*****

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BlogU Conference

Dear rage-y people of the internet: Your constant fury is completely exhausting and, oh yeah, totally ineffective.

outraged about everything on internet

Well hi there, non-rage-y reader. Do you feel like lately, everywhere you look on the internet, someone is angry about something? And they’re demanding whatever it is must stop existing because goddammit, they don’t like it?

I do. And I think everyone just needs to calm the hell down.

All the outrage is positively exhausting. You go anywhere on social media and you’re inundated with fury over something. A piece of clothing. A song with suggestive lyrics. A regrettable tweet from a tween idol. It’s sexist! It’s insensitive! It’s deplorable! condemns the internet.

At least a couple times a week, an outrage catches on. Social media gets whipped up into a frenzy, and the internet mob is unleashed. The media jump into the fray and righteous indignation hits a fever pitch. Finally the offending party relents. Victory! Yay for the little guy! The power of social media! Right?

Sometimes. But a lot of times, not so much. A lot of times it would have been better to just walk away. Look away. Click away. Unbunch those undies, take a deep breath, and relax. Because in the end, all that righteous outrage doesn’t accomplish much more than raising our collective blood pressure.

Let me be clear: Sometimes I totally agree with what people are up in arms about. For example, I’m glad people have been talking about how photoshopped models and celebrities set an unrealistic standard of beauty. I like that the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty exists, and that Aerie is launching an ad campaign with untouched (though still quite slender) models. I love that a British department store is showing real models in its clothes. This is all good stuff. And it’s happening because enough people have spoken out over time so that finally – finally – the fashion industry is hearing them. It goes to show that continuous debate about an issue can eventually cause meaningful change.

So I’m not saying we shouldn’t advocate for issues that we care about. I’m saying we need to be selective with our outrage and direct it in a more productive manner.

In other words, let’s stop freaking out about every slightly offensive t-shirt.

I mean, I get it. I see my fellow parents’ online fury, and I know it comes from a strong desire to protect our children. But all that fury is just not productive.

Trying to shelter our kids from every awful message out there is an exercise in futility. Even if you do cause a stink and get a moderately offensive t-shirt removed from the shelves, once the roar dies down that t-shirt will be replaced by similar ones that are waiting in the wings. We can’t control that.

But we can control how we react to the crappy messages and set an example for our kids. We can talk to them about why we should reject those messages, and explain that our sense of self-worth shouldn’t be dictated by a crummy t-shirt. And we can discuss (and model) when it’s good to take a stand and protest something – and when it’s better to just talk about it and move on.

And then maybe, eventually, those t-shirts with messed-up messages will stop existing because people won’t buy them. Not because of a boycott of one shirt by some furious parents. But because our kids will make up their own minds that they simply don’t want them. Kind of like they’ve shown over the years that they don’t want magazines with emaciated models in them.

How about we make a pact to not fuel the constant internet fire of righteous indignation? When we see unnecessary outrage brewing, let’s vow to take a deep breath and say, to quote a wise(ass) friend of mine, Namaste, motherf***ers. And just click away.

Unless it’s fury over the CEO of Abercrombie. THAT GUY PISSES ME OFF.

<breathing>

Namaste, you creepy Abercrombie jerk. Namaste.

 

photo credit: Floyd Brown via photopin cc

Blog tip Friday: If you don’t like a blog, keep your opinion to yourself.

keep your opinion to yourselfThere has been a lot of noise out there lately about the “right” way to blog.

Some bloggers have made it known that they take issue with other bloggers writing about topics they don’t like, or in a style that doesn’t sit well with them.

This blogger is too crude. That blogger is too silly. This one writes too much fluffy stuff. That one is too damn serious all the time. She writes too many sponsored posts. She blogs sunshine and rainbows and smiling unicorns and it’s sooooo annoying.

To these critics I say: Instead of broadcasting your views on which bloggers you deem “good” and which bloggers you deem “bad,” why not just pick up your mouse and click away from the blogs you don’t like?

It’s perfectly okay not to like a blog. Or even a blogger. But let’s be kind and keep these types of opinions to ourselves, okay?

Every blogger has a right to be herself and write in her own style. There is room on the big old Internet for all kinds of bloggers – just as there is room in this big old world for all kinds of moms.

Life is very stressful for most moms, whether they are pinching pennies or well-off. Working or not working. Have one kid or five kids. In the blogging world, many women cope with the stress by writing about it.

And every blogger has a right to write about her stressors in a way that helps relieve her of the stress – and connect with others who feel the same way.

So if you are not fond of a particular blogger’s style? Then don’t read that blog. Move along.

Now if you think someone’s done an injustice on their blog and is hurting someone by what they posted, I urge you to speak up! The power of the Internet to do good is very real. I’m a big believer in that. Obviously.

But let’s not tear each other down for our differing writing topics and styles. That stuff is not worth broadcasting to the reading public. It makes us women bloggers look small and petty.

Let’s turn away from the meanness and build each other up. Let’s support the blogs we love and let the ones that aren’t our style do their own things for their own fans. Let’s co-exist and celebrate the diversity of the blogging community instead of griping about it.

Let’s high-five the fact that there’s room for everyone’s voice.

Because that’s something to make some noise about.

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