Facebook Quick Tip: Managing The Redesign

Facebook's redesign puts more information in your News Feed -- sometimes too much. Here's how to block updates from the noisiest pals in your social network, without un-friending them entirely.
"You can add [people you hide] back to your stream at any time by going to the bottom of the page and clicking on 'Edit Options' and then 'Add to News Feed' beside their names.

Organize your friends by creating multiple Friend Lists.
(click for image gallery)

"In addition, you can create a special Friend List of the people you care about the most. That Friend List will appear on the left hand navigation menu giving you the ability to filter your stream by those friends and see only their updates. If you want that list to be the default every time you go to your home page, you can drag that list above the 'News Feed' filter. Whatever filter is at the top will be your default view."

She noted that Facebook is constantly tweaking its user interface, so what you see on your screen might be slightly different from what's described in these instructions and shown in the accompanying image gallery. But it should be close enough -- until Facebook does another radical redesign, that is.

Keep Your Friends Separate

And now, here's how to create a Friend List:

  1. Click "Friends" on the blue horizontal bar at the very top of your Facebook page. Select "All Friends" from the dropdown.
  2. Select an existing Friend List from the vertical sidebar on the left side of the page, or click the blue "Make a New List" button and create a new list.
  3. Look for the text box near the top of the center column, labeled "Add to list." Start typing a friend's name in that box and then when the correct friend's name comes up on the list below the box, select that name by clicking it or hitting "Enter" on your keyboard. Alternately, you can click the "Select Multiple Friends" button, and see a list of all your friends, and click on the ones you want to include in your list.

I've created one list so far, called "Fav" for people who are actually my friends and family in real life.

New communications technology requires new forms of etiquette. When answering machines became popular, people argued about whether it was polite to screen calls. People argued over Caller ID. Now, we're starting to see arguments about appropriate of social media like Facebook.

I think in the future we'll see a consensus that you're not required to subscribe to your friends' Twitter feeds, or Facebook news, or blogs. That's what I already tell people who complain about my social media garrulousness, I say, "I realize my style isn't for everyone -- if you want to un-friend me, I won't be offended."

How do you handle people who talk too much on social media? Or are you the one who talks too much -- how do you handle complaints? Let us know.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the business uses of social networks. Download the report here (registration required).