Managing Your Wall
The Wall on your profile page is your public forum for communicating with your Facebook friends and they, in turn, with you. The Wall is a big part of your profile page, located smack-dab in the middle of the page. You can use your Wall to share comments and musings, photos and videos, links to interesting sites, and more. Anytime you update your status, the information appears on your Wall. Friends who view your page can also write on your Wall, or comment on your existing postings. This ongoing spot for social commentary is essentially a mini-feed of news focused solely on you. The news items you post on your Wall, whether it's text or links or photos, are interchangeably called stories on Facebook. Figure 6.1 shows an example of a typical Wall. The Wall appears by default when you display your profile. If, by chance, you've clicked another tab on your profile page instead, you can click the Wall tab to return to the Wall view at any time.
Figure 6.1 Use the Wall to share information, such as what you're currently doing, postings of your favorite video clips, and more.
As you add new information onto your Wall, previous postings scroll down to make room for the latest items at the top. You can use your browser window's scrollbar on the right to scroll up and down your Wall stories. Based on how much you or your friends add to your Wall, the postings may change hourly, daily, or weekly. You can use the Older Posts link at the bottom of your Wall to view older postings. The more you log in and interact on Facebook, the more activities show up on your Wall. You can do lots of things to work with and manage your Wall. This section shows you how.
Updating Your Status
To post something on your own Wall, fill out a status update and share it. Essentially, this creates a story on your page. Click in the text box at the top of your profile page, as shown in Figure 6.2, where it says something like "What's on your mind?." In previous versions of the Facebook interface, the box had different titles. The name or text may change at anytime, but the intent remains the same: to share something that you're thinking or doing, some random remark, observation, or witty thought. Type out your status update, and then click the Share button to post it on your page. Facebook adds the information to your Wall, as well as to the news feed that appears on your Home page and your friends' Home pages.
Figure 6.2 Use the status update box to post an update about what you're doing or thinking.
The update box is technically known as the Publisher. When you activate the What's on your mind? box, which you can do just by clicking inside the field, you can use the additional buttons below the field for sharing a link, photo, event, or video along with your comment text. If you have other applications loaded, you can click the arrow button at the end of the row of buttons and add an application action to the comment, too. If you click the Link button, for example, you can add a link to another web page to share along with your comment. To learn more about sharing links, see Lesson 7, "Communicating Through Facebook." To learn how to share photos, see Lesson 8, "Sharing Photos." To learn how to share videos, see Lesson 9, "Sharing Videos."
How often you update your status is entirely up to you. It really depends on how often you log in to Facebook and how much you want to share about what you're doing or thinking. Some users like to post updates several times a day; others like to post more sporadically based on things that happen throughout their day. Other users like to update their status once a day or, if feeling not so social, once a week. Facebook Walls are really all about connecting with your friends, so it's up to you to decide how much to participate and share.
Removing Wall Postings
Sometimes you might need to edit your Wall postings—for example, perhaps you misspelled a word or need to remove a questionable posting a friend left on your Wall. You can remove the story with the error and replace it with a corrected version. To remove a posting or story, point to the item on the Wall to display a tiny Remove button to the far right of the posting. Click the button to open a Delete Post box, as shown in Figure 6.3. Click the Delete button to confirm the removal.
Figure 6.3 You can easily remove a posting from your Wall.
Filtering Your Wall Postings
You might notice a tiny link labeled Options at the top of your Wall area. Click the link to display three blue words at the top of the Wall: YourName + Friends, Just YourName, and Just Friends. These are filters that control what's displayed on the Wall. By default, the Wall displays postings by both you and your friends. You can choose to filter the postings by displaying just your own postings, or viewing only the postings left by friends. Just click a filter name at the top of the Wall, as shown in Figure 6.4. Facebook immediately shows the postings based on your selection. To return to the default setting again, click the first filter (YourName + Friends). Filters apply only to your view of your Wall, not your friends' view of your Wall.
Figure 6.4 Use the filters to filter your Wall postings.
You can use these same filtering tools on your friends' Walls. When you open a friend's profile page, you can click the Filters link to display the same filter buttons. Of course, instead of your name on the buttons, the friend's name appears.
Writing on a Friend's Wall
You saw how easy it is to write on your own Wall by posting a status update with the Publisher box. You can also post comments on your friends' Walls. Start by displaying a friend's profile page. You can do this from a variety of pages, such as the Home page or Friends list, just by clicking your friend's name link. After her profile is open, click in the Write something box, as shown in Figure 6.5, and type your text. Oddly enough, it's the same box you use to update the status on your own profile page, just featuring a slightly different label. As soon as you click the Share button, the comment is added to your friend's profile page and also appears on the Home page as one of your activities.
Figure 6.5 You can write on your friend's Wall using the Write something text box.
If you'd prefer to add to something someone else has already written instead, just click the Comment link below the posting and add your two cents, or click in the Write a comment box and type in your comment text. You can also comment on your own postings on your own profile page. When you add a comment, it appears beneath the original story item. If lots of people comment to a story, you can scroll down the comments and see what everyone says. Sometimes entire conversations unfold under just one story posting.
Viewing Wall-to-Wall Conversations
One aspect of communicating via Walls is the appearance of disjointed snippets of conversation scattered about the page. Your friend might have written one pithy comment two days ago, to which you replied, and another comment in response today. However, other activities are listed between the conversation comments. This can be a bit confusing as you're trying to read who said what. You can solve this dilemma by activating the Wall-to-Wall feature. Click the See Wall-to-Wall link below the comment to open another page in which the entire ongoing conversation appears without interruption.
Friends who also view your profile page can use the same tool to read the conversation.
Customizing Your Mini-Feed
You can customize how your stories appear on the Wall. You can click the Settings link in the upper-right corner of the Wall page to view settings you can turn on or off. If you don't see the link, click the Options link and the link changes to Settings. When the link is activated, a page similar to Figure 6.6 appears. You can control how imported stories are posted, whether comments are expanded, or even whether you allow postings from others. Simply make your selections; then click the first filter link to return to your regular Wall view. Any changes you made are now reflected on the Wall.
Figure 6.6 You can customize your Wall stories using these settings.