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REVIEW: "Facebook: The Missing Manual", E. A. Vander Veer

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKFCBKMM.RVW 20080415 Facebook: The Missing Manual , E. A. Vander Veer, 2008, 0-596-51769-6, U$19.99/C$19.99 %A E. A. Vander Veer emilyamoore@rgv.rr.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2008
      BKFCBKMM.RVW 20080415

      "Facebook: The Missing Manual", E. A. Vander Veer, 2008,
      0-596-51769-6, U$19.99/C$19.99
      %A E. A. Vander Veer emilyamoore@... eamoore68@...
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2008
      %G 0-596-51769-6 978-0-596-51769-4
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$19.99/C$19.99 (finally!) 800-998-9938 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596517696/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596517696/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 268 p.
      %S Missing Manual
      %T "Facebook: The Missing Manual"

      Rather than an overview of Facebook, the introduction of the book
      mentions that Facebook is very popular, and lists a few of the
      activities that might go on if you have an account. There is so
      little information that the material is less appetite-whetting than

      Part one covers aspects of initiating an account on Facebook and some
      basic operations. Chapter one's review of getting an account started
      has an over-emphasis of the ease of the process, which is immediately
      contradicted by details of the procedure itself. This internal
      discrepancy does not give the reader confidence in other assertions
      the author makes about factors such as privacy, particularly in view
      of the many exploits that have made the news recently. There are tips
      noting that you should protect the confidentiality of your
      information, but most of these notices are forward references to
      (much) later chapters in the book. The major reason for using
      Facebook, and the utility recommended for the system, is to join a
      "network," which is kind of like a "group." (There is a barely
      mentioned distinction between "networks" and "groups," which is not
      explained at this, or any other, point.) According to the
      instructions given in chapter two, joining is surprisingly difficult
      unless you have managed to hold on to old email addresses dating back
      to your college days, as well as those from all of your past
      employers. The instructions on finding "friends," given in chapter
      three, contain screenshots, but very little else that would enhance
      what you can see on the Facebook Website. Chapter four lists various
      forms of personal communications between Facebook members. More
      broadly-based communications, such as newsfeeds and blogs, are in
      chapter five.

      Part two looks at the functions of groups, still without making an
      explicit distinction from networks. Chapter six goes through the
      basics of joining or creating a group: again, it doesn't give you much
      more than the screenshots. Arranging events and meetings (face to
      face) is described in chapter seven. Online shopping and classified
      ad posting is in chapter eight.

      Part three turns to more business oriented activities. Aspects of job
      search and recruiting are in chapter nine. Chapter ten is supposed to
      talk about using Facebook for collaborative work, but most of the
      content is about how to put photographs into your Facebook account.
      Different types of ads you can buy on Facebook are listed in chapter

      Part four is a grab-bag of leftover topics like security. Chapter
      twelve notes that there are applications that work within Facebook,
      but doesn't provide an awful lot of information about them. (A
      paragraph at the end of the chapter does mention that applications can
      access *all* the information you have provided to Facebook.) In terms
      of protecting your privacy, chapter thirteen does not equip the reader
      with significant information about the implications of the various
      settings available on Facebook. Chapter fifteen remarks on using
      Facebook via your cellular or mobile phone.

      Part five is an appendix with limited resources and references.

      At one point in the book, the author notes the difficulty of creating
      a book to assist people with using a Website that is developing and
      changing extremely rapidly. She doesn't do herself any favours by
      concentrating on the screenshot style of presentation. By the time I
      received the book, enormous numbers of the pages referenced had
      changed. In some cases it was possible to puzzle out an alternate
      means of getting to the desired function. In many cases it was not
      possible to figure out whether the function had moved to a different
      location, or had simply disappeared. Many readers will be frustrated
      and disappointed by the fact that the book fails to provide the
      promised assistance.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKFCBKMM.RVW 20080415

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.
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