Moving from Yahoo! groups to Facebook

Okay, I’ve been using Yahoo! groups (and their earlier incarnations) for several applications. I’ve also used other mailing lists (majordomo, and mailman) for 20 years or so, and none of my communities have used much other than the mailing list provided by Yahoo!. Here are a few notes I wrote up for one of the ones that’s exploring a migration from Web minus one to Facebook:

You can Google “facebook 101” and pick a tutorial or …

1. Go to and register.

You need to give them a bit of info — including your birthday and an e-mail address.

Click the link they’ll send you in e-mail and login to the system.

You’ll be asked to set up your profile — listing schools and places you worked, but you can skip that.

You’ll also be asked to “find what friends are already on facebook” by allowing them to login to your webmail account or upload your mail address book. That seemed too invasive to me, so I skipped it.

2. Once past the initial setup, you’ll have a menu that’s pretty clean:

Across the top right: home | account | privacy | logout
Across the top left: Profile (edit) | Friends | Networks | Inbox
Down the left column: Groups, Events, Notes, Posted items, etc. — depending on what you’ve “installed” and configured.

Explore the “account” and “privacy” links and then go to the “edit” link next to “Profile”. I’ve allowed my “networks” to see my profile (privacy settings), but hid my birthday (edit profile).

The defaults are pretty much okay (except maybe for the birthday), if you’re not adding a lot of personal data about yourself.

Click “home” to see information on your facebook contacts. Click “profile” for what others will see about you.

3. Find others on facebook.
You can search (box in upper left) by name and then either send people you find a request to be friends, or just send them a message. [I contacted a niece and nephew, and we can “talk” to each other, but I didn’t ask to become their “friend”. Others, however, do choose to be “friends” with their kids or their kids’ friends.] The difference is whether you want to see their full profile and be notified of their “doings”. If you want that “close connection” with someone, make him/her your friend. But you can carry on a “conversation” with someone who’s not your friend..

4. Join a network – geographically or one based an a “” or “” type e-mail address.

5. Search for groups to join

Use AAUW, NCCWSL, pay equity, etc. for likely candidates. From the “discussions” in the group, you’ll probably find others to befriend.

6. Keep up with your friends through your home page or their profiles

You may get most of your Facebook information through the group pages, but  on your home page (the one when you login or click the “home” link in the upper right) you’ll see notifications of what those in your network are doing (along with a few relatively unobtrusive “ads” that let Facebook keep the lights on).

You may also get e-mail notifications about what folks are doing/posting. If those seem redundant (i.e. you are checking Facebook “often enough” for your purposes), you can turn those off by going to Account (link in upper right) > Notification section and unchecking the things you don’t want to hear about in e-mail.  [There are some applications (e.g. Questions) that insist on sending e-mail that will have to be configured separately if you add them and start getting unwanted e-mail.]
To see what your friends are learning about you, go to your Profile (upper left) and look at your mini-feed. You can configure what’s posted there  (Privacy – upper left > News feed and mini-feed).

To get more detail on a particular friend, click their name or picture to get to their profile.

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