Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ten Facebook Tips For Power Users

So you signed up for Facebook, added friends and photos, joined a few groups, and updated your profile status. But now what? Isn't there more to Facebook? There is.
Here are ten tips to tweak your profile and get more out of Facebook. These tips go beyond the typical and include ways to stay better connected to your friends and look good doing it. To compile this list I searched high and low and even called on Facebook for the best tips. Most are easy to do and all will add some Facebook pizzazz to your profile.

Tip One
Dig up demographic dirt on your friends with Socialistics : If you want to know the demographic breakdown on your Facebook universe of friends, this application does a nice job at breaking it down. Socialistics can show you information about your friends' ages, the languages they speak, their country of origin, and lots of other interesting information all within Facebook.
Socialistics data does not show up on your profile pages and you are not able to share Socialistics information with your Facebook Friends through your wall. However, if you want to take a look at the trends for your personal network, then add Socialistics to your profile and you can access it privately.

Tip Two
Power search tips : Just like Google and other search engines, Facebook has some built-in power search tools and terms to help you find people. Want to search your Facebook network or friends list, but you want to narrow the results to fall within an age range? Just enter a term using the "name," "y1" and "y2" search filters. For example, I wanted to find my buddy Colin from college, but I can’t remember how old he is. To find him I just entered in “name: Colin Bauer y1: 25 y2: 40” and voila! The search string asked Facebook to look for people named Colin Bauer between the ages of 25 and 40.
You can also use two search terms at once by dividing the terms with the "pipe character" (|) (the pipe is found on the same key as the backslash).
If you want people to easily find you when they search, fill out your profile as much as you can. That way your profile interests -- music, books, movies and so on -- will move you closer to the top of Facebook search results for those keywords. Check out Facebook's help page for more handy search terms.

Tip Three
Integrate Facebook information with Gmail : The Firefox add-on called Xoopit is designed to streamline browsing and sharing of files, photos, and videos with friends on other social networks via Google's Gmail service. One of Xoopit's handy features (seldom touted) let's you see who among your e-mail contacts is a Facebook member and displays their profile photos, status updates. The Xoopit add-on also lets you update your status inside Gmail via a nifty little Xoopit box that integrates into the Gmail interface.

Tip Four
Personalize your Facebook URL : SocialToo allows you to create a custom domain for your Facebook profile page such as This allows you to share your Facebook site with other people without requiring them to search for you on Facebook to find your profile. Granted, you might have to explain to your friends that even though isn't in the Web address it's still takes you to your Facebook page. The domain is much easier to remember than an eight-digit profile ID.
Signing up with SocialToo is quick and free. You can set up your Facebook settings under “preferences” on SocialToo’s Website. Just remember to choose your SocialToo username wisely.
Another way to create a custom domain for your Facebook page is go to your Profile page in facebook and copy the Web address that appears in your browsers address bar. Then head over to Now paste your Facebook profile Web address in the's "Enter a long URL you want to make tiny" form field. And directly to the right you'll see a Custom option. Here you can create a custom URL that follows the convention

Tip Five
Hack your profile photo : Want to juice up your profile photo? Check out's "5 Creative Ways To Hack Your Facebook Profile Photo." You'll learn how to maximize your picture size to 200 pixels wide by 600 pixels high, and how to create some neat effects like making it look like you're hanging off your profile Wall.
In my tests, the specifications for this effect took some careful tweaking but the payoff was worth it. If you're handy with a photo editor this will be easy for you. If you don’t have Photoshop, you're going to need to get yourself a photo editing program to take advantage of this hack. There are pleany of good free photo editing programs to get the job done such as such as Paint.Net

Tip Six
Put Facebook Chat in your browser sidebar: Is Facebook your main IM tool? You can place it in your browser's sidebar. For my tests I used Firefox, but this also works in Opera. In Firefox just go to Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks and click on Bookmarks Toolbar. Select New Bookmark, and name it Facebook Chat. Then paste in this URL: Make sure you've selected "Load this bookmark in the sidebar" and hit Save. Now you're ready to go. Sorry IE fans -- this is not for you; however, you can paste the URL into a new browser tab if you like.

Tip Seven
Get back the old Facebook look (more or less): Ever feel constrained by the Facebook layout and look? You can actually change the look of your Facebook page with some tinkering and a little help from a Firefox add-on called Greasemonkey that allows you to use Java Scripts to change the Facebook look. The only catch is the new look is something only you can see -- your Facebook friends see the same old Facebook page. Once you’ve added Greasemonkey to Facebook, visit Greasemonkey’s companion site and browse dozens of layout options for your Facebook page. Click "install" on the new Facebook layout you want and let Greasemonkey take care of the rest.

A word of warning: Before you go nuts downloading Facebook layouts like crazy be carefull. Greasmonkey scripts for changing your Facebook layout use JavaScript. JavaScripts can be malicious and harm your PC if created by a sloppy or crooked coder. Scripts on can be submitted by anyone and are not reviewed by Greasemonkey. Before you download a new Facebook layout check out the user reviews and exercise caution before installing.
That being said, here are a few of my favorites:

Remove Facebook Clutter: This is a close approximation of Facebook's previous look and feel. This hides the filters on the left side of the "stream" and the "highlights" section, and takes away the rounded corners on profile photos.

Facebook Color Changer: Pick a color scheme and change your FB colors. This script used to let you change the Facebook icon on the top left of the screen as well, and the developer promises this feature will be back.

Facebook Twitter Style: Have you heard how Twitter supposedly inspires Facebook’s new look and feel? Why not take this concept to its logical conclusion and view your Facebook homepage as if it really were Twitter?

Tip Eight
Upload mobile photos or videos straight to your profile: Just took a great picture or video with your cell phone and want to post it on your profile right away? Set up your profile settings to allow mobile uploads.
Go to the Mobile tab under your Facebook account tab and set up your phone to send photos to your Facebook page directly from you mobile phone. A word of caution if you set up Facebook to do this.Take heed of your Facebook mobile settings and adjust them properly.
When Facebook Mobile is activated you also let Facebook send text messages to your phone for those sending you friend requests, e-mail messages, wall posts, and status updates. That could become an astonishing text message bill if you’re not careful. This feature is only available in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Tip Nine
Tweet your status : This is one of my personal favorites. Adding the Twitter Facebook application to your Facebook profile gives you the option to turn your Tweets into your Facebook status updates. Not only that, but Twitter is smart enough filter out @replies so that personal messages don’t end up on your profile.

Tip Ten
Use these third-party apps: There are many Facebook third-party apps that help you keep tabs on your Facebook friends. Some are barebones, while others give you more in-depth information. Here are the ones I like the best that will give you the biggest bang for your buck (actually they are all free).
Digsby (Windows Only): Digsby is a nifty little Facebook app that sits in your PC's system tray and can pull in Facebook Chat and other IM accounts, e-mail alerts and Facebook updates from your network of friends.

Facebook Desktop Client (Windows Only): Delivers notifications like friend requests, wall posts, view messages and get status updates.

MyFacebook (Vista): This widget adds your Facebook information right on your Windows Vista desktop sidebar. With this little app you can, “change your status, see your friends’ statuses, groups, notifications, albums and events.

Facebook Dashboard Widget (Mac): Similar to Windows Facebook Desktop, this widget will notify you of friend requests, messages, pokes and group and event invites.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Makes Facebook Win Over Orkut?

I was quite surprised to see the news in the headlines today about the deal of Microsoft with the social networking site Facebook. Facebook is a 3 and a half year old social network for friendship and a community hub. Microsoft’s entry into the social networking venue has raised quite a many eyebrows over the fact that,
Microsoft paid $240 million price for 1.6% stake in Facebook. This clears the view , world’s largest software maker, crudely wanted to deepen its relationship with a startup that didn’t have $200 million in annual revenue
This deal was the only thing which made me to open an account with Facebook. The only other friendship community I am associated till now was Orkut which in my opinion definitely gives a far more friendly user experience than FaceBook, especially now after having registered with Facebook.
I did look around for the reason as to why users prefer FaceBook over Orkut and was surprised to see that Facebook users are more than the number of Orkut users.
The main reason’s for users liking Facebook from what I found were:
  1. Simple and professional user interface
  2. Explanation for being added as a friend
  3. Unique groups or communities
  4. Security of user’s profile and information
  5. Many other fun applications
Orkut India
The reason’s why users don’t like Orkut were as follows:
  1. Amateurish interface (as seen prior to the new one I suppose)
  2. Open scraps and profiles owing to less security
  3. No provision for providing reasons to “Add as friend”
  4. Repetitive groups or communities
The only point where people seemed to love Orkut was it was easier to find old friends and colleagues as compared to Facebook. The only drawback of Facebook was that in the resistance of a beginner to join in for the first time.
I have loved Orkut ever since I joined it after having a bad experience in a yet another online community called Hi5. But Facebook still hasn’t impressed me to the point to digest the fact that Microsoft has ploughed in $240 million (maybe a bitter outcome of Vista has turned its gaze to the online business).

If Facebook’s popularity was the case, then the question arises as to why did Google opt for Orkut?


12 Best Reasons Why People Leave Orkut And Migrate To Facebook :

1. Privacy
This is priceless. Anyone can check your profile, Friends list etc on orkut. That is not the case here. By default only your friends can see your profile. The others can only see your name and thumbnail (reduced version of the profile picture). Nothing more. In addition, you can always configure the options for privacy as deemed appropriate.

2. Networking restricted
If you want to be part of the network of your company or faculty, you will have to prove that you are a part of it. Otherwise forget that! For example, if you're employee of the company XYZ, you will have to provide their corporate email (ex: and a confirmation message will be sent to this email. That is, only those who have emails with the domain name XYZ can be part of that network. While on Orkut, you can hit a JOIN COMMUNITY button and that will do the job. If the community is in a moderated state, a moderator has to approve your joining request. But just imagine, how would a moderator check your genuiness of being a employee if that company is wided to 5/6 counties! So, a simple e-mail confirmation will do the job and hence Facebook leave Orkut far behind in this case.

3. Design
In Facebook everything is clean. The site is virtually all done in shades of blue, black and white, making the navigation less tiring. You can customize the look of your profile, adding / removing fields and changing its position.

4. Upload EE organization of photos
Users of Orkut correct me if I'm wrong, the Orkut album system is very primitive. You have to upload the photos manually, one by one, and in any order you want. If you need to change the position of any photo you must delete all pics uploaded after that and re-uploading one by one in the right order. Enough to be ridiculous.

In case of Facebook photos can be transferred all at once. To change the position of the photos just a simple movement of mouse: drag and drop. Furthermore there is no limit of photos (on Orkut are only 100*10=1000) and you can organize your photos into albums. Need to talk more?

5. Tags in photos
The system of tags for photos of Facebook is quite interesting. You make a mark any part of a person's picture and then add the tag. Thus when someone passes the mouse on top of that person appears her name. A link to the tagged person's profile on Facebook is added to the tag automatically. You can also add tags for photos that are not yours. Of course, then the owner of the photo must approve its tag.

Now you will say me, even Orkut is having this feature. Yaa, yaa, I know that. But let me share a secret, Orkut copied this feature from Facebook. FaceBook is having this feature since a long, while Orkut released Photo Tag feature a couple of weeks ago. So, whom would you prefer? The originality or the copy cat?

6. Plugins
What makes Facebook are highly customizable is it's plugins or extensions. There are more than 1000 applications available. And more importantly, FaceBook plugins are developed by Facebook guys itself. In Orkut there are some 100+ plugins(they call it Orkut Applications) and all of them are developed by 3rd party. To be honest, most of them are just rubbish. Some 12/15 Orkut applications are popular while others are just crap.

7. Pokes
Poke can be translated as cutucar. You know when you have nothing to say but only wants to "disrupt" his friend? So this is more or less. He receives a notification and can also poke you back. Orkut recently launched this feature, but that looks unprofessional. If you have ever used iPoke on Orkut, you can understand what I am trying to say here.

8. Gifts
This is still a great way to show someone how important he/she is. These are virtual in Facebook. They are, actually, images of a gift that could be real:

Who knows who receives this has a cost, he knows that it is get anyone. The value of the gesture becomes much greater.

9. Marketplace
There is much to explain. It is a system type classifieds. You can add pictures to the articles that are selling, see the products of their friends and look into other networks. You can also make a list of things you want to buy. Articles range from golf balls to the apartments.

10. Feeds of activities
Any activity carried on Facebook is recorded. If you added a photo that was tagged, someone wrote on the Wall (like Orkut Scraps), someone has added a new friend, a status has changed, everything is stored in the form of feeds.

You can view a link called Mini-feed, in the profile homepage. Here all your activity feeds were stored. Like everything in Facebook, it can also be customized. For example, You can take your profile of the option to display the Mini-feed or delete only those activities that you do not want to appear.

11. Status
Just below, their identification is a field of status where you can post information such as: "I am back to home", "I am in India now". This filed is there to speak your voice.

Another thing I found interesting is if you have a relationship with someone (dating, engagement, marriage) and her husband also is part of Facebook, your relationship status can be: Fulano This is the boyfriend of Fulana of This, linked to the 2 profiles. And this is funny :p

12. History of friendships
You can relate details of their friendship. Where, how and when they first met, activities that have made together, and so on. That history must be approved by 2 friends and both can edit them.

One FaceBook Disadvantage : Portuguese Language (still) not available.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Facebook Tips/Tricks You Might want to Know it

If you surf Facebook on daily basis or occasionally, chances are you’re already familiar with regular stuffs like add/delete friends, update statuses, walls and profile, add and explore pages & applications, etc, but there’s more..

This week we want to cover some interesting things you can do on (or with) Facebook; inclusive of tricks that are not documented or unknown to many, as well as tips to stay connected better with your friends. Without further ado, here’s 20 Facebook Tips/Tricks You Might Not Know. If you have interesting tips/tricks related to Facebook, please feel free to share in the comment box below.

Facebook Trick #1 – Pirate English

With two simple clicks you can Translate Facebook into Pirate English for a good laugh.

To make the change while logged into Facebook simply go to the footer in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, click on English, and scroll to select “English (Pirate) – BETA”:

After making this change your Facebook Profile will look something like this:

Facebook Trick #2 – The Konami Code

By entering these keys:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Enter.

You will activate the famous Konami code, which unlocks secret areas of many well known websites.

Entering the Konami code in Facebook causes the Website to Enter Lens Flare Mode:

Try typing or pressing Enter for special effects. This is a cool trick, but gets annoying soon. Just re-enter the code to deactivate the effect.


1. Hide Your Online Status From Selected Friends:

So you want to use Facebook chat but don’t want some people to see your online status? Simply open up the Facebook Chat and click on Friends List. Start creating a new list called BlockList.

Once the list is created, add those friends to the list that you want to appear offline to. When the list is complete, hover your mouse to the little green icon adjacent to the list and click Go Offline. Bingo! You will now appear offline to everybody in the BlockList.

2. View a Friend’s Profile Without Messy Applications:

If you are like me, you often get annoyed by the dozens of silly applications
that people have added to their profile. Here’s a Grease Monkey script that allows you to view any profile without all those applications. Remember: the Mozilla Firefox web browser is a prerequisite for running Greasemonkey.

3. Display Your Facebook Status On Your Wordpress Blog:

Want to display your Facebook status updates on your Wordpress blog? There is a plugin that does exactly that. StatusPress lets you display your status updates to a widget on your Wordpress blog

4. Access Facebook Chat Through Your Desktop:

No need to go to if all you want to do is use Facebook chat. You can do it right from your desktop
using clients like , Adium or ChitChat.

5. Update Facebook Status From Firefox:

If you are a firefox addict you don’t need to use any other software to update your Facebook status. Simply install the FireStatus add-on and update your status right from your browser. You can also use the Facebook Toolbar to completely manage Facebook from your Firefox browser.
6. Create A Photo Collage From Pictures Of Your Facebook Friends:

Easily create a photo collage from profile pictures of all your Facebook friends using a simple Facebook app called Photo Collage.
7. Add A New friend But Hide It From Your Status Update:

A great tutorial by Tim Watson walks you through the process of hiding specific actions from your status updates.
8. Schedule Facebook Messages To Be Send Later:

If you want to schedule your Facebook messages to be send sometime in the future, Sendible is a great tool to do that. You can also use Sendible to schedule your status updates.

9. How To Share Flickr Photos On Facebook:

My Flickr is a Facebook application that lets you display your Flickr photos and photo sets on Facebook so your friends can view and comment on them without leaving Facebook.
10. How To Download Facebook Photo Albums:

Ever felt the need to download complete photo albums from Facebook. You can easily do it with either a Windows desktop application named FotoBounce or a great Firefox add-on FacePad.

11. Upload Photos On Facebook From Your Phone:

All the smart phones like iPhone,NOKIA N or E SERIES Mobiles and Blackberry make it simple to upload photos to your Facebook account .

12. Magic Circles On Facebook:

You might have heard about the Konami code that makes red blurry circles on your Facebook page. This might be one of the most popular Facebook hidden tricks. Here’s how to do it:

Press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Enter key then press up & down & Magic circles will appear!

To stop them simply reload your page.

13. Use Your Facebook Like A Pirate:

14. How To Insert Cool Symbols In Your Status Updates:

Make your status updates interesting by inserting cool symbols. Simply copying them from the list and pasting in your status updates.

15. Automatically Poke Friends That Poke You:

Don’t have enough time to poke back friends who poke you on Facebook? Automate it with a Grease Monkey script called Facebook Autopoke.
16. Upload Photos From PicasaTo Facebook:

Upload photos to your Facebook account directly from Picasa using the Picasa app for Facebook. You can also upload the Picasa captions and resize your photos before uploading them to Facebook.
17. Search Facebook Like A Pro:

Not everybody knows how powerful Facebook search is. Similar to any large search engine, Facebook search has a lot of advanced options to help you search like a pro. For example if you are looking for a person named John Marsh and filter your results down to only people who are married, you can try name: John Marsh status:married. A complete list of search tips for Facebook can be found here.

19. How To Access Gmail From Facebook:

If you seldom have to leave Facebook just to go check your Gmail inbox, check out Fmail. It is a great application that lets you check your Gmail from within your Facebook inbox.
20. See Facebook Twitter style:

If you love Twitter more than Facebook, you can view your Facebook just like you view your Twitter using this grease monkey script.
21. Import Facebook Friends To Twitter:

FB140 is a simple tool that lets you find all your Facebook friends that are using Twitter so you can easily follow them.
22. Access Facebook From Microsoft Outlook

This is a great tip for people attending colleges or working in places that block Facebook, but allow you access to Microsoft Outlook. Simple install the FBlook plugin and access Facebook from Outlook.
23. Display Your Facebook Status Upside Down:

This is a cool and fun trick. To display upside down status updates, simply head over to FlipText and type in your status. Then simply click on Flip Text and copy-paste the upside down text into your Facebook status box.

24. Update Facebook Status Using Twitter:

Wouldn’t you love to update your status on both Facebook and Twitter at the same time. Just install the Twitter application for Facebook. Once synced, your tweets including the #fb tag would automatically be posted as status updates on your Facebook.

25. Download Videos From Facebook:

Facebook has one of the largest collection of user uploaded videos.You can download most of the videos from Facebook by using a client like SpeedBit or DownFacbook.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So the war is on!

Days back I just pondered about how social networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook have had their TRPs raising up so high, especially within us, the Indians. Not that Facebook is both, famous in the West as in the East and Orkut isn’t, but Orkut has its own regions of conquer, territories of users and wonderful elements to exhibit.

Orki and Facbi, they are just like two buddies from convent school or probably college, popular in their own way with their unique facets that attract all. Started off as plain, simple average students who were liked by all but then eventually had their own groups, neutral acquaintances and plus points.

Times have changed. These students are no longer those plain, average pupils who were same in many ways and different in some. They now have their territories, groups have grown, popular in their own way, regions to conquer along with hearts and all set to capture the world’s attention using strategies from every possible vertical. These friends are no longer buddies but competitors.

Today, if you young, (as we call it, ‘the teens’...), add to that - you are tech-savvy (oh! C’mon, who aren’t these days? If not, maybe you need to move on!), and is an IT professional, student, housewife, grandpa, wife, mother, advertising professional, doctor, actor, teacher, chef or even idle at home, it’s so definite that you do run an account on social networking websites. (Hey, you do have a blog and do read blogs but don’t have a social networking account, buddy c’mon; buckle up and move on… create an account today!)

Now, it can be, Twitter, Orkut, Facebook and so on. If a blogger, then definitely, you should be having an account with 20 something bloggers,, Blogadda, Technorati, Indiblogger and so on. And if you an ethnic, patriotic Indian, a techie especially, you will see him or her bound to have an account with Orkut or Facebook and a blog with Indiblogger kind of blog networks.

Twitter vs Facebook

The recent updates these days is a new war brewing up in the social sphere between the two popular social web tools . Social networking powerhouse Facebook sees itself on “a collision course” with Twitter. Some analysts see Facebook’s site redesign, as a “desperate attempt to mimic Twitter.”

Well, “if you can’t buy ’em . . . beat ’em?” said Kenneth Corbin in Back in fall of 2008, Facebook offered Twitter $500 million in stock to wed and bed her.

Facebook is planning a series of changes to its homepage and how the flow of information coming onto the site is displayed. It seems in the world of social media, imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, or just a way of trying to steal a rival company’s thunder in light of their refusal to be bought out.

Facebook CEO Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to its home page that would allow streaming of “posts from your friends in real-time.” It also changed the status prompt from “What are you doing right now?” to “What’s on your mind?”

This move makes sense, because people seem to be veering away from Facebook towards Twitter due to its real-time nature.

There are an estimated four to five million users on Twitter, 30 percent of which are new. HubSpot claims between five and ten thousand new accounts are started every day. Which may seem impressive until compared to the recently published Facebook numbers of 140 million active users and up to 600,000 new registrations ever day.

In terms of numbers, Facebook is a much more important service than Twitter. But of course, quantity isn’t everything, with the quality of people on Twitter maybe making up for the huge numbers being achieved by the social networking site.

However, as of now, Twitter remains a niche enjoyed by the relatively small number of people using it but failing to break out into the mainstream.

Orkut Vs facebook

Social networking sites are the best ways to find friends easily around the world. The most important sites are facebook and orkut. The facebook is famous in the North America which has an origin at the Harvard University. The orkut is a social networking site from the Google. Facebook has a higher market share than the orkut. The orkut gained its popularity mainly in the country called India. Facebook and orkut had their own features in attracting the users of the social networking sites. Let we see some of the differences between these sites and discuss some of the important features available in these sites.

Remarkable Differences between them:

The Facebook allows you to have specialized layouts for the people and helps you to share your photos with others. The orkut provides you with the number of times of a particular profile visited by others. As the orkut is connected with the Google chat, people can chat with their friends simultaneously in spending time with these social networking sites. The facebook provides you with most fascinating look and allows you to customize the view according to your requirement and mood. Thus start account in these sites to find friends all over the world.

Social Networking: Facebook vs. Orkut

Facebook and Orkut are two of the most popular social networking sites, with both offering very similar features and capabilities. Comparing FaceBook vs. Orkut from a market share perspective will show you that both are considerably behind MySpace with Facebook owning just over 11.5% of the market share and Orkut having less than 1%. Facebook has become very popular in North America over the last few months whereas Orkut is extremely popular in India.

I do have access to both an Orkut and Facebook account and find myself using Facebook the majority of the time. I actually prefer Facebook when comparing Facebook vs. Orkut from a usability perspective, here's why:

- From an overall cosmetic point of view, Facebook is a much more professional looking whereas Orkut looks somewhat unfinished

- Facebook's Mini Feed feature is useful in seeing a quick snapshot on the latest happenings within your network

- The ease at which you can customize layouts within FaceBook, especially the drag and drop option.

- The ability to supply how you know a person (through school, other friends, work, randomly, etc...). This is especially interesting when you and one your contacts know the same person, but through different ways.

Here's what I like about Orkut:

- Within Orkut you can view people's profiles regardless if they are a 'friend' or not.

- I like how you can see the number of times your profile has been viewed with Orkut.

- The integration of Google Chat (maybe there is an opportunity for Microsoft to go after Facebook for the same purpose).