Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, December 06, 2010

New Facebook Design Makes You Share More

Even Mark Zuckenberg admitted on CBS 60 Minutes the new Facebook homepage is designed to get you to share more information.  He should be very happy today because it’s working like a charm.  I’ve seen updates that show most of my friends have been adding details of their personal and profession life.

Here’s an example of what my new home page looks like when “I” go to it.newfacebook
This is what I see on my Facebook homepage

You’ll notice there are two items which appear to be missing information. Facebook put it right on top and makes it easy to just click and update my work and current city.  My instinct like most people is to click and update this information so my friends can see it.

But guess what?  If I look at my home page with a different account it doesn’t look like I’m missing information.

This is what friends see on my Facebook homepage

When viewed by my friends only the information I want to display will appear. It doesn’t make me look like I’m not cooperating. The changes in Facebook are designed to entice you to share more information.  Everywhere on the page you’ll find “Edit” links encouraging you to add more information.

You’ll also notice the photos of me are different. There is no way to edit the photo bar to pick which ones appear.  Facebook really needs to add this feature.

If you’re shy and you don’t like the photo bar there is one option. Go to the Facebook Privacy settings and click on Custom Settings.  Scroll down to “Photos and Video’s I’m tagged in” and click Edit Settings.  You can set this option to “Only Me” and that will do the trick. Unfortunately, it removes the photo bar and also removed the photos from your regular photo album as well.


If you’re going to use Facebook remember, you control what information you share.   At least if everything works as advertised that’s true. Zuckenberg also fosters an environment where developers race a clock to get things done. That really doesn’t give me a lot of faith in his promise to protect my privacy.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Remove AOL Buggy Search Window

I don’t know how many of my readers still use AOL but thanks to my wife Cindi I have what may be a great tip for you.  (Yes I just can’t call it “Aol.”) If you do use the AOL client software you see many windows when you sign on.  By default one of them is the AOL Search window.


For some reason the last couple weeks, according to my wife Cindi, the AOL Search window has included this ugly screen with what looks like bed bugs on it.  I agree with Cindi that we don’t need to see any more news reports on bed bugs.

Cindi finally had enough today and clued me in on what she was seeing every time she signed on to AOL. Apparently, I already knew the following tip because I never saw this screen even though I still use AOL daily.

If you click on “About This Page” AOL does include steps on removing this window from your sign on.  Thank you to whoever at AOL pushed to make this option available and easy to find.

All you need to do is use keyword(Ctrl+K) “Search Window”.

When you go to this keyword you’ll see the following.


Yay!  I love Opt Out options.

Just click the button and you’ll lose the default AOL Search window. You can still use AOL Search which is always available just under the main menu. If you Opt Out you won’t have to see the ugly window with bugs on it.









UPDATE: It appears some of my friends at Aol. may read After weeks of not getting updates the AOL Search window had a new graphic today.  Happy Hanukkah!


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