Since the first edition of Dave Awl’s Facebook Me! A Guide to Socializing, Sharing, and Promoting on Facebook, the social networking site has undergone many changes. The page layout has been redesigned, certain features (such as Facebook’s virtual gifts) have disappeared, and users now “like” a product or famous figure rather than become a “fan.” In the second edition of Facebook Me, Awl expands upon these changes as well as adds material concerning marketing. Even more importantly, Awl defines proper Facebook etiquette and dispenses advice on security measures, making Facebook Me! an essential reference tool for new and experienced users.
Including a profuse amount of screenshots, Facebook Me! guides the reader through setting up a profile, uploading photos, creating groups, and sharing content. Should someone accept a “friend” invitation from a stranger? Awl suggests caution and lists ways to research a person’s identity. To ensure the most interaction with friends, he also advises ways to enliven your page’s content. Although the author clearly enjoys Facebook, he acknowledges its downsides, recommends ways to ensure privacy and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Numerous sidebars provide additional information such as tips, warnings, and even shortcuts. Keeping up with friends’ updates can be a daunting task, and Awl offers many ideas on organizing your list so that one can view close friends’ status updates first. Even more importantly, Facebook Me! contains specific examples of phishing and even “clickjacking,” or postings that lead users to a fake, potentially harm-inducing page.
The second edition includes a new chapter, “Advertising and Promoting on Facebook.” While not as thorough as The Facebook Marketing Book, it provides valuable information on the social media marketing concept (“don’t sell it — share it,” Awl advises) and lists tips on writing effective copy. He also explains Facebook ads, the Marketplace, and landing tabs. Those looking for instruction on how to create these tabs should look elsewhere, as programming lies beyond the scope of Facebook Me! One of the sections is titled a “cheat sheet,” and that label most accurately describes the chapter.
Another expanded chapter, “Facebook at Work,” addresses a new issue: using Facebook as a career networking tool. To do this, Awl explains, one needs to keep a professional profile. Potential employers increasingly check applicants’ profiles to determine possible problems. Therefore, users must use common sense as to which pictures are appropriate to post. Another section targets employers, advising them not to make hasty decisions about applicants based on Facebook profiles. Should they be judged based on their posts (or friends’ possibly offensive comments), or grammatical errors? While Awl cannot provide absolute answers, he spotlights an essential topic that affects any job seeker or even a university applicant.
As with the first edition, Facebook Me! maintains the reader’s interest through conversational, at times amusing prose. Newcomers will not find any difficulty with terminology, as Awl anticipates questions such as “what does ‘tagging’ mean?” For experienced users, the book serves as a useful reference tool, refreshing one’s memory on how to edit a profile or providing suggestions on handy applications. Troubleshooting issues, such as what to do if one’s name is erroneously rejected by Facebook, are thoroughly explained, or Awl advises readers where to find more information.
Similar to the first edition, Facebook Me! could be retitled “Everything You Wanted to Know about Facebook but Were Afraid to Ask.” Any reader should keep this book next to their computers, and the book will surely see some wear due to frequent use.