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Book Review: Facebook: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by E. A. Vander Veer

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Is it true that most of the people using Facebook have no idea what Facebook has to offer or how to make full use of the features with which they are familiar? Not hard to believe at all, is it? There are so many “faces” of Facebook, it’s easy to get involved with the things that first interested you—games, social networking, music—feeling you don’t have the time or interest to learn about other aspects. Then when you do find out about other uses for Facebook, you wish you’d known about them all along and wonder what else you don’t know but could probably use. It’s sort of like life, but a lot more technical. It also comes at you a whole lot faster than life (which is why you have time to Facebook).

E.A. Vander Veer has assembled a comprehensive guide to Facebook that will allow even the technically impaired among us to use Facebook to better advantage, Facebook: The Missing Manual, Second Edition.  Covering topics as diverse as poking and job seeking, Vander Veer has advice for both the casual user and those who wish to use Facebook as a marketing tool for themselves, their products, or their companies.

What are the social uses of Facebook? Activities include looking up old friends and acquaintances, making new friends, keeping in touch with family and friends, expressing yourself (and your opinions), and buying and selling things through the Marketplace. Interested in networks? Chapter Two tells you how networks work, how to join, and how to leave a network, along with other useful network information. Of course, you won’t be doing that if you haven’t done what’s in Chapter One, which is the very basics of setting up an account, creating a profile, and other elementary information. For those who have already set up their accounts, Chapter One offers information on changing account information and viewing home pages and profiles.

One of the interesting things about Facebook is that it serves as an interface between you and the real world. Did you know you can find events to attend and advertise events in which you are involved? If you think that doesn’t apply to you, you may learn differently when you want coverage of your kid’s school’s yard sale, a class reunion, or a special service or commemoration.

Facebook: The Missing Manual, Second Edition offers an entire section on mobile applications, a must-read for BlackBerry (and other smartphone) users. The information contained in every chapter is easy to understand and is illustrated with screen shots, which make it even easier to understand. If you’re tired of banging your head on your keyboard because of Facebook frustration, pick up Facebook: The Missing Manual, Second Edition so you can direct your frustration at more worthy subjects, such as cell phones and entertainment technology.

The huge assortment of games offered on Facebook are not part of this tutorial, probably because most of the games require their own comprehensive manuals. Gamers who need advice should consult fellow gamers and bulletin boards created for their needs.

Facebook is a useful tool for both social and business applications. Whether you want to make new friends electronically or collaborate on projects professionally, Facebook can help. Facebook: The Missing Manual, Second Edition makes it easier to understand the variety of applications available through Facebook, sort through the things for which you may want or need it, and utilize it for the best return on your investment of time.

Bottom Line: Would I buy Facebook: The Missing Manual, Second Edition? As someone who has often felt lost in Facebookland, absolutely!

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