The Facebook frenzy has hit Rachael Ray! If you're already a member of the hugely popular social networking site, click here to become a fan of the show. But if you're not one of the 200 million Facebook members, online expert Omar Wasow explains why joining the site is quickly becoming a necessity. "Not only is it an essential part on online life," he says, "but it's really becoming a part of the fabric of offline life."
If you're still apprehensive or confused about the Facebook craze, Omar explains what you need to know:
Pages and Profiles. Individuals can create a personal profile page with information about themselves, or they can also create pages for things that they like, such as elected officials, restaurants or their favorite hobbies. "Basically, it's a way on Facebook of showing love for something you're passionate about," Omar says.
Status updates. You can update what you're doing or how you're feeling and all of your friends will see that. Plus, fans of the Rachael Ray Show can find out what's coming up on the program!
The "Wall." Omar explains, "It's a little bit like a guest book where your fans or friends can post things to the page."
Friending. If someone wants to see your page, they send you a friend request, but it can get sticky if you have information on your page that you don't want certain people or groups to see. "There's no one right rule that's going to work for everybody," Omar says, "but make a rule and stick to it. If somebody invites you to be their friend and you don't want to accept, what you can do is send them a note that says, 'I only use Facebook for alumni issues, I don't want to be friends with a co-worker.' That allows you to say it's not personal."
Omar adds, "You can also ignore that note if it's not somebody you know well. They won't know that you've ignored it and that allows you to keep some distance, and there doesn't have to be a confrontation. If you do want to accept the friend request, you can set up a group and then use privacy settings on Facebook so that none of those students or coworkers or family members have access to some of your private information."
Photos. "There are lots of embarrassing things that can happen on Facebook," Omar says. "With photos, you can set privacy settings so that your photos become private and your co-workers won't see those naked photos of you when you were 2 years old. Also, what people will often do is tag a photo of you on their profile, and if it's embarrassing, anybody who has access to your profile can see those photos too. What you can do in that case is untag those photos. It's very straight forward, but like anything, you need to play with it a little."
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