Archive for March, 2009

New Facebook Layout

I think I am right in believing that I am part of a  minority of people, who like it when Facebook change their layout. I have been looking forward to this change since I read about it a couple of weeks ago, and now it has arrived for me today and I cannot help but love it.

This is just going to be a brief description of the new stuff which make a real difference to my use of Facebook. Hopefully I will convert some of you who’s first reaction to the layout was negative. This is certainly not an all encompassing review, so I suggest you take heed of what I have to say then explore for yourself.

The Publisher

It has always been possible to post pictures and links to your wall, but it needed a trip to your profile page to do so. Because I rarely looked at my profile, I was never compelled to post links and lone photos.

The publisher has tried to solve this problem by putting more posting options right on your home screen. It is not bringing anything new to the table, it is merely putting your options in view, so you are more likely to post a wider variety of media.

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Improved Feed Management

The first difference you may notice is the X in the corner of items in your feed. This is another example of bringing current feature into plain sight. It was previously possible to choose who you did and did not want to see in your feed, but now all you need to do is click the X on people you do not want to hear about anymore.

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I however have chosen a different method of filtering who I do and do not want to hear about. I have chosen to make two new friend lists (this is done on the Friends page), one list containing people I am interested in hearing about, and another for people I do not want to hear about. This method allows you to view a full feed (All friends), then a feed of interest, and a feed of rubbish.

This is particularly useful if you have an amount of ‘friends’ too large to manage. This method can be extended to include separate feeds for Family, Colleagues and other groups of people, if you are so inclined.

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News Feed (Full Feed)

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Interested (Feed of interest to me)

Highlights

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As far as I can tell, this is replacing the “Top Stories” feed (The previous default feed on the homepage). there is nothing much to say, except that this is the worst new arrival and will be mostly ignored by me.

So hopefully this article has been some use to some people. The new layout will certainly make my Facebook experience much more pleasant. My main hope for the new layout is that people will begin to post more media, rather than solely status updates. And again, I hope I have helped more than I have waffled.

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Picnik

Hello all. Today all I would like to do is get a few people using this great site to edit their photos, doing my part in the global war against red-eye.

http://www.picnik.com/app

In my opinion this tool is indispensable for people who upload a lot of photos to photo sharing sites, but do not currently edit their pictures. Purely for its sheer ease of use I think this tool should be in many peoples’  tool belts. there are very many features to cover, so I will cover the things which stood out to me.

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To get started first you need to choose a picture to edit. This can either be done by uploading pictures from your hard drive, or accessing pictures you have already uploaded to photo sharing/social networking sites. Here I will be talking about editing pictures on Facebook.

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When you click on the Facebook icon you will be prompted to log in and you may have to give picnik  permission to access your Facebook information. So once picnik has connected to Facebook you will be presented with your “Pictures of You” album. Now you can use the dropdown menus (circled) to choose who’s photos you want to edit and which album.

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When you have decided which photo to edit, click on the cog icon. You are presented with these options, I will only talk about the editing here, but I’m sure the other options will come in handy some time..

 

 

 

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Select “Edit” and you can get started. From here it is pretty self explanatory, so now I will just give you an overview of the things which caught my eye.

 

Rotate

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Rotating mainly works as it always does. The thing which caught my eye was the ‘Straighten’ tool.   This allows you to break free of the fixed 90° rotations to get awkward pictures as straight as you would like. It is hard to explain this feature so I just say take a look for yourself and all will become clear.

Resize

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For me, this tool has no real place in photo editing as such. But it is certainly worth a mention because it is the perfect tool to optimize desktop backgrounds to fit your screen resolution perfectly.

Red-eye

image  The red-eye is something I believe should be eradicated from all photo sharing/social networking sites. hopefully any friends (-Peter) reading this will use this site to get rid of red-eye in their Facebook pictures easily. But a notable nice feature of this till is the ability to remove red-eye from both humans and pets.

 

Create

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There is a whole load of things to do in the “Create” tab which I will not cover, all I will say is that there are many basic effects there which you should take a look at if you are into that kind of thing.

Save and Share

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And here is what I see as the best bit. Once you have finished editing your photo, you can save it right into Facebook itself. There is no need to save the image, uploaded it and remove the original. You can just replace the old copy with the new copy and you are finished.

I really do recommend this site. With is ease of use, useful features and clean interface, I believe this is the best photo editor for a regular person who uploads a lot of photos.

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