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The Facebook Rodeo – How to Corral Your News Feed

If you have been adding friends and “Liking” fan pages for a while, it may be getting harder to stay on top of your news feed. Have you ever wondered if your friends’ news feeds are as full as yours, and if they even see your posts?

No one can keep up with a busy news feed unless it is organized. Divide and conquer your feed using lists. Once you group your feed into manageable chunks, you can quickly choose the posts you want to see, when you want to see them.

There are three types of lists: Smart, Custom, and Interests.

Smart Lists

Facebook automatically generates “Smart Lists” and each has its own purpose and features.

Family – This list is for friends you are related to. When you add a friend to your Family list, Facebook will ask you how you are related and then send a message and ask them to verify their relationship.

Close Friends – If you would like notifications of all a friends posts and want to make sure that all their posts show in your news feed, add them to the Close Friends list. I use a custom list for close friends instead I call “Good Friends.” That way I can see their feed quickly but I won’t get a notification from them for everything.

Restricted – If you add friends to your Restricted list, they will only be able to see posts and profile information that you make public.

Acquaintances – Friends on your Acquaintances list will rarely show up in your news feed. You can also choose to exclude these people when you post something.

School – Facebook will create a school list if you add a school to your profile. It will automatically include your friends that went to the same school if they added the same school to their profile as you did.

Locality – A smart list is automatically created based upon your address in your profile. Facebook will automatically include your friends that live in the same area as you. You can adjust the radius in miles from the city by clicking on the list while on your Home page, and then clicking on the “miles” link under your location:

Work Place – Facebook will automatically include your friends that work at the same employer if they added the same employer to their profile as you.

Custom Lists

You can create a new list if you would like to group your friends by other things like interests you share, clubs you may each belong to, or even by who you would like to send Christmas cards. To create a custom list, click “More” on your Friends menu:

The real power of Custom lists: friends can belong to more than one list. Whenever you post, you can select the lists you would like to see your posts. Custom lists are a great way to get organized and tame your news feed!

Interests Lists

Interests lists are for “fan” or “brand” pages you have “Liked.” When you click a like button on a fan or brand page, you will see a drop menu where you can chose “Show in News Feed” or “Add to Interest Lists… ” If you choose “Add to Interest Lists… ,” you can choose an existing list or create a new one.

I have a general list called “Fan pages I like.” It gives me a place to put them quickly, so I can turn off “Show in News Feed” as I like pages. When I have more time, I put them into more suitable Interest lists. I just find them in my “Fan pages I like” list, visit the page again and choose or create a new Interest list.


You can add any list to your Favorites. Just hover the list name and click on the little pencil icon. Here you add the list to your Favorites or delete it. Don’t worry, deleting it won’t remove any of your friends or likes. Favorites are displayed at the top left of your home page. They give you a quick way to select a list to view a news feed of only the list members’ posts.

News Feed

If you have selected a list to view its news feed, you can see all posts in your main news feed again by selecting News Feed. It is always the first item in yourFavorites. You can choose friends or subscriptions to hide from your main news feed by edit its settings. Hovering over News Feed, click the little pencil icon and choose “Edit Settings.” You can always add them back by going to their page and selecting “Show in News Feed” on their “Friends” button.

Now, put a saddle on ‘em cowboy. Yer ready to ride that bronco!