Well after hours of poking and prodding at Facebook, here’s what I’ve got to show for it.
To setup your page, click “Businesses” in the Facebook footer.
At the Business Services page, choose “Facebook Pages”.
Then you create your page:
You’ll be asked to establish what type of page (Education) and the name of the page (Your School). It’s important to note here that at this point, you can create a page for ANY organization…there’s no validation of any kind. This is a scary scary thing.
Your initial view will look like this. Most of the interface is classic Facebook.
When you click “Edit my page” you’re presented with this:
You’ll notice a new Applications Menu option, “Page Manager”. It wasn’t initially in the top 5, I had to drag it up from the lower hidden menu.
There are 3 applications pre-installed on your page: Events, Photos, and Video. You get the same photo album capabilities that individual profiles enjoy, and the ability to create semi-robust events. My only beef, I want to be able to put a URL in the event creation screen somewhere to link to more information (like our University calendar or news).
I did add the Feedheads app so I could pull our news and calendar feeds into the Facebook page, but a glitch in it has caused the results to show up on my personal profile instead of the University page. Mario Romero, the developer of Feedheads, has responded that they’re hoping to get the bugs out by the weekend.
I created additional admins by simply inviting my friends (i.e. coworkers and student employees in my office) to accept admin status. The process was pretty easy on my end, but they all had issues either accepting the invite or finding their way back to the page if they hadn’t chosen to “Add to my organizations”. These additional admins are not getting the “Page Manager” menu item at this point, it’s only if you actually created a page. This is a usability issue they’re going to have to work out. The UWebD list reports similar problems. Also, the page doesn’t show up in searches. Someone indicated they’re read something about 3 days before search would work, but I couldn’t find that info anywhere. I’ve put up an announcement as a “Share” within my friends and anticipate a little traffic from the curious.
I did experience an issue where the University hours were “forgotten” once, and I’m pretty sure this was caused by simply clicking on the “Basic Info” edit box and then navigating away without saving. Stephanie Leary of A&M reports the same problem.
The photo album app is going to be great for us as it’ll allow users to comment, hopefully generating some activity we’ve been missing out with our lack of a robust photo album. The problem(s) with the albums: (1) users can’t tag, (2) the photo purchase option is only available for those with admin rights (as far as I’ve been able to determine). For higher ed especially, the ability to tag and use photos the same way as individual profiles would be key. It might be important to note that unless a user chooses to become a fan of your school, they won’t even be able to comment on the pictures, and there’s no instructions indicating this at the photo level.
All in all I’m very excited, but it’s still a little green. They’re going to have to offer us some clarification, and beef up some of the places they left out (tagging…seriously). I think most of it is simple oversight, you can’t think of everything. I’m looking forward to seeing how they overcome and/or compensate for these issues. Until then, take a look at what we built in a day.