I feel like I’m pretty savvy about Facebook but I haven’t figured out an easy way to post a status update that’s just readable by people in my local community. I mean, if I’m talking about a BBQ or a fiesta, there’s no reason my friends overseas need to see it. How can I set my Facebook Wall status update visibility to a specific geographic region?
That’s an interesting question because the there isn’t really an easy way to accomplish what you ask. While people on Facebook indicate their location and if they’re checking in at specific locations, of course, they’re also identifying their current location (as opposed to home address) but still, there’s no “just people with zip code = 95030″ option.
On the other hand, Facebook introduced smart lists a while back and barely anyone knows about them. See? You don’t, do you? Fact is, it’s a pretty slick idea and it’s too bad that it’s so hard to get to them and work with them, because it’s very much akin to the iTunes Smart Playlist feature (though perhaps not quite that sophisticated).
Turns out that you do have an automatic list set up by Facebook that’s just people within ten miles of your registered home zip code. You just have to know how to find it.
Here’s how I found mine…
First off, on the lower left side of my Facebook main page, here’s what I see:
Not much of interest. Except that “MORE” on the lower left. Click on it…
Still not there, but closer. Turns out that Facebook categorizes all lists as “FRIENDS”, though I don’t really understand why. Here you can see that one of my lists is called “Purdue University” as it’s one of my alma maters (I have an MS Education from there, if you’re curious! Go Boilermakers!)
Move your cursor over the area and additional options appear:
Ah, finally. Don’t click on the one that’s shown — it’s unlikely to be what you seek — but instead click on the “MORE” on the right side, adjacent to “FRIENDS”. Now an entire display of your lists show up, both smart and regular:
I live in Boulder, Colorado, so my geographic proximity smart list is called “Boulder Area”. To learn more about it I click on it and the resultant page explains:
Want to know more about Facebook Smart Lists? Click on “Learn More” (sometimes these things are so darn logical!) and a multi-window explanation comes up that includes this:
Interesting indeed. As is often the case on Facebook, there’s more power present than you realize. You just have to find it.
Close the help window and move the cursor over the “Boulder Area” (or equivalent) link again. Now you’ll see a small pencil icon to the left. Click on that:
There we go. Choose “Add to Favorites” and it’ll show up on the top left of every page you view on Facebook:
See it? Just below my favorite shortcut for The Ask Dave Taylor Fan Club (which you’ve “liked” by now, right? If not, just click and do it. Thanks!)