Idiot’s vs Dummies Guide to Facebook (Review)

Some time ago I was asked to do a side by side book comparison of the Idiot’s series verses the Dummies Series on a title of my choosing.  I first posted a side by side review of the Nutrition Series, which you may have read about here.  I am happy to say that I’ve now completed reading the Facebook series and am posting my review below.

Now for the challenge:  Idiot’s Guide vs Dummies

As with the previous titles I found both books to be informative and worth the read.  Both books did a pretty similar overview of the history behind Facebook and what it is all about.  Neither book really stood out as being better than the other in that regard.  Similarly, both books also did a good job at walking the beginner through creating a new Facebook account.  I did however find the Idiot’s Guide to be a little more straight forward when looking at it from a purely beginner’s perspective.  It seemed that the Dummies version added just a bit of extra information a little to early in the book.  Basically, I like to look at things from beginning to end and then learn about the details later.  In my opinion, the Idiot’s Guide did a better job at that by explaining things after the fact verses during the process, especially when it came to setting up a user profile.

I found the Photo and Third Party Application Sections to be similar in both books, but felt the Photo Editing Section was slightly easier to follow in the Idiot’s Guide.  The Idiot’s Guide also added a nice write up about using Picasa for editing photos before uploading to Facebook, which I found quite helpful.

The big (and very important) difference that stood out to me between these two books was the write up on Facebook Business Fan Pages.  This was an area where I myself have had trouble and I found the Idiot’s Guide to be a whole lot more informative when it came to the details and extras associated with Facebook Fan Pages.  I got just a little confused by the method that the Dummies book used to explain the differences between Groups and Business Pages and the Idiot’s Guide brought it all back into the appropriate perspective.  In addition, the Idiot’s Guide also added some very helpful information about third party applications that can easily be used with Business Fan Pages, whereas the Dummies Book did not.

Each book is set up in four parts, as outlined below.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook

Part 1:  Meeting Facebook Face to Face – An overview of the basics of Facebook that guides you through how to sign up, create your profile, Add a photo, find friends, tweak your privacy settings as well as an introduction to the Wall and Newsfeed Feature.   This section also describes how to send and receive messages as well as attaching photos and links.

Part 2: Connecting with friends, family and Classmates:   A more in depth description of the photo feature, how to create, edit  and share photo albums and video footage.  An introduction to Groups, including how to create, join, interact, share with and leave a group.  The online chat feature is introduced here as well as Event scheduling and taking/sharing Notes.

Part 3:  Harnessing the Power of Facebook Applications:   An introduction to Facebook Applications, how to use and share them.  An overview of Facebook Game Applications as well as Applications to use with your mobile phone with a detailed overview of texting to Facebook.  This section also touches on the Facebook shopping feature, how to search, browse and create a listing.

Part 4:  Getting Down to Business on Facebook:  Helpful details on how to establish a Business Based Page, how to cross promote it with a Blog or Website, establishing a following.    Further detail on customizing your business page, adjusting the settings and accessorizing with third party applications.


Facebook for Dummies, Third Edition

Part 1:  Getting Started with Facebook:  An introduction to what Facebook is, how it differs from other  Social Sites, what you can and can’t do with it.  How to sign up and create a Facebook Profile and insert a photo.  Introduction to the Newsfeed, Chat and Applications features as well as a description of the various areas of the Facebook Screen areas.  How to find friends, block unwanted users and set privacy settings.

Part 2:  Sharing your Life on Facebook:  An in depth description of the various profile options and the friend list.  How to share photos, links and videos with friends and make use of the Note feature.  A more detailed description of the Wall feature, sending private messages and online chat.

Part 3:  Getting Organized:  Creating and managing groups, scheduling Events and creating a Business Page.  The differences between Pages, Profiles and Groups and how to promote a page.  An introduction into Facebook Applications, including finding and managing them.  Further detail on the Facebook Mobile Application and information on how to promote a page.

Part  4:  Parts of Tens:  Ten great Third-Party Applications, 10 examples of how Facebook Uniquely impacts lives, Ten frequently asked questions and 10 True Facebook Tales.

In Summary I’ll say that although both books were good, the Idiot’s Guide was easier to follow from beginning to end and also contained a much better overview of using Facebook for your business.

These opinions are purely my own and I was not compensating in any way other than receiving the book titles for review.  You can view my Disclosure Policy here.
Posted by: on August 4, 2011 under Product Reviews & Giveaways

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