Use Mark Read and Mute to Clean Your Feed


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If you’re like me, you “Like” a bunch of Facebook Pages that mainly post links to their regular blog or web site posts. This article will show you one way to manage posts from your real friends vs. those from these Pages.

An RSS reader is handy, but having daily blog posts from sites in your Facebook stream is nice also. You get the benefit of having lots of comments right there on the article, if you want to join in the discussion. However, these comment threads can often explode into hundreds or even thousands of comments which you don’t necessarily care about. This is where the Mark Read and Mute functionality of Better Facebook, along with filtering and tabs, can help you.

Mark Read vs. Mute

2011-01-19-muteWhen you mark a post as “read”, Better Facebook remembers the unique ID of the post and hides it automatically the next time you load Facebook. This way, you don’t have to see posts that you’ve already read. It keeps your news feed clean and lets you focus on just the new content coming in.

When a post is marked “read”, though, it will pop back up in your stream if someone new makes a comment on it, since this comment is “new to you”. This is nice because you can catch a witty comment left by a friend on another friends’ status a day later, which you might otherwise have missed.

But when the comments get too many, or when you know you don’t care about what others have to say, you can “mute” the post. This is the same as marking it as read, but when new comments get posted, the post will not pop back up in your feed.

Keeping this difference in mind, what I really want to do is to have all the posts from my family and friends in one tab, so I can read through them and click “Mark All Read” to catch up. Then I want all my pages in another tab, so I can read through them and “Mute All” so they never come back. I don’t really care about the comments on these posts.

Adding Filters

To accomplish this, I need to setup a custom filter in the Feed Filter tab of Options. I select all the “Pages” that I want to mute after reading (holding down Ctrl to select multiple) and then I choose to move to tab. I named mine “Feeds”.

Once this filter is setup, then my Pages posts go to their own tab, and I can easily click the “Mute All” button at the top to make them all go away. And in my Home tab, I can click “Mark All Read” to make them go away for now with the potential that I could see them again.

Even More Control

If you don’t want to move your Pages posts to another tab, but you know that you aren’t interested in following along with long discussions and many comments, there is an option in Better Facebook to automatically mute a post when the number of comments exceeds a definable threshold.

In the “Posts” tab of Options, you’ll find this option that you may want to try. If you set it to something reasonable like 25 or so, then this will auto-mute popular posts from Pages, but not auto-mute most posts from your family and friends (unless they happen to provoke a lot of comments!).

If there is a single post in your “Feeds” tab that you want to Mark Read rather than Mute, you can use the individual post’s actions to mark it read before using “Mute All”. Marking the individual post as read will make it disappear, so it won’t be processed when you click “Mute All”.

Conclusion

Using filters along with “Mark All Read” and “Mute All” can help you keep your feed clean and help you quickly process posts in the way you wish.

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