This post may be a bit out of the norm for my blog, but it feels necessary. If you’re a reader who is gleefully facebook-free, this will probably bore you to pieces. I’ll be back to my more typical musings shortly!

If you’re a facebook user like me, I’m certain you’ll agree that the unpredictable and ever-changing algorithms and other under the hood shenanigans by the folks over there have led to nothing short of frustration. I use facebook as a research and communication tool for both my business and personal life. I follow a plethora of companies, nonprofits, fellow bloggers, and many other entities from whom I learn and get turned on to information that deepens my civic, intellectual, and social involvement.

Pages I’ve “liked” stopped appearing in my newsfeed long ago. New “likes” seldom showed up. After some searching online for answers, I dabbled my way to this conclusion: organizing the pages I “like” brought them into my newsfeed!

For the sake of your sanity and my own, I wish to share my initial process which may very well be obsolete in a week or two if facebook launches another upgrade or algorithm. In the short term, at least, I’m happy. Maybe you will be, too.

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Go to your home page. Click on your “Likes” (located just below your header image and “Activity Log”) and scroll down the page a ways past “Favorites” until you reach the “Likes” box. At the very top of the section, you’ll see a horizontal list of the years you’ve been on facebook. Clicking on each of those numbers reveals a list of pages you’ve “liked” that particular year.

Start with the current year and follow these steps for each page that appears in your list:

  • Hover your cursor over the page until a box of information about that page appears. Then hover your cursor over “Liked” to reveal a menu of four options. (I’ll only address two of these options since I haven’t touched the others.)
  • If you wish to “unlike” a page, click “Unlike.”
  • If you wish to continue to “Like” the page, you’ll want to “Add to Interest Lists”(instructions to follow). As it seems to be in facebooklandia, pages need to be placed in a list so you can see them. This is especially true of the pages whose posts you seldom if ever comment on or “like.”

You can create just one list and put everything in it, but you can take a more intentional approach and make lists for the different topics you enjoy reading about. Think of “Interest Lists” as categories, folders, or piles. Every page you want to see in your feed needs to be placed in at least one list. Avoid over-categorizing by keeping each list broad yet focused. (For example, all media outlets you follow – be they newspapers, radio shows, internet only venues, etc. – can be placed in a list called “news” or “media”.)

Here’s how you can add a page to an “Interest List”…

1 – Hover over page name

2 – Hover over “Liked” button

3 – Scroll to “Add to Interest List”

4 – Add to one of your lists or add a “New List”

When you add a “New List,” you’ll be prompted to name your list, and then to indicate from one of three choices who can see your list: the public, your friends, or just you. Here’s what a sample of the New List page looks like:

Creating a “New List” called news

The benefit of lists is tremendous. Now, instead of going through my entire newsfeed to find posts from my favorite food-related sites, or search/click on each of them individually, I can simply scroll down the sidebar on my homepage, and under “Interests,” select “food.” And at the touch of a button, a stream of deliciousness appears!

Remember how I mentioned page “Likes” were grouped by year? You can take control of your “Likes” by purging (“unliking”) and organizing your pages year by year. In other words, organize one year a day for a week. Or, you if you’re on a roll, turn on some music and do it all in one sitting! As you’d do with any pile, drawer, or closet carve out a little bit of time to keep your newsfeed fresh and relevant. When you’re done, I think you’ll like your feed a whole lot more!

Endnote: As I created this post and further explored the many mysterious buttons on facebook, I stumbled upon at least one other way to create “Interest Lists.” I encourage you to play and discover, too!