Inexact Change

I feel for Dave. Just a month or so ago, Peachpit Press published his very helpful introduction to Facebook, and no sooner does it hit the shelves than Facebook alters its interface so as to disrupt the smooth connection between the copious illustrations in Dave’s book (on one hand) and the experience of a novice user (on the other). It’s just not fair, especially since so many of the time-marked aspects of the book are so clearly recent; Dave and Peachpit must have taken pains to emphasize the contemporaneity of the material, only for Facebook to pull the rug from under them.
Still, I haven’t seen many ways that the new design (to which Facebook is apparently committed, no matter how strong the backlash against it) negates the value of Dave’s patient explanation and step by step instruction. I hope that beginning users of Facebook would consult Dave’s book with the cautious awareness that FB itself moved the furniture around; if they make allowance for that nettlesome fact, they should be able to puzzle out any discrepancies they notice. And Dave points out many aspects of Facebook that a new user wouldn’t guess at just on the basis of beginning an account — so even if the interface elements look different from the illustrations in the book, the new user knows more and expects more on the basis of having consulted Dave.
Plus, he’s a swell guy with great taste in music.

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