Facebook can get overwhelming if you have a lot of contacts in your network. This excerpt from E. A. Vander Veer's Facebook: The Missing Manual will show you how to customize your news feed so you can concentrate on the things you're most interested in.
In every social circle, you're bound to have some friends you're closer to than others. If you'd prefer to concentrate on just two or three friends' activities—or skip the who's-dating-who-this-week chatter and focus just on certain applications (Chapter 12, Customizing Facebook and Adding Applications) or Pages (the section called “Facebook Pages: Profiles for Bands, Brands, and More”) you're interested in—you can customize your News Feed.
On your Home page, click the Most Recent link.
Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click the Edit Options link.
In the Show More field of the News Feed Settings box that appears, start typing the name of the person you want to see more of and then, when Facebook displays the person's name, click to select it. (Note that this box refers to your Live Feed; that's the old name for the Most Recent version of your News Feed.) Alternatively, you can cut down on what you see about a particular person by typing his name in the Hide field. Either way, after you select a name, that name appears in the News Feed Settings box accompanied by an X you can click later to remove the name (useful if, over time, your interest in that particular person's Facebook activities changes).
Another way to see less about a particular person is to mouse over any story that appears in your News Feed; when the Hide link appears, click it. In the confirmation box that appears, click "Hide [person's name]".
News Feeds work both ways: Facebook keeps track of your actions on the site, too, and includes them in your friends' News Feeds. To learn how to prevent certain things you do from showing up on your friends' News Feeds, see the section called “Controlling Who Sees Your Profile and Contact Info”.
To hide a story that appears in your News Feed:
On your Home page, make sure your News Feed is displayed.
Scroll down until you spot the story you want to hide.
Mouse over the story and then, when the Hide link appears, click it.
In the confirmation box that appears, click "Hide [person]" (to cut down on future stories involving this person), "Hide [application]" (to cut down on future stories involving this application), or Cancel (to change your mind and keep the story in your Feed).
If you change your mind later and want to see stories about that person or application again, scroll to the bottom of your News Feed and click the Edit Options button. In the "Hidden from News Feed" box that appears, find the person or item you want to see again and then click the Add To News Feed button next to it.
Learn more about this topic from Facebook: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition.
This bestselling Missing Manual has been updated to help you take advantage of everything Facebook now offers. Each page in this informative and entertaining book is designed to help you with specific Facebook tasks, such as signing up, networking, shopping, joining groups, finding or filling a job, and a whole lot more.