Fishbowl (nowt to do with aquariums); any users?

  polymath 17:41 23 Feb 2010

Seeking help from anyone who's tried it.
It's a small trial/experimental Microsoft app, that fills a gap in Facebook options by giving some control over one's view of it (to minimise the clutter from well-intentioned junk).

I downloaded it from click here ,and the options for sorting friends include by 'interest level', but I can't find how to allocate the friends to the different levels in the first place. It's the feature I wanted it for (though it does have other features that may be of use, eg more sorting options).

Searching Microsoft Support found nothing (but then it is an early version).
Web searches were hampered by a plethora of aquariums, and all I found was a few instances of the same description as at the download page.

Vista Home Premium SP2 in case it matters.

  GaT7 18:04 23 Feb 2010

Perhaps you can visit the program's homepage click here & get some help via the 'Discuss on Facebook' link in the top right corner. G

  polymath 20:51 24 Feb 2010

Thanks Crossbow7! I hadn't noticed it had a Facebook page.
I've asked my question there, so will hopefully get a reply soon. (The board doesn't look very busy, but on the plus side the developers participate in it).

  polymath 20:47 27 Feb 2010

I had a reply telling me how, and am now using Fishbowl.

In case anyone else wants to know, I emailed someone with the answer, along with other info I've read/found by trying it. The easiest thing will be to post a version of it here (if it fits into the character limit).

I did it for someone with many Facebook friends, but even with my small number it's made a difference (is it a natural law that you always get someone who shares all the little twee, irritating, things going?)

Thanks again crossbow!

  polymath 20:48 27 Feb 2010

What Fishbowl does (as of 27/2/10);
A) provide 3 'levels of interest' in which to put friends; low, middling, or high. When in Fishbowl, you can then press a sorting button and the highest group goes to the top of your friends list. Each friend has to be set, which might seem daunting in some cases; but even of you only got round to flagging feeds currently most interesting/least interesting, it might provide some relief from the most irritating feeds. Fishbowl saves these settings (which can be changed any time), but only for the length of the session.
Then the 'interest level' sorting button comes into it. It needs doing every time you open Fishbowl, but it's only 1 click. (It opens with all friends equal & alphabetical). As far as I can tell from trying it with a modest number of friends, they appear alphabeticallly within each level, and going to Facebook Home from Fishbowl shows the favourite friends group at the top.
In the Friends list, there's a button to show some latest updates (possibly those since you last opened Fishbowl - I'm not sure yet). It ignores those in the lowest level.
Clicking on a friend's photo in the list takes you to a view of their wall, with a slider under their photo to set their level. If you can't see a slider, maximise the Fishbowl window (it opens in a smallish window, which was why I couldn't find that feature).

B) some other differences from how Facebook's displayed with your normal browser (just cosmetic ones as far as I've noticed).

What it doesn't do (as of 27/2/10);
A) open your browser (unless you tell it to (I think I saw an option somewhere in Fishbowl for seeing Facebook that way). It operates independantly of other stuff, apart from Windows & internet connection (so it should be simple to uninstall if you decide to). It calls itself a 'Facebook client' (browsers are general 'web clients', if I remember right).
No problem having your normal browser(s) open at the same time, and switching between it & Fishbowl.
B) make any difference to;
how anyone sees your Facebook page, apart from yourself within Fishbowl (so no worries about offending anyone, and you can still see how your page appears to others, via your normal browser).
how you see pages (as opposed to friends);
" " groups or chat.
C) hide individual items, as you can via your browser (eg news from groups/applications).

Some limitations are features they're still working on, some are things not allowed by Facebook (so far).

Fishbowl is for Windows XP or Vista (though still worth a try if you have a different Windows version; they might just have not tested it much in that one).
It needs .Net3.5 Framework, which it installs automatically if you don't have it (I don't know either, but it's some harmless Microsoft thing).
Some memory requirements are given, but it works quite happily in my notebook which has less.
I downloaded it from click here (I use PC Advisor to find software without finding the rogue sites). As far as documentation goes about Fishbowl, what's at that page seems to be it (but then it is a 3-month-old trial version, for the benefit of 'technology enthusiasts and Facebook power users').
I don't know anything about XP (having leapfrogged from 98SE to Vista), but the download went into my Vista Downloads folder, and is called GetFishbowl.exe. Sure enough, opening the file fetches the actual program from the web and installs it (I don't know why it's that way - maybe for getting future versions by just opening the file again - anyway, it's all very quick & easy).
The 1st time you run it, it needs your Facebook login, & some permissions (I just said yes to everything, and nothing amiss has happened).
If you put its shortcut in the Quick Launch bar, it's to hand whatever else is going in on the screen.

The only place I know of is the developers' Facebook page (open to everyone), at click here . It has a discussion board where the question might already have been answered (it's quick to check - just 2 pages of topics so far). If not, anyone can post a new one (the queries aren't just from tech-heads).

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