on the cheap and sleazy side (www.cheapandsleazy.net)

By G.D. Warner

Facebook for CR Types and the Like

Places to go and Things to See on Facebook for CRs, Captioners, Cart Providers and CR Students


You've heard about it ... perhaps even peeked at one of your friend's FB pages ... but let's face it: Looking at your friends page, you thought, "What's the point?! Why do I care what some random stranger likes or had for dinner or whatever? Facebook is just a colossal waste of time!"

Admit it: That's what you're thinking right now, isn't it?

Okay, confession time: I once had the same exact thoughts about Facebook ... and now, some three four five ten years and ~600 ~700 ~800 ~900 1200 Facebook friends later, I don't think that way anymore ... and in this article, I will try to explain how I made that switch and began to "Think Different."


But first ...

So I started writing this one back in October of 2011, and somewhere in there Facebook made a few changes in the look and feel of its interface (that whole "look and feel" thing is important to me and my fellow picky Mac users).

To that end, to attempt to present the altered look and feel of the new Facebook would require me to change a lot of the screenshots, along with a substantial amount of the text, and frankly ....

One does not have time for such affairs

"One doesn't have time for such affairs. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat!"

After the latest change to the look and feel, somebody came up with a way to revert Facebook's look and feel back to the way it was, and you can read about that here.

Let's just say Facebook fought back, so that trick doesn't work as well as it used to.


Okay. That's about enough of an intro for this one, so now, without further ado, heeeeeerrrre's .... Facebook!



Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Logo

Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder of Facebook

Kicking and Screaming

That's how I ended up on Facebook.

Well, okay ... so not literally.

More specifically, I was one of the members of my (mumble-mumble)th anniversary high school reunion planning committee. At one point, we were using plain ol' e-mail to coordinate things ... then someone created a group on Facebook, and insisted that all communications be handled that way ... and that's how I ended up on Facebook.

My Facebook friends? Mostly folks from high school -- some on the aforementioned committee I was on, then others from other classes -- including all three of the gals that lived next door to me when I was six! :o)

My other Facebook friends include friends from my time in the Navy, and a couple of relatives (a couple of nieces, my daughter and my granddaughter) ... but most of my Facebook friends are working court reporters, CART providers, captioners, or "Students o' Steno."

Soon my activities expanded and I found folks from the various court reporting forums I frequented, including a few writers for Cheap and Sleazy, my aforementioned granddaughter and (eventually) my daughter (who also came to Facebook in "kicking and screaming" mode -- mostly to keep an eye on her daughter's Facebook activities), not to mention people I "knew" from my various "Different Dictation" listening habits.

... but enough about that! We're here to talk about Facebook, so let's get to it!

First Impressions

When you first go to Facebook.com, you're presented with a sign up/log-in screen, like so:

Facebook login screen

Facebook Login Screen

Usually -- after you've registered for an account, of course -- your web browser will have all those fields filled in with your information ... but one thing you should note in that picture there is the check box where it says, "Keep me logged in."

You're going to want that to be checked. It'll make your life much easier.

Trust me.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you that if you go to some other site and are asked to "sign in with your Facebook account credentials," that would not be a wise thing to do, right? Good!

Facebook: Home

Okay, hopefully by now you have signed up and logged in, so you should most likely be looking at your "Home page."

... where you should see something like this:

Facebook Home

Facebook Home

A (Relatively) Quick Tour

Going from right to left (because I like to be all different and stuff), you see a short list (1200 friends, remember?) of a few of my Facebook friends and/or relatives that were online at the time I grabbed that screenshot.

To the left of that you see another relative and a Facebook friend ... and above those two folks is an invitation to a "story."

Let's just say I've never bothered with the "story" feature ... but for the curious, it's basically a series of pictures from stuff you or your friends/relatives did or posted on Facebook that day, that week, or whatever (never used it before, remember?), all put together in a video with some rather cheesy music, if I recall correctly ... and for the curious, somebody posted one of those videos on their Facebook page, so I took a look at it.

In the next column, you see a post from one of my Facebook friends, who most likely posted on her wall (next image), but it ended up appearing in all of her friend's newsfeeds ... and no, that's not a bug, that's a feature.

The Busyness on the Left

There at the top of the left column, you can see my name, which is a link to my Facebook profile, as shown in the screenshot below.

Facebook Profile Page

Facebook Profile

Facebook Profile Page

As you might guess, that white area where you can see my name can also be used to search for friends from days gone by, businesses, etc.

Below that you see a small portion of my newsfeed -- or more correctly, when I changed my profile picture, that activity ended up in the newsfeed -- which is where you can see what you or your friends have posted on your wall, or mentioned you on their profiles. It's pretty much like what you would see when you click the Home link, but less ... busy.

Profile and Cover Pics

The profile pic shown above was one of the "BitStrips" that used to be on Facebook. Unfortunately, I had to end my cartoon self after they made a cartoon of me going after the wife of one of my Facebook friends, so they had to go ... but I'm pretty sure I have a few lying around on the ol' hard drive somewhere ... you know, like this one:

Glen, the TV Critic

Glen, the TV Critic

That said ...

Like that cover pic, with the fortune cookie?

I don't remember where, but sometime back, I found a picture where somebody had modified the fortune in a fortune cookie ... and I had this idea.

So I downloaded the picture, opened it up in Graphic Converter (and my readers using Windows can use Paint (Dot) Net), deleted whatever was there as the fortune originally, and wrote my own!

... but then I had to know what the preferred size for cover pics (and profile pics, while I was at it) were, and a quick Google search led me to something like this:

Facebook Image Preferences

Facebook Image Preferences

Oh great. Facebook changed the size requirements of both the profile and cover pics.

You can find the new specs here.

... and you'll be pleased to know I also grabbed a screenshot:

2022 Facebook picture sizes

New Facebook Cover Pic and Profile Pic Sizes

Unfortunately, all of the cover pics I've made or collected over the years don't look right anymore. Take a look at how my current cover pic looks:

Current Cover Pic

Current Facebook Cover Pic

"Have You Read The News Today, Oh, Boy ...."

As those of you who have spent time on Facebook (and have at LEAST a casual acquaintance with The Beatles) might guess, that quote was meant to convey that my Newsfeed was just ... too ... much to keep up with ... and the more friends I gained, the harder it became to keep up with what was going on with all of my Facebook friends ... which is why I never (well, okay ... rarely) look at my Newsfeed these days: Information Overload.

As a new Facebook user, your page will be a lot less busy than mine (remember those 1200-plus friends I mentioned in the introduction?), but as time goes by, your page will be busy as well.

Going back to the "Home" picture up there, you can see the "Watch" section, which when you click it allows you to see any videos from folks you are following:

Tuck and Patti watch page

Watch Page

Truth be told, I had forgotten I was following anybody that made videos!


As for the couple up there, that is "Tuck and Patti." She sings, and he plays some jazzy licks on the guitar.

I don't remember where I was, but I saw them live once, several years ago. They were great then, and they're probably still pretty good. Just no time to watch right now (YouTube video playing, and working on this update for the (currently) unfinished Facebook article I started some (*mumble-mumble*) years ago).

If you're brand-spankin' new to Facebook, chances are good you're not following anybody that makes videos, so chances are good there won't be anything under "Saved Videos."

... so it should look something like this:

Nothing to See Here

Nothing to See Here

Oh, wait! I can't leave out BatDad!



As you might guess, BatDad is the guy in the right-hand corner of the picture there, and that's pretty much all you ever see of him.

He tends to sort of growl instructions to his family, and sometimes tosses in a little poetry. I'm pretty sure you can guess what the next line is in that picture there ...

Google him when you have a few minutes, then select the "Videos" tab!

If you were to look closely at that screenshot of the "Watch" folder, you might have noticed the title of a certain TV show ... namely one called "The Magicians," which I apparently started following sometime back:

The Magicians

The Magicians

If you haven't watched this one, you should probably take some steps to fix that, ASAP!

Fair warning -- it's a bit dark at times.

Worse, it's been canceled since I started writing this article, but for those of you that somehow managed to miss it I have just the thing to help you with that.

Oh, and don't forget to watch the "AfterBuzz show" after each episode ... starting with Season 1, Episode 3!

(Another) fair warning -- they're each about the same length as the show itself!


This one is a bit new. Yours, of course, will be different, depending on where you are, as all the ads I see there are from my state ... and most of those have something to do with items that I may or may not have expressed maybe just a bit of technolust for at one time or another.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace

Bet you can't guess what I've done a search or two for from those pictures ...!

Here's a hint -- neither the words "Honey," "Watch," or "Dell" should make your list of guesses!

Below that, you can see some of the Facebook groups I'm in:

Home Group Shortcuts

Home Group Shortcuts

After the redesign, here's how the groups look:

a few of the groups I'm in

A few of the groups I'm in

Next up is a list of stuff I've never seen before, so I will leave that one to your viewing pleasure! Here you go:

Other Stuff

Other Stuff

Some of the things in that list are familiar, though I've never got to those places this way. For instance, if you click the "Groups" list, you will see this rather large view of the list of groups I'm in:

Facebook Groups List

Facebook Groups List

There used to be a link that would show you which of your Facebook friends are having a birthday during the week, but I can't seem to find that one right now ...

Wait a minute. Just found them under the "Events" tab:

a few birthdays

A Few Birthdays

What you're seeing is a few of the folks that were having birthdays as I was (re) writing this article. I used to go to each person's Facebook page and post a birthday greeting there, but thanks to the Events page listing all of the folks that are having a birthday, I can actually write to each one of them there, without having to go to their pages.

Very convenient.

Unfortunately, sometimes I find that I have missed a birthday (or two ... or three ... or ...). The good news there is that page even tracks birthdays that you missed from a couple days before! Those folks get a "happy belated birthday" ... and my stroke for "happy birthday" is HA*-PD ... and add Phoenix Theory's world famous R-R stroke to get "happy belated birthday."

You're welcome!

Anyway, as you might imagine, I received a few birthday wishes on my birthday, and the next day, Facebook was nice enough to show me how many folks posted on my wall:

facebook birthday wishes, 2015

Mein Facebook Birthday Wishes, 2015

"Wait a minute. What's this 'Like' stuff I keep hearing about?"

Ooh, good question!

Basically, clicking the "Like" button on someone's post just means that you agree with whatever it was they said, or you actually like whatever it was they posted or wrote.

After a while, you'll get so used to hitting that Like button that you will be tempted to do it on websites that *don't* have the Like button ... so when that happens, feel free to borrow this one:

Facebook Big Like

Facebook Big Like

Alas, Facebook has yet to come out with a "Dislike" button, but I hear there's pressure from "upstairs" to fix that:

God Says He'll Have Mark Zukerberg add the Dislike Button

God Says He'll Have Mark Zukerberg add the Dislike Button

Yes, that's right ... even God is on Facebook.

Well, okay ... so his profile says he's a comedian.

God's About Page on Facebook

God's About Page on Facebook

On the off chance that "God's" efforts will be in vain, feel free to borrow this one that I made a few months back:

Big Dislike

Big Dislike

If the "Big Like" is not enough, you can always use this one:

Dump Truck Full of Likes

Dump Truck Full of Likes

As you can see, people have been having a bit of fun with the "Like" button.

On the subject of God, I may or may not have "borrowed" his Facebook image and put it to my own use, like so:

God says do it

God Says Do It!!!

That one comes in handy when somebody is having trouble making a decision! I just post it in the discussion for them!

And let's not forget this one:

More Fun With God

More Fun With God

What? Did you miss that one?

... and for you "Star Wars" fans, someone made this one:

Luke Skywalker Likes This

Luke Skywalker Likes This

One of my faves!

... though I'm pretty sure Luke Skywalker wasn't exactly liking it at the time ... but I digress.

Recently, Facebook came out with what are known as "Reactions:"

Facebook Reactions

Facebook Reactions

Over at The Oatmeal, apparently the artist/webmaster felt that those reactions were not enough, so he made some of his own, which you can download and use as you see fit.

new Facebook reactions

New Facebook Reactions

Alas, some of those new reactions are a bit racy, so I just used a portion of the image on the site's page.

... and for the curious, I find myself using the first two the most.

Facebook Nopes

Facebook Nopes

From time to time, you might want to type one of the original Facebook smilies in a Facebook post, and that's where this one comes in handy:

Facebook Smilies

Facebook Smilies

You can see the original thumbs-up there on the bottom right ... and, for the curious, my stroke for that is TH*-UP ... as in, "Thumbs Up."

It's been a while since I tried to use one of these, so not all of them will work, but I know for sure that last one does!

Continuing our tour of the Facebook interface, take a look at this one:

Facebook Friend Requests and Notifications

Facebook Friend Requests and Notifications

By now, you're probably already familiar with the "Glen," "Home," and that the number six there ... so right now I'm going to tell you about those items in red.

The first one is where you can see who has asked to be your Facebook friend ... and the second one is telling you that you -- er, " I" -- have six "notifications."

The one in the middle is where your Facebook message notifications would appear.

If you click on the Friend Request, you will see a small profile picture of the person or persons that are requesting to be your Facebook friend, along with a couple of buttons with which you can either confirm or ignore the request.

As I mentioned, most of my Facebook friends fall within a few groups: high school, Navy, a few relatives, and court reporters, CART providers, captioners steno folk, and a few transcriptionists, and even a few folks from the paranormal side of things -- both authors and percipients.

When I get a friend request, I take a look at the profile of the person making the request ... mostly to see which group they're "from." From that look, I then make my decision to accept or ignore their request.

A Wee Bit About Notifications

As I said, I have six "notifications" showing.

When I first started using Facebook, I would just click that notification number up there, and read whatever showed up:

Facebook Notifications Menu

Facebook Notifications Menu

... but that soon proved to be a bit unwieldy, so now when I click that Notifications menu, I then click that "See All" link at the bottom of the list, and doing that gives me this:

Facebook Notifications in a Page

A Page Full of Facebook Notifications

For reasons of privacy, I have smudged the names of the people in my Notifications list, but chances are good you'll run into many of them sooner or later.

That said, the advantage of this method is I can see all of my notifications in one place. I can also search through them to see if anybody has mentioned me directly or tagged me in a post, like so:

Facebook Mention in Notifications

Facebook Mention in Notifications

When that happens, I can command-click (or control-click for my Windows using readers) the notification, and it will take me right to where I was mentioned:

Facebook Mention From Notifications Link

Facebook Mention From Notifications Link

For the curious, I advised her to be sure to make a mistake if she's writing along to some dictation and her hubby sits down and gives her a big smooch while she's writing.

Or, as I used to do, playing some Scott Joplin on the piano.

This came up during a discussion on dealing with spousal interruptions, and I shared a story about how I used to be able to play Scott Joplin rags on the piano with my eyes closed, and one day my then-girlfriend sat down next to me and planted one on me ... and I kept playing.

Without making any errors.


Let's just say I haven't seen that gal since high school graduation.

Continuing on with our tour of the Facebook interface, if you look to the right of the Notifications menu, you should see two other menus that are kind of hidden there -- a question mark ("Help"), and an arrow ("Miscellaneous"):

Facebook Help Menu

Facebook Help Menu

... and here's the "Miscellaneous" menu:

Facebook Miscellaneous Menu

Facebook Miscellaneous Menu

Most of those items are self-explanatory, except for maybe the "Support Inbox," which is apparently where Facebook lets you know what, if anything, has been done when you have to report something or somebody to them.

Case in point: a few months ago, one of my friend's Facebook account had been taken over by somebody who was posting some rather questionable stuff that was nothing like anything my friend had ever posted before, so I reported the activity to Facebook, via that "Report a Problem" link below the "Support Inbox."

Another person I reported was trying to get into one of the Facebook groups I run. I didn't see anything in her profile that indicated that she was a court reporting student, so I sent her an e-mail, asking her why she wanted to join the group.

I wasn't satisfied with her answers, so I denied her request ... and that's when she started swearing at me, both in text and in audio, which she sent to me via Facebook Messenger.

... or more correctly, she recorded herself saying something and sent that to me via Facebook Messenger.

From the audio, I could tell I was dealing with a couple of twelve year olds, so I reported the profile ... and Facebook Security removed it.

And, speaking of "security" ...

I was recently contacted by a court reporter who asked me if I had heard anything about a federal Covid grant. She went on about how she had received a rather substantial amount of money, and all I had to do was text a number and make arrangements with the guy at the other end of the blower phone.

I will spare you the details, but I will share two things.

Thing one, do a search for the person you're messaging. If you find two accounts with the same profile pic, chances are good you're dealing with a cloned account.

Thing Two, if the person that contacted you has cloned the account of one of your steno friends, ask said "friend" to share a steno outline for, say, "ladies and gentlemen of the jury."

Let me see if I can find my scammer's answer ...

Ah, here we go:

"If that was what you want to hear i will tell you. 'Be mindful of the jury. Be ready for the unexpected.'"

My response: "Not even close."

Unfortunately, I failed to ask that question before I followed her instructions and texted the number she provided, and foolishly followed said instructions ... only to find the next day that my "grant" had been "held up by a Tax Agent," for which the contact wanted another $1,000 to "Pay the taxes" so I could get that grant money.

I filed a report with the FBI in Washington, D.C., but never heard anything back ... but a quick Google search revealed I should have reported it to my local FBI office. I have screenshots of both the Facebook conversations and the text messages zipped and ready to go.

I also called the woman whose account was cloned. Turns out she was in her late eighties, and her son actually set up the account for her, and she rarely used it.

She handed the phone to her son. I don't know what his problem was, but he handed the phone to his sister. I explained what was going on, and she appeared to understand what I was telling her ... but the cloned account was still up a few days later.

I also reported the cloned account to Facebook, but I ran into a young woman who said her account had been cloned, and she reported it to Facebook Security ... but the cloned account is still up.

Thanks to that scammer, my hard drive failing, the cost to repair that as well as the money for a new computer, and the necessity to go back and forth to the computer repair shop by taxi, I find myself out $1,000. Hopefully I can get that refunded from "The Tax Man" in a few months ...

The Tax Man Cometh

The Tax Man Cometh

Did you notice the name of the author in that drawing? Sure hope so, because I managed to find one of his legal articles that even his widow was not aware of, which I transcribed and uploaded to Cheap and Sleazy ... and you can find that one here.

Facebook Messages

Ordinarily, that Messages menu item would be red and have a number like the other menu items we were discussing, but as I write this, it's nearly 3:30 in the morning, so I'm not getting a lot of messages right now! :o)

However, you can see the last few messages sent and received by clicking the Messages menu, like so:

Facebook Messages Menu

Facebook Messages Menu

Do you see it?

I mean the "See All" link at the bottom of the window?

If so, you know what that means ... yes, that's right ... if I click that, I can see all of my messages on one page, just like with the notifications:

Facebook Messages -- All

Facebook Messages -- All

Depending on your security settings, you should be able to receive messages from anybody, but sometimes if someone that's not on your Friends List sends you a message, that message may end up in the "Message Requests" box:

Facebook "Message Requests"

Facebook "Message Requests"

I didn't know there was a "Message Requests" box (though it was called an "Other" box at that time) ... so it was about three years before I looked into mine.

Let's just say I had a lot of stuff in there -- announcements for concerts, an invitation to go and see Jazzy B DJing at a club (in London, of course ... and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to make it if I had seen the message sooner!), news about upcoming movies, etc.

Thankfully nothing I needed to take care of at the time of receipt!

As a (rather lengthy) aside, just before I got out of the Navy, I saw online somewhere that Jazzy B was doing a pirate radio show somewhere in the UK, and I thought something along the lines of, "Wow, that would be something to hear!"

Fast forward a week or so, and I had written an e-mail and sent it off to the point of contact at http://soul2soul.co.uk, and a few weeks later, I received an answer from his publicist.

She said they normally don't do anything like that, but apparently Jazzie liked my e-mail and told his publicist to ask for a snail-mail address, which I happily provided ... and, a few weeks later I got a package in the mail, and here's what I found inside:

Soul II Soul Tapes

Soul II Soul Tapes

Hmm. I can't seem to find the resultant MP3s for those tapes! Good thing I still have that boom box my favorite ex-wife bought me many years ago ... but I digress.

Something to Remember

If you've been paying attention to the news at all, you've probably heard some news stories about someone posting something on Facebook or other social networking sites that lands them in hot water ... or worse, costs them a job!

If you read my article on Forums, you can probably figure out what you need to be doing in these groups, but still, it can't hurt to point you here:

FB Do's and Don'ts:


HR-folk read social media ... and may decide whether or not to hire you based on your posts:


It should come as no surprise that the next one would be more pertinent to court reporters and court reporting students alike.


Another issue that comes up from time to time is employers demanding their employees provide them with their Facebook password.

As you might guess, I'm not a big fan of this particular practice ... but I'll spare you the obligatory rant about that.

Privacy is also an issue one should pay attention to, as illustrated here:

Facebook Privacy Settings Tip

Facebook Privacy Settings Tip

I'm pretty sure they were kidding about that particular checkbox, though. At least, I hope so, because I don't remember unchecking it!!

Fortunately, my "favorite ex-wife" and I get along just fine, so there's that.

Another thing that I personally am careful of are things called "Facebook Apps."

Facebook Apps are like regular apps on your iDevices and Android phones: Small bits of code that do something for you: Games, coupons, etc., etc.

What most people seem to miss is the little clause in the agreement that says that the app "may post things on your friend's walls on your behalf."

"Wait a Minute. Say WHAT!??!"

Yeah, that's exactly what I said when I first saw that!

Add to that those Facebook quizzes ... you know, the ones where they ask you to log into your Facebook account ... the very same account you're already logged into?

Yes, that's right ... that's most likely somebody trying to steal your login and password. If you have to log in somewhere when you're already logged in, do yourself a favor ... DON'T DO IT!!!

Case in point:

Potential Facebook Scam

Potential Facebook Scam

Again, some random page asking you to log in with your Facebook credentials. You know what's up now, though ... so you're not going to fall for that, ever! Right?!?

Thankfully, the games are a bit less intrusive these days. For instance, I can only tell when my daughter or one of my nieces is playing one of those games when I see some mention of it in that part of the window where my "active and recently active" contacts are listed. Case in point:

Facebook Game Status

(Not My Niece's) Facebook Game Status

Well that, and the fact that FB games would represent a serious time-suck for me!

I play chess on FICS, the "Free Internet Chess Server" from time to time (and yes, there *IS* a chess app out there!), as well as the (relatively) newcomer LiChess ... and, if you've been reading Cheap and Sleazy for a while, you know that I can easily spend an entire DAY doing that ...!

This is why I don't play games on Facebook -- because of that whole "time suck" thing.

Well, that, and I've got things to do!


You can also connect with family on Facebook -- which can be both a good thing and a bad thing, as you can see here:

Ye Olde Facebook Family Request

Ye Olde Facebook Family Request

The above pic is (kinda-sorta) a good illustration as to why my favorite ex-wife is not on Facebook.

Oh, and I found this one a few weeks back:

Luke Daddy Issues

Luke Daddy Issues

There also might be a problem where Facebook keeps you from doing the work that you're supposed to be doing:

Check Me!

Check Me!

Then there's this serious case:

On the Dangers of Facebooking While Working

On the Dangers of Facebooking While Working

Turns out that there's both good news and bad news about that.

The bad news is that the good news will have you spending more time on Facebook.


The good news is that if you're going to be checking Facebook all the time anyway, most CAT software will allow you to write into other applications ... so theoretically, you can write all of your posts from your writer directly!

Oh, and did I mention Plover?

Facebook Groups (or "But Wait! There's More!")

But Wait ...!

But wait! There's ...!

Then I discovered "Facebook Groups."

A rule discovered by some human behavioral scientist a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away says that humans tend to get together and form groups. This was so then as it is now, and this behavior remains true today with Facebook.

That is how I discovered the various court reporting-related groups I'm in, and is (one of the reasons) why I decided to write this article.

But first ...

... let me tell you about posting on Facebook.

Chances are good you're used to hitting the Return key on your keyboard to make a paragraph.

Unfortunately if you do that on Facebook, Facebook will think you were finished with what you wanted to write, and end your message ... and for a while there, that was the end of your message! Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, so if you make that mistake, you can now edit your post and finish what you were trying to write.

See those three dots to the right of the post? When you click them, you should see something like this:


editing a Facebook post

Editing a Facebook Post

At that point, you can change whatever you need to change, hit Return, and you're good to go, as the saying goes.

Sometimes, however, just one paragraph won't do it, so instead of going with a long solid wall of text, when the time comes for a new paragraph, hold your Shift key down, then hit the Return key twice, then go back to writing your new paragraph.

Tagging Folks

When you answer somebody's post and want to mention them by name, try typing the person's first (or last) name, and Facebook will highlight the name, along with anybody else with that same name, and show a picture of the person it thinks you're trying to tag, along with a few others -- if the desired name is common enough, that is.

Here I searched for "Madison:"

Facebook tagging

Facebook Tagging

If you find that the name and the picture match the person you're trying to tag, hit the Tab key, and that name will be added to your post.

Of course, you're probably not going to want to refer to your friend by their first and last names, so once the name has been added to your message, place your cursor at the end of the added name, and press the Delete key until you have what you're looking for ... as in, just the first name.

Next, sometimes I go to the start of the sentence and add a space, so I can write something like "He's dead, Jim!" leaving Jim's name tagged.

Comes in handy from time to time.

Facebook Groups

There are many court reporting groups, and chances are if you've been reading Cheap and Sleazy for at least a year, you have already found out about Breck and Ann Record's group, Encouraging Court Reporting Students.

This group is run by Breck Record with some a lot of assistance from his wife, Ann "Get Outta CR School" Record, Krista "Red Dot Secret" Burgeson, with lots of input from other working (and retired) court reporters, court reporting instructors, CART providers, captioners, scopists, and software trainers.

Heck, even Breck's mom makes an occasional appearance!

Breck and Ann Record in Philadelphia, Taken by Cindi <strike>Hartman</strike> Lynch

Breck and Ann Record in Philadelphia, Taken by Cindi Hartman Lynch

Alas, I am no longer a member of that group, thanks to a rather ... let's say "difficult" assistant admin that caused a lot of the folks that were in the group to leave. I hear he's no longer an admin, so there's that.

You should be able to find a few of the documents I added in the "Files" section, though.

I (somewhat) recently took over a group called "Court Reporting Students Encouraging Each Other."

I don't post much in there, beyond the occasional answer to a question, news of an update on Cheap and Sleazy, and the occasional welcome to a new member ... so feel free to stop by!

Don't forget to answer the entry questions properly, because after two days with either no answer or inappropriate answers, those requests get deleted.

Case in point:

Not Admitted

Not Admitted For Obvious Reasons

Another attempt:

Also Not Admitted

Another That Didn't Get Admitted



Now, then ... back to the groups.

Buying and Selling:

Need to buy or sell steno stuff? Check out "Court Reporting Stuff."

There's also "Kimmi's Court Reporter Shop," which I haven't visited in a while now (helps cut down on the spending!).


Looking for work, or want to hire somebody to work for you? Here you go:

The Job Board:



"Life's a Brief:"

Need a brief (or two ... or three ... or ...)? In that case, you'll need to stop by one of  all of these groups:

The Brief Exchange:


Steno Briefs:


Steno Briefs for Court Reporters:


Court Reporter Briefs That Make You Go, Hmm?! Court Reporter Brief Bazaar


Student Brief Corner

This one was created by Cheap and Sleazy contributor, Mikey McMorran, author of Learning Briefs, which, as you might imagine, is a way to teach yourself a few briefs. You can probably guess who the group is meant for, just from the group's name.


A Brief a Day Keeps The Doctor Away


While I'm sure your parents raised you properly, it can't hurt to express some gratitude when you grab a few of the suggested outlines, like so:

make your mom proud!

Express Gratitude

The CATs:



Case CATalyst Reporters AND Users!


Stenovations (digitalCAT and Lightspeed Users):


Total Eclipse Facebook Group:


Eclipse Student Users Group:


Plover Steno




Need a little more FREE dictation? Court reporting student court reporter Jennifer Morrow has just what you need in this group:

Court Reporters In Training:


... but you'll have to do a little searching right now, unless somebody (probably me) searches through the group to find all of the links to the audio files and puts them all into one document in the Files section.

Jennifer's not one to rest on her laurels, though ... have you ever thought about becoming a scopist? If so, you might want to take a look at this group:


If you have international leanings or speak another language and would like to hang out with your fellow CRs from around the globe, there's this group:

Steno Around the Globe:


You can't talk about steno and other countries without mentioning Intersteno ... and you can find them here:


Some of the CAT vendors have their own groups as well:

Total Eclipse FB Group:






Alas, Stenograph doesn't appear to have a Facebook presence for the company itself, but there are a few groups out there for Case CATalyst.

This is former Case trainer Sonya Wilcox's group, "Case CATalyst Reporters AND Users!":


This group is for folks that are into "macros and editing hacks:"


This one's for those folks that are using a Mac to run Case:


... and in the Court Reporter & Scopist Macintosh User's Group you will find other CATs.

Looks like there's a Diamante User's Group:


I'm not sure how long it will be around, seeing as how Stenograph has (pretty much) withdrawn support for the Diamante in favor of the Luminex.

That said, there are also a few Case trainers:

This is was CaseCATalyst trainer Anthony Frislone's group:


Get CC Training

Looks like "Fris" got a new pussy cat!

(Sorry about that! Let's just say that was a rather popular song when I was a kid, and for a while, you couldn't turn on a radio (remember those?) without hearing it within five minutes!)

Oh, and speaking of which ....

What's New Pussycat

Well. You had to be there.

Here's another, from CaseCATalyst Trainer Jill "Abby Normal" Suttenberg:


As I'm not a member, all I can tell you is that as of today (14FEB22), the page had 25 visitors in the last month, so it's not dead or archived.

There's also the AristoCAT User's Group, which appears to be open to everybody.

Becoming Better CRs and CR Students:


This group is used to be run by reporter Britany Curchoe, and she used to post words that should be in your dictionary fairly frequently.

Your mission -- should you decide to accept it -- would be to check your dictionary to see if that word is there, and post how you would write it ... and eventually, someone will post a shorter way to write that word that doesn't conflict with your theory, so you can add that stroke to your steno arsenal!

Of late, most of the content is coming from folks that are selling something, giving seminars, etc. ... but here's one from a few years ago that might be of interest:

guest post

A guest post from days gone by

At one time, I wondered if the various theories out there had their own Facebook page or group ... so I did a little searching, and only found two:

Magnum Steno Club:


Not necessarily about the Magnum Steno theory per se, but as close as I could get! :o)

Phoenix Theory Briefs and Phrases:


This isn't exactly a "real" Phoenix Theory page; rather, it was started by Cheap and Sleazy contributor, Karen Kaufman Carollo (see the 29DEC11 Update):

Karen Kaufman Carollo

Karen Kaufman Carollo

Karen's group is a sort of "clearing house" for Phoenix Theory briefs and phrases ... and Kathy Dittmeier, the unofficial new Phoenix Theory Mom, pops in from time to time and adds new briefs and phrases for the Phoenix Theory student to grab. Case in point:

The New Phoenix Theory Mom Pops In

The New Phoenix Theory Mom Pops In

Oh, and speaking of Phoenix, this happened a few weeks back:

Phoenix Phun

Phoenix Phun

Interestingly enough, there's this group:


That one's called "Magnum Steno for Phoenix Writers."

Oh, and speaking of, give "Phoenix to Magnum With Matt" a look-see when you have a chance.

There's also this one:

Keith's Court Reporter Helpline

As for what the group is about, here's the blurb from the "About" section:

"A closed group to discuss problems faced by court reporters, brief forms, computer issues, punctuation, you name it."

... and you can find that one here:


Total Recall Captioning

"Informal group about CART & captioning, issues of interest to our clients & colleagues, occasional related job postings, info, communication, & some silly stuff too. :)"


Need some accountability for your practice regimen/goals? Try Record Breakers:

If you're feeling "iffy" about your punctuation, you're covered with Punctuation for Court Reporters:


Here's the text from the "About" box:

"This group is for stenographic court reporters and their proofreaders and scopists to discuss punctuation rules."

Of course, you're going to want to check out the Files section, in (pretty much) any group you join.

One Word, Two Words, Apostrophe, Hyphen, OH MY!:


Check out the blurb for the group:

We dissect words on a daily basis. Sometimes we second-guess how we should write something. Come here to ask for help or post your own new experiences. Thanks, all!

Punch-Drunk on Punctuation

You're going to love this group description snippet:

Are you a stenographic reporter, scopist, proofreader, etc, who works on transcripts? Do you often pull your hair out trying to figure out how in the hillbilly haven to punctuate something? Don't worry! We're here, and we're punchy! We know the toils and the tribulations you go through, and we're all in it together! We may drink and punctuate, but we save lives. We would never say, Let's eat Grandma!



Punctuation Rules -- Lillian Morson


About info:

"This group is for court reporters, scopists, proofreaders, and transcriptionists who follow and/or want the rule citations from Lillian I. Morson for transcripts."


Punctuation Rules -- Margie Wakeman Wells

Punctuation Rules: Margie Wakeman Wells

Here's the "About" info:

This group is for posting questions and getting answers based on the English rules taught by Margie Wakeman Wells.

Do you have questions about CART? The NCRA has a group for that:


Here's the first part from the "About This Group" box:

Welcome to the CART Captioners group on Facebook! This group is officially moderated by the National Court Reporters Association.

Here's a group "Just for Scopists:"


As I'm not a scopist, I'm not in the group, so that's about all I can tell you! Ha ha ha!

And for those times when you need to relax, share a joke or two, or need a smile, there's Off The Record:


Here's what the About box says:

A place for court reporters, paralegals, videographers and students to talk OFF THE RECORD and have FUN doing it!!!

Unfortunately, the last post was from just over a year ago.

"Got Mac?" If so, you're going to want to join both of these groups. First, we have Mac and Case Catalyst Users

That's All, Folks ...!

Yes, that's pretty much it -- for now. I will, of course, add more groups as I find them (or as interested readers point them out to me)!

In the meantime, if you haven't already signed up for a Facebook account, what are you waiting for?! :o)

See you there!

Oh, and in case I forget ...

Dumptruck Full of Likes

For those times when just one like isn't enough.